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Old 08-28-2012, 05:15 PM   #11
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Dude, your tap water is the envy of brewers everywhere. Alkalinity: 25, hardness 14, calcium 3.8, chloride 4, sulfates 3.7. The stuff coming out of your tap was probably snow yesterday, why do you think you need RO water?

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Old 08-29-2012, 05:52 PM   #12
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Dude, your tap water is the envy of brewers everywhere. Alkalinity: 25, hardness 14, calcium 3.8, chloride 4, sulfates 3.7. The stuff coming out of your tap was probably snow yesterday, why do you think you need RO water?
Because what's coming out of my tap is impossible to know on any given day. My water utility (EBMUD) releases data from last year's tests. There is significant variation seasonally and they don't test very often (I've spoken with a couple of engineers there). In other words, the water report is unreliable. Furthermore, I make several varieties of English style bitters which benefit tremendously from higher mineral content (especially calcium) and all of my beers floculate much better now that I have appropriate magnesium levels. I also make some "softer" beers like a Pils that benefit from a completely different water profile than some of the English styles.

Since I switched from EBMUD tap to RO my beer has gone from very good to insanely delicious. I'll never go back to tap.
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Old 08-31-2012, 05:07 PM   #13
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Yes, i have ebmud water as well, as does pyramid and trumer pils. I've tested it with an aquarium test kit and found that the reported numbers line up pretty well. Its about as good as water gets, so im a little at a loss as to what could be going wrong. Are you removing the chlorimine before brewing with it?

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Old 09-03-2012, 04:51 AM   #14
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Yes, i have ebmud water as well, as does pyramid and trumer pils. I've tested it with an aquarium test kit and found that the reported numbers line up pretty well. Its about as good as water gets, so im a little at a loss as to what could be going wrong. Are you removing the chlorimine before brewing with it?
The reported numbers vary. How can your test results line up other than to fall within a given (sometimes wide) range?

Meanwhile, there is absolutely nothing, imho, to recommend what Pyramid does. Furthermore, Pyramid is brewed at several locations across the country and two in the bay area. If they're not treating their water individually then each brewery is making a different beer.

My tap water has been fine for Pilsners. As I already said, it produces bland bitters, pale ales, exports, vienna style lagers, IPAs, ambers, schwarzbiers, French style farmhouse ales, and Belgian dubbels. The empirical data I've collected are unequivocal: Individual profiles make the beer better. I encourage you to try making a beer with water exactly as you want it and see if you notice a difference. I sure have.
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:29 AM   #15
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John Palmer recommends adding your minerals directly to your match. You dough in stir it up for a couple minutes and then add your minerals

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Old 10-29-2012, 11:05 PM   #16
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Carbonated water people. Brukaiser is putting his minerals in a bottle and carbonating. I use as little chalk as possible. I use baking soda while keeping my sodium less than 100. Then use a small amount of chalk if needed. Then dissolve the minerals in a one liter bottle of seltzer water or club soda, cap and shake until dissolved. Add this to your mash water. Note minerals are not dissolved until clear. Not sure why the dissolving chalk has been turned into such a mystery. You will be adding a little extra sodium etc. from the soda but it should have little impact. Keep in mind the extra quart of water you are adding. Hope this helps.

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Old 10-29-2012, 11:28 PM   #17
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There is just no reason to ever use bicarbonate or carbonate in preparing brewing liquor. If you do go to the trouble to put it in and then adjust mash pH properly (to 5.4) 90% of the bicarbonate is gone. So why go to the trouble to put it in in the first place?

Well there is one exception. If you want to experience what a Munich, for example, brewer experienced you would then need to synthesize carbonaceous water. This is a bit of a bother as one must sparge with CO2 or use pressurized CO2. Both a big pain and when it is all over (i.e. in the mash tun) , all the bicarb (except 10%) is gone. If you need alkalinity then use lime. Much easier, more effective.

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Old 10-30-2012, 03:01 AM   #18
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When brewing a very dark beer with lots of roasted grains you will need water with lots of residual alkalinity or your mash PH will be too low. Baking Soda can handle most beers but you have to watch the sodium level. If you brew a particularly dark beer with lots of roasted grains you may need more alkalinity. Chalk is one way to add this.

Properly prepared brewing liquor should lead to a mash PH in an acceptable range without further adjustments needed. Especially if your use Bru n water or Ez water spread sheets before brewing. Or you can buy a PH meter and make adjustments while you lose heat in your mash tun. This works for many brewers especially if an exact PH is important to you. I prefer to prepare my brewing liquor in advance of brewing and leave the heat in my Mash tun cooler. But thats just me.

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Old 10-30-2012, 03:54 AM   #19
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When brewing a very dark beer with lots of roasted grains you will need water with lots of residual alkalinity or your mash PH will be too low.
I cannot off the top of my head think of a time I had to add alkalinity to a beer under 30 SRM. Rarely under 35. This seems to blow people's minds, but it's been my experience.

Of course my darker beers tend to get that way from roasted barley rather than something like crystal 120 (which actually lowers the pH more). Nevertheless I wouldnt assume anything. There will be times you will need alkalinity. But probably even more often, you'll need acid in a dark brown beer. It's weird at first, but trust your pH meter.
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:28 AM   #20
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There will be times you will need alkalinity. But probably even more often, you'll need acid in a dark brown beer. It's weird at first, but trust your pH meter.
Wow you must have some hard water if you acidify dark brown beers! I have been finding that using Bru n water spread sheet my dark beers have needed high alkalinity or they are predicted to have a very low PH.

Of course I build brewing water from R/O because my well water has so much iron and I'm happy if the beer style and water match up and the predicted ph range is acceptable using the Bru n water spead sheet.

So far this has worked very well for me. Others have reported Bru n water to get pretty close when checking actual mash PH. So I am going on that. Plus the flavor and fermentability have been very good since I started building my own water.

Gotpushrods, do you use a water speadsheet? If so how close is it's predictions?
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