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Old 05-17-2013, 12:31 PM   #1
mvcorliss
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Default Another "My water profile" post ...

I've waited a long time to post this but i wanted to see if I've got a handle on things after reading my way through the Primer.
Here's my profile from Wards;
CA - 18
Mg - 3
NA - 20
Cl - 30
SO4 - 12 (corrected)
HCO3 - 56
T Alk as CaCO3 - 46

My take is it's really not that bad. I can dilute down w/ RO to lower the Alkalinity and build up a little to get Ca around 50 for lighter beers. Darker (roasted malts) beers would benefit from the higher alkalinity so a dilution probably wouldn't be needed.

My pH meter is on it's way but until then this is what I've been doing, while adding acidified malt to correct mash pH (calculated by Brewer's Friend) when needed. I've never, so far, had to increase my pH.

Without getting into too much minutia and realizing everything is adjusted according to taste, is that about right. Or have I overlooked something.

I think the biggest thing I've gotten form all of the Primer discussions is that in order to progress you need to make measurements along the way and then EVALUATE THE RESULTS BY TASTING! There is no perfect set rules for "do this and that and all will be fine for everyone". Ya got to learn, test, taste and tweak!

Thanks to all,
Michael



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Old 05-17-2013, 01:41 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mvcorliss View Post
CA - 18
Mg - 3
NA - 20
Cl - 30
SO4 - 12 (corrected)
HCO3 - 56
T Alk as CaCO3 - 46


My take is it's really not that bad.
No, not bad at all. We generally start to worry when alkalinity is over 50.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvcorliss View Post
I can dilute down w/ RO to lower the Alkalinity and build up a little to get Ca around 50 for lighter beers. Darker (roasted malts) beers would benefit from the higher alkalinity so a dilution probably wouldn't be needed.
A bit of sauermalz (2-3% for the light beers) and you'll be set.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mvcorliss View Post
Without getting into too much minutia and realizing everything is adjusted according to taste, is that about right. Or have I overlooked something.

I think the biggest thing I've gotten form all of the Primer discussions is that in order to progress you need to make measurements along the way and then EVALUATE THE RESULTS BY TASTING! There is no perfect set rules for "do this and that and all will be fine for everyone". Ya got to learn, test, taste and tweak!l
What you are doing is right but more important is that you understand how things work. The pH meter will be of great benefit. It should cut down the number of not-so-great experiments because you won't have any less than great beers as a result of improper pH.


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Old 05-17-2013, 02:42 PM   #3
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Super. Thanks.

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Old 05-17-2013, 03:34 PM   #4
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Another quick question. Do you think this water is OK to (batch) sparge with as is? I've been treating my mash water and leaving my sparge water alone.

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Old 05-17-2013, 05:36 PM   #5
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Most probably. The pH meter will be of benefit here too.

Another approach to dealing with alkalinity in brewing water is to dose enough acid into the water to bring the whole volume to pH 5.4 - 5.6. This completely eliminates alkalinity (or, to be more precise, the portion of it you are concerned with). This does not take care of the alkalinity of the malts (you will still need extra acid from dark malt, sauermalz, acid addition....) but it does completely deal with the water part.

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Old 05-17-2013, 09:26 PM   #6
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I like the alkalinity of sparging water to be around 25 ppm, but the 50 ppm criterion has been used for centuries. 50 ppm alkalinity is roughly what you would get if you pre-boil a water with temporary hardness and use it for sparging.

You are good now, but do try a little acidification in a future brew that you make frequently so you can see if sparging water acidification is worthwhile.

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Old 05-17-2013, 10:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
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No, not bad at all. We generally start to worry when alkalinity is over 50...
Wow, I didn't know the threshold was so low. Here in Chicago, we have alkalinity (as CaCO3) of 107, which I always thought was good. But apparently not! Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised since I'm finding I need to add a lot of sauermaltz to get the mash pH down, except on the darkest beers.


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