Author Topic: Water profile and IPAs  (Read 1589 times)

Offline anthony

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Re: Water profile and IPAs
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2013, 08:06:22 AM »
Look at the phosphate to chloride ratio also. I've had good luck at 2 to 1 or slightly higher.


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I think you mean sulfate:chloride ratio.  I've come to the conclusion that the ratio doesn't matter as much as the absolute numbers.
denny is correct. If you went with the published values for Munich, they would be making hoppy beers. The values are pretty low for Munich water, so think about what you can taste. There are some guidelines in the Water book IIRC.

Further invoking the Water book to remind that published water values mean almost nothing (see caveats about private wells, etc.)

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Re: Water profile and IPAs
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2013, 09:58:23 AM »
Look at the phosphate to chloride ratio also. I've had good luck at 2 to 1 or slightly higher.


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I think you mean sulfate:chloride ratio.  I've come to the conclusion that the ratio doesn't matter as much as the absolute numbers.
denny is correct. If you went with the published values for Munich, they would be making hoppy beers. The values are pretty low for Munich water, so think about what you can taste. There are some guidelines in the Water book IIRC.

Further invoking the Water book to remind that published water values mean almost nothing (see caveats about private wells, etc.)

That is true, but often the published values don't take into account of what the brewer does to reduce the alkalinity, or add sulfate or chloride. German brewers are allowed to boil or add slaked lime to reduce alkalinity. The slaked lime will all precipitate out, and does not end up in the beer so it is allowed. Gypsum and CaCl2 are not. Munich water is pretty low in Cl an SO4, single digits in some reports, so that is in the "don't care" range.

Martin had Munich water in his NHC talk. I need to go back and read the slides, but as I just got back from the gym, too lazy!
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Offline ccfoo242

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Re: Water profile and IPAs
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2013, 10:33:15 AM »

Look at the phosphate to chloride ratio also. I've had good luck at 2 to 1 or slightly higher.


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I think you mean sulfate:chloride ratio.  I've come to the conclusion that the ratio doesn't matter as much as the absolute numbers.

Yeah I swear I type phosphate every time.

I find the bitterness more sharp and less muddy at 2 to 1. But I've not experimented with different levels.


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Offline denny

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Re: Water profile and IPAs
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2013, 10:51:52 AM »
\Yeah I swear I type phosphate every time.

I find the bitterness more sharp and less muddy at 2 to 1. But I've not experimented with different levels.


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I've decided the ratio just doesn't have much meaning.  If I was to decide on a 2:1 ratio, by the time I got my sulfate where I wanted it, the chloride would be too high.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Water profile and IPAs
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2013, 12:08:19 PM »
I've decided the ratio just doesn't have much meaning.  If I was to decide on a 2:1 ratio, by the time I got my sulfate where I wanted it, the chloride would be too high.

Agreed. I think the concept is a good starting point to get you thinking of balance in your beer, but it makes some generalizations that don't really hold up under closer scrutiny. Sulfate and Chloride aren't opposites, and neither are Hoppy and Malty for that matter. They're more like salty/acid/sweet in cooking. If I decide to add more salt to a dish, that doesn't mean that I'm going to add a squirt of lemon juice as well to keep the ratio the same. Sometimes a dish needs more salt, but the acidity level is just fine as it is.

When it comes to beer, yes you want to hit the right balance between malt/hops and chloride/sulfate for a recipe. You can certainly express this number as a ratio, but I really don't feel like the amount of chloride and sulfate are necessarily dependent on each other the way a ratio would lead you to believe. It is much more useful to me to think of them as two separate entities doing two different things.
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Offline quest4watneys

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Re: Water profile and IPAs
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2013, 02:09:12 PM »
With all of that in mind, are there any mineral 'go-to's' that are common? Any to stay away from? Is it basically mix whatever you want until you get the profile style you're after?
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Water profile and IPAs
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2013, 06:54:56 PM »
With all of that in mind, are there any mineral 'go-to's' that are common? Any to stay away from? Is it basically mix whatever you want until you get the profile style you're after?

A great place to start is the water profiles in Brunwater. Martin knows his stuff, and they are proven to give good results.

With that said, I just try to keep it simple. Balanced styles are generally 75ppm each of Chloride and Sulfate, although if I feel like tweaking them a bit on the fly, anything within the 50-100ppm range is fair game for me. In those cases I'm typically using just CaCl2 and Gypsum.

For malty styles I generally shoot for 100ppm of Chloride. I use table salt to get up to 20ppm of Sodium, then get the rest of my Chloride from CaCl2. I haven't played around with Sodium in hoppy beers, but I definitely feel it makes a noticeable difference in malty styles in small amounts.

For hoppy styles I use CaCl2 to 50ppm of Cl- and then go anywhere from 150-300ppm of sulfate. Right now I am only using Gypsum for my sulfate, but playing with Epsom Salts to get some added Magnesium is on my list of things to try.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Water profile and IPAs
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2013, 07:41:50 PM »
I talked to Mitch Steele at the NHC and they don't pay any attention to sulfate at Stone.  They brew their IPAs at 165 ppm of Calcium.  For what it's worth....

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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Water profile and IPAs
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2013, 06:16:05 AM »
I talked to Mitch Steele at the NHC and they don't pay any attention to sulfate at Stone.  They brew their IPAs at 165 ppm of Calcium.

At 165 ppm Ca, there is a lot of some other anions in that water...and its probably sulfate.  By the way, there are several water districts in San Diego that have fairly mineralized (that means sulfate too) water. There is a decent chance that Stone doesn't need to add more sulfate to their brewing water.
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Re: Water profile and IPAs
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2013, 06:58:12 AM »
I talked to Mitch Steele at the NHC and they don't pay any attention to sulfate at Stone.  They brew their IPAs at 165 ppm of Calcium.

At 165 ppm Ca, there is a lot of some other anions in that water...and its probably sulfate.  By the way, there are several water districts in San Diego that have fairly mineralized (that means sulfate too) water. There is a decent chance that Stone doesn't need to add more sulfate to their brewing water.

If one takes the Stone tour they see the big RO system on the wall. They blend tap and RO for the brewing water. There are also bag of CaCL2 and Terra Alba (gypsum) on pallets. How much they add to hit targets for the different beers is something I don't know. I do know the tap water in Escondido tasted bad!
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