Author Topic: Water adjustments  (Read 493 times)

Offline matt.critchlow

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Water adjustments
« on: January 24, 2011, 02:10:05 PM »
Hi,

I'm getting started on all grain and trying to make some sense of all the information on this forum and others regarding making the water adjustments necessary for a certain style. Based on my water report, my numbers are below. As far I can tell, I'm in the ballpark enough to brew IPA's/Ambers without much trouble. My concerns are my high Chloride, Sulfate and Alkalinity numbers. It seems I might need to dilute with distilled water to do stouts/porters. Would you all agree?

my water report: http://olivenhain.com/files/docs/publications/WEB_OMWD_CCR2009.pdf

Starting Water (ppm):         
Ca:   61     
Mg:   24     
Na:   95     
Cl:   110     
SO4:   200     
CaCO3:   120
PH: 8.8

Cheers,

Matt

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Water adjustments
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2011, 03:49:59 PM »
It looks like this water is fairly well suited to brewing American Ales.  The magnesium content is a little high, but passable.  The sodium, sulfate and chloride levels are kind of steep but not unbrewable.  A moderate dilution of about 50% wouldn't be a bad idea.  That dilution would drop the calcium a bit too low and you might consider adding either CaCl or gypsum depending on the brewing goals.  In general, I would only consider gypsum when brewing a fairly hoppy style since the sulfates are high as is.

If you're brewing a very pale beer, then 0.1 mL of 88% lactic acid per gallon of mash water is suggested to counter the alkalinity.  I'd suggest adding 0.3 grams of CaCl per gallon to bump the calcium back up after dilution. 

This water would do a good job for an American Brown or Amber without much adjustment at all. A little more alkalinity might be needed for a black beer, but I would try it without first. 

Its not a terrible water, but its going to be tough to brew lighter or delicate styles with the high Na, Cl, and SO4.   
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Offline matt.critchlow

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Re: Water adjustments
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2011, 04:42:04 PM »
Thanks for the advice! If at all possible, I'm hoping to use as much of my own water as possible. I'm going to filter and use campden tablets because I confirmed my water does have chloramines. I guess what I was struggling with are the high numbers vs ratios.

Also my water seems to have a pretty high PH. If doing batch sparging, would you recommend using lactic acid for the sparge/boil water to get it down a bit? I've read that can be a big deal for fly sparging (tannin extraction) but not as much for batch.

So if you were brewing an IPA with my water you would still add gypsum? I guess a few grams would put my water towards the very edge of the Chloride to Sulfur ratio at around .50.

I've made stouts/porters in the past that have seemed pretty one dimensional, but that was using extract so I might have had a crazy mineral count between my water and the re-hydrated extract minerals. Perhaps doing my own mashing will bring out better flavors.

I really appreciate your input, I think I'll start with a hoppy pale ale and then take it from there.

It looks like this water is fairly well suited to brewing American Ales.  The magnesium content is a little high, but passable.  The sodium, sulfate and chloride levels are kind of steep but not unbrewable.  A moderate dilution of about 50% wouldn't be a bad idea.  That dilution would drop the calcium a bit too low and you might consider adding either CaCl or gypsum depending on the brewing goals.  In general, I would only consider gypsum when brewing a fairly hoppy style since the sulfates are high as is.

If you're brewing a very pale beer, then 0.1 mL of 88% lactic acid per gallon of mash water is suggested to counter the alkalinity.  I'd suggest adding 0.3 grams of CaCl per gallon to bump the calcium back up after dilution. 

This water would do a good job for an American Brown or Amber without much adjustment at all. A little more alkalinity might be needed for a black beer, but I would try it without first. 

Its not a terrible water, but its going to be tough to brew lighter or delicate styles with the high Na, Cl, and SO4.