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Old 08-03-2012, 12:06 AM   #1
Johnnyboy1012
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Default IPA Brewing Water

Hey guys,
I'm sure you know a lot more then I do about brewing water, so I wanted to get you opinion on my water for an IPA I'm going to be brewing. 5 gallon batch, mashing at 149. I'm concerned about my RA being -121. I've read that RA and SRM aren't as related as everyone once thought, but I'm still unsure and figured I'd ask around. I'm using EZ Water Calculator 3.0. Anyways, please let me know how my profile looks and any suggestions are appreciated. Also, is my water considered soft? I got my report from Ward Labs and it seems to be low on a lot of minerals. Thank you!
My grain bill is:
13 lb 2 row
1 lb crystal 15
.75 Munich malt
.25 lb crystal 40

Starting Water (ppm):
Ca: 35
Mg: 8
Na: 46
Cl: 77
SO4: 21 (was listed as 7 on Ward Labs report so I multiplied by 3)
CaCO3: 90

Mash / Sparge Vol (gal): 4.69 / 4.14
RO or distilled %: 0% / 0%

Total Grain (lb): 15.0

Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:
CaSO4: 5 / 4.413646055
CaCl2: 0 / 0
MgSO4: 1 / 0.882729211
NaHCO3: 0 / 0
CaCO3: 0 / 0
Lactic Acid (ml): 2
Sauermalz (oz): 0

Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 99 / 99
Mg: 13 / 13
Na: 46 / 46
Cl: 77 / 77
SO4: 200 / 200
Cl to SO4 Ratio: 0.38 / 0.38

Alkalinity (CaCO3): -42
RA: -121
Estimated pH: 5.52
(room temp)

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Old 08-03-2012, 12:07 AM   #2
Johnnyboy1012
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Default IPA Brewing Water

Hey guys,
I'm sure you know a lot more then I do about brewing water, so I wanted to get you opinion on my water for an IPA I'm going to be brewing. 5 gallon batch, mashing at 149. I'm concerned about my RA being -121. I've read that RA and SRM aren't as related as everyone once thought, but I'm still unsure and figured I'd ask around. I'm using EZ Water Calculator 3.0. Anyways, please let me know how my profile looks and any suggestions are appreciated. Also, is my water considered soft? I got my report from Ward Labs and it seems to be low on a lot of minerals. Thank you!
My grain bill is:
13# 2 row
1# crystal 15
.75# Munich malt
.25# crystal 40

Starting Water (ppm):
Ca: 35
Mg: 8
Na: 46
Cl: 77
SO4: 21 (was listed as 7 on Ward Labs report so I multiplied by 3)
CaCO3: 90

Mash / Sparge Vol (gal): 4.69 / 4.14
RO or distilled %: 0% / 0%

Total Grain (lb): 15.0

Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:
CaSO4: 5 / 4.413646055
CaCl2: 0 / 0
MgSO4: 1 / 0.882729211
NaHCO3: 0 / 0
CaCO3: 0 / 0
Lactic Acid (ml): 2
Sauermalz (oz): 0

Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 99 / 99
Mg: 13 / 13
Na: 46 / 46
Cl: 77 / 77
SO4: 200 / 200
Cl to SO4 Ratio: 0.38 / 0.38

Alkalinity (CaCO3): -42
RA: -121
Estimated pH: 5.52
(room temp)

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Old 08-03-2012, 12:53 AM   #3
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I'd ditch the MgS04, but the rest seems ok. I don't typically add as much sulfate as some of those water profiles do, but my IPAs are great. Today I had about 70 ppm sulfate when I brewed.

Your sodium is a little high, but if you can't taste "salt" in your beers than it's ok. The taste threshold is much higher, normally, but I swear I can taste it even at lower levels.

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Old 08-03-2012, 04:28 AM   #4
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Thanks for the quick response.
I read an article in BYO and they were talking about IPA brewing water. It said you may want to get a sulfate to chloride ratio of 2-3 to 1. That's why I bumped up the sulfate. Does too much sulfate give off flavors or does it just make the bitterness too overwhelming? The reason I would want to add MgSO4 is to bump up the Mg a bit as well as the sulfate without adding more calcium. Without the MgSO4, EZ Calc says my Mg is low (8ppm), but i know the yeast get Mg from the mash so I'm sure its nothing to worry about.

Unfortunately, I cannot do much about my sodium levels unless I dilute with RO water. I don't really ever taste salt in my beer so I guess I wont have to dilute.

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Old 08-03-2012, 02:20 PM   #5
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I don't go with S04 as high as some recommend either, I usually go with something like this:

Ca=110, Mg=18, Na=16, Cl=50, S04=275
Cl to S04 ratio is 0.18

(Basically Randy Mosher's ideal Pale Ale numbers with slightly less Sulphate).

More S04 makes the bitterness 'sharper'. Less makes it more 'rounded'.

8 ppm for Mg is just slightly under the 10ppm recommended minimum but I think you'd be fine. I also don't think the 1 gram of MgS04 is going to do any harm. I always like to get Ca and Mg to minimums as recommended by Palmer (and shown in EZwater) but I know there's a lot of people who don't bother.

The slightly higher Na is the only annoying thing with your numbers I think. For one batch you may want to try cutting your water with 50% RO and then bringing the numbers all back up to where they normally are (except for Na) and see if it tastes different/better. If not, then use the water as is. Not having to cut is certainly easier. My water's very soft to start with so it's easy for me to build just about anything without having to cut with RO water (which makes life easier). High Na doesn't taste salty unless there's a lot of it. It enhances flavour if levels are low.

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Old 08-03-2012, 06:53 PM   #6
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Hey Kal thanks for the response. I've been playing around with my calculator and came up with this, let me know what you think. I feel like it is similar to your profile based on Randy Mosher's profile, but with some slight differences. I didn't want to go too high with the SO4 because that would bump up my Ca or Mg as I'm sure you know. With 2ml of lactic acid to the mash and the mash salts my pH at room temp is predicted to be 5.51.
Ca=112, Mg=24, Na=46, Cl=77, SO4=275
Cl to SO4 ratio is .28.

Looking into Randy Mosher's pale ale profile, I see he recommends an effective alkalinity (CaCO3 ppm) at 57. Mine is -42 and my RA is -136. Do you see a problem with this being so different?

Also, is it bad if I'm adding 6g of gypsum to the mash and 5.3 to the boil along with 3g of MgSO4 to the mash and 2.6g to the boil? Does that seem like a lot?

Sorry for all the questions, I've never adjusted my water before and want to try and get it as close to being correct as possible. Although, I do understand it will take some trial and error. Thanks again.

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Old 08-03-2012, 06:56 PM   #7
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Nope. It all looks good and I'm sure it'll make a tasty beer.

Kal

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Old 08-03-2012, 08:14 PM   #8
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Awesome! thanks for the help

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Old 08-03-2012, 09:42 PM   #9
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I hate to disagree, but I would NOT add epsom salts. Use gypsum (for the sulfate) but not epsom salts. 24 ppm of magnesuim probably isn't a problem (as you're under the "max" of 30 ppm but over the "ideal" of 10-15 ppm), but I'd keep it less than 10 ppm if possible (and remember you get plenty from the malt itself). My preference is for no added magnesium.

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Old 08-03-2012, 10:04 PM   #10
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If I took out the epsom salts my water would look like this:

Calcium Magnesium Sodium Chloride Sulfate Chloride / Sulfate
(Ca ppm) (Mg ppm) (Na ppm) (Cl ppm) (SO4 ppm) Ratio

Mash + Sparge Water: 112 8 46 77 210 0.37


Any thoughts on how this looks?

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