Author Topic: Water Profile for Helles  (Read 925 times)

Offline paloaf

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Water Profile for Helles
« on: December 17, 2013, 02:50:09 PM »
Hi Everyone,
I'm going to brew my second attempt at Helles this weekend and want some feedback on the water I'm using.  For my first Helles (which turned out great) I used Kai's Helles/Pilsner profile for the following:
Ca: 22
Mg: 8
Na: 0
So4: 31
Cl: 39
HC03: 0
Residual Alkalinity: -20

I will be building this with RO water.  The only concern I have is the low Calcium level as I've read that Calcium should be at least 50 ppm for good yeast health.  I had a slight diacetyl problem with my last batch and I want to ensure great yeast performance this time around. I do plan on incorporating a D-rest this time as I didn't on the first batch. Any thoughts would be helpful. 


Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Water Profile for Helles
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2013, 03:08:03 PM »
Take advice from AJ DeLange, I used distilled water and only added a little calcium chloride to mash and kettle, then adjusted the mash ph with acid malt.  Turned out great each time I've done it and got a silver at NHC a couple years ago. 
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Offline beersk

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Re: Water Profile for Helles
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2013, 03:19:33 PM »
You might want to add a little calcium chloride to that profile. 22ppm calcium is a bit low and you should bring it up to at least 40ppm. 50ppm would be ideal. I usually shoot for 50ppm calcium, 50-75ppm sulfate, and 50ppm chloride. I don't worry about the rest. I adjust mash pH with a couple ounces of acid malt. Pitch a ton of yeast, get the wort down to fermentation temp before pitching, aerate well, do a diacetyl rest if necessary, and you should be golden.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water Profile for Helles
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2013, 04:25:03 PM »
I have done a Bo-Pils with 35 ppm Ca, and it seemed to work fine at that level.

Gordon Strong recently posted in his Ask the Experts thread that he uses RO water and adjusts with phosphoric acid to get the mash pH right. Then he add flavor ions to the kettle.

I have not used Kai's Helles profile, but the one for Pilsner has been really good for German Pilsners and CAPs. The only way to know if you like the beer with that profile is to brew it.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Water Profile for Helles
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2013, 05:35:23 PM »
malt has a significant amount of calcium itself. 1 cup of malted barley flour has 6 percent of the USDA recommended daily calcium intake, about 60 mg so scale that up and 10 lbs of malted barley has quite a lot of calcium. about 2 grams.
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Water Profile for Helles
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2013, 06:25:07 PM »
Take advice from AJ DeLange, I used distilled water and only added a little calcium chloride to mash and kettle, then adjusted the mash ph with acid malt.  Turned out great each time I've done it and got a silver at NHC a couple years ago.

This is what I do, works for pilsner and dunkel as well.
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Offline paloaf

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Re: Water Profile for Helles
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2013, 07:33:58 PM »
Thanks everyone for the help; it shows why I love this forum so much.  As I said, I brewed a Helles with this profile before and it turned out to taste fantastic but diacetyl crept up as the beer warmed.  I might try to brew with it again see how it tastes after the d-rest.  I was worried about my yeast stopping due to the low Calcium but I hit my projected FG and the beer cleared well. 

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Re: Water Profile for Helles
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2013, 12:46:02 AM »
Thanks everyone for the help; it shows why I love this forum so much.  As I said, I brewed a Helles with this profile before and it turned out to taste fantastic but diacetyl crept up as the beer warmed.  I might try to brew with it again see how it tastes after the d-rest.  I was worried about my yeast stopping due to the low Calcium but I hit my projected FG and the beer cleared well.

It isn't so much that the yeast stops working with low calcium but that it tends not to want to drop out.