Author Topic: Water Profile for IPA  (Read 4316 times)

Offline philm63

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Water Profile for IPA
« on: September 14, 2012, 07:58:23 AM »
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?
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water Profile for IPA
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2012, 08:12:31 AM »
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 Rankert
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Water Profile for IPA
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2012, 10:40:16 AM »
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. 
Martin B
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Offline denny

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Re: Water Profile for IPA
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2012, 11:09:58 AM »
Wow, that's very interesting info about Briess extracts, Martin.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water Profile for IPA
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2012, 11:29:31 AM »
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.
Jeff Rankert
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Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline philm63

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Re: Water Profile for IPA
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2012, 04:15:45 PM »
Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback.

So if I'm using, say, an ounce of Chinook and a half ounce of Columbus as my bittering hops, each of which have a cohumulone in the 30%+ range, there is a risk of getting a real bitter character approaching the edge of harsh (don't want that...), but with my present water profile, that harshness would likely not rear its ugly head. Am I understanding this correctly?

I was also thinking that I could just move those hops forward a bit from 60 to 50 minutes to reduce the risk of harshness. With an increased sulphate level (somewhere in the 50-100 ppm range), would I be able to maximize my return on the positive characteristics of those two hops without risking harsh bitterness?

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Water Profile for IPA
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2012, 05:18:01 PM »
Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback.

So if I'm using, say, an ounce of Chinook and a half ounce of Columbus as my bittering hops, each of which have a cohumulone in the 30%+ range, there is a risk of getting a real bitter character approaching the edge of harsh (don't want that...), but with my present water profile, that harshness would likely not rear its ugly head. Am I understanding this correctly?

I was also thinking that I could just move those hops forward a bit from 60 to 50 minutes to reduce the risk of harshness. With an increased sulphate level (somewhere in the 50-100 ppm range), would I be able to maximize my return on the positive characteristics of those two hops without risking harsh bitterness?

A lot of this is a matter of taste. Columbus and Chinook are my go-to hops for bittering IPA's and I shoot for about 150ppm of sulfate. This gives a nice bitter kick that suits my tastes. YMMV, but before I started adding gypsum to my extract APA's and IPA's, I thought the bitterness was too soft - even when using Chinook and Columbus for bittering.
Eric B.

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Offline richardt

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Re: Water Profile for IPA
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2012, 06:20:46 AM »
Phil,
Consider using a yellow malty or yellow balanced water profile and then add gypsum to a sample of the finished product (e.g., 4 oz pours in several different glasses with different amounts of gypsum in each)--do this to assess whether or not you'd like a higher sulfate to chloride ratio in future recipes.

Personally, I like my XPA's made using yellow balanced profiles (50-60 ppm for sulfate and chloride; SO4:Cl =0.86).  YMMV.

Offline philm63

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Re: Water Profile for IPA
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2012, 03:01:16 PM »
So; considering my present tap water has Chlorides at 8.3ppm and Sulfate at 3.2ppm, if I wanted to shoot for, say, a balance of 80ppm Cl to 120ppm SO4, assuming a volume of 7 gallons; I'd add 4.5g CaCl2 and 8.4g MgSO4.

Does this look correct?

Can I just drop this in my boil pot when I start the boil, or should this adjustment be made to the water prior to the mini-mash so it can have an effect on the whole process?
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Offline denny

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Water Profile for IPA
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2012, 03:10:35 PM »
So; considering my present tap water has Chlorides at 8.3ppm and Sulfate at 3.2ppm, if I wanted to shoot for, say, a balance of 80ppm Cl to 120ppm SO4, assuming a volume of 7 gallons; I'd add 4.5g CaCl2 and 8.4g MgSO4.

Does this look correct?

Can I just drop this in my boil pot when I start the boil, or should this adjustment be made to the water prior to the mini-mash so it can have an effect on the whole process?

It depends on what you need to do.  Adding it to your mash will drop the pH is you need to do that.  If not, you can just add it to the kettle for flavor.


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