Membership questions? Log in issues? Email info@brewersassociation.org

Author Topic: Newbie here. Water question.  (Read 8652 times)

Big Monk

  • Guest
Re: Newbie here. Water question.
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2016, 09:17:03 am »
The only way to go is with Bru'n Water.  I am obsessive and want total control, however water is not an animal you can master.  You are at the mercy of nature and water has more secrets than I will understand in the next 30 years.

Just use RO or distilled water! Then you are the master.

Offline JJeffers09

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1127
Re: Newbie here. Water question.
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2016, 09:19:29 am »
even then RO is not the same everywhere, everytime.  However reasonably predictable, its the most controlled water source.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin

AHA Member
Indiana Brewers Union (IBU)

Offline Laminarman

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 104
Re: Newbie here. Water question.
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2016, 03:44:07 pm »
So I'll show my naivete' I guess here.  If you use distilled or RO water every time, sure you have consistency.  That doesn't mean you'll make great beer, I get that.  But what about our great beers now that are being crafted?  I'm not arguing individual tastes, but Tree House or Troegs or Hill Farmstead or Alchemist...do they have in house water filtration and chemistry wizards?  Or did some dude open a brewery, keep working until he made a beer that put him on the map then said "Wow, I can make this beer with this here water I'm provided with by this town or well."  While I can source grapes easily, I cannot source GREAT grapes easily, which is why I gave up on wine making.  I could not in any way make wine as good as some of the nicer French or CA Cab's without having grapes flown in overnight. I would hope I could make a decent beer however but I'm thinking water is like grapes, easy to come by but hard to get the best stuff?  I don't want to make anything harder than it needs to be, but I do like total control.  I'm visiting the LBS tomorrow, I'll see what he says.   

Online denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 27024
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Newbie here. Water question.
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2016, 03:49:28 pm »
So I'll show my naivete' I guess here.  If you use distilled or RO water every time, sure you have consistency.  That doesn't mean you'll make great beer, I get that.  But what about our great beers now that are being crafted?  I'm not arguing individual tastes, but Tree House or Troegs or Hill Farmstead or Alchemist...do they have in house water filtration and chemistry wizards?  Or did some dude open a brewery, keep working until he made a beer that put him on the map then said "Wow, I can make this beer with this here water I'm provided with by this town or well."  While I can source grapes easily, I cannot source GREAT grapes easily, which is why I gave up on wine making.  I could not in any way make wine as good as some of the nicer French or CA Cab's without having grapes flown in overnight. I would hope I could make a decent beer however but I'm thinking water is like grapes, easy to come by but hard to get the best stuff?  I don't want to make anything harder than it needs to be, but I do like total control.  I'm visiting the LBS tomorrow, I'll see what he says.

Quite likely to the bolded part.  Historically, beer styes evolved because they were suited to the ingredients around them.  But is doesn't work like that so much any more.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline Laminarman

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 104
Re: Newbie here. Water question.
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2016, 06:59:05 pm »
Thank you Denny.  I think it might be a bit sad that it's come to this.  But like most things in life information seems to be power but we can debate whether it's better or not.  Reminds me of photography.  Now everyone is a photographer with digital but the magic of not knowing what you'll get in the darkroom was at one time considered high tech.  Now it's romantic.  Dang, I missed the romantic era of homebrewing....  :-\

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 10670
  • Milford, MI
Re: Newbie here. Water question.
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2016, 08:32:38 pm »
Thank you Denny.  I think it might be a bit sad that it's come to this.  But like most things in life information seems to be power but we can debate whether it's better or not.  Reminds me of photography.  Now everyone is a photographer with digital but the magic of not knowing what you'll get in the darkroom was at one time considered high tech.  Now it's romantic.  Dang, I missed the romantic era of homebrewing....  :-\
Example. Do you think that traditional breweries in Germany just use their water? The short answer is that they don't just use it as it comes into the brewery. They can make adjustments within the Reinheitsgebot. Especially if they they make a lot of styles.

Professional Brewers view water as just another input variable that they can control to get the output desired.
Jeff Rankert
AHA Lifetime Member
BJCP National
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 6858
Re: Newbie here. Water question.
« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2016, 09:01:05 pm »
I don't 100% disagree with the OP. New guys show up and we layout all the "musts" to make good beer. I was pretty stoked before I had temp control, learned about water, kegged, brewed 7lb/bbl IPAs. Sure every improvement makes the beer better, but I wasn't unhappy either.

Big Monk

  • Guest
Re: Newbie here. Water question.
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2016, 09:17:10 pm »
It's all so easy though. Seems like a no brainer to craft your water from scratch using RO or distilled.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline el_capitan

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
Re: Newbie here. Water question.
« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2016, 08:27:49 am »
It's all so easy though. Seems like a no brainer to craft your water from scratch using RO or distilled.

I think it's easy to be intimidated by things that are unknown and seemingly very complicated.  While water chemistry is fairly complicated, I think Martin's spreadsheet gives most people a systematic way to play around with water chemistry and see how it works.  The water knowledge introductory info is easy to understand and very helpful. 

+10 for Bru'n Water (I really should support it- thanks Martin).

Yeah, you should.  The supporter's version has some features that streamline things a bit, and a tool like this is certainly worth paying for.  The main thing is not to be deterred by the unknown, and to take things step by step.  Getting going again with extract is a good start.  I think you should take it slow and enjoy the learning journey. 

Big Monk

  • Guest
Newbie here. Water question.
« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2016, 08:47:28 am »
Brun Water is awesome but it's got WAY too much going on. 99.9% of brewers using it don't need all the mineral acid inputs, etc.

Part of the reason I went into the background references (Delange, Kai, Schwartz) and put my own water calcs into my spreadsheet was a desire to eliminate the unnecessary info I didn't need.

A single page Excel sheet with the basics would serve most anybody in nearly all applications.

Although take my comments with a grain of salt because I use Distilled water exclusively. There is value in the full version for those who use their tap water though, even if I feel that it could be edited down a little. And as a compilation of many valuable resources, BW serves as an important document regardless of its importance as a calculator.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2016, 08:56:20 am by Big Monk »

Offline Laminarman

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 104
Re: Newbie here. Water question.
« Reply #25 on: December 17, 2016, 09:46:38 am »
You guys have all been very helpful.  I don't get intimidated easily.  I just want my first batch with extract to be tasty, nice and palatable as a beer should be.  All those years ago my bitter was..well...bitter and I remember preferring to drink Schlitz or PBR instead.  That shows how poorly I did with it.  I did a few stouts and pale ales, all were insipid, poor head, thin, but then again I had very limited funds and if I remember correctly I was using "all in one kits" yeast included.  I would think I can only go UP from here : )   

Online denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 27024
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Newbie here. Water question.
« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2016, 10:28:07 am »
I don't 100% disagree with the OP. New guys show up and we layout all the "musts" to make good beer. I was pretty stoked before I had temp control, learned about water, kegged, brewed 7lb/bbl IPAs. Sure every improvement makes the beer better, but I wasn't unhappy either.

THIS^^^^ experienced brewers seem to forget how they started out.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Online denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 27024
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Newbie here. Water question.
« Reply #27 on: December 17, 2016, 10:29:06 am »
It's all so easy though. Seems like a no brainer to craft your water from scratch using RO or distilled.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

A new brewer has a lot of other things to deal with before that.  I made award winning beers for 10 years before I ever did anything more than add a tsp. pf gypsum for hoppy beers.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline HoosierBrew

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 13031
  • Indianapolis,IN
Re: Newbie here. Water question.
« Reply #28 on: December 17, 2016, 10:32:21 am »
It's all so easy though. Seems like a no brainer to craft your water from scratch using RO or distilled.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

A new brewer has a lot of other things to deal with before that.  I made award winning beers for 10 years before I ever did anything more than add a tsp. pf gypsum for hoppy beers.

Yeah, same here. Getting pH loosely in the ballpark is big, but past that we obsess quite a bit over every last ppm like it's life and death.
Jon H.

Online denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 27024
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Newbie here. Water question.
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2016, 10:42:28 am »
It's all so easy though. Seems like a no brainer to craft your water from scratch using RO or distilled.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

A new brewer has a lot of other things to deal with before that.  I made award winning beers for 10 years before I ever did anything more than add a tsp. pf gypsum for hoppy beers.

Yeah, same here. Getting pH loosely in the ballpark is big, but past that we obsess quite a bit over every last ppm like it's life and death.

I didn't even know or worry about that.  Admittedly, I have good water to start with.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell