Author Topic: Is my water too minerally?  (Read 414 times)

Offline brewmasternpb

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Is my water too minerally?
« on: January 31, 2014, 11:24:33 PM »
Hi Gang!
Within the last year, I have been trying to pay attention to my water.  The main reason being that my water does not lend itself to malt-forward dark beers, but I've tried to apply water treatment to every beer.
I have a copy of my water report, and I've input that into the calculator on brewers friend.  To determine my desired water profile, I use Bru'n water, that speadsheet allows you to put in the type of beer your making and gives you a desired water profile.  I then take that info and input it into the Brewer's friend calculator, and adjust my ions with salts from there.
Recently, a friend of mine, who's opinion I value a great deal, said that my pale ale tasted minerally/metallic.  After tasting the beer, I'm not sure if I taste that or not.  I just entered it into competition, so we'll see. 
My water started out with 23 PPM of Calcium, 23 PPM of Chloride and 16 PPM of sulfate. I added 6g of Gypsum and 2g of Cal Chloride to 48.32 qts of water (7 Gal Batch) to end up with: 65.5 PPM of calcium, 44.1 of chloride and 89.2 PPM of Sulfate.  The chloride:Sulfate ratio is 2.0. Everything I've read says you'll really notice a bitterness increase after a sulfate presence of <200 PPM of sulfate, so I feel mine is still low, I was just going by the Chloride:Sulfate ratio.   
If anyone who is familiar with water additives could let me know if my math and/or logic is flawed, that would be great.
Dave Malone
The Greater Denver Yeast Infection

Online klickitat jim

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Re: Is my water too minerally?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2014, 12:35:31 AM »
To answer your question, I don't know. But I often shoot for numbers like that and don't taste minerals.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Is my water too minerally?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2014, 06:01:53 AM »
With those adjustments, that water is barely mineralized. I sure hope your friend doesn't drink many English beers. Many of those are mineralized to a much greater degree just because their tap water is naturally mineralized. In addition, many pale ale and IPA brewers routinely boost their calcium and sulfate to levels far higher than you use.

I have never noted a minerally flavor from water with the minor levels you indicate. Now if you boost the chloride level over 100 ppm and the sulfate over something like 200 ppm, then you might have a minerally note.
Martin B
Carmel, IN

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Offline jeffy

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Re: Is my water too minerally?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2014, 07:29:26 AM »
I stopped using Willamette hops because judges thought they had a metallic flavor.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline Jeff M

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Re: Is my water too minerally?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2014, 07:33:08 AM »
Per Plamers How to Brew

Metallic
Metallic flavors are usually caused by unprotected metals dissolving into the wort but can also be caused by the hydrolysis of lipids in poorly stored malts. Iron and aluminum can cause metallic flavors leaching into the wort during the boil. The small amount could be considered to be nutritional if it weren't for the bad taste. Nicks and cracks ceramic coated steel pots are a common cause as are high iron levels in well water. Stainless steel pots will not contribute any metallic flavors. Aluminum pots usually won't cause metallic flavors unless the brewing water is alkaline with a pH level greater than 9. Shiny new aluminum pots will sometimes turn black when boiling water due to chlorine and carbonates in the water.

Ive had this happen in a lot of English beers a well, after doing some web searches people where suggesting the beer was too young.

Cheers,
Jeff
Granite Coast Brewing Company.
Building a clone of The Electric Brewery to use as a pilot system for new recipes!

Offline euge

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Re: Is my water too minerally?
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2014, 08:10:04 AM »
Initially I sometimes get a metallic note from the hops but it often depends on me and my sinuses on any given day. I've never had one maintain any metallic flavor past more than a couple beers. And I get it far more often from commercial beers than anything made at home.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline erockrph

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Re: Is my water too minerally?
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2014, 09:27:48 AM »
I stopped using Willamette hops because judges thought they had a metallic flavor.

I've picked this up in beers using Nugget on occasion as well.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline brewmasternpb

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Re: Is my water too minerally?
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2014, 09:56:56 AM »
Thanks guys!
Martin, I've learned a lot about water from your posts, articles and spreadsheet... Thanks a lot!
As far as Hops, I dry hopped with Columbus pellets, bittered with Calypso, and used homegrown Cascades and CTZ.  I usually have pretty good luck with that combo.  Funny thing is, the off flavor I tasted was diacetyl...
Dave Malone
The Greater Denver Yeast Infection

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Is my water too minerally?
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2014, 12:06:05 PM »
I stopped using Willamette hops because judges thought they had a metallic flavor.

I've picked this up in beers using Nugget on occasion as well.

I noticed it last year on a beer with Chinook. Thankfully, I've used them since with no issue.
Jon H.