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Old 06-09-2009, 09:43 PM   #1
jeepmarine71
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Default brewing water adjustments

I have been wanting to nail down a water adjustment "recpie" if you will for a porter/ stout. My tap water is frustrating because my city dosent test for the minerals we need to look for. But my water is hardish, Hardness is around 110-140 my pale ales come out pretty good though. I brewed a cherry stout recipe a while back and it was a little ackrid, and i was afraid my tap water was at fault. This was before I used a camden tablet to drive off the clorine/cloramines so maybe it was that.

I kinda wanted to start with ro/ deionized water and add minerals for my next stout batch, 5 gal. Do you guys do that? If so could you help me find out much by tsp.'s of salts to add.

What do you think of buffer 5.2?



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Old 06-09-2009, 10:06 PM   #2
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If you're interested google WARD LABS. Many folks here have used them to get water tested. Cost about $16 or so. With the info I received from the test I used one of Palmer's spreadsheets to determine what I need to add and how much.



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Old 06-09-2009, 11:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepmarine71 View Post
I have been wanting to nail down a water adjustment "recpie" if you will for a porter/ stout. My tap water is frustrating because my city dosent test for the minerals we need to look for. But my water is hardish, Hardness is around 110-140 my pale ales come out pretty good though. I brewed a cherry stout recipe a while back and it was a little ackrid, and i was afraid my tap water was at fault. This was before I used a camden tablet to drive off the clorine/cloramines so maybe it was that.

I kinda wanted to start with ro/ deionized water and add minerals for my next stout batch, 5 gal. Do you guys do that? If so could you help me find out much by tsp.'s of salts to add.

What do you think of buffer 5.2?


Brew strong,
Shad Rogers
You're flying blind until you know what's in your water. If you can't get a mineral report from the water department take Kilted Brewer's advice and get your own test done. Re 5.2, IMO it's like putting a quick coat of paint on a weathered house. Initially it looks like the problem is solved but it has only been covered up. Unless your water is very unusual you should be able to make some simple adjustments and additions to properly brew any beer style. Doing this will give the beer the right mineral profile and a correct mash pH.
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:09 PM   #4
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One method is to find the water analysis of the beer style that you are trying to copy. For instance, Pilsen has the characteristics:

Ca 7.00
Mg 3.00
Na 3.20
S04 5.80
Cl 5.00
HC03 9.00

You can then find the published water analysis of different types of bottled water. For instance:

Ice Mountain
Ca 1.30
Mg 1.30
Na 1.10
S04 4.70
Cl 1.10
HC03 46.10

Aquafina
Ca 35.00
Mg 22.00
Na 11.00
S04 8.00
Cl 71.00
HC03 46.00

Then with a little math, you can figure out how much bottled water to mix with RO or distilled water to approximate the region's water analysis. Now if you are going for a really hard water, it may be a little more difficult to find a bottled water with the appropriate degree of hardness, and so you would need to manually add minerals.

I was able to pretty closely match Pilsen by mixing Aquafina and distilled at a ratio of 1/4.

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Old 06-10-2009, 04:41 PM   #5
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I’ve started using distilled water and building from scratch; it’s not that hard, a bit confusing at first.

Stout water and porter water are going to be close but still a bit different. For example google a water report for Dublin for a stout and for a porter google a London water report.

You can use ProMash’s water analysis if you have it; they’ve got built in water reports and a water recipie calculator. Don’t worry about matching the water perfectly it’s almost impossible. Just try and get close and keep the ratios close.

Few things to keep in mind:
Grams don’t convert well to tsp/tblsp so be sure to see here for conversions How to Brew - By John Palmer - Using Salts for Brewing Water Adjustment
note the grams to level teaspoons

Add your salts to the mash and mix in.

Note the volume of your first runnings.

Sparge and bring up to finale preboil volume.

Subtract the first running volume from the preboil volume and add enough salts to make up the difference. For example = 7 gallon preboil volume - 3 gallon first runnings = enough salts to compensate for the 4 gallons.

Add the salts before the boil starts. I once added salts for 3.5 gallons directly into a rolling boil and it foamed up and over the kettle.

Hope this helps!

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Old 06-10-2009, 05:23 PM   #6
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Subtract the first running volume from the preboil volume and add enough salts to make up the difference. For example = 7 gallon preboil volume - 3 gallon first runnings = enough salts to compensate for the 4 gallons.
I don't understand, why can't I just add salts for the 7 gallons of preboil volume from the beginning of the mash
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Old 06-10-2009, 05:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Piotr View Post
I don't understand, why can't I just add salts for the 7 gallons of preboil volume from the beginning of the mash
Many of the salts will dissolve in distilled water. Once they're mixed in the mash and the ph starts to drop the salts will dissolve.

I usually use about 9-10 gallons of water for a standard 6 gallon end of boil batch. It I mixed all the salts and water ahead of time some of the salts would drop out and never make it into the mash.

No real need to mix the salts into the sparge water as the ph of distilled water should settle out to an acceptable level for sparging without the salts.
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Old 06-10-2009, 05:54 PM   #8
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John Palmer suggest adding salts to your mash to get your pH in order, then another addition to the boil to reach your overall target. The addition to the boil is the make-up amount in order to get your salt levels for flavor in order.



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