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Water Profile for IPA

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Doing a partial mash American IPA this weekend and was wondering if there was anything special I should look for in my water profile - anything that I could or should change to make it optimal for an IPA. Currently my water report shows the following (I included only what I thought were the most relevant properties):

Chlorides are 8.3 ppm
Sulfate   is 3.2 ppm
pH is 7.30
Total Hardness is 23 mg/L
Ca Hardness is 17 ppm
Alkalinity is 21 ppm

I've also seen suggestions that where a substantial portion of the fermentables is Extract, it is advisable to use a 50/50 blend of Distilled to Spring Water (I use only bottled Spring Water for my brews currently). Does this sound sensible?

That water looks really nice - I hate you!  ;)

The spring water advice is not the best. Do you know what the mineral content of that spring water is? If you don't, save some money and use your own water, but remove the chlorine/chloramines if it has those. Some spring waters look about like your water, some are loaded with minerals.

You might get the Sulfates and Chloride up to about 100 ppm each for starters. If you want a sharper bitterness that lingers, up the Sulfates and drop the chloride from that.

Read the Bru'nwater page and knowledge section. If you download the sheet you can look up the yellow-bitter profile.

Jeff, I wouldn't go as high as 100 ppm for BOTH chloride and sulfate.  In an IPA, 100 ppm sulfate is a good starting point.  But adding 100 ppm chloride with that is inviting an antagonistic flavor impact.  I like to keep chloride in the 50 ppm range when I'm boosting sulfate above 100 ppm. 

Another unfortunate thing that an extract brewer needs to watch out for is the very high sodium content of Briess extracts.  At a reconstituted gravity of 1.045, a Briess extract wort contains 100 ppm sodium.  Add that concentration to any sodium that the brewing water already contains.  Double the wort gravity and the sodium content of the wort goes to 200 ppm.  This problem with Briess extract comes from them using the local Chilton, WI tap water which is ion-exchanged softened by the City prior to distribution.  I've already had a long conversation with the water system manager in Chilton and he confirmed the water quality they produce for their customers.  Because of the high sodium content, I have to recommend that extract brewers consider using other extracts for their brewing. 

By the way, this sodium result for Briess extract applies to all of their liquid and dry malt extract products.  All the other ions in their extracts are in appropriate ranges. 

Wow, that's very interesting info about Briess extracts, Martin.

Martin, I have done that based on the information given by Matt Bryndilson on a BN podcast. FW starts with RO water and gets the Ca, Cl, and SO4 all in the 100 ppm range. Works for the Union Jack clone I did a few times. Union Jack has won its share of awards also.

Note to self - need to talk to the wife about another California trip. FW has a new tasting room and has expanded the brewery.


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