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Old 06-28-2011, 03:24 PM   #21
SqueegeeBob
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Originally Posted by ajf View Post
May I recommend Pale Ale by Terry Foster. He gives recommended water profiles for the recipes in the book. For each recipe, he recommends the required calcium, sulphate, and chloride, and I've found this informatory invaluable.
For a Special Bitter, he recommends Ca 50 - 100 ppm, S04 100 - 200 ppm, and Cl 20 ppm.
You may also need additional treatment to adjust the mash pH, but with my fairly soft water, I am fortunate. Adding some gypsum and a small amount of CaCl brings the pH within range and also matches Foster's recommendations.

-a.
I could actually bring my water to these levels fairly easily. About 88% distilled with .75 grams of gypsum per gallon of water (7 grams for my 9.25 gallons) would get me to this:
Ca = 52
Mg = 3
Na = 19
Cl = 24
SO4 = 127
Alkalinity = 21

Would it be wise to add .5 gram of baking soda to the mash which would raise the Na to 32 and the Alkalinity to 50? I'm a little concerned that the mash pH might be a little too acidic without it.
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:40 AM   #22
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I'm certainly not an expert on water treatment. As I said, I am fortunate with my water, and in my case the gypsum and CaCl works fine. If my pH meter is to be believed (and that is a big if), my mash pH for a bitter comes in very close to 5.4, but the alkalinity of my water is about 42. Based on what I have read, I'm not so sure that I would like to add extra Na with the high SO4 levels. My Na comes in close to 8.5 ppm, and I find that acceptable. Perhaps you could use chalk instead of baking soda, but I have no idea how much you would need to add.

-a.

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Old 07-04-2011, 11:40 PM   #23
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Just to give this thread some closure, I ended up going with 8 gallons of distilled water, 1.5 gallons of tap water, and added 4 grams each of gypsum and calcium chloride for a profile that looks like this:

Ca = 64
Mg = 4.5
Na = 25
SO4 = 81
Cl = 85
Alkalinity = 28

I ended up getting 80% efficiency and had visible signs of fermentation in less than 5 hours. I'll update once more when I know how it turned out.

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