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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: Brewmeisters on January 31, 2018, 04:54:59 AM

Title: Learning about water
Post by: Brewmeisters on January 31, 2018, 04:54:59 AM
Could someone point me in the direction of learning about water for brewing?
Articles or books is what I'm looking for.
Title: Learning about water
Post by: BrewBama on January 31, 2018, 11:36:19 AM
https://www.brewersfriend.com/2017/11/19/brewing-water-basics-part-2/

Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers_ by John Palmer and Colin Kaminski,  Brewers Publications 2013: https://www.brewerspublications.com/products/water-a-comprehensive-guide-for-brewers

There is a section on water knowledge that is very informative and should give you enough knowledge on what adjustments should be made: https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

http://beersmith.com/blog/2016/08/10/using-the-new-brewing-water-and-mash-ph-tools-in-beersmith-2-3/

https://beerandbrewing.com/brewing-water/

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Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: Robert on January 31, 2018, 01:21:52 PM
Book:  _Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers_ by John Palmer and Colin Kaminski,  Brewers Publications 2013
Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: denny on January 31, 2018, 04:50:00 PM
IMO, the absolute best water learning tool is the Water Knowledge page here...https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/  Much more readable than the Water book, which is mainly aimed at commercial brewers.  Not to mention, it was written by the guy who was the technical editor of the book!
Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: braufessor on January 31, 2018, 06:17:27 PM
I agree with the B'run Water resource.  The Water Book is also good.  However, one thing I will say is this - Sometimes the technical understanding of water chemistry can be a little overwhelming for some. 

The reality is this - the functional manipulation of your water to make good beer is really fairly simple and straight forward.

Honestly, you can have a functional process with as little knowledge as " Use RO water and add "X" number of tsp of CaCl and Gypsum, and add "X" ml of lactic acid" - basically, you could have 3-6 "water recipes" and get yourself in the ball park for almost any beer style.

Eventually, it is awesome and desirable to understand the details, but also know that you can start down the road to improving your water without knowing all of those details.  I think too many people see the entire area of water chemistry as "too much" and abandon it entirely.  Taking the first simple steps can be done with very little understanding of the entire picture.
Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: Robert on January 31, 2018, 07:54:27 PM
FWIW I should post this disclaimer:  I listed the book because it is comprehensive.  But you guys are right, it's probably more than practically needed by most.  I used to rely on it, but since I discovered Bru'n Water,  that (knowledge page and spreadsheet) is all I ever use.  No more calculating by hand or guessing about flavor profiles.  I did learn a lot from the book, though, that is useful background.
Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: Aksarben on February 02, 2018, 02:41:57 AM
Great links!  I downloaded the Brew'n water excel file.  I've always wondered on what it would be like to make beer with my Cousin's well water.  North of Lewellen, NE and lives a ways up and has "sandhills" water, which is about as clean and fresh and free of minerals as one can imagine.  Rick lives above the huge Ogallala aquifer.  Honest, this is water that breweries have bought and had shipped in to use, from Sandhills Pure  water company.
Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: Robert on February 02, 2018, 02:47:40 AM
Great links!  I downloaded the Brew'n water excel file.  I've always wondered on what it would be like to make beer with my Cousin's well water.  North of Lewellen, NE and lives a ways up and has "sandhills" water, which is about as clean and fresh and free of minerals as one can imagine.  Rick lives above the huge Ogallala aquifer.  Honest, this is water that breweries have bought and had shipped in to use, from Sandhills Pure  water company.

I've read there's a certain subculture of homebrewers who will drive hundreds of miles to load their pickup with jugs of water from some spring or another.  The beauty of the Bru'n Water spreadsheet and RO or distilled water is, as long as you have an analysis of ANY water, you can replicate it yourself. 
Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: Aksarben on February 02, 2018, 03:34:06 AM
Well, digging around I found a jpg of a saved pdf file on a NE government report on certain Nebraska Counties water assessments.   Amazing low figures for Otoe County.  So, by all standards, one, with RO water and math, (and mineral additions) could emulate either Wayne, Otoe or Munich Germany water?

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4660/28255077539_38bb4d001d_o.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K3NEai)
Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: Robert on February 02, 2018, 03:53:38 AM
Well, digging around I found a jpg of a saved pdf file on a NE government report on certain Nebraska Counties water assessments.   Amazing low figures for Otoe County.  So, by all standards, one, with RO water and math, (and mineral additions) could emulate either Wayne, Otoe or Munich Germany water?

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4660/28255077539_38bb4d001d_o.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K3NEai)
Yes, you can emulate any water!  I see your report doesn't show some parameters that may be of interest in brewing, sulfate most notably.  If you build your own water some trace elements may be missing but they are ones that are really irrelevant in beer.  Read through the Water Knowledge page on the Bru'n Water  website and you will have all the understanding you need as to how water composition affects brewing And beer. And beyond emulating a specific source water, you will find it more beneficial to build water that achieves the taste you want in your beer.  Remember, just because you know what Munich  or Dortmund etc water is, does not mean they use it as is to make their beer, they may be treating it too!  You will see the spreadsheet contains many examples of water profiles that may suit your style of beer, and you can use those as initial guidelines.
Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: braufessor on February 02, 2018, 04:17:25 AM
Great links!  I downloaded the Brew'n water excel file.  I've always wondered on what it would be like to make beer with my Cousin's well water.  North of Lewellen, NE and lives a ways up and has "sandhills" water, which is about as clean and fresh and free of minerals as one can imagine.  Rick lives above the huge Ogallala aquifer.  Honest, this is water that breweries have bought and had shipped in to use, from Sandhills Pure  water company.

If water is “as free from minerals as you can imagine” you don’t need to go looking for it....... that is what RO water is...... it is free of minerals.   Most breweries I know of have RO systems .... not sure why you would ship or transport water.  That seems like it would be insanely expensive compared to just installing an RO system.
Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 02, 2018, 05:18:49 PM
Well, digging around I found a jpg of a saved pdf file on a NE government report on certain Nebraska Counties water assessments.   Amazing low figures for Otoe County.  So, by all standards, one, with RO water and math, (and mineral additions) could emulate either Wayne, Otoe or Munich Germany water?

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4660/28255077539_38bb4d001d_o.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K3NEai)

It has been already stated that brewers treat their water.

If you have a Munich water profile, don’t put much reliance  behind it for the brewhouse water. Munich brewers are said to use lime softening to drop the Mineral content.

Ayinger, and some say Augustiner, have deep wells that draw from an aquifer that starts in the Alps. I tasted that water on the Ayinger tour, and all I can say is that it tastes wet. That well is 603 meters deep IIRC. Ayinger has a 40 meter well with more Alkalinity, and that is blended with the deep well when they are making darker beers.
Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: klickitat jim on February 02, 2018, 05:23:06 PM
Well, digging around I found a jpg of a saved pdf file on a NE government report on certain Nebraska Counties water assessments.   Amazing low figures for Otoe County.  So, by all standards, one, with RO water and math, (and mineral additions) could emulate either Wayne, Otoe or Munich Germany water?

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4660/28255077539_38bb4d001d_o.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K3NEai)

It has been already stated that brewers treat their water.

If you have a Munich water profile, don’t put much reliance  behind it for the brewhouse water. Munich brewers are said to use lime softening to drop the Mineral content.

Ayinger, and some say Augustiner, have deep wells that draw from an aquifer that starts in the Alps. I tasted that water on the Ayinger tour, and all I can say is that it tastes wet. That well is 603 meters deep IIRC. Ayinger has a 40 meter well with more Alkalinity, and that is blended with the deep well when they are making darker beers.
I think if I did a 900ft well I would get lava!
Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: Richard on February 02, 2018, 10:19:48 PM
I know if I did a 900 foot well I would get seawater! Maybe I could mix it with Jim's lava to get distilled water.
Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 02, 2018, 11:32:33 PM
Just saying that 603 meters is 1978 ft. Jim might hit Lava in the PNW near the Ring of Fire.
Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: Robert on February 02, 2018, 11:44:17 PM
Just saying that 603 meters is 1978 ft. Jim might hit Lava in the PNW near the Ring of Fire.


No help with brewing water, but he'd never need to buy propane again.
Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 03, 2018, 12:10:23 AM
Just saying that 603 meters is 1978 ft. Jim might hit Lava in the PNW near the Ring of Fire.


No help with brewing water, but he'd never need to buy propane again.
Genau!
Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: klickitat jim on February 03, 2018, 01:44:19 AM
Just saying that 603 meters is 1978 ft. Jim might hit Lava in the PNW near the Ring of Fire.
It sure is. But 1978ft would put me back into bedrock
Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: Wort-H.O.G. on February 04, 2018, 01:56:15 AM
My opinion...a neutral base (RO or distilled) is a great way to build exactly what you want. Sometimes it takes some tinkering and few batches, but you can build a water profile for the beer style and end up in a great place....resulting in a beer you are proud off and represents the style.


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Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: BananaSlug on February 10, 2018, 02:53:39 PM
Water is something I want to have my head wrapped at least halfway around before I start brewing. Now I just need to figure out how to make bru'n water work on my computer.
Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: austin6455 on February 12, 2018, 10:39:19 AM
Not to divert the subject, but has anyone donated to/ gotten the updated version of brunwater? How different is it from the base Excel sheet? And most importantly, is it worth it?
Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: Frankenbrew on February 12, 2018, 01:38:24 PM
The supporter's version allows you to save the data for all your recipes, and it calculates your additions in hundredths of a gram as opposed to tenths. It's "worth it" in the sense that its creator put and still puts a lot of work into something we use every time we brew to make the best beer that we can.
Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: Robert on February 12, 2018, 01:46:44 PM
The supporter's version allows you to save the data for all your recipes, and it calculates your additions in hundredths of a gram as opposed to tenths. It's "worth it" in the sense that its creator put and still puts a lot of work into something we use every time we brew to make the best beer that we can.
I donated and got the supporters version, but for some strange reason Excel won't let me open it, says it's protected with a password,  which per Martin is not true. But I am perfectly happy with the free version, and I just save copies for my recipes (Android version of Excel requires you to make a copy in order to edit anyway.)

Frankenbrew makes the REAL point: I don't need the features of the supporters version.   I don't care that it's a dead file in my cloud storage.  I really just wanted to make a donation as some return for the great benefit I get from the "free" version.
Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: austin6455 on February 12, 2018, 02:01:20 PM
The supporter's version allows you to save the data for all your recipes, and it calculates your additions in hundredths of a gram as opposed to tenths. It's "worth it" in the sense that its creator put and still puts a lot of work into something we use every time we brew to make the best beer that we can.
I donated and got the supporters version, but for some strange reason Excel won't let me open it, says it's protected with a password,  which per Martin is not true. But I am perfectly happy with the free version, and I just save copies for my recipes (Android version of Excel requires you to make a copy in order to edit anyway.)

Frankenbrew makes the REAL point: I don't need the features of the supporters version.   I don't care that it's a dead file in my cloud storage.  I really just wanted to make a donation as some return for the great benefit I get from the "free" version.
Sorry guys,  definitely didn't mean it like that.  Completely understand that it's a privledge to have that kind of info around at all. I just really didn't know the advantages of the donor version.

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Title: Re: Learning about water
Post by: hackrsackr on February 12, 2018, 02:04:58 PM
Put that money toward a good pH meter.


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