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Water Check - not Happy with "Pale Ale" profile

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Alewyfe:

--- Quote from: mabrungard on December 21, 2012, 11:42:13 AM ---That modest Mg content is probably not going to alter the taste that much.  The main objection is probably the sulfate and calcium.  The bicarbonate is there only as necessary to produce an acceptable mash pH.  I assume Paul adjusted it up or down to meet the needs of his mash. 

If that Pale Ale profile was not to your liking, I would reduce the sulfate even lower than 242 ppm.  A 60 ppm reduction is not that significant if you were used to (and liked) about 100 ppm.  I'd drop it to about 200, since that is midway. 

Remember if you find water profiles that are more to your liking, custom water profiles can be entered into the water profile table on the Water Adjustment sheet.  The table even has the ability to error check your ion totals to make sure that you enter a reasonably 'balanced' set of ion inputs.   

By the way, I'll be brewing my next SNPA using the yellow bitter profile.  I've always used the Pale Ale profile and like it, but AJ kept hounding me that better pale ales can be made with lower sulfate content.  I'll be finding out.  The good thing is that I can always add additional gypsum to the keg if I don't like the low sulfate taste!

--- End quote ---

Post your tasting conclusions when done. I'm interested in your conclusion/opinion.

woodlandbrew:
Another +1 for lowering the Epsom.  Maybe bring up the CaSO4 to get the SO4 level you are looking for?  Both the yeast and the mash generally like Calcium.

Here are the basics I follow:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/2012/11/basic-water-chemistry.html

richardt:

--- Quote from: mabrungard on December 21, 2012, 11:42:13 AM ---That modest Mg content is probably not going to alter the taste that much.  The main objection is probably the sulfate and calcium.  The bicarbonate is there only as necessary to produce an acceptable mash pH.  I assume Paul adjusted it up or down to meet the needs of his mash. 

If that Pale Ale profile was not to your liking, I would reduce the sulfate even lower than 242 ppm.  A 60 ppm reduction is not that significant if you were used to (and liked) about 100 ppm.  I'd drop it to about 200, since that is midway. 

Remember if you find water profiles that are more to your liking, custom water profiles can be entered into the water profile table on the Water Adjustment sheet.  The table even has the ability to error check your ion totals to make sure that you enter a reasonably 'balanced' set of ion inputs.   

By the way, I'll be brewing my next SNPA using the yellow bitter profile.  I've always used the Pale Ale profile and like it, but AJ kept hounding me that better pale ales can be made with lower sulfate content.  I'll be finding out.  The good thing is that I can always add additional gypsum to the keg if I don't like the low sulfate taste!

--- End quote ---

This may be a situation where tastes and genetics collide.  I don't consider myself a super taster, but, with repect to sulfur aromas, I may be one.  I personally intensely dislike sulfate aromas regardless of source (e.g., water or yeast strain) as it evokes "septic" and "rot/decay" perceptions--i.e., unpleasant and not something I want to put in my mouth.  I think you'll find AJ's suggestion to be a good one.  I routinely use the more balanced SO4:Cl levels (usually around 50-60 ppm) on the "yellow, balanced" profile, while keeping ca levels over 50 ppm.  I think if one is brewing an APA, and agrees with the notion of using clean ale yeast (e.g., WY1056), and restraint with the grain bill with respect to specialty and crystal malts, then why wouldn't one want to use a "cleaner" (i.e., less minerally) water profile?  Let the focus be on the hop bitterness, flavor, and aromas.  IMO, AJ is definitely right on this point.

blatz:
I am tempted to try Stone's water profile (with adjustments for pH if necessary) as stated in Koch's book:

30ppm Ca
12ppm Mg
85ppm Sulfate
40ppm Sodium

The low Ca and high Na are scary though.

hopfenundmalz:

--- Quote from: blatz on January 01, 2013, 09:56:14 AM ---I am tempted to try Stone's water profile (with adjustments for pH if necessary) as stated in Koch's book:

30ppm Ca
12ppm Mg
85ppm Sulfate
40ppm Sodium

The low Ca and high Na are scary though.

--- End quote ---

When we toured Stone, the guide said that the tap water was blended with RO, 50:50. I am too lazy to look up the water profile for that part of the country, but they get a fair amount from the Colorado River, which is full of minerals. The profile above may be what they have in the HLT.

There was also a shipping pallet stacked high with a 50 Lb bags of Gypsum and Calcium Chloride. I assume they use those minerals to adjust for the beer they are brewing.

I think you have to experiment and find what works for you.

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