Author Topic: Hops and malt.... a delicate balance  (Read 2882 times)

Offline brewmichigan

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Re: Hops and malt.... a delicate balance
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2011, 08:03:32 PM »
I think you need to back off on the gypsum.  My own water is 100ppm sulfate and I could never get a really good malty flavor even with a generous chloride addition to balance the sulfate.  I've since gone to RO water and keep my sulfate down to 50ppm and with 50-100ppm chloride I'm getting much better malt flavors.

What about having the sulfate levels stay where they are and increase the chloride levels? I've never messed with chloride levels, I usually just rely on the gypsum to adjust my calcium levels.
Mike --- Flint, Michigan

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Hops and malt.... a delicate balance
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2011, 08:32:08 PM »
I think you need to back off on the gypsum.  My own water is 100ppm sulfate and I could never get a really good malty flavor even with a generous chloride addition to balance the sulfate.  I've since gone to RO water and keep my sulfate down to 50ppm and with 50-100ppm chloride I'm getting much better malt flavors.

What about having the sulfate levels stay where they are and increase the chloride levels? I've never messed with chloride levels, I usually just rely on the gypsum to adjust my calcium levels.

Lennie has a point here.  Matt Bryndelson of FW says they start with RO water and get the Ca up to about 100 ppm by adjusting the SO4 to 100 ppm with gypsum, and the Cl up to 100 ppm with CaCl2.  Use Brunwater to do this for your water, as best you can, and see if it helps.

On Michigan water - mine is at 364 ppm bicarbonate.  A friend in Kalamazoo says they run about 400 ppm.  Ever wonder why Bells has a bunch of porter and stout in the portfolio?   ;)
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Hops and malt.... a delicate balance
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2011, 01:31:47 AM »

What about having the sulfate levels stay where they are and increase the chloride levels? I've never messed with chloride levels, I usually just rely on the gypsum to adjust my calcium levels.

That's the recipe for alka seltzer beer.  You can't add your way out of too much of another ion.  If the sulfate is too high, you're better off diluting the water to bring that ion down.  Of course if you're adding gypsum or epsom, then backing off those additions might be a good idea. 
 
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Offline richardt

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Re: Hops and malt.... a delicate balance
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2011, 01:41:07 PM »
I agree--keep the flavor ions well under 100 ppm.  Which ones are flavor ions?  Basically all of them except calcium.
Some, like Mg create problems if their concentrations go higher than 25-30 ppm.
Significantly dilute the treated local water with at least 50% RO, or just start with RO and build the desired water profile.
Use CaCl2 to get your calcium levels above 40 ppm

Your water has too much carbonates and sulfates, IMO.  So you have to do something to make it better. 
As Martin says, dilution is the solution, adding more salts to balance is not.

I'd stick to building water with RO and CaCl2 and iodine-free NaCl to get your Ca, Na, and Cl levels where they need to be. 
Mg you can get from the grist.  And I'd use Martin's Bru'n water program to figure how much, if any, chalk, epsom salt, and/or gypsum you need to add to the mash and sparge to get the pH where it needs to be.

I've had good success with aromatic/melanoiden malts to increase maltiness in my APA's and IPA's.