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Old 07-06-2010, 09:52 PM   #1
Stein
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Default Gonna try building my own water profile with distilled... how does this look?

Going to brew a bavarian hefeweizen this week, but I wanted to make sure my water profile looked good for the style. I just moved into a new area and I haven't had a chance to get my water tested yet, so I wanted to get some distilled water and build my own profile. I already have all the salts I need.

I'm planning on adding 0.5 grams of chalk, 2 grams calcium carbonate, and 2 grams of epsom salt to the mash water, (0.9, 3.8, 3.8 to brewpot, respectively), to obtain the following profile.

Ca 55
Mg 14
Na 0
Cl 72
SO4 58
Bicarbonate 18

Residual alkalinity = -29
Best for beers = 3 to 8 SRM (Recipe is 3.4 SRM)

Chloride to sulfate ratio = 1.24 (balanced... a little on the malty side, which is what I want for a hefeweizen)


Does this look alright? Any suggestions?

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Old 07-08-2010, 12:44 AM   #2
jescholler
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I think you have a typo. You have chalk and calcium carbonate, which I believe are the same thing. Do you mean calcium chloride instead of calcium carbonate?

Assuming your profile numbers are right, it looks pretty good. The only comment I have is your Ca is a little on the low side. I'm sure you know you want to shoot for 100ppm (50 is the minimum). It may not be a problem, but it would be worth looking into trying to bump it up a bit. A little bit of chalk would probably do the trick without changing the RA too much. If it did change the RA, you could add small amounts of gypsum and calcium chloride to keep the chloride to sulfate ratio the same and bring down the RA.

I like that you've gone with the high end of the RA scale. My experience for light beers is that I need to use the high end of the RA scale to get the mash pH high enough. It's so hard to tell with my strips though, so I'm not 100% sure on that.

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Last edited by jescholler; 07-08-2010 at 01:05 AM. Reason: Added info about chalk and calcium carbonate
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Old 07-08-2010, 01:12 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response. I was beginning to think the Brew Science subforum was a ghost town.

Yep, I did mean calcium chloride. Nice catch.

I will definitely take the advice and shoot for 100 ppm of calcium. Thanks for that.

As for the RA, usually I'm not too concerned on which side of the scale I'm on, just as long as the SRM falls in between the range. Ideally, I like to keep my target SRM right in the middle, so if the pH is lower or higher than I expected, I will still be within limits.

I'll tinker around a bit and post a new schedule. Thanks again.

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Old 07-08-2010, 02:02 AM   #4
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I reviewed a couple other threads on HBT about water profiles for hefeweizens, and experimented a bit until I got this...

Chalk -- 0.5 mash, 1.1 boil
Gypsum -- 0.5 mash, 1.1 boil
CaCl2 -- 2 mash, 4.4 boil
MgSO4 -- 1.5 mash, 3.3 boil

Calcium -- 76 ppm
Magnesium -- 12 ppm
Na -- 0 ppm
Chloride -- 85 ppm
Sulfate -- 76 ppm
Alkalinity (bicarbonate) 22

Residual Alkalinity = -40 (2 to 7 SRM)

Chloride/Sulfate ratio = 1.12 (balanced)



I tried getting the calcium to 100, but I didn't want to increase the alkalinity or sulfate numbers too much. I wanted both the chloride and sulfate numbers under 100, and this was the best combination I could come up with while still hitting the minimums for everything.

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Old 07-08-2010, 03:30 AM   #5
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What is the RA of the mash? The overall profile looks good, but the mash profile is also important.

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Old 07-08-2010, 03:36 AM   #6
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-40, which allows for 2 to 7 SRM.

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