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Water Help..

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greg_rosace:
Hi all,
Ive been brewing all grain beers with good success using spring water, filtered water and my tap water for about 5 years now.
I want to hone in on quality control and want to start dabbling into making my own water.
I want to start making different water profiles for the variety of styles using RO water since it seem to be inabundances her in Tampa.. My tap water is less ideal for making great beer.
I havent gotten any reports on mineral content of my water or have'nt I sent out for any..
I somewhat understand the basic of the brewing salts and what they achieve.
But I am somewhat lost on the quantities and such as it relates to the different calculators.
I have this calculator that am toying with and it seems pretty straight forward..
I am inputting quantities of salts until I reach the desired water profile, but it seems all greek to me.???
So I'm reaching out to you all to get the laymans terms on water and understanding.
Heres the calculator I have...

Thanks Greg
http://www.brewersfriend.com/water-chemistry/
 

majorvices:
This could take a four page post to cover it all. The chapter in John Palmer's book covers it really well. What you want to do first is figure out what kind of beer your water is suited for, which will mean looking at your residual alkalinity. Check out this page http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter15-3.html and use the nomagraph to figure out the style your water is best suited for.

If your water is failry hard (has high CAC03) you might need to cut your water with RO water to get that under control. For instance, light colored beers are best when the CACO3 is under 50, amber beer between 50 and 150 and up to 300 and even more for dark beers (or around there. I'm not sure if those are specific numbers - just off the top of my head.)

You also want to be sure your Calcium is at least at 50ppm. You can adjust that with CAlcium chloride (Cl) or gypsum (So4) which will also help lower the mash pH if needed. There is also a ratio of So4 to Cl you will want to target for certain beers. For instance, if it is a hop focused beer a good ratio would be So4 to CL 2:1. For malt focused beer you reverse that (So4 accentuates hops, Cl accentuates malt).

Of course, before all of that pH is the main focus and I normally use So4 or Cl to lower the pH and Calcium Carbonate (CAC03) to raise the pH. Remember that lighter beers will tend to have a higher mash pH and darker beers lower pH because the darker malts acidulate the mash.

I am missing a bunch of stuff but hopefully that will give you something to start with. I'm sure others will chime in to add or cover something I missed.

a10t2:
Keith covered the basics really well. I find this link helpful: http://nomograph.babbrewers.com/ It basically just automates the Palmer nomograph.

bonjour:
I understand that RO water is what is readily available but like distilled water it lacks micro-nutrients.  Micro-nutrients are needed for proper cell growth, in well, micro quantities.  Adding salts to RO water is not the best thing to do.  If you can get spring water use that, even if you need to cut it with half RO water.

Fred

narvin:

--- Quote from: bonjour on November 10, 2009, 09:35:04 PM ---I understand that RO water is what is readily available but like distilled water it lacks micro-nutrients.  Micro-nutrients are needed for proper cell growth, in well, micro quantities.  Adding salts to RO water is not the best thing to do.  If you can get spring water use that, even if you need to cut it with half RO water.

Fred

--- End quote ---

This sounds vaguely... homeopathic.  What exactly are these micro nutrients that are needed in almost non-existent quantities?  Aside from the standard brewing salts, some Wyeast yeast nutrient should give the yeast what it needs.

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