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Old 01-22-2011, 02:55 PM   #1
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Default Alkalinity and Hops

I'm going to be brewing Yooper's Surly Furious, and was wondering about my RA and how it interacts with hops. My past IPA beers have had a harsh bitterness and wondered if it is coming from my alkalinity. My version of her recipe, SRM 16.9, looks to fit perfecly into Palmers RA for this beer (98). The IBU for it is 99.

Here is my Ward report:
Na-26
Ca-60
Mg-16
SO4-48
Cl-39
Alk CaCO3-150
Total Hard CaCO3-217

My question is; Does my harshness relate to the SRM of the beer, or the interaction of alkalinity and hops? Would you dilute this with some RO?

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Old 01-22-2011, 03:01 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Dog House Brew View Post
I'm going to be brewing Yooper's Surly Furious, and was wondering about my RA and how it interacts with hops. My past IPA beers have had a harsh bitterness and wondered if it is coming from my alkalinity. My version of her recipe, SRM 16.9, looks to fit perfecly into Palmers RA for this beer (98). The IBU for it is 99.

Here is my Ward report:
Na-26
Ca-60
Mg-16
SO4-48
Cl-39
Alk CaCO3-150
Total Hard CaCO3-217

My question is; Does my harshness relate to the SRM of the beer, or the interaction of alkalinity and hops? Would you dilute this with some RO?
I dilute my water with about 50% RO to lower my alkalinity. When I make this beer, here is the water I use:

Ca- 55
mg- 13
Na- 4
So4- 52
Cl- 32
HCo3- 114

I get that by a dilution of 50/50 and adding 2 grams gypsum and 2 grams CaCl2.
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Old 01-22-2011, 03:08 PM   #3
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I'm going to be brewing Yooper's Surly Furious, and was wondering about my RA and how it interacts with hops. My past IPA beers have had a harsh bitterness and wondered if it is coming from my alkalinity.
Some of it but indirectly. Water this alkaline will result in high mash pH which can lead to rough/harsh flavors. But I'm guessing that the major contributor is the sulfate which is actually at 144 mg/L (Ward Labs numbers as sulfur need to be multiplied by 3.

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Originally Posted by Dog House Brew View Post
My version of her recipe, SRM 16.9, looks to fit perfecly into Palmers RA for this beer (98).
SRM actually has little to do with it.

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Originally Posted by Dog House Brew View Post
My question is; Does my harshness relate to the SRM of the beer, or the interaction of alkalinity and hops? Would you dilute this with some RO?
As noted above, not the SRM, somewhat from the alkalinity and mostly from the sulfate. As such, a 1:1 or 2:1 dilution with some supplemental calcium chloride should fix you up. See Primer in the Brew Science stickies area
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Old 01-22-2011, 03:26 PM   #4
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I forgot to add that I did multiply my Sulfate by 3. On my report was 16 so my 48 in acurate, sorry.

You may be correct that it came from the mash ph. I didn't check my ph on those batches. My beers have greatly improved, even though I haven't brewed a low srm beer. That would directly correlate with mash ph, which I have checked.

Just another thanks for helping all of us in trying to understand brewing water. I can see where it takes years of working with it, to get it, but I can say the improvements associated with mash ph and water have been pretty incredible. Thanks again...............until the next question.

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Old 01-22-2011, 03:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I dilute my water with about 50% RO to lower my alkalinity. When I make this beer, here is the water I use:

Ca- 55
mg- 13
Na- 4
So4- 52
Cl- 32
HCo3- 114

I get that by a dilution of 50/50 and adding 2 grams gypsum and 2 grams CaCl2.
Yoop it looks like we have about the same water. I'm looking forward to this recipe. Never had Furious, but it looks like an awesome brew. Have to make adjustments in the hops to use what I have.
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Old 01-22-2011, 03:43 PM   #6
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Yoop it looks like we have about the same water. I'm looking forward to this recipe. Never had Furious, but it looks like an awesome brew. Have to make adjustments in the hops to use what I have.
Yeah, very similar water! That's why I posted mine for you to see. Nothing fancy at all, I just wanted to get the alkalinity down. It came out really, really good with the water profile I posted!

I'm definitely no water expert- and I've been learning so much from ajdelange about water lately.
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Old 01-22-2011, 03:58 PM   #7
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Yeah, very similar water! That's why I posted mine for you to see. Nothing fancy at all, I just wanted to get the alkalinity down. It came out really, really good with the water profile I posted!

I'm definitely no water expert- and I've been learning so much from ajdelange about water lately.
There are several people on the forum you must pay some attention, ajdelange is one of them. Fortunate to have them posting on this forum
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