Author Topic: Water build for Czech Pils  (Read 2400 times)

Offline Pi

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Water build for Czech Pils
« on: August 20, 2013, 06:20:44 AM »
I want to do a 2-decoction for this and was thinking about using all RO water. What, and how much should i add to 10 gallons total mash/sparge water? Tried setting up Bruin water but i get bogged down with all the numbers- I just want to brew!
Can someone help?
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Water build for Czech Pils
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2013, 06:54:47 AM »
Jeff Rankert suggests 0.7 grams per gallon of Calcium Chloride for both mash and sparge water.
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Offline dcbc

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Re: Water build for Czech Pils
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2013, 11:35:17 AM »
I typically blend about 10% of my local tap water in on this style.  My local water is reasonably soft.

If you are going totally RO, then adjust your water with acid for a mash pH of around 5.4.

Adjust your sparge water for a pH of about 5.7.

Add gypsum to the kettle (boil) to get above 50 ppm Ca and 50 ppm SO4.  You can add other salts to raise other minerals into the single digits if you want to mimic Pilsen water.  Since I blend in some of my water, I don't bother with this.

I know 50 ppm SO4 sounds contrary to what everyone says about Pilsen water, but it gets much closer this way in my experience.

Finally, if you are going 100% RO, add a yeast nutrient to the boil (at the end).  You want some zinc in the water and RO isn't going to have it.

I'd suggest a two hour boil as well.  I pitch at 39 F and let is rise to 45 F.  The bopils yeasts are slow fermenters..
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Water build for Czech Pils
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2013, 11:53:08 AM »
I wouldn't add nothing but acid.  Acidulated malt is probably best.  Pilsen water is super soft and so there's really nothing to "build" for Czech pilsner -- just use distilled or RO water and a bit of acid to bring the pH down, and you're good.
Dave

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Water build for Czech Pils
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2013, 12:03:56 PM »
I wouldn't add nothing but acid.  Acidulated malt is probably best.  Pilsen water is super soft and so there's really nothing to "build" for Czech pilsner -- just use distilled or RO water and a bit of acid to bring the pH down, and you're good.

Even though Pilsen water is exceptionally soft, I think you still will want 50PPM of Calcium at the minimum to ensure proper conversion in the mash. I've never built up RO water from scratch for a beer this light, but I'd probably use either CaCl2 or a 50:50 mix of gypsum and CaCl2 to get my calcium levels where I wanted it.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Water build for Czech Pils
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2013, 12:13:27 PM »
I've never had any problems with conversion using straight distilled.  There's probably a trace of calcium in the malt.  Maybe not 50 ppm, but something more than zero.  I guess I don't know where brewers come up with these rules of thumb if experience dictates no problems, i.e., we tend to make things WAY more complicated than they need to be.  Me?  I try to simplify.  To each their own.
Dave

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water build for Czech Pils
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2013, 12:57:23 PM »
Jeff Rankert suggests 0.7 grams per gallon of Calcium Chloride for both mash and sparge water.
i do?

On the last BoPils I did 40 ppm Ca adding CaCl2. I don't add gypsum to keep the bitterness soft, not dry in the finish. Edit - I put around 85 ppm SO4 in my German Pils, and that is dry and lingering.

Didn't Martin say something about a little NaCl in the last month, for taste?
« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 12:59:09 PM by hopfenundmalz »
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Water build for Czech Pils
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2013, 01:10:36 PM »
When it comes to light lagers, mineralization is going to stand out far more than in the ales and dark lagers that you might more commonly taste.  Even at 40 ppm Ca, the mineralization might be too high.  A half gram per gallon of calcium chloride will produce approximately 40 ppm Ca, but you still might not want to take it that high in order to avoid flavor effects in the beer.  Clearly, the Pilsen brewers successfully brew with less Ca.  So it is possible.  There are consequences to brewing with low Ca, but they can be surmounted. 

Table salt could be a consideration, but it too should be at very low concentration.  Its flavor contribution might be negligible then.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water build for Czech Pils
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2013, 01:42:20 PM »
When it comes to light lagers, mineralization is going to stand out far more than in the ales and dark lagers that you might more commonly taste.  Even at 40 ppm Ca, the mineralization might be too high.  A half gram per gallon of calcium chloride will produce approximately 40 ppm Ca, but you still might not want to take it that high in order to avoid flavor effects in the beer.  Clearly, the Pilsen brewers successfully brew with less Ca.  So it is possible.  There are consequences to brewing with low Ca, but they can be surmounted. 

Table salt could be a consideration, but it too should be at very low concentration.  Its flavor contribution might be negligible then.

Martin, if adding Ca, how much? 30 ppm? It has been said some Ca comes from the mash. Decoctions are also said to be beneficial with low mineral levels,is that true?

I did not add any salt, as I figured that could be played with on samples when done to see if like the results.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water build for Czech Pils
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2013, 03:32:00 PM »
I fired up the old computer, and I was at 0.5 gram/gallon CaCl2 on the last check pils. 35 ppm Ca target.
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Offline Pi

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Re: Water build for Czech Pils
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2013, 04:51:01 AM »
...I guess I don't know where brewers come up with these rules of thumb if experience dictates no problems, i.e., we tend to make things WAY more complicated than they need to be.  Me?  I try to simplify.  To each their own.
Simple is way better. I thought it would be easy enough to start with RO, and simply add the chems/mineral salts to produce a Pilsen-like water but I guess not. Does the water in Pilsen change that much? When you get answers that contain phrases like "I like to add bkhuifh for taste", or "table salt a consideration" it just clouds my thoughts.
So I ask again: How do you build pilsen water for a Czech Pils when starting with RO water? 
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Water build for Czech Pils
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2013, 04:59:36 AM »
Jeff Rankert suggests 0.7 grams per gallon of Calcium Chloride for both mash and sparge water.
i do?

On the last BoPils I did 40 ppm Ca adding CaCl2. I don't add gypsum to keep the bitterness soft, not dry in the finish. Edit - I put around 85 ppm SO4 in my German Pils, and that is dry and lingering.

Didn't Martin say something about a little NaCl in the last month, for taste?

I got that form an old thread, Jeff.  I know I get better conversion if I add calcium to the mash.

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=10379.0
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Water build for Czech Pils
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2013, 05:45:25 AM »
...I guess I don't know where brewers come up with these rules of thumb if experience dictates no problems, i.e., we tend to make things WAY more complicated than they need to be.  Me?  I try to simplify.  To each their own.
Simple is way better. I thought it would be easy enough to start with RO, and simply add the chems/mineral salts to produce a Pilsen-like water but I guess not. Does the water in Pilsen change that much? When you get answers that contain phrases like "I like to add bkhuifh for taste", or "table salt a consideration" it just clouds my thoughts.
So I ask again: How do you build pilsen water for a Czech Pils when starting with RO water?

Go with RO water without anything for super simple.  RDWHAHB.  If you want less simple, add the .5g/gallon Calcium Chloride.  Either way, make sure to add some acid or acid malt to get the ph down. 

Dave
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Water build for Czech Pils
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2013, 05:48:00 AM »
Pi, it appears the answer to your question is whatever you want it to be, as we are nowhere near consistent with our answers.

Personally, I say keep it simple and go with straight RO.  If you use any salts at all, the amounts involved are like 1/20 of a teaspoon -- like fairy dust.  And even then it is probably too much.
Dave

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water build for Czech Pils
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2013, 05:59:50 AM »
Jeff Rankert suggests 0.7 grams per gallon of Calcium Chloride for both mash and sparge water.
i do?

On the last BoPils I did 40 ppm Ca adding CaCl2. I don't add gypsum to keep the bitterness soft, not dry in the finish. Edit - I put around 85 ppm SO4 in my German Pils, and that is dry and lingering.

Didn't Martin say something about a little NaCl in the last month, for taste?

I got that form an old thread, Jeff.  I know I get better conversion if I add calcium to the mash.

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=10379.0
I am always amazed when people think I know what I am talking about!

Looking at the notes, I had backed down on the Ca to 0.5 gram/gallon because this was a triple decoction, including the acid rest. Hit the target pH no problem.
Jeff Rankert
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Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!