Author Topic: Making Vienna water from what I got  (Read 982 times)

Offline zigs6

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Making Vienna water from what I got
« on: June 21, 2017, 06:44:20 PM »
Greetings!

So after much research on this forum on nailing a good water profile for a Vienna lager, I think I've come to a good compromise but I just wanted to see what you all thought. This will be my first time diluting my home water source. My water is full of Calcium and Sulfates as you can see below:

Calcium: 90
Magnesium: 30
Sodium: 10
Sulfate: 166
Chloride: 48
Bicarbonate: 192

Using the Vienna profile (Boiled) as previously discussed by Martin:

Calcium: 27
Magnesium: 15
Sodium: 10
Sulfate: 60
Chloride: 15
Bicarbonate: 80

When I dilute my water by 45% I can achieve this:

Calcium: 49.8
Magnesium: 16.5
Sodium: 5.5
Sulfate: 91.3
Chloride: 26.4
Bicarbonate: -79.4 (w/ 1 mL / gal lactic)

If I go for further dilution to bring my Sulfates down to the 60 range, by Calcium gets way too low. I know I can probably just dilute 75% or something and then build up w/ Calcium Chloride but what If I just left it as is. The Sulfate to Chloride Ratio is about 3.2:1. Will the extra 30 ppm's of Sulfate be that noticeable or will I be in the ball park enough to make it work? I just don't know from experience. I'm sure this is a much better option than just using my normal water regardless but I guess my question is, should I pursue it further and try to nail the profile or will this turn out pretty good using the 45% dilution?
Thanks,

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Making Vienna water from what I got
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2017, 08:17:09 PM »
Low calcium in water is OK when using lager yeasts and making lagered beers. The main issues are that low calcium content in your mashing water may result in more oxalate remaining in your wort (higher beerstone potential) and the yeast won't floc out as readily. The second point is not a problem if you will be lagering properly or will be filtering the beer.

I suggest that you dilute the tap water more and target something in the 30 to 40 ppm Ca range for a Vienna. That will bring the sulfate lower than you show. Getting that sulfate lower should help prevent the beer from having too dry a finish.
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Offline zigs6

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Re: Making Vienna water from what I got
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2017, 08:20:46 PM »
Thank you for the reply:

Ok, so a 55% dilution will result in 40ppm of Ca and 74.7ppm of Sulfate.
A 60% dilution results in 35.9 Ca and 66 Sulfate.

I was planning on fast lagering and not transferring to a secondary. Should I stick with the 40 ppm on Ca for some insurance?
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 08:44:16 PM by zigs6 »

Offline zigs6

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Re: Making Vienna water from what I got
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2017, 09:08:33 PM »
Also a Glacier Water Refill station appears to be the cheapest option for the 10 gallons of R/O water I will need. Does anyone have any reason not to take this approach? My R/O system will empty after about 3.5 gallons.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Making Vienna water from what I got
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2017, 09:28:51 PM »
Also a Glacier Water Refill station appears to be the cheapest option for the 10 gallons of R/O water I will need. Does anyone have any reason not to take this approach? My R/O system will empty after about 3.5 gallons.

Other than  cost?  You can collect the water in a bucket over time by draining the RO tank 3 times and not pay a dime for store bought equivalents (assuming your RO system produces about 3.5 gallons in a reasonable time period, why not do that?)
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Offline zigs6

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Re: Making Vienna water from what I got
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2017, 09:42:36 PM »
Guess I could if I started collecting it early. It refills fairly slowly.

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Re: Making Vienna water from what I got
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2017, 10:21:56 PM »
My system generates about 9 gallons per day, so I collect 15 gallons for my 10 gallon batches in two days.  Even if yours is slower, it couldn't take more than a week to collect what you need, right?  Just get those buckets ready and have a go at it!
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline zigs6

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Re: Making Vienna water from what I got
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2017, 04:25:16 AM »
Low calcium in water is OK when using lager yeasts and making lagered beers. The main issues are that low calcium content in your mashing water may result in more oxalate remaining in your wort (higher beerstone potential) and the yeast won't floc out as readily. The second point is not a problem if you will be lagering properly or will be filtering the beer.

I suggest that you dilute the tap water more and target something in the 30 to 40 ppm Ca range for a Vienna. That will bring the sulfate lower than you show. Getting that sulfate lower should help prevent the beer from having too dry a finish.

Also not sure if anyone else can elaborate on this but since I was a little concerned about my low Calcium after such an adjustment, I chose to do a little more searching on the forums and found something interesting. Apparently in Palmer's Water Book (Page 178) There was discussion on doing a mash with de-mineralized water that resulted in Calcium totaling 35 ppm and Mg. totaling 70 ppm suggesting that there is some significant Calcium adds through just the grain alone. If this is true, starting with 30 ppm Ca. water would result in something greater than 50 assuming Vienna malt had a similar Ca. content.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Making Vienna water from what I got
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2017, 12:20:03 PM »
While malt imparts significant content including Ca and Mg, not all of that content is available to affect the taste and perception of beer. It is bound into complexes and molecules.

While yeast are able to break down some complexes and molecules, the 'free' ionic content that our brewing water provides is more likely to affect taste and perception. 
Martin B
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Offline zigs6

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Re: Making Vienna water from what I got
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2017, 11:10:19 PM »
Well I'm going with your advice and doing a 60% dilution which will result in 35ppm of Ca. This gets me very close to the Sulfates and Chlorides of the boiled Vienna profile. I'll post afterwards with the results of clearing, flavor etc.

Offline zigs6

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Re: Making Vienna water from what I got
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2017, 07:08:46 AM »
So kind of mixed results. It could have been the recipe as well but this beer is EXTREMELY malty. So malty that it does not come off as crisp at all and has a little sweetness to it as well. I pitched more than enough yeast. (3 packs per 5 gallon of Dry lager yeast). I did not get any beer stone at all. The clarity is also not so good.... It's been lagering for over a month now and its still pretty hazy. Not my favorite beer but I think I had some fermentation issues that prevented full attenuation.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Making Vienna water from what I got
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2017, 12:12:26 PM »
Does the FG confirm that the attenuation was low?

If you feel the beer finishes too full, you can always test if bumping the sulfate content up will help dry the beer more and produce a more balanced perception. While not very accurate, a millimeter (or so) pinch of gypsum between your index finger and thumb in a pint of beer will raise the sulfate content about 100 ppm. That's probably too much for this beer, but you get the idea...so a half pinch.
Martin B
Carmel, IN

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Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

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https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

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Offline zigs6

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Re: Making Vienna water from what I got
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2017, 06:40:07 AM »
Ya. I was supposed to come in at 1.010 and I landed at 1.013. I ran into an oxygenation mishap when my oxygen wand regulator malfunctioned so I had to shake the carboys to aerate. Not ideal, especially for a lager.....