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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > First Water Profile for American IPA - Thoughts?
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:55 PM   #11
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Even when I take both out I am still left with a mash pH of 5.5 so it didnt help with my acidity. It did increase my residual alkalinity but reduced my hardness drastically.....I am going to keep it with the soda and lime
I wouldn't, but if you insist then I guess you will do it. It is counter productive and unnecessary.

It should have reduced your RA when you took it out, and it would be a good thing to do. However, it is your beer.

A mash pH of 5.3-5.4 would be ideal for an IPA, but 5.5 is acceptable.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:16 PM   #12
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I wouldn't, but if you insist then I guess you will do it. It is counter productive and unnecessary.

It should have reduced your RA when you took it out, and it would be a good thing to do. However, it is your beer.

A mash pH of 5.3-5.4 would be ideal for an IPA, but 5.5 is acceptable.
Last adjustment - I removed the baking soda to remove some hydrogen which gave me a mash pH of 5.4. I can remove the pickling lime too which gets me to 5.3. So my question is how important is the hardness/alkalinity (RA looks OK)? keeping the pickling lime at where it is helps me maintain a hardness close to what is recommended.

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Old 04-30-2014, 03:13 PM   #13
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I can't see why the mash projection would need any alkalinity at all, so maybe that part is cut off.

I'd take out the lime, definitely. The issue is not going to be that the mash pH is too low, not with that grainbill. I'm not sure if there is acid malt or other acid in there, but you definitely don't need alkalinity.

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Old 04-30-2014, 03:30 PM   #14
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I can't see why the mash projection would need any alkalinity at all, so maybe that part is cut off.

I'd take out the lime, definitely. The issue is not going to be that the mash pH is too low, not with that grainbill. I'm not sure if there is acid malt or other acid in there, but you definitely don't need alkalinity.
If you look to the right of the Ions you will see Hardness, Alkalinity and RA. For this profile it recommends a Hardness of 425, Alkalinity of 91 and and RA of -20. With the 0.5g of Lime my numbers look pretty good with hardness at 400, alkalinity 49 and RA-50. If I take out the lime these numbers drop to 365,13 and -76. So my question is how important is it to be close to the hardness and Alkalinity numbers as suggested for the pale ale profile?
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:12 PM   #15
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If you look to the right of the Ions you will see Hardness, Alkalinity and RA. For this profile it recommends a Hardness of 425, Alkalinity of 91 and and RA of -20. With the 0.5g of Lime my numbers look pretty good with hardness at 400, alkalinity 49 and RA-50. If I take out the lime these numbers drop to 365,13 and -76. So my question is how important is it to be close to the hardness and Alkalinity numbers as suggested for the pale ale profile?

I believe the short answer to your question about the importance of hardness, alkalinity, and RA is "not very".

It is my understanding that pH is #1 followed by flavor related salts (that provide calcium and/or sulfates). If one starts trying to match hardness, alkalinity, and RA - you end up chasing your tail. You boost the alkalinity and pH only to knock them back down with acid.

When I treat water (I have pretty crummy SoCal water), I start with distilled and never bother looking at those three parameters. I focus on the other ions and then make sure I nail the pH with acidulated malt. Hardness, alkalinity, and RA are ignored.

Doing both is like giving yourself a headache just so you can take aspirin. It's not worth it. If you need Na or Ca, there are other salts you can use other than baking soda or lime - you'll end up where you want to be with those ions without the carbonate headache that needs to be cured.

That's how I see it!
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:28 PM   #16
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Only add calcium to the degree necessary to get the sulfate or chloride into the water. There is no need to target the relatively high calcium level that may be reported for the various pale ale profiles out there (including Bru'n Water). Add magnesium at a modest level because it is a great way to add sulfate without adding it via gypsum. RA should not be considered a targeted value. It is only a suggestion or a starting point. The RA will vary as necessary for you to produce an acceptable mash pH. That pH is the target, not RA.

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Old 04-30-2014, 09:32 PM   #17
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Only add calcium to the degree necessary to get the sulfate or chloride into the water. There is no need to target the relatively high calcium level that may be reported for the various pale ale profiles out there (including Bru'n Water). Add magnesium at a modest level because it is a great way to add sulfate without adding it via gypsum. RA should not be considered a targeted value. It is only a suggestion or a starting point. The RA will vary as necessary for you to produce an acceptable mash pH. That pH is the target, not RA.
Martin, since this question seems to come up all the time, are you considering changing the calcium in the profiles in bru'n water? Or adding an asterisk to the calcium level in the spreadsheet for the desired amount?
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:02 PM   #18
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For ales, the calcium levels in those color-based water profiles in Bru'n Water should be fine. They should not be excessive and they do provide enough calcium to aid in flocculation and clearing of ales.

In the case of lagers, less calcium is OK and brewers can alter those profiles down as desired to meet their flavor goals. The need for low mineralization becomes more apparent in lagers that are more neutral or malt focused. The water flavor needs to be more 'transparent' for those beers.

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