Didn't he drive his car off a cliff a couple of years ago? Sounds like he definitely had problems, could indeed be brain injury related.
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I guess, but I don't see any difference in water that started with low alkalinity and ended up with a lot of it versus a base water with high bicarbonate.
Just the conjecture that neutralized bicarbonate (like what would happen in your acidic mash) lends an unpleasant flavor. I'm not an expert mead maker, but I've noticed it's definitely true when making mead, and also when making Belgian candi syrup. You can use much larger amounts of lime than chalk before you hit the taste threshold. How applicable that is to beer I couldn't say with certainty, but I strongly suspect similar flavor issues.
Sorry for derailing the thread, back on topic:
I just don't see a reason why adding chalk or baking soda is better than adding lime. Some people have claimed negative flavors form from neutralized bicarbonate. As far as I'm concerned that's just conjecture. I'm not ready to firmly support that, but I'm leaning toward believing it.
1 and 2 only contradict at the start. if you start with the lowest mineral/alkalinity then add the lime, you get what you are looking for. similar to guys, i would imagine, that always start with RO water and then build their water for a particular style.
I hate to sound so dogmatic. This past year, I've really hit my stride brewing. All of the past 10 batches or so I've done have turned out consistently better than I've ever made before. I've only been doing a couple things differently:
1. Using pickling lime for mash pH increases
2. Using the softest, least mineralized and lowest alkalinity water I can get.
3. Only using calcium chloride for calcium adjustments
I used to futz with my water a lot, and add a lot of stuff to it to hit arbitrary ranges of ions others said were desirable. The above, simpler method has worked well for a broad range of styles.
Taste is subjective, YMMV and so on. I would urge everyone to take a critical approach to what you're adding to your beer, and why. If you think it does/does not make a difference, try it both ways and see which you prefer. The proof will be in the beer.
YMMV, but from my experience, any sodium is too much sodium. My water contains about 2ppm of sodium. I've added NaCl to some of my darker beers, because I read somewhere that sodium rounds out malt sweetness. I've found I prefer the beers without added sodium.
So, why is baking soda never the answer?
Baking soda contributes a low amount of alkalinity, and contributes relatively high amount of Na. So if you add enough baking soda to change the mash pH, you've added a lot (I would argue too much) sodium.
I am a firm believer that excellent beer can be created with relatively simple and cheap set ups:
I understand that you are allowed to rebrew. My real question is are you allowed to fine tune your recipe based on judges comments from the first round.