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Old 06-27-2013, 02:56 PM   #11
ajdelange
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Guys here will suggest some RO dilution if alkalinity is over 50,
Keep in mind that there are several reasons for such a recommendation.

1. Get the alkalinity down (the obvious one)
2. It's often the simplest approach. I can make you any physically realizable ion profile you want by a combination of salt additions and dilutions with DI water but it is much easier, IMO, to just use RO and build from a 'clean sheet of paper' than do the elaborate calculations necessary to tailor an existing water.
3. Treatment of existing water requires that you know what's in it which requires analysis before each brew in places where the water is variable. RO eliminates the variations. The salt calculations are the same for every batch and you don't have to do, or pay for and wait for, the analysis.

4. Dilution with RO to an alkalinity of 20 - 30 or so qualifies you to use the Primer which is a KISS approach to this whole question of brewing water chemistry. It is in the Stickies here and may be of help to you.

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...but Chicago water is 107 and I don't think our breweries are cutting the water with RO.
You might be surprised. I, of course, have no idea what any particular brewery may be doing but Colin Kaminsky tells me that he estimates that half his colleagues are using RO.

If I haven't said it here, I've said it 1000 times elsewhere: control for alkalinity level should be done with a decent, properly calibrated pH meter; not spreadsheets, calculators or rules of thumb.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:05 PM   #12
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Aj, those are all great points, thanks. I was just trying to keep it simple for the OP.

To add to my point about the misuse of minerals to address pH, I just took another look at what many consider homebrewing bible, Designing Great Beer, and even in the 2000 edition there's no talk of using phosphoric/lactic/sauermaltz, but rather using minerals to lower pH. Funny how far we've come in the last several years. But I'd bet ze germans have been using sauermaltz for centuries. Strange that it took us so long to figure it out and that the book writers never did.

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Old 06-27-2013, 06:29 PM   #13
ajdelange
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....there's no talk of using phosphoric/lactic/sauermaltz, but rather using minerals to lower pH.
Commercial brewers have been doing this for years. It just took a concerted effort to get it before home brewers.

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Funny how far we've come in the last several years. But I'd bet ze germans have been using sauermaltz for centuries.
A couple at least

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Strange that it took us so long to figure it out and that the book writers never did.
I think you'll find that Palmer and Kaminski have most of it in their new book.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:50 PM   #14
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Commercial brewers have been doing this for years. It just took a concerted effort to get it before home brewers.
....
To which I believe we have you and a couple others to thank! You improved the quality of more batches of homebrew than you'll ever know, sir.
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