Author Topic: San Diego water for Pale Ale  (Read 3471 times)

Offline patrickswayze

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San Diego water for Pale Ale
« on: May 21, 2012, 08:07:28 AM »
Hi guys i am going to be brewing an American Pale Ale this weekend and want some comments/tips regarding the water profile im going to use. Im shooting for a balanced profile from this beer, not on the malty or the bitter side. Below is the breakdown of my water profile that il be using.

Calcium: 105
Magnesium: 12
Sodium: 45
Chloride: 173
Sulfate 150
Total Alkalinity: 60

It seemed to me that the chloride was a little high, but some people have told me it still falls within an accepted range and as long as it is relatively balanced with sulfate i should be good. Suggestions would be much appreciated, and also i am kind of new to water chemistry. Thanks

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Re: San Diego water for Pale Ale
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2012, 08:11:34 AM »
First let me say I am so far from an expert on water chemistry that I can only see one by looking up Martin's profile. I would recommend, if you havn't already, downloading Martin's spreadsheet Bru'n water.

with that out of the way I think your water looks okay as is but if you are concerned with the chloride level you have room to cut it with RO or distilled water up to about 50% of the total volume without your calcium levels dropping to low. not sure about the pH, that's one of the areas that Bru'n water would help you out.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: San Diego water for Pale Ale
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2012, 09:00:28 AM »
Before you get up in arms about your water, try it (undiluted) in your pale recipe. Then brew the same recipe with either your water diluted by half or with all distilled water.

Which do you like best? Tasting the differences is going to make a lot of sense out of all the water adjustment information out there.

(P.S. Either way, you'll need to adjust your water at some point. I agree - Bru'n Water is a great tool even if you're unfamiliar with water treatment)
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Offline patrickswayze

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Re: San Diego water for Pale Ale
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2012, 09:41:09 AM »
I use John Palmers water sheet to do calculations, is this reliable?

Offline mmitchem

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Re: San Diego water for Pale Ale
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2012, 09:45:28 AM »
If you want a little more knowledge on water, I found that the 4 podcasts on The Brewing Network's Brew Strong were fantastic. JP also has an article regarding brewing water in the latest issue of Zymurgy. The podcasts are pretty awesome though. If you have a few hours to sit around and listen to them, it is worth it. :)
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: San Diego water for Pale Ale
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2012, 09:58:20 AM »
If you want a little more knowledge on water, I found that the 4 podcasts on The Brewing Network's Brew Strong were fantastic. JP also has an article regarding brewing water in the latest issue of Zymurgy. The podcasts are pretty awesome though. If you have a few hours to sit around and listen to them, it is worth it. :)

The Basic Brewing podcast with Greg Noonan is a pretty good primer as well. I guess it all depends on how much you really want/care to know...
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Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: San Diego water for Pale Ale
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2012, 10:11:51 AM »
i agree above with try it first! if it were me i would cut it with 50% distilled water and add some gypsum back in to get the sulfate level up to around 200 so you have a sulfate to chloride ratio of around 2 to 1
Jason
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Offline mmitchem

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Re: San Diego water for Pale Ale
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2012, 10:12:18 AM »
I didnt know about that one, need to go check it out. Thanks kylekohlmorgen!
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Offline jds357

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Re: San Diego water for Pale Ale
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2012, 11:09:45 AM »
Hey man,

I'm from San Diego as well.  For my brewing water, I use reverse osmosis water filtered through carbon. (Brita filters)  After that process i add a little gypsum.  I started doing this after i heard how Stone treats their water during a Beer:U presentation.  They have an additional step where they re-blend the treated water with some distilled water.  I don't go that far with it but the water that I use produces amazing tasting beers.  Find a water profile that works for you then use it (As long as the water you use is suitable for brewing).  It will help make your beer unique and it can help your personal style.

As far as the water goes that you're using, have you used it before?

The only way you'll know for sure if you like the water is to use it and try first hand.  I hope this helps.

Jonathan

Offline patrickswayze

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Re: San Diego water for Pale Ale
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2012, 12:04:54 PM »
i agree above with try it first! if it were me i would cut it with 50% distilled water and add some gypsum back in to get the sulfate level up to around 200 so you have a sulfate to chloride ratio of around 2 to 1

Just curious, but wouldn't this provide a more bitter characteristic to your beer? Also, it seems alot of brewers in San Diego carbon filter then put in gypsum to addd calcium as well as sulfate, but what is so wrong with chloride. John Palmer says its ok up to 200 or so ppm. By the way, I also really appreciate the feedback so far.

Offline mmitchem

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Re: San Diego water for Pale Ale
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2012, 12:06:22 PM »
I think the thing you want to pay attention to is the sulfate to chloride ratio
Michael P Mitchem
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Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: San Diego water for Pale Ale
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2012, 12:21:51 PM »
Theres nothing wrong with chloride. Just that much would be out of style. I like the chloride high on malt focused beers like stouts and Scottish beers.  The thing you want to pay attention too is the sulfate to chloride ratio.

More sulfate will provide a bit more bitter beer yes, but thats what you want for an APA, or let me re-phrase that....thats what the style calls for. If thats not what you want, then thats why youre a homebrewer, make it how you want! 

FWIW my recommendation of a 2:1 SO4/Cl2 ratio will provide you with a slightly more bitter beer, but not much. My IPA recipe is 7:1, and its not uncommon to go higher than that.
Jason
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Re: San Diego water for Pale Ale
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2012, 02:44:38 PM »
Higher sulfate will give a sharper bitterness and a lingering dry finish. It does not give you a more intense bitterness in my experience. This is based on brewing with RO and adjusting with salts, and have been doing some water with more or less sulfate for Pilsners.

I have a German pils with about 36 IBUs and about 60 ppm sulfate that is bitter and dry. I have a Czech Pils with 42 IBUs and <1ppm sulfate that is a little more bitter, but is very rounded in the finish, as it fades quickly.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: San Diego water for Pale Ale
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2012, 03:22:13 PM »
I have to disagree with Jason on the chloride level.  Any time chloride and sulfate are above 100 ppm, their effect on flavor is antagonistic.  They clash.  For the typical PA or IPA, a healthy dose of sulfate is welcome to help highlight the bittering, dryness, and hop flavor.  But then the chloride level must be relatively low to avoid that clash and minerally flavor. 

I do not agree with How to Brew's indication that up to 250 ppm Cl is OK.  There are no places that produce great beer that have chloride levels that high.  Dortmund is one of the few places that I've found that makes great beer and has a chloride level greater than 100 (its about 130ppm).  This whole issue with sulfate/chloride ratio is flawed for this very reason.  You can't add minerals to any great extent and expect that the effect is the same just because the ratio is right.  The ratio is only useful in a narrow range of chloride and sulfate concentrations.  Generally, both of them should be at concentrations of 100 ppm or less (except for pale ales where the sulfate can be much higher with little ill effect).

But I'll give kudos to Jason that his recommendation to dilute 50:50 and add gypsum would be a good way to go with this water when brewing a pale ale. 
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Offline nateo

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Re: San Diego water for Pale Ale
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2012, 03:27:49 PM »
I have a German pils with about 36 IBUs and about 60 ppm sulfate that is bitter and dry. I have a Czech Pils with 42 IBUs and <1ppm sulfate that is a little more bitter, but is very rounded in the finish, as it fades quickly.

I'm sure tastes vary, but the low sulfate one sounds better to me.
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