Author Topic: Water Chemistry  (Read 3046 times)

Offline HoosierBrew

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Water Chemistry
« on: March 01, 2013, 10:05:58 AM »
 I have a water chemistry question. Since switching to Bru'nWater, my beer quality has taken the next jump - a great tool, Martin.  I use RO water, then build up, by the way. I'm curious how you guys approach hoppy styles, specifically APA and AIPA. What I do is to build up the gypsum to a little over 100 ppm for APA, over 200 for AIPA. Do you guys also use calcium carbonate to reach the desired ratio?  I 've had excellent results just building the gypsum up to the right level. Appreciate any feedback.
Jon H.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water Chemistry
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2013, 10:16:38 AM »
I have gone up to 350 ppm of SO4. Works fine for an IPA.

Calcium carbonate will raise the pH, if you can get it to dissolve, which is hard to do even in the mash. I use pickling lime to raise the pH.

If you were asking about using Calcium Chloride and the ratio of Sulfate to Chloride, you can go high, like 8 or 9 and have no problems. Get the pH right in the mash, and if you want more Sulfate you can add gypsum to the boil.

For AIPA, look in the Mitch Steele book, here are some water profiles that the brewers shoot for in there.
Jeff Rankert
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Water Chemistry
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2013, 10:26:39 AM »
Sorry Jeff, I did mean chloride by the way.  Thanks.
Jon H.

Offline bluesman

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Re: Water Chemistry
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2013, 10:33:04 AM »
I've been trying different ratios of Chloride to Sulfate in an effort to find a desired level for my APA/IPA recipes. I think it can make a difference in the beer flavor profile. I find that a 3:1 ratio, while keeping the chloride below 100ppm is effective although YMMV. This ratio seems to have some significance, among others when it comes to water chemistry.

Check out this discussion.

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?PHPSESSIONID=f657c1e76287e2ae1352f69f1aa6aacd&topic=4398.0
Ron Price

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Water Chemistry
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2013, 10:47:18 AM »
I enjoy a bit more sulfate and typically target about 300 ppm.  I recently tested a version of my standard SNPA clone with a reduced sulfate water to evaluate recommendations that AJ deLange recommends.  I used the Pale Ale profile excepting that the gypsum addition was backed off until a 100 ppm sulfate level was produced.  That beer is very good, however it lacks the dryness in the finish.  Clearly, the sulfate is the component needed to assist in that dryness perception.  I prefer 300 ppm sulfate over 100 ppm.

The lore with the sulfate/chloride ratio has typically used the terms malty and bitter.  I don't really think that is the way we should be considering this effect.  I think that the sulfate is more appropriately characterized as dryness and not bitter.  I was recently reviewing my copy of Malting and Brewing Science while helping with the upcoming Water book by Palmer and Kaminski (it is looking very good by the way) and MBS also uses the term 'dryness' for the sulfate contribution.  They go on to describe the chloride effect as 'fullness'.  I have to admit that those descriptors fit better with what I perceive in beers and this effect.  Dryness helps mute the malt perception and allows the bittering and hops to shine.  Fullness helps accentuate the sweeter/wetter aspects of the beer flavor and reduces the bittering perception. 

Remember, you can't just add chloride and sulfate to your heart's desire.  At some point, you'll have a minerally beer on your hands.  I feel that keeping chloride to less than 100 ppm is always good and you can vary sulfate from 0 to around 300 ppm with no problem.  However when you really boost sulfate, chloride should be reduced well below 100 ppm.  If you want minerally beer flavor, boost chloride above 150 ppm and sulfate above 300 ppm. 
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Water Chemistry
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2013, 10:53:55 AM »
Very helpful info.  Thanks Martin and Ron.
Jon H.

Offline bluesman

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Re: Water Chemistry
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2013, 11:03:08 AM »
I enjoy a bit more sulfate and typically target about 300 ppm.  I recently tested a version of my standard SNPA clone with a reduced sulfate water to evaluate recommendations that AJ deLange recommends.  I used the Pale Ale profile excepting that the gypsum addition was backed off until a 100 ppm sulfate level was produced.  That beer is very good, however it lacks the dryness in the finish.  Clearly, the sulfate is the component needed to assist in that dryness perception.  I prefer 300 ppm sulfate over 100 ppm.

Interesting info. Martin.

I would like to do a blind tasting of the same beer recipe (APA/IPA) only varying the sulfate ratio to discern the flavor difference. I'm certainly not doubting your experience, but would like to better understand this flavor (dryness in the finish) difference from this variance in the sufate level. I like my APA/IPA's on the dry side. :)
Ron Price

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Water Chemistry
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2013, 11:14:27 AM »
This thread reminded me about last week.  I've been playing with AIPA's lately and brewing to 300ppm Sulfate.  I always refer back to Desiging Great Beers for some additional info and upon reading back up on Bitters noticed the Sulfate content for Burton.  It's 801!!!

That is recommended for English IPA's and using 'Burtonized' water which is not what the OP started, but thought it would add some color commentary to the conversation.  It kind of blew me away as I've not seen a discussion with Sulfate even close to 800 for an IPA.

Dave
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water Chemistry
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2013, 11:19:05 AM »
This thread reminded me about last week.  I've been playing with AIPA's lately and brewing to 300ppm Sulfate.  I always refer back to Desiging Great Beers for some additional info and upon reading back up on Bitters noticed the Sulfate content for Burton.  It's 801!!!

That is recommended for English IPA's and using 'Burtonized' water which is not what the OP started, but thought it would add some color commentary to the conversation.  It kind of blew me away as I've not seen a discussion with Sulfate even close to 800 for an IPA.

Dave
remember that Buton waters can have a sulfate level of 200 to 800+ depending on the location of the well.
Jeff Rankert
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Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Water Chemistry
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2013, 11:24:07 AM »
This thread reminded me about last week.  I've been playing with AIPA's lately and brewing to 300ppm Sulfate.  I always refer back to Desiging Great Beers for some additional info and upon reading back up on Bitters noticed the Sulfate content for Burton.  It's 801!!!

That is recommended for English IPA's and using 'Burtonized' water which is not what the OP started, but thought it would add some color commentary to the conversation.  It kind of blew me away as I've not seen a discussion with Sulfate even close to 800 for an IPA.

Dave
remember that Buton waters can have a sulfate level of 200 to 800+ depending on the location of the well.

Jeff, You need to tell Ray that as page 173, table 16.21 has Sulfate for Burton at 801........I'm just quoting! :)
Dave Zach

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water Chemistry
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2013, 11:53:44 AM »
This thread reminded me about last week.  I've been playing with AIPA's lately and brewing to 300ppm Sulfate.  I always refer back to Desiging Great Beers for some additional info and upon reading back up on Bitters noticed the Sulfate content for Burton.  It's 801!!!

That is recommended for English IPA's and using 'Burtonized' water which is not what the OP started, but thought it would add some color commentary to the conversation.  It kind of blew me away as I've not seen a discussion with Sulfate even close to 800 for an IPA.

Dave
remember that Buton waters can have a sulfate level of 200 to 800+ depending on the location of the well.

Jeff, You need to tell Ray that as page 173, table 16.21 has Sulfate for Burton at 801........I'm just quoting! :)
More recent stuff is what I quoted, read section 3.
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/water-knowledge

Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Water Chemistry
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2013, 12:15:43 PM »
 More recent stuff is what I quoted, read section 3.
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/water-knowledge
[/quote]

Good stuff, thanks!

Dave
Dave Zach

Offline bluesman

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Re: Water Chemistry
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2013, 12:41:13 PM »
More recent stuff is what I quoted, read section 3.
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/water-knowledge

Good stuff, thanks!

Dave
[/quote]

+1

Great water chemistry resource for homebrewers.
Ron Price

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water Chemistry
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2013, 12:48:29 PM »
I 'think' there may be a section on Burton water in Steele's IPA book, but after carrying some kegs up the basement stairs to the keezer, to pooped to go look it up.

There may also be some info on the "Shut up About Barklay Perkins" blog, or the "Zythophile" blog.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Water Chemistry
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2013, 01:04:59 PM »
I 'think' there may be a section on Burton water in Steele's IPA book, but after carrying some kegs up the basement stairs to the keezer, to pooped to go look it up.

There may also be some info on the "Shut up About Barklay Perkins" blog, or the "Zythophile" blog.

Have a homebrew instead! Maybe an IPA!  ;)
Dave Zach