Author Topic: water for 1800s IPA attempt  (Read 1054 times)

Offline Steve Ruch

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water for 1800s IPA attempt
« on: May 14, 2016, 04:24:46 PM »
I'm planning to try and recreate a British IPA from 200 years ago and have a question about my water.
PPM               Hi      Low
calcium          40      13
chloride          26      2.2
potassium       4.4     2.3
calcium           40      13
sulfate            12       1
magnesium     12      6.2
pH                  7.9     6.8
alkalinity         120    66
total hardness  150    60

I have gypsum and calcium chloride. How much of each, if any, should I add? Anything else?
Crescent City, CA

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Offline mabrungard

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Re: water for 1800s IPA attempt
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2016, 10:55:58 PM »
Now you are mixing metaphors. The original IPA's were brewed in London. I think it was Hodgson's Brewery or something like that. They likely obtained their water from the New Canal (I'm going from memory) and that was a surface water source that skirted the north of London. It was not likely to have been that mineralized.

IPA brewing subsequently shifted to Burton where the mineralized groundwater was ideal for hoppy and bittered beers. Depending upon the source and conditions, the groundwater could range from highly mineralized to modestly mineralized. You can see the results of recent groundwater testing by reviewing the Burton profile in Bru'n Water. However, it is unlikely that the local brewers used water that was that highly mineralized. Depending upon where the breweries were extracting the groundwater from, the water was either naturally diluted with water from River Trent or the breweries manually added river water to the groundwater to reduce the mineralization. It is therefore more likely that the water quality used for Burton brewing is similar to the Pale Ale profile given in Bru'n Water. I recommend that you start with that profile to help duplicate the second "original" IPA you are attempting. 
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Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: water for 1800s IPA attempt
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2016, 04:32:15 PM »
IPA brewing subsequently shifted to Burton where the mineralized groundwater was ideal for hoppy and bittered beers. Depending upon the source and conditions, the groundwater could range from highly mineralized to modestly mineralized. You can see the results of recent groundwater testing by reviewing the Burton profile in Bru'n Water. However, it is unlikely that the local brewers used water that was that highly mineralized. Depending upon where the breweries were extracting the groundwater from, the water was either naturally diluted with water from River Trent or the breweries manually added river water to the groundwater to reduce the mineralization. It is therefore more likely that the water quality used for Burton brewing is similar to the Pale Ale profile given in Bru'n Water. I recommend that you start with that profile to help duplicate the second "original" IPA you are attempting.

I'm definitely going for the Burton version.
Is there a way to access the pale ale profile without downloading the whole shebang? My wife is the computer person and I get very nervous doing anything more complex than e-mails or forum posts.
Crescent City, CA

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with hairy old women

Offline rob_f

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Re: water for 1800s IPA attempt
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2016, 01:42:57 PM »
Steve, your water looks like surface water. You get the low numbers during monsoon and the high numbers during drought.

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Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: water for 1800s IPA attempt
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2016, 10:10:02 PM »
Steve, your water looks like surface water. You get the low numbers during monsoon and the high numbers during drought.

I think it is.
I'm planning on brewing in a week or so and the forecast calls for rain every day for the next five or six days so the lower numbers would probably be closer to what I'll be brewing with.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: water for 1800s IPA attempt
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2016, 01:33:41 AM »
I would caution you to err on the conservative side when deciding your target values. There are water profiles out there that can certainly ruin an otherwise excellent beer. Everyone's palate is different, but once you head north of the 200-250ppm of sulfate range (especially when paired with a healthy dose of chloride) you start to reach a point where it is as much mineral water as beer. Even higher amounts of sulfates can give farty/eggy aromas.
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Offline zwiller

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Re: water for 1800s IPA attempt
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2016, 03:49:45 PM »
IIRC Terry Foster's historical IPA was like 450ppm sulfate.  I've gone that high and no issues/egg.  House IPA is 300ppm-ish.  I like the affect.  I think Martin termed it "crunky" or something, but I like the minerally feel.  I definitely think it adds to an english character that I would want in a historical beer but definitely not a Vermont thing.  Although I did not brew the historical IPA I did do Foster's traditional IPA (all EKG) and it blew my mind.  First AG brew in the 90's and was hooked ever since. 
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Offline santoch

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Re: water for 1800s IPA attempt
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2016, 11:03:47 PM »
I think I remember hearing Mitch Steele say at one of his NHC talks (Seattle? Oakland? San Diego-1? This was several years ago) that the English brewers would preboil their water to precipitate out temporary hardness.

If so, I'll defer to Martin on whether/what that would do exactly in a side by side comparison.

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Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: water for 1800s IPA attempt
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2016, 09:54:59 PM »
I would caution you to err on the conservative side when deciding your target values.

I plan on it.
Crescent City, CA

I love to go swimmin'
with hairy old women