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Old 03-17-2013, 11:13 PM   #1
JusticeAle
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Default American Brown Water Chemistry (R/0)

Hey everyone, just been getting use to the water chemistry aspect of brewing. I read the primer and so far my brews have been going quite well following the instructions on the primer. I have a R/O system so I use pure R/O and build the water with mineral additions.

So I've typically been making pale ales, ipa's, and amber's doing 1tsp per 5 gal of calcium chloride and sometimes 1tsp per 5gal of gypsum.

Now I want to brew Janet's Brown ale however I found that tastyMcD(the creator) uses a water profile far different from what the primer suggests. I subtracted 1.5lb of 2row from the recipe because of my systems efficiency. The original weight is 12lb. The grain bill is as follows:

10.5 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row)
1.25 lbs. Cara-Pils
1.25 lbs. Crystal 40L
1.00 lbs. Wheat Malt
0.50 lbs. Chocolate Malt

His water profile is this: Ca-110ppm, Mg-18ppm, Na-17ppm, SO4-350ppm, Cl-50ppm

So I used the EZwater calculator spreadsheet and it seems like it takes a lot of minerals to get to the profile from straight R/O. I'm concerned whether I'd be adding way to much and screwing up the beer when I know I could just throw come Calcium chloride/gypsum and call it a day. What tears at me is I really want to brew it exactly as the recipe/water profile suggests.

Here are the numbers I get which are pretty close to the above profile. Please let me know what you think. Thank you!

Ca-109ppm, Mg-17ppm, Na-16ppm, SO4-273ppm, Cl-48ppm

The total amount of water is 9.35gal. The weights are as follows:
3.5g Calcium Chloride, 6.6g Epsom salt, 2.1g Baking soda, 12.7g Gypsum

Effective Alkalinity is 35. Estimated PH at room temp is 5.54

Isn't that way too much minerals? I mean that's pretty much 25g worth of addition's

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Old 03-18-2013, 12:39 AM   #2
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Its not a surprise. The levels you have estimated are appropriate. I suggest that you might need a little alkalinity to keep the mash pH from dropping too low, but it shouldn't be too bad as-is. Assuming the brewing and ferment go well, this should be a tasty beer.

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Old 03-18-2013, 06:09 AM   #3
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Yes, that is a lot of minerals. The Primer is minimalist on the presumption that most people find less is more when adding minerals to water but there are exceptions. The question as to whether these additions are too much or not is entirely up to you to decide based on tasting the beer. The Primer is also supposed to represent a starting point i.e. a point from which you should step off in seeking the ideal set of additions depending on what your brewing goals are. I usually advise people to start low and work up.

You probably do not want the bicarbonate as there is a chance that your pH will be too high if you include it. There is also a chance it will be too low if you don't. The only way to be sure is to use a pH meter and do a test mash.

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Old 03-18-2013, 05:31 PM   #4
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Thank you for your responses. Both were very informative and lead me to make up 1 gallon worth of the above water profile in order to drink some and see how I feel about the taste before brewing with it.

.4g gypsum, .1g calcium chloride, .1g Epsom salt, .05 baking soda. which comes out to this:

Ca-125ppm, Mg-10ppm, Na-14ppm, SO4-277ppm, Cl-51ppm

It's not exactly the same but it's pretty close to what I plan to use for the brown ale and the measurements were made easy.

So i drank a glass and honestly thought it tasted quite good so i drank another glass because i was thirsty So far so good.

Based off of the responses and my opinion I'm going to try and brew with the profile I came up with. The only thing i might change is knocking the baking soda out of the equation in fear of a pH that is too high. I have my pH meter so I'll have to do a test and see what happens. Thanks again for your time mabrungard and ajdelange. I'll post back my pH reading later today, and about the taste of the brew a few weeks from now.

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Old 03-19-2013, 12:31 AM   #5
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As I suspected, the amount of alkalinity needed for that grist was likely to be quite small. You could easily skip it. If you have a pH meter, I wouldn't add it until after you've tested the pH. If its lower than desired, then add it.

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Old 03-19-2013, 05:09 PM   #6
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Hey everyone so far the wort tastes great and I omitted the baking soda from the profile. Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to check pH as I forgot too while brewing. Oops. I can say this though. Lately my system has jumped from 70% to 75% because of biermunchers hybrid fly sparge technique. For this brew the efficiency went up 78%-80%! I'm assuming this might very well be a result of the mash being in the right pH range. I was shooting for 70% since it was only my 2nd hybrid fly sparge. Wanted 1.066 but got about 1.078! Guess i brewed the imperial version. Oh well

image-2117611595.jpg

Thanks again for the help. Here's my amber. Made a toast during brew day. Heres to you HBT.

image-3438395804.jpg

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