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Old 03-05-2012, 08:31 PM   #1
Brewskii
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Default Doc Palmers water salts!!

Brew strong's last q and a episode stole my idea! Why, if people brew with RO water which is readily available and the same no matter who or where you are,, doesn't someone have a standardized 5 gallon batch of water chemicals pre-packaged or at least a recipie for each style you want to brew!

Certainly someone has thought of this before?

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Old 03-05-2012, 08:47 PM   #2
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I have thought of this exactly and creating a small business doing so. My idea was to have different packages for different styles. One for pale ales, stouts, etc. or copying a city's profile like London, pilsen, or even Burton on Trent

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Old 03-05-2012, 08:49 PM   #3
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I use these in my english ales.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/b...ter-salts.html

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Old 03-05-2012, 10:26 PM   #4
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Yes, I have used Burtonizing salts before but there is a large amount of water chemistry out there that is untapped

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Old 03-05-2012, 10:27 PM   #5
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Sure, thought of it years ago and even approached my LHBS guy to see if he was interested. The problems that he mentioned were that the chemicals would have to be food grade. No problem with that but then he raised the issue that the packaging would have to be done on equipment certified for food handling in a facility certified for food handling, that inspectors would have to inspect the facility etc. That was enough to scare me off.

Beyond which I realized that chasing profiles was not the way to make the best beer, that most profiles were bogus etc. But 5.2 still sells like hotcakes so I suppose AJ's water salts might have sold.

A big problem in addition to finding realizable profiles (many of the popular ones aren't) is that most water contains calcium bicarbonate and I can't buy calcium bicarbonate. The only way to properly simulate such water is to add calcium carbonate and bubble CO2 through it. Few would be customers would be willing to do that (and I don't blame them as it's a waste of time in general). If you take out the calcium carbonate you can't get a good match because you aren't doing what nature did. Bottom line - it's not practical.

Recipes I also have going back so far that they were generated using simulated annealing under FORTRAN and running 20 of them took an overnight on my very primitive (by today's standards) Mac laptop. They are still available at www.wetnewf.org but whether you buy the salts pre-measured or measure them out yourself you are still wasting your time and a lot of effort.

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Old 03-05-2012, 10:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange
Sure, thought of it years ago and even approached my LHBS guy to see if he was interested. The problems that he mentioned were that the chemicals would have to be food grade. No problem with that but then he raised the issue that the packaging would have to be done on equipment certified for food handling in a facility certified for food handling, that inspectors would have to inspect the facility etc. That was enough to scare me off.

Beyond which I realized that chasing profiles was not the way to make the best beer, that most profiles were bogus etc. But 5.2 still sells like hotcakes so I suppose AJ's water salts might have sold.

A big problem in addition to finding realizable profiles (many of the popular ones aren't) is that most water contains calcium bicarbonate and I can't buy calcium bicarbonate. The only way to properly simulate such water is to add calcium carbonate and bubble CO2 through it. Few would be customers would be willing to do that (and I don't blame them as it's a waste of time in general). If you take out the calcium carbonate you can't get a good match because you aren't doing what nature did. Bottom line - it's not practical.
Surely there is some payoff for modding your water chemistry or there would be no threads on it. If it's not practical and people don't do it, that's one thing but people DO do it. So at least approximate what they do for an individual style based on RO water as a starting point.

Food grade packaging and inspection is a poor excuse for not doing somthing worth while. Upholding standards and passing inspections can't be difficult if your following GMP's
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewskii View Post
Surely there is some payoff for modding your water chemistry or there would be no threads on it. If it's not practical and people don't do it, that's one thing but people DO do it. So at least approximate what they do for an individual style based on RO water as a starting point.
There is lots of payoff in modeling water chemistry. I've done more of it than the average Joe and I have learned a heck of a lot of chemistry from doing it. But it really isn't the path to the best beer. That comes from using the lowest mineral water possible, dosing it with minerals which give it the general character of the water with which the target beer was brewed, using acid to control mash pH, upping the chloride a bit for mellowness and tweaking the stylistic ions for best taste.

It's not really practical but people do do it. "Wine in made by farmers, beer is made by engineers". This is the sort of things engineers do.

I still love the modeling and one of the main reasons I haunt this site is so that I can run my model against peoples' questions. Love the one's that say here's a profile how do I synthesize it to which I answer 'It's a waste of time but here's how you do it.' I don't do it in my own brewing.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewskii View Post
Food grade packaging and inspection is a poor excuse for not doing somthing worth while. Upholding standards and passing inspections can't be difficult if your following GMP's
That's true. Back in the days when I first had the idea, RO was not widely available and that, of course, was a major detractor from the scheme's feasibilty. Now that RO is, I have rethought the problem and concluded that there really are better ways to better beer. I still encourage people to learn the chemistry though and the modeling can be a big part of that. Writing the 6 equations that describe the carbonate system will not give you nearly as much insight as putting together a spreadsheet that solves those 6 equations and into which you can plug numbers.
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