Author Topic: Water Profile for Imperial IPA  (Read 6337 times)

Offline cenosillica

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Water Profile for Imperial IPA
« on: January 02, 2012, 07:19:05 AM »
Today I'm brewing an IIPA. I'm using 16.5lbs of pale malt and 1lb of Crystal 60L for a total of 17.5lbs of grain weight. I'm using the bru'n water profile adjustment spreadsheet starting with RO water, and am posting my intended additions for a quick reality check from you. Please let me know if I am missing something here or if this looks good to you.


Offline mabrungard

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Re: Water Profile for Imperial IPA
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2012, 08:05:28 AM »
I would try to keep the sulfate level closer to 300 ppm and not go as high as indicated here.  If you have already experimented with sulfate levels at the 300 ppm level and want to find out if you prefer higher sulfate, it should be OK to go this high.  Be aware that really high sulfate levels (>>300 ppm) can produce sulfury taste and aroma.  Sulfate levels greater than 600 ppm are likely to produce the sulfury effect, but I have not tried that or verified that.  I find 300 ppm sulfate very pleasant and tasty in Pale Ales.

I see that you are trying to get the calcium up to what the water profile target says. But once calcium is above about 50 ppm, there isn't a strong need to go higher.  There is a lot of sulfate in the Pale Ale profile and calcium sulfate (gypsum) is the preferred addition since there is a definite limit on adding magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) to brewing water.   I see that I need to add a note in the program to alert users of this fact.

Reducing the gypsum addition will also help increase the Residual Alkalinity and should help avoid the need to add the chalk that is shown.  Chalk is a notoriously poor contributor of alkalinity unless it is fully dissolved into water with CO2.  I take it that this water is being built from distilled water and there isn't any alkalinity in it.  A little alkalinity might be needed to keep the mash pH in the proper range, but be cautious in adding alkalinity since it is detrimental to beer flavor and mashing performance if overdone.
 
Don't get too carried away with hitting precise concentrations in your water.  Getting within about 5 percent of those values is plenty close enough.
Martin B
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Offline cenosillica

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Re: Water Profile for Imperial IPA
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2012, 11:45:53 AM »
Thanks Martin,

I appreciate the sound advice and reality check.

If those targets are too high and Calcium ppm's don't really matter above 50ppm, why create profiles with these high target levels? A guy like me with little understanding of water additions is going to try and nail the target as close as possible.

Also, my RA levels are negative and my alkalinity is only 1/3 of my target. I'm using RO water. Assuming I have my ion additions to within 5% as you recommend, how else can I increase my alkalinity without messing up these numbers?

Even better, how would you set the profile additions if brewing an IPA with RO water? If I have managed to get the gist of it, I'm not trying to be dead on the target numbers but rather look at the style of beer being brewed. In this case, an IPA with the sulfate levels be the focal point to smooth the bitterness of my hops. Am I "getting" it or am I way off base?

Once again, thanks for the advice and the hard work put into this tool!

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Water Profile for Imperial IPA
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2012, 02:12:46 PM »
Well I wish it were possible to add sulfate to water without a corresponding cation like calcium, but the laws of chemistry and physics say I can't do that.  So, the Pale Ale profile in Bru'n Water does have a lot of calcium in it because that is the best alternative for adding sulfate to the water since you will hit the maximum magnesium level pretty quickly when adding Epsom salt.  There is no real penalty for adding excessive calcium to the brewing water since it tends to be flavor neutral.

The other thing to recognize is that there should NEVER be a target alkalinity for a water profile.  This is because that target changes with every grist.  Every grist has a different acid production and the target alkalinity is that alkalinity that produces a desirable mash pH.  To emphasis that point, the Finished bicarbonate concentration cell in Bru'n Water will never turn green and give the brewer the impression that the number in the water profile is the RIGHT concentration.  The brewer has to use the Mash pH prediction to guide themself to the right bicarbonate concentration for that brew.  

Enjoy!
« Last Edit: January 02, 2012, 02:14:37 PM by mabrungard »
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook for occasional discussions on brewing water and Bru'n Water
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Offline cenosillica

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Re: Water Profile for Imperial IPA
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2012, 05:22:50 PM »
Well, I guess Aristotle was right... once again:
“It is the mark of an educated mind to rest satisfied with the degree of precision which the nature of the subject admits and not to seek exactness where only an approximation is possible.”