Author Topic: Water treatment and Beer Clarity  (Read 541 times)

Offline Khamp

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Water treatment and Beer Clarity
« on: January 23, 2021, 10:26:22 am »
I'm new to water chemistry and treating my water (RO) with brewing salts. I have done a few batches so far but all have been dark beers I will be making a Cali Common this weekend so It'll be on the lighter side. My question is: If your treated water is cloudy before the brew will you be able to get clear beer? I treat the water the night before and shake the 5 gal jugs a few times hours apart to let everything get into solution and it is quite cloudy the next day before the brew.
Thanks!

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water treatment and Beer Clarity
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2021, 10:28:17 am »
It should not be a problem.
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Offline Bob357

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Re: Water treatment and Beer Clarity
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2021, 11:12:01 am »
What you're seeing are undissolved salts suspended in the water. Perfectly normal and nothing to be concerned about.
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Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: Water treatment and Beer Clarity
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2021, 01:20:09 pm »
We never (NEVER) treat our water. It is city tap water, that is run through a high quality filter.

Our beers are clear, like looking through a window pane. Yes, we use gelatin. But with a bit of aging, the beer would clear naturally.
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Offline Richard

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Re: Water treatment and Beer Clarity
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2021, 10:42:27 pm »
We always (ALWAYS) treat our water. It is city tap water that is some of the finest, purest water in the world. However, that doesn't mean that it is the best brewing water. It is very low in all minerals, so we always need to add calcium (Ward labs says it is 5 ppm out of the tap). Depending on the brew we may also need to add sulfate (Ward labs says the water is 1 ppm out of the tap) or chloride (Ward labs says 4 ppm out of the tap) and usually some acid if the grain bill is not very dark.

I am very happy that we have such good water, but I know that there are others who are not so fortunate. I understand the need to go RO and add stuff back in. I add water additions as the water is heating (usually around 120 - 130 F)  because I know that some things don't dissolve well at lower temperatures. If the water becomes a bit cloudy at that point I don't worry. Cloudy water doesn't necessarily result in cloudy beer.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Water treatment and Beer Clarity
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2021, 08:45:46 am »
We always (ALWAYS) treat our water. It is city tap water that is some of the finest, purest water in the world. However, that doesn't mean that it is the best brewing water. It is very low in all minerals, so we always need to add calcium (Ward labs says it is 5 ppm out of the tap). Depending on the brew we may also need to add sulfate (Ward labs says the water is 1 ppm out of the tap) or chloride (Ward labs says 4 ppm out of the tap) and usually some acid if the grain bill is not very dark.

I am very happy that we have such good water, but I know that there are others who are not so fortunate. I understand the need to go RO and add stuff back in. I add water additions as the water is heating (usually around 120 - 130 F)  because I know that some things don't dissolve well at lower temperatures. If the water becomes a bit cloudy at that point I don't worry. Cloudy water doesn't necessarily result in cloudy beer.
Actually, gypsum solubility decreases as temperature goes up. It's solubility does increase in the presence of sodium. I add my brewing salts, lactic acid, and gallotannin into my cold tap water the night before brewing. I use kosher salt for chloride up to about 50ppm of sodium. If I want additional chloride at that point I use CaCl2, and I use gypsum for my sulfate. The next morning my Foundry is set to heat up to strike temp before I wake up. By the time it comes up to temp, I don't see anything undissolved in the kettle. I figure I'm getting the cold-soluble and warm soluble salts into solution at that point.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Water treatment and Beer Clarity
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2021, 03:59:37 pm »
OK, the decreasing gypsum solubility is a red herring. At the concentrations brewers typically use, the decrease in solubility doesn’t even come into play. Don’t worry about it.

Yes, water can be cloudy when you’re mixing it up to get your salts to dissolve. But it should clear after a couple minutes of stirring. The other time I see water getting cloudy is when the water temperature is rising past about 180F and the CO2 starts to come out of solution. But that clears up too.

Ultimately, there should be no reason why brewing water should not be clear.
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Offline Cliffs

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Re: Water treatment and Beer Clarity
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2021, 04:07:55 pm »
We always (ALWAYS) treat our water. It is city tap water that is some of the finest, purest water in the world. However, that doesn't mean that it is the best brewing water. It is very low in all minerals, so we always need to add calcium (Ward labs says it is 5 ppm out of the tap). Depending on the brew we may also need to add sulfate (Ward labs says the water is 1 ppm out of the tap) or chloride (Ward labs says 4 ppm out of the tap) and usually some acid if the grain bill is not very dark.

I am very happy that we have such good water, but I know that there are others who are not so fortunate. I understand the need to go RO and add stuff back in. I add water additions as the water is heating (usually around 120 - 130 F)  because I know that some things don't dissolve well at lower temperatures. If the water becomes a bit cloudy at that point I don't worry. Cloudy water doesn't necessarily result in cloudy beer.
im so jealous of your tap water. Mine is a blend of two sources that changes daily, and both sources are incredibly hard