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Old 02-06-2010, 11:00 PM   #1
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Default How can I adjust my water? (water profile included)

Ca: 57
Mg: 29
Na: 112
Cl: 205
SO4: 63

HCO3: 182

this is my water profile.
I understand that balance is strongly affected by the ratio Cl/SO4
You can see my Cl is very high.
Most water adjustment tool show that this water profile is good for malty amber beer. I find that quite true - these are the best beers I've made.
If I'd like to shift the balance the other way, could I just add some SO4 ? (by using gypsum) or will these concentrations be too much?

If I'll add 4 grams gypsum , EZ spreadsheet says this:
Ca: 110
Mg: 29
Na: 112
Cl: 205
SO4: 194

CaCO3: 149

so I get about 1:1 ratio, like London water ( but at 6 times the ppm ).

Is this addition a good idea for British beers?
thanks

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Old 02-06-2010, 11:38 PM   #2
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I'm only a novice water mixer but as for Cl ion being high, here is what Palmer says:

Chloride (Cl-1)
Atomic Weight = 35.4
Equivalent Weight = 35.4
Brewing Range = 0-250 ppm.
The chloride ion also accentuates the flavor and fullness of beer. Concentrations above 300 ppm (from heavily chlorinated water or residual bleach sanitizer) can lead to mediciney flavors due to chlorophenol compounds.

If you want to bring it down you can dilute with RO or distilled water. But, it looks like you are in range.

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Old 02-07-2010, 02:59 AM   #3
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According to Promash, London water has:
Cl 18 PPM
SO4 58 PPM.
That's hardly 1:1

According to Terry Foster - Pale Ale, for British ales the Cl:SO4 ratio should be between 1:5 and 1:10, or about 1:6 to 1:13 for hoppy beers (IPA's).
He also recommends SO4 of 100 - 200 ppm for normal beers, or 200 - 300 ppm for the hoppy beers (IPA's).
I find that these recommendations are very good, but with your Cl content, you would need to dilute your water with RO or distilled water, and then treat with gypsum, to meet the recommendations.

-a.

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Old 02-07-2010, 04:54 PM   #4
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I've seen several London numbers, I wonder what the real numbers are and are we even talking about the same source in London. Beersmith as CL at 60 and SO4 at 77. http://www.brewersfriend.com/water-chemistry/ an online calculator has CL at 10 and SO4 at 24. TH's spread sheet has CL at 34 and SO at 32..So there are three examplese of almost 1:1 and 1:2 ... all don't agree with Foster (and I agree he is an authority on the subject worthy of great respect)- so you can see why we have been lead astray. A few important things would be one, figure out which is the correct water we want to make English bitters and pale ales. What is the source water. I think we would find that breweries modify their existing water anyhow. The best thing to do is use the EZ cal. (TH's) spreadsheet and get your water where the RA is correct for your SRM and the CL/SO4 is where you need for a balanced/bitter/very bitter/malty/very malty brew. CL/SO4 of .5-.8 gets you bitter and seems to work great for me.

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Old 02-07-2010, 06:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Netflyer View Post
The best thing to do is use the EZ cal. (TH's) spreadsheet and get your water where the RA is correct for your SRM and the CL/SO4 is where you need for a balanced/bitter/very bitter/malty/very malty brew. CL/SO4 of .5-.8 gets you bitter and seems to work great for me.
But that's exactly my question...
If I want to get my CL/SO4 to 0.8 (by adding gypsum) , I'll get:
Ca: 137
Mg: 29
Na: 112
Cl: 205
SO4: 260
CaCO3: 149

so I get my ratio , but maybe the high ion concentration has some disadvantages?
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Old 02-07-2010, 06:28 PM   #6
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Read this page:

http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter15-1.html

Look at all the ion's and their 'brewing ranges' at a glance your SO4 is way too high so I'd follow ajf's advice and dilute or replace your water with distilled or RO water.

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Old 02-10-2010, 05:04 PM   #7
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I know I have a not-so-good water profile, but I can't afford buying water...
it increases my batch price by about 60%.

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Old 02-10-2010, 07:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohad View Post
But that's exactly my question...
If I want to get my CL/SO4 to 0.8 (by adding gypsum) , I'll get:
Ca: 137
Mg: 29
Na: 112
Cl: 205
SO4: 260
CaCO3: 149

so I get my ratio , but maybe the high ion concentration has some disadvantages?
You do have a somewhat high concentration of CL and SO4, but it looks like they are well within the recommended brewing range. IMO you're fine with 4 grams of gypsum, I would say MgSO4, but you're already pushing the upper limits of the range with your starting water.
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:15 PM   #9
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If water prices are so high, it's worth trying a batch with the gypsum to move the Cl / SO4 ratio, and seeing if you notice any downsides from a higher ion concentration.

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Old 02-10-2010, 08:24 PM   #10
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Actually, acc. to Terry Foster SO4 up to 290 is fine for hoppy bitters. So, go for it and let us know how it turns out!

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