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Old 11-24-2013, 02:31 PM   #11
mabrungard
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I'm sold on the science even before getting to taste the beer. But I did have a poor starting point. Seeing how much yuck came out of the water makes the prep worth the effort.
It's good to hear that our efforts are worthwhile!
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Old 11-25-2013, 04:03 AM   #12
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Right on. I'll let my water sit over night and from what beer smith and brewers friend suggest I'm going add 2g gypsum and .5 gram calcium chloride. We will see what happens...to be honest this whole water thing seems to be overrated and not worth the hassle. On the other hand I'm a perfectionist...
I just started making water adjustments this last year, after brewing for nearly 20 years. I notice my beers overall are more balanced and 'flavorful'. I was particularly impressed with the way a recent stout came out. I also notice more consistent, stronger fermentations probably from the added Ca. Not really a hassle anymore; I have tracked the pH with enough different batches that I don't even measure it any more. I use the same amounts/ratio of CaCl and gypsum every time and just confirm the pH prediction with EZ Water to see if I need acid malt.
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Old 11-25-2013, 12:44 PM   #13
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I notice my beers overall are more balanced and 'flavorful'.
This is typical. Someone here or in another forum (I don't remember) said 'All the flavors are brighter'. I think that is a very good way of putting it.

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Not really a hassle anymore; I have tracked the pH with enough different batches that I don't even measure it any more.
This is perhaps the most important point of all. Once you get the hang of it you know what to do instinctively. But, IMO, it is still a good idea to check pH in the mash as there are variations between malts that can throw mash pH one way or another. I do see variability but I don't believe I have seen a case where I thought action was necessary in a long time.

Many of us are engineers and as that breed of animal is wont to do often 'overengineer' the problem with elaborate calculations, precise measurements, involved treatments (lime)... I readily admit that I am definitely one of those - probably worse than most. Eventually it is like any other art. One evolves the knack. I do firmly believe, however, that a sound grounding in the principles is necessary for that to take place.
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:03 AM   #14
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Many of us are engineers and as that breed of animal is wont to do often 'overengineer' the problem with elaborate calculations, precise measurements, involved treatments (lime)...
Eventually you have to shoot the engineer and get something done.
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:35 PM   #15
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When your water is really bad, then it's not overrated. Yesterday I brewed my first post Water book reading batch. I added calcium as gypsum and pre-boiled all my water the day before. It was a bit unnerving seeing how thick the layer of precipitates were. Theoretically I lowered my bicarbonate from 545 to 80 ppm. I decanted off the top leaving the precipitates behind. I have 4ppm iron which clearly dropped out some as well based on the vibrant orange of the waste water.

My mash pH was roughly 5.2 as targeted using beer test strip. 1.2% of the grain bill was acid malt. I dosed my sparge water with phosphoric acid to hit 6. My efficiency increased 3-4% from prior batches, actually probably higher. I ran out of sparge water and my runnings were still at 6 Brix on the refractometer. So I left plenty behind, but topped off with 4L of softened water to hit 45L preboil. My wort was extremely clear going to the BK and I got back the cold break I had become accustomed to seeing in Belgian pils malt while brewing in China with RO plus salts.

I'm sold on the science even before getting to taste the beer. But I did have a poor starting point. Seeing how much yuck came out of the water makes the prep worth the effort.
I just came home from the bar and wrote that so I really don't believe its over-rated.. its just overwhelming at first.

for what its worth, the 80206 area of Denver gets most of its water from Moffat and some from the Foothills. Just got off the phone with Denverwater.org.
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