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Old 08-29-2012, 08:26 PM   #1
JordanThomas
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Default Imperial Stout Brew Water

Hey all... I hate to be lazy, but I am looking to do a batch of breakfast stout that will clock in around 8.5% on Sunday and I'm wondering if my base water (run through Brita to remove chlorine) will be good enough. I'd try to adjust myself, but I'm completely new to water chemistry and don't want to muck it up by not understanding it all fully. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

Base water:

Alkalinity 103 mg/L
pH 7.38
Calcium 36 mg/L
Magnesium 12 mg/L
Hardness (CaCO3) 142 mg/L
Chloride 16.7 mg/L
Sulfate 27 mg/L
Sodium 8 mg/L
Nitrate 0.5 mg/L
Iron <0.02 mg/L
Magnesium 12 mg/L
Chlorine 1.51 mg/L

I have the water report, but only listed the ones I'd seen people on this forum discuss.

Thanks in advance!!

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Old 08-29-2012, 08:47 PM   #2
ajdelange
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Brita pitchers contain ion exchangers as well as charcoal filters. Therefore, water run through a Brita is effectively ion free. Ion free water is fine for brewing if you are willing to do mineral supplementation but for a stout your base water should be fine as is. Given that your Brita may be exhausted if you put brewing volumes of water through it it is uncertain as to what the actual mineral content of water so treated might be. Your life will be simpler if you remove chlorine/chloramine with a Campden tablet (1 per 20 gallons treated) and use the water as is. There are plenty of posts here that recommend treatments for water like yours. Many of these involve dilution with low ion water and supplementation of with salts.

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Old 08-29-2012, 08:57 PM   #3
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I updated my numbers because I put the CHLORIDE level in for CHLORINE. Would letting the water simply sit over night remove enough of the chloride to make this base water good to go?

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Old 08-29-2012, 10:34 PM   #4
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No. Letting the water sit over night removes chlorine (gas used for disinfection) but not chloramine (also used form disinfection - made by treating water first with chlorine and then ammonia) or chloride (an ion). Once the chlorine and/or chloramine (if you supplier uses it) are taken out which you can do with a Campden tablet, the water is suitable for dark beers with no further treatment. If your supplier used chlorine but does not subsequently treat with ammonia to generate chloramine standing over night is sufficient and you don't need to use Campden tablets. The general rule is: draw a tumblerful of the water. Let it stand over night. In the morning pour it back and forth into another tumbler while sniffing. If you smell chlorine the water has been chloraminated and Campden tablet treatment is required. If you don't the water has not been chlroaminated and you need no treatment other than allowing it to stand.

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Old 08-30-2012, 12:56 PM   #5
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Thanks for the great info. I'll definitely check with the city to see if the water is treated with chloramine.

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