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Old 04-15-2011, 09:57 PM   #1
captainL
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Default Got my (houston) water report... a little help

Well I quit being cheap and just received my water report from ward labs. Its what I suspected, high bicarbonates:

pH 8.0
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est 359
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.60
Cations / Anions, me/L 6.3 / 6.4
ppm
Sodium, Na 118
Potassium, K 3
Calcium, Ca 16
Magnesium, Mg 4
Total Hardness, CaCO3 57
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.1 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 4
Chloride, Cl 47
Carbonate, CO3 6
Bicarbonate, HCO3 283
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 242

Anyhow, I have entered this into Brun'water (awesome by the way). Just playing around with my probable next brew (blue moon clone). I am diluting with 50 percent RO water and then adding 1.5 g/gallon gypsum and .4 g/gallon mgcl2 to get my mash ph to 5.5. But this is taking the sulfates way high to 220 or so. Would this be too high for a pale ale or IPA also??

Should I be diluting more or is there other nuetral ways to bring down the RA that I'm not thinking of.

Any other tips with this type of water appreciated too. thanks.

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Old 04-15-2011, 10:16 PM   #2
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220 is pretty high. For something really hoppy I might go up to 150 or so. For a Blue Moon clone I'd try to get under 50ppm.

You could use pickling lime to reduce your alkalinity.
http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php...th_slaked_lime

That's how big breweries do it, but I don't think many homebrewers do it. I'm moving to Missouri soon, so I might need to try that myself.

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Old 04-16-2011, 01:29 AM   #3
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thanks. yeah I just need to mess around with the different spread sheets for a week or two to get a feeling.

A couple of real questions though:

Will adding campden tablets to remove chloramine affect any of my mineral contents???

Other than reducing the mash Ph, does acid malt significantly affect the flavor... Sour flavor????

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Old 04-16-2011, 02:02 AM   #4
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I would do this, to brew a blue moon assuming 5gal batch:
Add 3g calcium chloride and 3g of epsum salt. Your PH would be 5.54 and you would have a good amount of calcium (51) and Magnesium(17).
Then add 2ml or 2.4g of lactic acid to lower PH to 5.4.
Your sulfate would be 68.

Note.: I'm using EZ water calculator and I have a -0.2 correction factor on top of the original mash PH calculation, which I found necessary to true up the results based on real data from my batches. I do have a calibrated PH meter which I use to check mash PH.

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Old 04-16-2011, 02:45 AM   #5
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With water such as this (high alkalinity, high sodium, low hardness) I'd probably throw up my hands and dilute 9+1 or 10+1 with RO/DI or use straight RO. In either case I'd supplement calcium with some calcium chloride and/or sulfate for hop-forward beers. pH control is very important but there are limits as to what you can do as it takes 3.5 meq of calcium to "neutralize" 1 meq of alkalinity. pH is better controlled with sauermalz (or lactic or other acid).

Yes, sauermalz will add flavor but at normal levels (2-3% of grist) the flavors will be of nuanced complexity which add to the beer in a positive way.

Yes, adding campden tablets (bisulfite) which react which chloramine result in increased chloride (good), sulfate (not good) and ammonium ion (good - yeast food). As the amounts of all of these produced is small, you need not worry about any of them.

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Old 04-16-2011, 10:00 AM   #6
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Well, I guess I have a new use for that empty 5 gallon carbon in my closet... buying ro water. Thanks for the help. I'll see what I can do.

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Old 04-16-2011, 10:44 AM   #7
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Hey captain, what part of Houston do you hail from?

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Old 04-16-2011, 02:48 PM   #8
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North side. Spring. Just south of rayford sawdust. You sound like a KGB member??

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Old 04-18-2011, 09:56 AM   #9
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I'm South Side - League City. Heard of KGB but I don't have time for any of that right now. My job is starting to get in the way of my hobby lately!

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Old 04-18-2011, 11:48 AM   #10
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Interesting. Do you know of this is the same water supply as we use in the woodlands? I've suspected high bicarbonate, and the water out of the tap has a strong chlorine smell. So far I've just been buying 2 gal jugs of water at the H.E.B. for brewing...

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