Author Topic: Ken from NW burbs of Chicago...  (Read 2796 times)

Offline brewday

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Re: Ken from NW burbs of Chicago...
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2015, 02:10:04 AM »
And still do - water was a big reason SN settled on their Mills River location.  Me? I settled on 100% RO.

Welcome by the way!
That, and tax breaks, the outdoor lifestyle, and the bigger thing is the interstates that give access up and down the eastern seaboard and to the Midwest. The savings in shipping beer from CA was why they decided to build an eastern brewery, the payback on shipping savings was a bigger factor than the water.

Yikes!  You sound like a Roanokian.  :D

Fair points.  Perhaps I bought into KG's spin a bit too much.
Jon Weaver

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Ken from NW burbs of Chicago...
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2015, 02:11:28 AM »
And still do - water was a big reason SN settled on their Mills River location.  Me? I settled on 100% RO.

Welcome by the way!

So you don't use chicago water? 

Please tell me more. I'm interested as to why and what problems you encountered.

I don't mean to hi-jack Kens thread though.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Ken from NW burbs of Chicago...
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2015, 02:29:40 AM »
And still do - water was a big reason SN settled on their Mills River location.  Me? I settled on 100% RO.

Welcome by the way!
That, and tax breaks, the outdoor lifestyle, and the bigger thing is the interstates that give access up and down the eastern seaboard and to the Midwest. The savings in shipping beer from CA was why they decided to build an eastern brewery, the payback on shipping savings was a bigger factor than the water.

Yikes!  You sound like a Roanokian.  :D

Fair points.  Perhaps I bought into KG's spin a bit too much.
They had pretty much settled on western TN around Knoxville, but reevaluated. The first location had good quality water too. IIRC, the outdoor lifestyle in the Asheville area was the deciding factor. I think that was in his book.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Ken from NW burbs of Chicago...
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2015, 03:00:56 AM »
And still do - water was a big reason SN settled on their Mills River location.  Me? I settled on 100% RO.

Welcome by the way!

So you don't use chicago water? 

Please tell me more. I'm interested as to why and what problems you encountered.

I don't mean to hi-jack Kens thread though.
I can't answer for Brewday but it's very possible that there are some who choose RO, bottled, distilled, etc. for any numbers of reasons including that they're not sure how to get the bodacious amount of chlorine out of the water (carbon filter or campden) or maybe the bicarb level has them trying to dilute as opposed to neutralize.  I was told by many, many brewers to ditch Lake Michigan water and at the very least... dilute it with distilled.  I would like to hear why someone with LM water would choose to use something else but I could see any number of reasons.

Offline brewday

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Re: Ken from NW burbs of Chicago...
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2015, 03:22:39 AM »
And still do - water was a big reason SN settled on their Mills River location.  Me? I settled on 100% RO.

Welcome by the way!

So you don't use chicago water? 

Please tell me more. I'm interested as to why and what problems you encountered.

I don't mean to hi-jack Kens thread though.
I can't answer for Brewday but it's very possible that there are some who choose RO, bottled, distilled, etc. for any numbers of reasons including that they're not sure how to get the bodacious amount of chlorine out of the water (carbon filter or campden) or maybe the bicarb level has them trying to dilute as opposed to neutralize.  I was told by many, many brewers to ditch Lake Michigan water and at the very least... dilute it with distilled.  I would like to hear why someone with LM water would choose to use something else but I could see any number of reasons.

No major problems, small things really.  Mostly consistency and simplicity.  And for the record, I haven't had chlorine in my beer since my first stovetop batch!  Generally speaking Chicago water fine for brewing, but I think you really do need to at least cut most of the pale beers with RO here.

I was finding the more RO that I used, the better the beer.  And the best ones seemed to be 100% RO.  Since I was filling one 5-gallon jug anyway, might as well fill two and make better beer.
Jon Weaver

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Ken from NW burbs of Chicago...
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2015, 03:38:37 AM »
And still do - water was a big reason SN settled on their Mills River location.  Me? I settled on 100% RO.

Welcome by the way!

So you don't use chicago water? 

Please tell me more. I'm interested as to why and what problems you encountered.

I don't mean to hi-jack Kens thread though.
I can't answer for Brewday but it's very possible that there are some who choose RO, bottled, distilled, etc. for any numbers of reasons including that they're not sure how to get the bodacious amount of chlorine out of the water (carbon filter or campden) or maybe the bicarb level has them trying to dilute as opposed to neutralize.  I was told by many, many brewers to ditch Lake Michigan water and at the very least... dilute it with distilled.  I would like to hear why someone with LM water would choose to use something else but I could see any number of reasons.

No major problems, small things really.  Mostly consistency and simplicity.  And for the record, I haven't had chlorine in my beer since my first stovetop batch!  Generally speaking Chicago water fine for brewing, but I think you really do need to at least cut most of the pale beers with RO here.

I was finding the more RO that I used, the better the beer.  And the best ones seemed to be 100% RO.  Since I was filling one 5-gallon jug anyway, might as well fill two and make better beer.
I make quite a few Czech Pilsners and Munich Helles batches and I use 100% Lake Michigan water.  I use lactic acid in the mash water to lower the pH (I add it to the water as it's heating) and also to neutralize the bicarbonate and then I would add anywhere from 2-3 grams of calcium chloride to that to boost the calcium.  The SO4 in the source water is 27 (9x3 as SO4-S) which is slightly high for something delicate and I will occasionally use 25% distilled water but it's not really necessary.  I consider Helles to be one of the more finesse beers you can make and I have made some dynamite batches of helles with 100% source water.  I will also say that when others suggested using some amount of distilled or RO water, those batches came out nicely as well but I was really looking for a way to stop lugging water around... especially if it wasn't necessary.

Offline brewday

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Re: Ken from NW burbs of Chicago...
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2015, 04:25:41 AM »
I make quite a few Czech Pilsners and Munich Helles batches and I use 100% Lake Michigan water.  I use lactic acid in the mash water to lower the pH (I add it to the water as it's heating) and also to neutralize the bicarbonate and then I would add anywhere from 2-3 grams of calcium chloride to that to boost the calcium.  The SO4 in the source water is 27 (9x3 as SO4-S) which is slightly high for something delicate and I will occasionally use 25% distilled water but it's not really necessary.  I consider Helles to be one of the more finesse beers you can make and I have made some dynamite batches of helles with 100% source water.  I will also say that when others suggested using some amount of distilled or RO water, those batches came out nicely as well but I was really looking for a way to stop lugging water around... especially if it wasn't necessary.

Your process is solid, I've done it that way too.  In fact I'm sure I've read some of your posts on other boards and learned a few things.  And from one gelatin-finer to the next, if those beers taste anywhere near as good as they look in your pics then dynamite indeed!

Homebrewing can be funny sometimes.  I use 100% RO in large part for the opposite reasons that you mention.  I don't mind lugging the water around - I keep the jugs in my trunk and fill them whenever I'm at Mariano's.  I was, however, looking for a way to stop messing with the water spreadsheets and tinkering with mash pH.  Certainly nothing wrong with those, but I just wanted an extremely simple, consistent and streamlined process on brewday.

The ah-ha moment for me was over the summer when I read through Gordon's new book.  I went all in on his approach to water and haven't looked back.  But who knows, maybe that will change again...

Cheers and again, welcome!  Beerhead. ;)
Jon Weaver

Offline jimmykx250

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Re: Ken from NW burbs of Chicago...
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2015, 09:58:06 AM »
Welcome Ken. You will find a good group here and a wealth of info as well. I have learned quite a bit and still am young to the hobby with only 2 years under my belt. I haven't touched the water chemistry yet but will get there at some point. I am on a private well and am having good luck with the outside tap that is un softened and run thru a corbon block filter. Im down the road from you in Barrington neighbor.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Ken from NW burbs of Chicago...
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2015, 02:19:36 PM »
Welcome Ken. You will find a good group here and a wealth of info as well. I have learned quite a bit and still am young to the hobby with only 2 years under my belt. I haven't touched the water chemistry yet but will get there at some point. I am on a private well and am having good luck with the outside tap that is un softened and run thru a corbon block filter. Im down the road from you in Barrington neighbor.
Hey Jimmy!  My inlaws used to live out that way (just W. of Dundee and Ela) and they were on a well too.  I'm not sure if well water is more or less consistent than municipal water but I would guess "less" consistent only because you don't have people monitoring it, adjusting it, etc. but as long you're having good luck and making good beers with it, it's all good.  Cheers!

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Ken from NW burbs of Chicago...
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2015, 03:26:30 PM »
I can't answer for Brewday but it's very possible that there are some who choose RO, bottled, distilled, etc. for any numbers of reasons including that they're not sure how to get the bodacious amount of chlorine out of the water (carbon filter or campden) or maybe the bicarb level has them trying to dilute as opposed to neutralize.  I was told by many, many brewers to ditch Lake Michigan water and at the very least... dilute it with distilled.  I would like to hear why someone with LM water would choose to use something else but I could see any number of reasons.

No major problems, small things really.  Mostly consistency and simplicity.  And for the record, I haven't had chlorine in my beer since my first stovetop batch!  Generally speaking Chicago water fine for brewing, but I think you really do need to at least cut most of the pale beers with RO here.

I was finding the more RO that I used, the better the beer.  And the best ones seemed to be 100% RO.  Since I was filling one 5-gallon jug anyway, might as well fill two and make better beer.
I make quite a few Czech Pilsners and Munich Helles batches and I use 100% Lake Michigan water.  I use lactic acid in the mash water to lower the pH (I add it to the water as it's heating) and also to neutralize the bicarbonate and then I would add anywhere from 2-3 grams of calcium chloride to that to boost the calcium.  The SO4 in the source water is 27 (9x3 as SO4-S) which is slightly high for something delicate and I will occasionally use 25% distilled water but it's not really necessary.  I consider Helles to be one of the more finesse beers you can make and I have made some dynamite batches of helles with 100% source water.  I will also say that when others suggested using some amount of distilled or RO water, those batches came out nicely as well but I was really looking for a way to stop lugging water around... especially if it wasn't necessary.

This is actually really helpful and confirms what I've been thinking.  Maybe I can understand the water chemistry stuff after all!

Thanks, fellas.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Ken from NW burbs of Chicago...
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2015, 05:32:30 PM »
Joe, if you ever have questions on this, just let me know.  I'll be happy to tell you what I do and the fact that we use the same water will make it easier.  If you click on my site, there is a spot there someplace where you can shoot me an email too.  All I really wanted to do was have a strategy to make whatever style I wanted with this water and I think I have it.  I make modest water additions based on the style I'm making.  I can usually help others with their water but I don't pretend to be a 'water expert' as much as a person who has a better feel for what to do with my water based on what I want out of my beer.  Cheers.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Ken from NW burbs of Chicago...
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2015, 06:06:50 PM »
Cool.  Thank you.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline duboman

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Re: Ken from NW burbs of Chicago...
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2015, 10:10:37 PM »
Hey Ken, welcome as well! I'm in Glenview so not more than a stones throw form you. Like you I too try to use straight Lake water with modest additions as per Brun' Water calculations and have been really pleased with the results. Mostly the same additions in the tool box as you. There's enough lugging around in brewing as it is without having to lug water;)
Cheers!
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Ken from NW burbs of Chicago...
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2015, 11:12:44 PM »
Hey Ken, welcome as well! I'm in Glenview so not more than a stones throw form you. Like you I too try to use straight Lake water with modest additions as per Brun' Water calculations and have been really pleased with the results. Mostly the same additions in the tool box as you. There's enough lugging around in brewing as it is without having to lug water;)
Cheers!
Gary
Gary:  I hear that!  No more lugging water, thankfully.  I have heard of some brewers who tell me that they get their sulfate up into the 350 range and it may be for a big IPA or something but my chloride and sulfate numbers are typically low... like between 40 and 70 maybe and I just add more SO4 for beers that would be suitable for that... pale ale, red ale, etc.  I add more chloride for maltier beers like festbier, dunkel, etc. but the additions are always modest.  I usually add about 3 grams total of a combination of CaCl and CaSO4 but change the ratio based on style.  For pils or helles I use all CaCl and leave my SO4 at the source water level... 27.  Cheers!