Author Topic: water profiles  (Read 1499 times)

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 23852
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: water profiles
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2021, 06:26:17 PM »
Here is our water profile - City tap water, filtered. Nothing added. Nothing at all.

I have made a believer out of another local brewer, who always added chemicals to his water. He could not believe how good our beers are with straight filtered city tap water.
Do you only brew a narrow range of styles? Because in my experience you can't make both a great stout and a great pale lager with the same water unless you at the very least adjust your pH.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

Exactly!  I did nothing with my water for years, and brewed very good beers within a narrow range of style/color.  I would brew lighter and darker beers and they were OK, but there was always something not quite there with them.  Once I began adjusting my water I was much happier with the beers at either end of the color range.
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 TXFlyGuy

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 545
Re: water profiles
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2021, 10:28:54 PM »
Here is our water profile - City tap water, filtered. Nothing added. Nothing at all.

I have made a believer out of another local brewer, who always added chemicals to his water. He could not believe how good our beers are with straight filtered city tap water.
Do you only brew a narrow range of styles? Because in my experience you can't make both a great stout and a great pale lager with the same water unless you at the very least adjust your pH.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

Exactly!  I did nothing with my water for years, and brewed very good beers within a narrow range of style/color.  I would brew lighter and darker beers and they were OK, but there was always something not quite there with them.  Once I began adjusting my water I was much happier with the beers at either end of the color range.

The beers I brew are primarily Euro style lagers. Plus we have brewed several APA's, and London Porters. The beers have been extremely good. That's not me saying this, it is a neighbor and new friend who is an avid brewer and worked for a craft brewery in Austin, Texas. And Dave is shocked with the flavor of my beer, as he has been big into the chemical treatment of his water.

He gets his water from the same source that I do...city tap.

The most amazing beer was our Fullers London Porter clone. It made the Fullers version taste like water.

But the base profile of our local water is not far off for making good beer.

I guess we are lucky to have a good supply of water that easily lends itself to brewing good beers right from the tap.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 12:32:07 AM by TXFlyGuy »
Bluebonnet Brewoff 2021 Winner!

Munich Helles - 1st Place
Oktoberfest   - 1st Place
English Porter - 3rd Place

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 10140
  • Milford, MI
Re: water profiles
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2021, 03:24:26 AM »
No single water will make outstanding examples of all beer styles.

It is better to not add too much in the way of minerals, less can be more.

Pros do adjust water. Some blend in RO water (Stone). Some add more minerals at one brewery vs their other one. (Sierra Nevada). Some just add Gypsum (Fuller's). Some have 5 stacks of bags of different salts as their water is extremely soft (Jennings in the UK).
Jeff Rankert
AHA Lifetime Member
BJCP National
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline TXFlyGuy

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 545
Re: water profiles
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2021, 01:40:21 PM »
No single water will make outstanding examples of all beer styles.

It is better to not add too much in the way of minerals, less can be more.

Pros do adjust water. Some blend in RO water (Stone). Some add more minerals at one brewery vs their other one. (Sierra Nevada). Some just add Gypsum (Fuller's). Some have 5 stacks of bags of different salts as their water is extremely soft (Jennings in the UK).

No doubt! But 150 years ago, did the brewers add chemicals to water? Or did a local brewery beer style obtain it’s character by using the indigenous water supply?
English and Czech beers come to mind.

You mention Fullers. I did a clone brew of a 19th century Fullers London Porter. Simple tap water is what we used, filtered. Our Porter absolutely blew the commercial version out of the water. The Fullers London Porter was weak, and watery tasting compared to ours. The recipe was obtained from BYO.

Perhaps this is not an apples-to-apples comparison...as today’s commercial Porter is not like the 19th century version. BTW, that recipe is awesome if you are a Porter fan!
« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 01:45:41 PM by TXFlyGuy »
Bluebonnet Brewoff 2021 Winner!

Munich Helles - 1st Place
Oktoberfest   - 1st Place
English Porter - 3rd Place

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 10140
  • Milford, MI
Re: water profiles
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2021, 01:55:55 PM »
No single water will make outstanding examples of all beer styles.

It is better to not add too much in the way of minerals, less can be more.

Pros do adjust water. Some blend in RO water (Stone). Some add more minerals at one brewery vs their other one. (Sierra Nevada). Some just add Gypsum (Fuller's). Some have 5 stacks of bags of different salts as their water is extremely soft (Jennings in the UK).

No doubt! But 150 years ago, did the brewers add chemicals to water? Or did a local brewery beer style obtain it’s character by using the indigenous water supply?
English and Czech beers come to mind.

You mention Fullers. I did a clone brew of a 19th century Fullers London Porter. Simple tap water is what we used, filtered. Our Porter absolutely blew the commercial version out of the water. The Fullers London Porter was weak, and watery tasting compared to ours. The recipe was obtained from BYO.

Perhaps this is not an apples-to-apples comparison...as today’s commercial Porter is not like the 19th century version. BTW, that recipe is awesome if you are a Porter fan!

Brewers brewed beers that worked for their water. Munich was known for Dunkel before water chemistry was understood. Helles became the favorite beer of Munich after water chemistry was understood.
Jeff Rankert
AHA Lifetime Member
BJCP National
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline BrewBama

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4384
water profiles
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2021, 02:32:28 PM »
... did a local brewery beer style obtain it’s character by using the indigenous water supply?
English and Czech beers come to mind.

You are correct: different beers developed in areas where the water chemistry included different ions.

Which is the point to adding salts to your base water for different styles!!

If they figured out 150 yrs ago different water ions makeup different water ...and are best for brewing certain styles ...then you might want to sit up and take notice.

Brewing salts are like seasoning in a soup or stew. If I want to make Steak and Ale Chili I use different seasonings than I do to make Chicken Noodle Soup. They’re both soups/stews but totally different, with totally different ingredients, so are seasoned totally different to meld with those ingredients.

Beer is no different. If you limit yourself to making all the beers you choose to brew with the same water then I would suggest you could make better beer if you would investigate for yourself. Your base may be great for certain styles but it isn’t going to be great for all styles.

I am not talking about using the whole spice cabinet. ...but a bit of gypsum in an English Bitter or soft water for the Czech Pils can make a difference.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 02:49:33 PM by BrewBama »
wisdom is proved right by her deeds

Brewed in the Tennessee Valley. Rocket City — Huntsville AL

Offline TXFlyGuy

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 545
Re: water profiles
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2021, 02:49:13 PM »
The above makes sense...never thought about this in terms of Chili vs Chicken Noodle, but that is an excellent analogy.

In 30 years of brewing, only filtered, untreated tap water has been used. I will expand my horizons. The beers all have been good, so if they actually improve...Gold Medal time!

Still waiting on the results of my 5 entries in the Bluebonnet. I’m sure the judges will note the water profile.
Bluebonnet Brewoff 2021 Winner!

Munich Helles - 1st Place
Oktoberfest   - 1st Place
English Porter - 3rd Place

Offline ynotbrusum

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4049
Re: water profiles
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2021, 02:54:10 PM »
... did a local brewery beer style obtain it’s character by using the indigenous water supply?
English and Czech beers come to mind.

You are correct: different beers developed in areas where the water chemistry included different ions.

Which is the point to adding salts to your base water for different styles!!

If they figured out 150 yrs ago different water ions makeup different water ...and are best for brewing certain styles ...then you might want to sit up and take notice.

Brewing salts are like seasoning in a soup or stew. If I want to make Steak and Ale Chili I use different seasonings than I do to make Chicken Noodle Soup. They’re both soups/stews but totally different so are seasoned totally different.

Beer is no different. If you limit yourself to making all the beers you choose to brew the same then I would suggest you could make better beer if you would investigate for yourself.

I am not talking about using the whole spice cabinet. But a bit of gypsum in a bitter beer, or a bit of calcium chloride in a malty beer can make a difference.

No doubt in my mind (a little brewing salts go a long way) - also, for example, one might have too acidic of an unadjusted pH to make a dark style without some adjustment; i.e., the dark style may do better with a bit of an upward pH adjustment.  We tend to think only in terms of the pale styles and (almost) always needing some acid to achieve proper pH.  Some have the perfect water for pales (unadjusted), but I think they are the lucky ones; my water needs adjustment, otherwise the flavors are not meeting my expectations.  Dialing in with additions is part of my typical recipe formulation, based on experience with my process.  I wish it were not needed, but for my water, the beers improve with some adjustment.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline TXFlyGuy

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 545
Re: water profiles
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2021, 06:20:45 PM »


Please tell me what I need to fix my water.
Bluebonnet Brewoff 2021 Winner!

Munich Helles - 1st Place
Oktoberfest   - 1st Place
English Porter - 3rd Place

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 23852
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: water profiles
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2021, 06:46:19 PM »
It depends on the beer you're brewing.  Enter that info into Bru'nwater and you can see what you need for yourself, dependent on recipe.
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 BrewBama

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4384
water profiles
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2021, 07:49:13 PM »
look at all those chemicals in your water!

I agree that you should use a water calculator to determine your brewhaus liquor additions. There are a number of calculators out there. It’s pretty easy to overdo it. We’re talkin a tsp (~4 grams) or less in most cases for a 6.5 gal batch (5 gal in the keg after boil kettle and fermenter loss).

For example I have an American Amber Ale upcoming. I start with distilled water and build from a blank slate:

Batch Vol: 6.50 gal
Calcium: 68.5 ppm - Magnesium: 0.0 ppm
Sodium: 8.2 ppm - Sulfate: 111.8 ppm
Chloride: 51.7 ppm - Bicarbonate: 0.0 ppm
Residual Alkalinity: -48.9 ppm
Sulfite/Chloride Ratio: 2.16

First and foremost I focus on mash pH.

To get there I use 1 tsp gypsum in the mash to get my 50 ppm Calcium co-factor for mash enzyme activity, help in protein coagulation (hot and cold break, for clarity), and as a benefit for yeast, among several other advantages.

Then .5 tsp CaCl, .25 tsp gypsum, and .175 tsp salt in the boil for flavor.

Nothing crazy. Many brewers use more. I could stand to increase Chloride and Sulfate (and therefore Calcium) but I am fairly conservative with water additions.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 08:16:42 PM by BrewBama »
wisdom is proved right by her deeds

Brewed in the Tennessee Valley. Rocket City — Huntsville AL

Offline TXFlyGuy

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 545
Re: water profiles
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2021, 08:40:08 PM »
Thanks! My neighbor, and fellow brewer, has agreed to help with some calculations. He uses the software mentioned above, and says it's easy.

I told him that the goal is to brew better beer!
Bluebonnet Brewoff 2021 Winner!

Munich Helles - 1st Place
Oktoberfest   - 1st Place
English Porter - 3rd Place

Offline ynotbrusum

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4049
Re: water profiles
« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2021, 09:14:50 PM »
Excellent - you will find that the typical additions are very minimal.  Your water looks pretty good.  Here is my RO water report from Ward's Lab a couple years back (TDS about 14 now); you can see why I have to add some things back, as my RO is pretty flatline:


pH                                                                                               
6.4
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm                                 26
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm                                        0.04
Cations / Anions, me/L                                                       0.3 /  0.4

ppm
Sodium, Na                                                                                  7
Potassium, K                                                                             < 1
Calcium, Ca                                                                               0.4
Magnesium, Mg                                                                        < 1
Total Hardness, CaCO3                                                              < 1
Nitrate, NO3-N                                                                  < 0.1 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S                                                                           < 1
Chloride, Cl                                                                                  1
Carbonate, CO3                                                                         < 1.0
Bicarbonate, HCO3                                                                        21
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3                                                                   17
Total Phosphorus, P                                                              < 0.01
Total Iron, Fe                                                                          < 0.01
"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline mabrungard

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2764
  • Water matters!
    • Bru'n Water
Re: water profiles
« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2021, 11:46:24 PM »
When you see fancy water specifications or salt additions in a recipe, just ignore them.  Millions of homebrewers make great beer without much if any thought about water.  A lot of folks hate hearing this but it's the honest truth.  Now, if you're experiencing problems with your beer, then it's something to look into.  But otherwise... there are way more important things.

Dave Dave Dave,

You are SO wrong. You know or hear of brewers making SOME great beer styles without messing with their water. That is true, but they probably either limit their brewing to similar styles or they make crappy examples of other styles. Water treatment is a REQUIREMENT if a brewer wants to make a wide range of great beers.

There are plenty of people that have water that isn’t well suited to brewing if it’s not treated. Making the assumption that anyone can make great beer without adjusting their water is rather uninformed. 
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://www.brunwater.com/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Brun-Water-464551136933908/?ref=bookmarks

Offline ynotbrusum

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4049
Re: water profiles
« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2021, 12:41:09 AM »
RDWHAHB - Relax, Dave’s Water Has An Honorable Beer taste....
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"