Author Topic: RO Water  (Read 1669 times)

Offline russell

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RO Water
« on: December 23, 2016, 11:54:13 PM »
Been brewing for years now, am familiar with the process. But have never used RO water and am not sure how to use it.  Looked at some of the Water Calculators like Brun and EZ but still would like some advice.
   What I would like to know is what you would add to RO water for a light lager like a Pilsner, Festbier or a Marzen. I don't think Dark Beers would benefit from RO water but don't really know.

Offline brewinhard

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Re: RO Water
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2016, 12:04:22 AM »
All beer styles benefit from RO water as it is a veritable blank slate (for the most part) with which one can build a specific water profile for each desired beer style. Your best bet is to download Brunwater and give it a good read-over on the intro page. This may take a bit to get through and for you to comprehend water treatment on a basic level, but it will be easier when you get ready to start tackling the spreadsheet used to treat your water. After a couple times using it, you will find it is quite easy to use and very beneficial for beer flavor.

Give it a read over, then come back here and ask any remaining questions you may still have. It is easier for us to provide hints and tips along the way if you already have a general understanding of the topic. Hope this helps.

BTW, this is how I made the jump to using all RO water and have been very pleased with the results. I am by no means a rocket scientist, and it is not all that daunting once you get going.

Cheers!
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Big Monk

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RO Water
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2016, 12:38:51 AM »
Been brewing for years now, am familiar with the process. But have never used RO water and am not sure how to use it.  Looked at some of the Water Calculators like Brun and EZ but still would like some advice.
   What I would like to know is what you would add to RO water for a light lager like a Pilsner, Festbier or a Marzen. I don't think Dark Beers would benefit from RO water but don't really know.

If you are brewing those styles then I would target 40 ppm Calcium (use Gypsum and CaCl), 30 ppm Sulfate and 76 ppm Chloride.

I have been contemplating breaking the water section from our Low Oxygen brewing spreadsheet out on its own and I think I may pursue that and make it available to everyone here.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2016, 12:40:42 AM by Big Monk »

Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: RO Water
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2016, 12:40:24 AM »
All beer styles benefit from RO water as it is a veritable blank slate (for the most part) with which one can build a specific water profile for each desired beer style. Your best bet is to download Brunwater and give it a good read-over on the intro page. This may take a bit to get through and for you to comprehend water treatment on a basic level, but it will be easier when you get ready to start tackling the spreadsheet used to treat your water. After a couple times using it, you will find it is quite easy to use and very beneficial for beer flavor.

Give it a read over, then come back here and ask any remaining questions you may still have. It is easier for us to provide hints and tips along the way if you already have a general understanding of the topic. Hope this helps.

BTW, this is how I made the jump to using all RO water and have been very pleased with the results. I am by no means a rocket scientist, and it is not all that daunting once you get going.

Cheers!
Brewinhard

The above is super solid advice. Play around with Brun'water, and then ask specific questions and it will be easier for us to guide/advise you.
Frank C.

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heart, you brew good ale.'

Offline russell

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Re: RO Water
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2016, 01:55:43 AM »
OK.. I guess I know what I am doing tonight
 Thanks all for the advice. You probably will see me later, I am sure I will need more guidance (not real sharp sometimes)

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: RO Water
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2016, 02:16:12 AM »
I'm with you on that. Generally I consider myself above average intelligence, but what I started studying water I realized my brain is Abby Normal.

My light grasp of the info is at an end user level, and then just barely. You'll be looking at two aspects. pH and flavor.   So if you start with water that has nothing in it, the pH is about 7, but since there's nothing in it, it's easily swayed. Meaning it takes less acid to drop it and less alkaline to raise it. When you figure out what your grain bill is going to do to the water, you determine how much acid or alkaline to add to reach your target pH. Which will usually be less than with well water. Then, you get to add juuuuust the right amounts of the flavoring elements needed to bring that beer to perfection. Might as well be versions of calcium, since beer benefits from it. CaCl for malty beers, CaSO4 for hoppy. Or some combo. Maybe a touch of magnisium... or a touch of salt. Maybe your well water has too much of one, not enough of another? Easy to add, not so easy to remove. But RO or distilled is a "blank canvas". You only add, no need to remove.

Enjoy the study, but don't get frustrated. You really only need to know "how", not so much "why".

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: RO Water
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2016, 02:32:53 AM »
If you want a dry Pilsner, get the SO4 around 75-100 ppm and the Cl less than the SO4.
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Offline phunhog

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Re: RO Water
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2016, 06:48:45 AM »
After 8+ years of brewing I finally brewed my first beer where I built my water from RO water.    One question I have is when do I add all the brewing salts? I just added them into the mash thinking they would transfer over into the finished beer.

Offline fmader

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Re: RO Water
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2016, 09:10:15 AM »
After 8+ years of brewing I finally brewed my first beer where I built my water from RO water.    One question I have is when do I add all the brewing salts? I just added them into the mash thinking they would transfer over into the finished beer.

Add them two your kettle before adding your mash water to heat. Then stir really well.  The pouring, stirring, and hearing of the water will allow them to dissolve best. Same thing with your salts that you would add to your spare water. You definitely will want to add them prior to the mash, this way that you can ensure that your mash pH is appropriate.
Frank

Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: RO Water
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2016, 04:47:50 PM »
I put them in the mash tun and pour the mash water in. The turbulence of the pour mixes the salts with the water, and I mash in as soon as I can while the salts are still suspended. I add the salts separately to the sparge water when it is hot just before sparging.                                                           
« Last Edit: December 24, 2016, 04:50:02 PM by Frankenbrew »
Frank C.

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heart, you brew good ale.'

Offline russell

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Re: RO Water
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2017, 08:10:48 PM »
Brun water Question.
 are the Target finished water adjustment, and Actual finish adjustment, and Mash water profile and overall finished water profile under the Water Adjustment need to be all green?  Or is it just the overall finished water profile that  needs to be green?
  Also it kind of looks by running my curser over the boxes the only boxes that need to be green in the Mashing water profile and overall finished water profile for mashing is the Calcium and the others don't really matter.
 I seem to be having a problem figuring out just what I need to do there.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: RO Water
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2017, 10:36:16 PM »
Brun water Question.
 are the Target finished water adjustment, and Actual finish adjustment, and Mash water profile and overall finished water profile under the Water Adjustment need to be all green?  Or is it just the overall finished water profile that  needs to be green?

Nothing needs to be green, but the signal can help highlight differences that you may want to look into.
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Offline curtdogg

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Re: RO Water
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2017, 12:18:22 AM »
Go to you tube and search bru n water. There you will find some overview videos that helped me understand more about it.

Offline csaunders

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Re: RO Water
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2017, 12:19:20 PM »
I put them in the mash tun and pour the mash water in. The turbulence of the pour mixes the salts with the water, and I mash in as soon as I can while the salts are still suspended...               

This is the exact same technique I use as well. I pour in half of my strike water then add in my salts & acid. Top off with the rest of my strike water and dough in.

I don't pre-measure my sparge water, so I just add my sparge salts after I've collected all my wort.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: RO Water
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2017, 06:44:22 PM »
The single best resource on brewing water chemistry is the first tab of Bru'n Water. It's a lot of info to take in and deserves to be read several times until it starts to make sense. I strongly recommend taking some time to work through it and learn it.

RO water is generally not something you use by itself. As others said, it's a blank canvas. It avoids the chlorine/chloramine of municipal water. The mineral content doesn't change with the seasons. You can add brewing salts to build it into any water supply you may need for brewing. It's generally consistent and reliable. It is used without adjustment to dilute other water supplies that might have too much mineral content for what you want to brew but otherwise you're always going to make some additions.

That said, you can brew with a decent tap supply as long as you remove chlorine/chloramine if necessary and test the local water for mineral content to make appropriate adjustments. Personally I find it easier to start with RO water and work my way up but plenty prefer to go the other direction.
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