The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > My Water Chemistry

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-15-2009, 03:36 AM   #1
Gremlyn
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 2,524
Liked 24 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default My Water Chemistry

Yes another water chem post! Try to contain your excitement I'm thinking of adjusting my water for the next batch, after obtaining last year's water report I got the following info:

Ca: 64
Mg : 17
SO4: 172
Na: 87
Cl: 96
HCO3: 144

Now using the caluclator on Brewer's Friend, this is definitely leaning on the bitter side with the sulfate:chloride ratio. If I cut my tap water with 50% distilled and add 1 tsp of CaCO3 and 0.5 tsp of CaCl2 to 8 gallons total I then end up with:

Ca: 71
Mg: 9
SO4: 86
Na 44
Cl: 75
HCO3: 108

The calculator tells me this is a malty/bitter balance, with a pH of 5.86. Does this sound good?

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I'm a fan of "getting it in the can"!

Last edited by Gremlyn; 09-15-2009 at 03:38 AM.
Gremlyn is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-15-2009, 08:45 PM   #2
ThreeTaps
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Pacific Beach, CA
Posts: 586
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

Default

I'd like to know as well, since we both use the Alvarado water plant, right Gremlyn1? However I do know that my beer so far tastes good (before carbonation that is...haven't tried one carbonated yet) so people here say it should be fine.

__________________
Justin H.
Brew Blog: Three Taps Brewing
Primary: Centennial Blonde Ale, Deception Cream Stout Secondary: Empty.
Bottle Conditioning / Drinking: Pumpkin Spice Ale, Cherry Wheat Ale, Bee Cave IPA, EdWort's Apfelwein.
R.I.P.: Bee Cave Haus Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Pecan Scottish Ale, Nut Brown Ale, Blonde Ale.


RDWHAHB
Brewing Since August 17, 2009
Have a BlackBerry? Download the HBT launcher here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shortyjacobs
You definitely win my award for "Most Enthusiastic New Brewer".
ThreeTaps is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-16-2009, 12:09 AM   #3
boredatwork
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Posts: 281
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

Default

The taste of beer has little correlation to the taste of the water used. So I think that is bad criteria. You are better off getting a water report and plugging those values into a water chemistry calcualtor.

Of course, trial and error is a good approach too.

__________________
boredatwork is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-16-2009, 12:13 AM   #4
boredatwork
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Posts: 281
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gremlyn1 View Post
Yes another water chem post! Try to contain your excitement I'm thinking of adjusting my water for the next batch, after obtaining last year's water report I got the following info:

Ca: 64
Mg : 17
SO4: 172
Na: 87
Cl: 96
HCO3: 144

Now using the caluclator on Brewer's Friend, this is definitely leaning on the bitter side with the sulfate:chloride ratio. If I cut my tap water with 50% distilled and add 1 tsp of CaCO3 and 0.5 tsp of CaCl2 to 8 gallons total I then end up with:

Ca: 71
Mg: 9
SO4: 86
Na 44
Cl: 75
HCO3: 108

The calculator tells me this is a malty/bitter balance, with a pH of 5.86. Does this sound good?
You forgot the most important part. Water chemistry is important only with respect to the recipe.

If you are getting ready to brew a balanced amber colored beer then you are good to go.
__________________
boredatwork is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-16-2009, 06:28 AM   #5
Gremlyn
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 2,524
Liked 24 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

I brew mostly neutral beers, Irish Reds, ESBs, and dunkelweizens have been my focus. That's kind of why I think going with what I posed above would give me a nicely balanced beer. The ones I have brewed so far haven't had any weird taste, but I wonder how the taste would change with an altered chemistry. I know the only true way to tell would be to brew and do a direct comparison.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeTaps View Post
I'd like to know as well, since we both use the Alvarado water plant, right Gremlyn1? However I do know that my beer so far tastes good (before carbonation that is...haven't tried one carbonated yet) so people here say it should be fine.
Correct, we should both be on the same water supply. I don't think it's been an issue so far, but I'm curious what changing it would do.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I'm a fan of "getting it in the can"!
Gremlyn is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-16-2009, 05:08 PM   #6
Bsquared
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Bsquared's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1,807
Liked 55 Times on 51 Posts
Likes Given: 21

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by boredatwork View Post
The taste of beer has little correlation to the taste of the water used. So I think that is bad criteria. You are better off getting a water report and plugging those values into a water chemistry calcualtor.

Of course, trial and error is a good approach too.
Sulfate to Chloride balance has a subtle but noticeable influence on malt/bitterness. The higher on the Chloride side the more you enhance the sweetness of the malts and the body, higher on the sulfate side the grater you enhance the bitterness and drying flavors. It's similar to adding salt to food.
__________________
Bsquared is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-16-2009, 05:17 PM   #7
-TH-
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Zeeland, Michigan
Posts: 969
Liked 57 Times on 33 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bsquared View Post
Sulfate to Chloride balance has a subtle but noticeable influence on malt/bitterness. The higher on the Chloride side the more you enhance the sweetness of the malts and the body, higher on the sulfate side the grater you enhance the bitterness and drying flavors. It's similar to adding salt to food.
But he said this:
The taste of beer has little correlation to the taste of the water used.

NOT this:
The taste of beer has little correlation to the properties of the water used.
__________________
TH

Builds, etc: E-Brewery | Fermentation Chamber | Concrete-Roller Mill | Stirplate | Bottle Cabinet | Pneumatic Bottle Capper
Resources: www.EZWaterCalculator.com
-TH- is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-16-2009, 05:44 PM   #8
Bsquared
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Bsquared's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1,807
Liked 55 Times on 51 Posts
Likes Given: 21

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by -TH- View Post
But he said this:
The taste of beer has little correlation to the taste of the water used.

NOT this:
The taste of beer has little correlation to the properties of the water used.
Oops my bad, You are right, I missed the second taste and inserted composition.

But as a note Gremlin, the Sulfide/Chloride balance or ratio is where you should be looking if you want to adjust your water chemistry for flavor.
__________________
Bsquared is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-16-2009, 11:05 PM   #9
boredatwork
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Posts: 281
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

Default

An ESB is neutral but an Irish Red and definitely a Dunkelweizen would not be neutral but "malty".

Here is the thing about water. Water influences flavor as a function of its mineral profile (NOT as a function of its own flavor). While this is often treated as a insignificant phenomena, let's think about it a different way.

When you make a beer the grain influences flavor, the hops influence flavor, and the yeast influences flavor (both in strain and fermentation temperature). In all grain the mash profile will also influence flavor.

In that respect, water should be thought of as part of your recipe. Not just because it is something you need to think about, but because it can and will affect flavor.

For example. If you are brewing an Irish Red that you want to be balanced in flavor, you can tweak two parts of the recipe, the OG and the IBU. Lets say you go with an OG and IBU that you know contribute to a balanced flavor for an Irish Red. If you were to use water with a chloride:sulfate ratio of 3:1, then you beer would not have a balanced flavor. It would have a malty/sweet flavor with low bitterness. If you were to use water with a chloride:sulfate ratio of 1:3 I can tell you for a fact that your beer would not have a balanced flavor but an extreme bitterness and very little malty/sweet flavor. Now, if you were to used a ratio of 1:1 then you would have a balanced flavor.

But here's the key. Lets say you still want the balanced flavor, and lets say you have a chloride:sulfate ratio of 1:1.5. You have two options, you can either adjust the ratio of the water, or maybe in this case you could lower the IBU or raise the OG to compensate. Get it?

There are three variable that affect flavor (from the point of view of the recipe). Any one of them can be used to dial in the flavor you want out of your beer - and there are many combinations of ways to do it.

__________________
boredatwork is offline
Gremlyn Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-17-2009, 01:58 AM   #10
Gremlyn
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 2,524
Liked 24 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

Good explanation, thanks! So if I am going for balanced, my water changes from my original post should give me what I'm looking for. I'm going to give it a shot and see how it comes out.

I would imagine that just upping the chloride to balance existing sulfates wouldn't be the way to go with my really high sulfate water...?

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I'm a fan of "getting it in the can"!
Gremlyn is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Water chemistry DraconianHand All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 4 12-23-2012 01:28 PM
Help: Water Chemistry - ppm vs mg/L carp Brew Science 2 10-10-2009 06:54 PM
water chemistry - adjust top-up water? JLem Brew Science 12 09-23-2009 12:11 AM
water chemistry hokster Recipes/Ingredients 6 09-18-2009 03:09 PM
Please Help with my Water Chemistry sjlammer All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 4 04-10-2009 06:45 PM