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Old 05-26-2011, 04:08 PM   #11
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You mention that bicarbonate has a negative flavor impact. Can you describe the effect?
No, not very well, so what I suggest you do is dissolve a bit of sodium bicarbonate in a glass of water and taste.

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Looking at my numbers in the spreadsheet and adding lactic to my base water it shows my final bicarb at 7.5ppm. Does that seem reasonable and low enough to avoid the negative effects?
If you brought mash pH to 5.4 it would be 6.3 so yes, 7.5 is a reasonable number. I don't think that would be enough to have much effect on a Pils.

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I am still going to try your KISS method with a batch with a higher dilution rate this time to judge the effects.
That's the only way to learn these things. All the models are just models.
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Old 05-26-2011, 04:22 PM   #12
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I recently brewed an American Lager and used nearly all RO water. I just couldn't force myself to add all of the stuff called for to get the beer I wanted. I think when you are brewing light beers with alkaline water, it's just better to dilute and go from there. Whether it's 50% or 100% is up to the particular style.

Take my advice with a grain of salt. I am still learning about water and recently listened to Kai's Basic Brewing podcast on pH and switched to Bru'nwater (which I think is the best of them).

Have you had a judge taste them to see what they thought?

FYI - My alkalinity is 186.

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Old 05-26-2011, 05:27 PM   #13
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Just remember: Hardness=good, Alkalinity=bad

Brewers harden their brewing water all the time by adding gypsum and calcium chloride. Its alkalinity that they may need to decrease or increase to meet the pH goal with their grist. The water profile shown by the OP is quite good. I wouldn't need a RO system if my tap water was that good.

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Old 05-26-2011, 05:38 PM   #14
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I recently brewed an American Lager and used nearly all RO water. I just couldn't force myself to add all of the stuff called for to get the beer I wanted. I think when you are brewing light beers with alkaline water, it's just better to dilute and go from there. Whether it's 50% or 100% is up to the particular style.

Take my advice with a grain of salt. I am still learning about water and recently listened to Kai's Basic Brewing podcast on pH and switched to Bru'nwater (which I think is the best of them).

Have you had a judge taste them to see what they thought?

FYI - My alkalinity is 186.
I hear ya on the dilution, I am going back to that for my next brew. It sounds like we are in a similar situation WRT alkalinity. I just started using Bru'nwater. I agree it is nicely done.

I have never had any beers scored but Yooper has tasted quite a few of my beers. She only ever had to dump one There was some other issue with that one. But I think she would agree that some changes are in order.

Generally my dark beers are pretty good. Hoppy beers are usually not bad. I am mainly having trouble with mid to light malty beers.
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Old 05-26-2011, 05:48 PM   #15
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I guess the main thing I do not understand is: why is my relatively hard/alkaline water...
The water heavyweights are already helping you so you're good but it seems to me that your water is not hard (actually kind of soft) and is moderately alkaline. I only mention it because I didn't see anybody else touch on it and if I'm mistaken AJ or Martin hopefully will correct me (in which case I'll learn something, a little crow never hurt anybody). Anyway, minor nit but I thought it was worth mentioning.
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:09 PM   #16
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Leon, if you want a second opinion, my family and I will be up that way this summer. Maybe you should toss a few beers into my cooler and I'll give you some feedback!

My lighter beers are generally not as good as my dark beers either. BUT, I am still learning about water treatment, and I think that between dilution and additions I can get more consistent with lighter beers. Just did that Lager and we'll see what the latest treatment tastes like.

And there are other factors that *could* come into play besides water. A lighter beer shows the flaws better than dark beers in any situation.

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Old 05-26-2011, 06:10 PM   #17
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The total hardness is 144 which, IIRC, puts this in the "hard" category (but not by much). That said I often say "soft water" when I really mean "low mineral" water. I try not to do this but often forget and slip up.

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Old 05-26-2011, 06:22 PM   #18
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Leon, if you want a second opinion, my family and I will be up that way this summer. Maybe you should toss a few beers into my cooler and I'll give you some feedback!

My lighter beers are generally not as good as my dark beers either. BUT, I am still learning about water treatment, and I think that between dilution and additions I can get more consistent with lighter beers. Just did that Lager and we'll see what the latest treatment tastes like.

And there are other factors that *could* come into play besides water. A lighter beer shows the flaws better than dark beers in any situation.
I hear you are coming up. I am looking forward to it. It sounds like Lorena has a bit of an itinerary worked up already which I believe included a visit to my place. I hope that works out. If not, I will come visit wherever you guys end up and will definitely bring some beer.

I am already thinking of "other factors" and have a few things that I think are worth checking.
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:31 PM   #19
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Just remember: Hardness=good, Alkalinity=bad

Brewers harden their brewing water all the time by adding gypsum and calcium chloride. Its alkalinity that they may need to decrease or increase to meet the pH goal with their grist. The water profile shown by the OP is quite good. I wouldn't need a RO system if my tap water was that good.
Thanks for this. I was seriously considering an RO system. I still want to test the effects of dilution but its nice to know you think the RO system is not necessary.
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:33 PM   #20
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The total hardness is 144 which, IIRC, puts this in the "hard" category (but not by much). That said I often say "soft water" when I really mean "low mineral" water. I try not to do this but often forget and slip up.
Where does all that hardness come from? I was looking at the Ca at 33 (which seems low-ish) and Mg at 15 and everything else 'low' (except alkalinity) and it seemed soft-ish. Maybe I have 'low mineral' and 'soft' confused. I was equating 'low Ca/Mg' with 'soft'
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