Author Topic: water profile help for crisp beer  (Read 1548 times)

Offline gman23

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water profile help for crisp beer
« on: May 26, 2016, 04:19:22 PM »
I mash the majority of my lighter beers somewhere between 5.3 and 5.4 depending on style unless I am doing something dark. I am brewing a summer/wheat'ish' type beer that I want to be crisp and refreshing. I went toward 5.2 once using acidulated malt and the finished beer had that lactic tang to it that took away from the character. I have been fearful of going that low since but assume it was an isolated incident and it is the only time I have used acidulated malt.

Right now I am planning to use the yellow balanced profile with an estimated mash pH of 5.3 via lactic acid. Should I use yellow bitter? Should I go lower with the mash pH? IBUs are calculated for the low 20s with the majority coming from late boil additions. The color is a bit darker at ~5.5 SRM.
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Offline beersk

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Re: water profile help for crisp beer
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2016, 06:49:07 PM »
Yeah, shoot for yellow bitter and mash low for better attenuation - 150F for 75 minutes should do. And I'd think aiming for 5.3 pH would be just fine.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: water profile help for crisp beer
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2016, 10:21:52 PM »
I lately have been using yellow balanced for most light ales/lagers (especially) and shooting for 5.4 mash pH. The beers have been coming out great - dry, crisp, with noticeable body and mouthfeel. In the past, when I have used yellow bitter I feel that sometimes the sulfate gets in the way of the malt a bit. Just my 2 cents.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: water profile help for crisp beer
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2016, 10:29:26 PM »
+1.  I've backed off on the sulfate in my beers, too - even on APAs and AIPAs. I like yellow balanced for light lagers and ales, too. I've mashed pale beers 5.25 - 5.4 and liked the results. But I mash saisons @ 5.2 to accentuate the tart character of (most) saison yeasts.
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Offline gman23

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Re: water profile help for crisp beer
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2016, 02:26:33 AM »
So is FG more important than the water in creating a 'crisp' beer? I think I may just stick with yellow balanced, 5.3 mash pH but mash at 148f for 75 min to promote higher attenuation.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: water profile help for crisp beer
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2016, 01:37:50 PM »
So is FG more important than the water in creating a 'crisp' beer? I think I may just stick with yellow balanced, 5.3 mash pH but mash at 148f for 75 min to promote higher attenuation.


A crisp finish in a lager is definitely helped by getting good attenuation. But pH is a big factor too IMO. Beers in the 5.25-5.35 range seem to be more crisp to me as well.
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Offline denny

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Re: water profile help for crisp beer
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2016, 03:33:37 PM »
So is FG more important than the water in creating a 'crisp' beer? I think I may just stick with yellow balanced, 5.3 mash pH but mash at 148f for 75 min to promote higher attenuation.

No, not necessarily.  You can have a crisp beer that finishes in the mid teens if you do it right.  It's a combo of FG, water and hopping.
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Offline gman23

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Re: water profile help for crisp beer
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2016, 04:39:44 PM »
Well I guess I will just have to hope it turns out crisp. It is an ale so it won't have that same lager feel.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: water profile help for crisp beer
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2016, 04:43:38 PM »
Well I guess I will just have to hope it turns out crisp. It is an ale so it won't have that same lager feel.


FWIW I make a good cream ale with 1056 that is pretty crisp and lager-y. I mash it @ 5.25 pH and it finishes @ 1.009.
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Offline gman23

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Re: water profile help for crisp beer
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2016, 05:33:29 PM »
Well I guess I will just have to hope it turns out crisp. It is an ale so it won't have that same lager feel.


FWIW I make a good cream ale with 1056 that is pretty crisp and lager-y. I mash it @ 5.25 pH and it finishes @ 1.009.

Yeah hoping to get below 1.010 with K97. I think that the lower and longer mash with the addition a bit of agave at the end of the boil will help. Session went well. Appears that I hit my estimates dead on. Cooling now.
On Tap/Bottled: Hopfenbier, Kurbis Marzen, Red Rye, Vienna Lager,      

Fermenting: Imperial Porter
Up Next: Maibock, Braunbier