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Old 01-12-2013, 02:53 AM   #11
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I got 5.2 ph balancer from morebeer and campden tablets. In addition to chlorine my water has chloramine. I learned the hard way with an extract batch I had to dump.

Since this is my first AG batch I did have one other question. Do most people stir the mash to avoid hot or cold spots?

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Old 01-12-2013, 03:03 PM   #12
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Since this is my first AG batch I did have one other question. Do most people stir the mash to avoid hot or cold spots?
During mash in absolutely yes. Afterwords, once you hit your target temp, close your tun and leave the enzymes alone.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:53 PM   #13
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:29 PM   #14
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That water should work for an IPA, but the alkalinity is likely too high to allow the mash pH to settle into a desirable range. Acidification of the mash water is probably needed and acidification of the sparging water is imperative.

You should visit the Water Knowledge page of the Bru'n Water website to learn more about why you need to treat your water and what you should be doing with it.

PS: Bobbrews recommendation for more gypsum is a good idea for an IPA. 117 ppm sulfate is a little low for the typical hoppy ale. But you might like it that way.

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Old 01-12-2013, 05:55 PM   #15
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With your high alkalinity and high bicarbonate I would suggest diluting your both your mash water and your sparge water by 50% with RO or distilled water. I use EZ water, Bru N Water and Palmer's.

Throw away the 5.2 PH balancer....it's a waste of money. There are very reasonably priced Ph meters online for about $40. Mash Ph is important....I also adjust my sparge water.
My local water Ph is 8.0 and I adjust my sparge water with lactic acid. Don't adjust your mash until about 10 minutes after you dough in. Have a small bowl of ice-water handy and then take a small sample of your mash liquid. Put the mash sample into the bowl of ice water to cool it down to room temperature. The automatic temperature control (ATC) Ph meters don't do a good job at giving a good reading unless your sample is around 70°F. Also, make sure when purchasing your Ph meter that your buy the calibration solutions.

For this batch you're about to do...if you don't have a meter...with your water the way it is, at the minimum with any IPA's, Ambers, or Pale Ales dilute your mash water and spare water 50/50 with RO or distilled water. Go with it the way it is for stouts and other dark ales. With Pilsners, I'd suggest 100 % RO and then check with EZ water or what other additions to add

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Old 01-16-2013, 09:20 PM   #16
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Sulfate:Chloride ratio, rather than actual amount, are most important when determining if the hop/malt profiles dominate. You want a higher sulfate:chloride ratio to accentuate the hop profiles whereas you want a higher chloride:sulfate ratio to emphasize maltiness. From your report, it appears that you have at least 2:1 sulfate:chloride, so your water should be fine for brewing IPA's. Also, the calcium levels are high too, which will help the yeast flocculate properly.

Since it's your first batch, I recommend preheating your mash tun to eliminate excessive temperature drop from the strike water to the cooler/tun. Also, I would add your strike water first before adding grain, and then gently add grain in and stir until well mixed. Then set it and forget it for an hour to 90 minutes.

Good luck sir.

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Old 01-16-2013, 10:12 PM   #17
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Sulfate:Chloride ratio, rather than actual amount, are most important when determining if the hop/malt profiles dominate. You want a higher sulfate:chloride ratio to accentuate the hop profiles whereas you want a higher chloride:sulfate ratio to emphasize maltiness. From your report, it appears that you have at least 2:1 sulfate:chloride, so your water should be fine for brewing IPA's. Also, the calcium levels are high too, which will help the yeast flocculate properly.

Since it's your first batch, I recommend preheating your mash tun to eliminate excessive temperature drop from the strike water to the cooler/tun. Also, I would add your strike water first before adding grain, and then gently add grain in and stir until well mixed. Then set it and forget it for an hour to 90 minutes.

Good luck sir.
Unfortunately, the sulfate/chloride ratio can be quite misleading and false. It is the actual amounts of those ions that are of greater than the ratio. Nova needs to revisit that advice.

I recommend several caveats when dealing with the sulfate/chloride ratio. The first is that the ratio is most applicable when the chloride concentration is between about 25 and 100 ppm. Beyond those limits, the ratio becomes less meaningful. At the low end, the concentrations of either ion are too low to really be noticed and at the upper end, the antagonistic flavor effects of high chloride and sulfate overwhelm the beneficial effects of the ratio.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:10 AM   #18
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I'm familiar with Dr. Bamford raising question to the ratio as well, but I've never heard of a lower bound on the ratio. Nor have I seen data to support his claim that the ratio is incorrect at higher concentrations too.

Based on your claim, you don't dismiss that the ratio are still relevant. Rather you suggest that low and high concentrations either don't emphasize or dominate the beneficial effect of the ratio.

After reflecting on your comment from a solubility standpoint, I can see a limit where ion concentrations will reach a saturation point and start to precipitate out of solution. I would presume that near the saturation point, harsh tastes would be present, but the precise limits will be dependent on specific thermodynamic properties, namely temperature and pressure of solution as well as wort gravity. Therefore, I'm interested in how you arrived at these seemingly arbitrary limits of 25 - 100 ppm and preferably an explanation to why the limits exist. I'm curious to see if I'm on the correct track.

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Old 01-17-2013, 02:08 PM   #19
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No, at that upper limit, we are no where near the solubility limit. Its more an issue with the antagonistic flavor effects when both chloride and sulfate are high.

A review of the water quality from a large segment of historic brewing cities shows that there are NO instances where chloride is in excess of 150 ppm (from Bru'n Water Water Profiles). Dortmund (130ppm) and West Flanders (139ppm) have the highest chloride levels. In the case of Dortmund, its noted for its minerally taste in beers. So, it is wise for brewers to heed that limit for decent tasting beer. The 250 ppm limit for chloride in drinking water that is published by US EPA and the World Health Organization are health-based and not taste-based. There are web and print sources that say you can brew with chloride levels that high and I say that is not the recipe for good beer. 150 ppm is the upper limit if you want minerally flavor in your beers. 100 ppm is a good working chloride limit for brewing water when no minerally flavor is desirable.

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Old 01-18-2013, 04:20 AM   #20
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I really appreciate all the feedback. I've decide to try and use my tap water with some campden tablets. I want to add 2 grams of gypsum 2 grams of calcium chloride and finally 3 ml of Lactic acid. Does this seem reasonable? I was going to treat the whole 9 gallons at once with these addition then split it into the mash and sparge water. Should I go about this in a different way?

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