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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: nicosan1 on April 22, 2017, 05:18:24 PM

Title: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: nicosan1 on April 22, 2017, 05:18:24 PM
Planning to brew a Double IPA and was following Tasty McDole's IPA Water Profile.  Ca-110ppm, Mg-18ppm, Na-17ppm, SO4-350ppm, Cl-50ppm

I plan to brew with Distilled Water and likely will just be all Rahr 2 row with a little bit of wheat malt and some dextrose.  I don't seem to need any Acid Malt or Acid additions as I plan to use about 1.75 grams Gypsum per gallon about .1 grams CaCl per gallon, about .5 grams epsom salts per gallon and about .2 grams per gallon of canning salt. 

Do these numbers look okay in your experience for a hoppy beer?  Looks to hit most of my numbers for CA, CL, SO4, Magnesium and sodium.  PH estimate is about 5.39
Title: Re: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: Bob357 on April 22, 2017, 09:34:39 PM
I'd be inclined to acidify mash and boil to 5.2, or very close to that. It will help with crispness.
Title: Re: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: nicosan1 on April 23, 2017, 02:40:18 PM
I'd be inclined to acidify mash and boil to 5.2, or very close to that. It will help with crispness.

Sounds good, I'll add a touch of Phosphoric to the mash. 
Title: Re: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 23, 2017, 02:45:39 PM
Rahr 2-row will be about 0.3 pH lower than one would expect. With the Ca and acid additions you might end up below 5.2.
Title: Re: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: nicosan1 on April 23, 2017, 03:32:32 PM
So you are saying, stay clear of the acid addition and just do the mineral additions I was planning?
Title: Re: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: denny on April 23, 2017, 03:43:10 PM
So you are saying, stay clear of the acid addition and just do the mineral additions I was planning?

I think that's what Jeff meant and it's what I'd recommend also.
Title: Re: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: nicosan1 on April 23, 2017, 04:36:29 PM
Thanks Jeff, Denny and Bob for your input! 
Title: Re: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 23, 2017, 05:35:01 PM
Thanks Jeff, Denny and Bob for your input!
Your welcome.

You might want to run it in Brunwater with the color up around 8-10 lovobond for the Rahr. Then see where the minerals and acid take the pH to.
Title: Re: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: mabrungard on April 23, 2017, 07:02:46 PM
While a mash pH of 5.2 does make many styles crisp, I haven't found that a pH that low is ideal for pale ales and IPA with their hoppiness and bittering. I find that bumping the pH up to around 5.4 works better for me in those styles.
Title: Re: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: denny on April 23, 2017, 07:42:59 PM
While a mash pH of 5.2 does make many styles crisp, I haven't found that a pH that low is ideal for pale ales and IPA with their hoppiness and bittering. I find that bumping the pH up to around 5.4 works better for me in those styles.

I agree with that.
Title: Re: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: nicosan1 on April 23, 2017, 11:43:30 PM
While a mash pH of 5.2 does make many styles crisp, I haven't found that a pH that low is ideal for pale ales and IPA with their hoppiness and bittering. I find that bumping the pH up to around 5.4 works better for me in those styles.

I agree with that.
  Since my expected PH is 5.39 and the Rahr 2 row might lower that to perhaps 5.36 should I buffer with a tiny bit of chalk or some dark malt like Carafa III, or just leave alone?
Title: Re: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: HoosierBrew on April 24, 2017, 12:09:58 AM
While a mash pH of 5.2 does make many styles crisp, I haven't found that a pH that low is ideal for pale ales and IPA with their hoppiness and bittering. I find that bumping the pH up to around 5.4 works better for me in those styles.

I agree with that.
  Since my expected PH is 5.39 and the Rahr 2 row might lower that to perhaps 5.36 should I buffer with a tiny bit of chalk or some dark malt like Carafa III, or just leave alone?


I'd go as is. It'll be fine. Under normal circumstances, chalk is next to worthless in terms of adjusting pH.
Title: Re: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: nicosan1 on April 24, 2017, 12:52:58 AM
Sounds good, thanks!
Title: Re: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: erockrph on April 24, 2017, 02:22:00 PM
A) I agree with the pH target close to 5.4 for Pale Ales and IPA's. 5.2 is a good target for lagers and Belgians, but I think it might muddy things a bit for hoppy ales.

B) Tasty knows IPA's, so it is worth it to try his water as is.

C) That said, after trying higher sulfate levels, I've found that my own taste is for much lower levels in my IPA's. I don't go over 200ppm any more, and typically use 125-150ppm. Like I said, you should absolutely try Tasty's water as-is. But if you find the beer to be too minerally for your tastes, then you my want to try something like 150ppm in a future batch for comparison.
Title: Re: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on April 24, 2017, 02:40:49 PM
I like pretty dry, snappy IPAs these days. I go with a mash pH of 5.3, about 225 ppm SO4 and a half pound of sugar to promote higher attenuation.
Title: Re: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: HoosierBrew on April 24, 2017, 02:46:21 PM
I brewed quite a few APAs and IPAs with the Tasty/Pale Ale profile and have backed off, too. I've been using around 150ppm SO4 lately and liking it. I still end up fairly dry since I use very little crystal and finish around 1.010.
Title: Re: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: zwiller on April 24, 2017, 04:43:54 PM
All of the suggestions are good and work but there is no substitute for trying various methods.  When debating on these sort of things, I suggest you identify a commercial example that is similar to what you are trying to and then we could offer better advice. 
Title: Re: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: HoosierBrew on April 24, 2017, 04:45:07 PM
All of the suggestions are good and work but there is no substitute for trying various methods.  When debating on these sort of things, I suggest you identify a commercial example that is similar to what you are trying to and then we could offer better advice. 



Totally agree.
Title: Re: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: yso191 on April 28, 2017, 05:07:09 PM
I find myself wondering the role hop choice makes in this discussion of pH in IPA's.  In other words take your typical juicy (I use that descriptor for Denny's benefit) NE IPA compared to a PNW dank, piney, citrusy IPA.  I would imagine pH would affect these differently.

Does anyone have any experience with this?  By 'this' I specifically mean changing pH to match hop character.
Title: Re: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: zwiller on April 28, 2017, 06:08:44 PM
Yep, for danky go higher 5.4 for juicy go lower 5.2.  "It has been shown that this solubility increases with pH (see Figure 4) [Briggs, 2004] which is why the bitterness extraction from hops is greater at a higher boil pH. Many brewers, however, have reported that the quality of the bitterness extracted at high boil pH is perceived as being harsher compared to bitterness gained from a boil at a lower pH." http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=How_pH_affects_brewing (http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=How_pH_affects_brewing) 

Also, the sparge/pre boil pH are equally important...  Mash pH is not set and forget.  My personal approach is to acidify sparge liquor to same of mash.   
Title: Re: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: yso191 on April 29, 2017, 06:00:50 PM
Very interesting.  Thank you.
Title: Re: Water Question for IPAs and Mineral Additions
Post by: skyler on May 01, 2017, 03:11:22 PM
I also prefer lower sulfate levels, basically, I just add enough gypsum to get my Calcium levels to ~60 ppm, then I add sea salt to give me a decent Sulfate/Chloride balance (I like 1.5/1 or 2/1). The resulting sodium levels are anywhere from 20-40, depending on what exact profile I shoot for. I had been using acid malt to adjust pH, but my newest batch seems more acidic than previous batches, so I am switching to regular acid.

Through some experimentation, I am beginning to believe that increased sodium levels permit higher sulfate levels to taste palatable and not come across as harsh/astringent/bitter. I have had very soft water in most of the places where I've brewed (Portland, OR and East Bay Area, CA) and found that I found my beers unpleasantly harsh when I brewed with more than 150 ppm sulfate. However, I remembered that when I had just used "burton salts" with RO or DI water before, I hadn't noticed the same problem. I also tasted plenty of great homebrew from people using Tasty's pale ale profile...

Anyway, I finally considered that my super-low sodium level might be the culprit, and started testing out higher sodium levels (20-50 ppm) by adding sea salt. Sure enough, higher sulfate levels are a lot more tolerable with sodium levels over 20 ppm. I've stopped using calcium chloride when I adjust minerals for hoppy pale beer. Now I adjust chlorides by adding sea salt, then increase the sulfate and calcium levels to get me where I need to be with gypsum. The balance has worked well for me, flavor-wise.