Author Topic: When you've adjusted your brewing water, what was the outcome?  (Read 1254 times)

Offline goose

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Re: When you've adjusted your brewing water, what was the outcome?
« Reply #30 on: March 25, 2021, 01:57:19 PM »
Just a follow up.. Ended up talking with a guy from the city water department. He said when people call about salty water it's usually an issue with their water softener. I had the recharge on it set for the afternoon (newborn used to wake up at night when it would recharge) which is likely the problem. He explained any water use during the recharge can cause the system to suck up brine into the plumbing. Not sure how long it will take to clear up or if something might be leaking back during recharge. I've had to replace a few parts on it in the past so it might be dying of old age. Dunno.

The city water guy also sent some some test strips to determine which lines in the house are softened and which are not. I didn't know it was typical to plumb softened water through the cold taps. Yes, the laundry room has softened water on the cold tap I was using for my brewing water so need to find a new tap to get my brewing water from.

Decided for now just to get some distilled water for brewing. The last batch I brewed (IPA) was 7.5 gal of total water. I added (per the brewersfriend.com water calc) some gypsum, phosphoric acid, (ironically) salt, and some Calcium Chloride. Same recipe I've brewed six times now. The difference in flavor and aroma is amazing. The hops really come through and I get what some people mean by a "crisp" flavor to their beer. There's a nice aftertaste of hop flavor and it stays on your tongue for a bit too. Didn't get any of that before.

I had an issue with salty water when my softener was recharging.  It was a problem with the softener which was almost 20 year old.  It uses water pressure to recharge rather than electricity and has two resin tanks. When it recharges it uses soft water to flush one of the resin tanks and flushes the other on the next recharge cycle (cool idea).  The softener was well past its useful life so we replaced it and the salty water issue during the recharge went away.

That said, I can't brew with my well water since it has back manganese in it which kills the yeast and makes thee beer taste like crap.  I only use RO water (yes I have one of those as well) and build my water profiles from there.
Have you tried Brewtan B? I have quite a bit of manganese and iron in my well water, and when I started treating with gallotannin my flavor issues went away.

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I could use that, but my water sucks over 400 grains of hardness.  It is easier to just use RO and build my water profile with Bru'n Water.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: When you've adjusted your brewing water, what was the outcome?
« Reply #31 on: March 25, 2021, 07:17:05 PM »
That said, I can't brew with my well water since it has back manganese in it which kills the yeast and makes thee beer taste like crap.  I only use RO water (yes I have one of those as well) and build my water profiles from there.
Have you tried Brewtan B? I have quite a bit of manganese and iron in my well water, and when I started treating with gallotannin my flavor issues went away.

I could use that, but my water sucks over 400 grains of hardness.  It is easier to just use RO and build my water profile with Bru'n Water.
That makes sense. I'm lucky that my well water is fairly soft, and once I chelate the iron and manganese it makes a nice starting point for most beers.

It's pretty trippy waking up on brew day to see my brewing water purplish blue. It's not unlike as if someone added a few drops of iron gall ink to the water. But it all seems to fall out with the trub, and the flavor difference is remarkable.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline beersk

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Re: When you've adjusted your brewing water, what was the outcome?
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2021, 04:36:34 PM »
That said, I can't brew with my well water since it has back manganese in it which kills the yeast and makes thee beer taste like crap.  I only use RO water (yes I have one of those as well) and build my water profiles from there.
Have you tried Brewtan B? I have quite a bit of manganese and iron in my well water, and when I started treating with gallotannin my flavor issues went away.

I could use that, but my water sucks over 400 grains of hardness.  It is easier to just use RO and build my water profile with Bru'n Water.
That makes sense. I'm lucky that my well water is fairly soft, and once I chelate the iron and manganese it makes a nice starting point for most beers.

It's pretty trippy waking up on brew day to see my brewing water purplish blue. It's not unlike as if someone added a few drops of iron gall ink to the water. But it all seems to fall out with the trub, and the flavor difference is remarkable.
I assume you're using Brewtan B to chelate those metals?

To the original post, I think adjusting the water does make a difference, especially if you want your hops to pop more or if you want malt to shine more. It matters. But that's been said already... I just remember the first beer I ever used RO water for with salts...that was one of the best beers I had brewed to date. That was 10 years ago. Previous to that I was just using tap water and I don't think I even knew to treat for chlorine/chloramines yet. I don't remember the beers ever having any phenols from that thankfully.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: When you've adjusted your brewing water, what was the outcome?
« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2021, 06:35:03 PM »
That said, I can't brew with my well water since it has back manganese in it which kills the yeast and makes thee beer taste like crap.  I only use RO water (yes I have one of those as well) and build my water profiles from there.
Have you tried Brewtan B? I have quite a bit of manganese and iron in my well water, and when I started treating with gallotannin my flavor issues went away.

I could use that, but my water sucks over 400 grains of hardness.  It is easier to just use RO and build my water profile with Bru'n Water.
That makes sense. I'm lucky that my well water is fairly soft, and once I chelate the iron and manganese it makes a nice starting point for most beers.

It's pretty trippy waking up on brew day to see my brewing water purplish blue. It's not unlike as if someone added a few drops of iron gall ink to the water. But it all seems to fall out with the trub, and the flavor difference is remarkable.
I assume you're using Brewtan B to chelate those metals?
I actually use a product for winemakers called "FT Blanc Soft" by Scott Labs. When the info on BTB was first making the rounds, but the product wasn't readily available at the homebrewer level, I started looking at gallotannin products marketed to winemakers. This product is specifically to reduce oxidation in white wines, so I rolled the dice and gave it a try with great results. I assume that BTB will work just as well, if not better. But at my usage rates, I have a few years supply of the FT Blanc on hand and no great impetus to change.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: When you've adjusted your brewing water, what was the outcome?
« Reply #34 on: March 27, 2021, 10:37:47 PM »
I started messing with water chemistry when I lived in Texas because the tap water was awful and drinking water seemed to make bland beer. I dipped into the shallow end of water chemistry to be able to buy distilled or RO water and build suitable drinking water. I rely fairly heavily on Bru'n Water and know enough to tweak profiles for the styles I generally brew. I'm happy with the results so I keep doing it. I like the repeatability of the process even if it is slightly more expensive to buy RO than adjusting tap water.
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