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Old 01-11-2011, 10:05 PM   #1
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Default My water Inputs please

So i finally got a good water report from my City and using a water spread sheet I did add a few things for the last brew,, without telling you what I did What would you do to this water to bring out the Malts more?

Calcium 10.9
Sodium 3.15
Chloride 3.9
Sulfate 4.25
Alkalinity 94.6 CaCO3
PH 8.04
Hardness 52.0 CaCO3

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Old 01-11-2011, 10:09 PM   #2
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Dilute with RO to reduce alkalinity. Use appropriate acid to control mash pH. Use more malt. Supplement calcium and chloride. See Primer.

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Old 01-12-2011, 12:30 AM   #3
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Dilute with RO to reduce alkalinity. Use appropriate acid to control mash pH. Use more malt. Supplement calcium and chloride. See Primer.
I agree with all of this but look at the bolded. If you want a maltier beer or a hoppier beer, you should be thinking malt and hops first and water second.

If you want your gazpacho to taste more of tomatoes you can add salt but first you should make sure you are using lots of the best tomatoes.

Beer is more complex because too high a pH can dull malt flavors (just don't use Palmer's spreadsheet when you make your gazpacho and you will be fine on pH there) but once the pH is taken care of, the flavor effects of the water are minor compared to the malt, hops and yeast.
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:04 AM   #4
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so what I did= 24lb Marris Otter,3lb crystal,1.5 roasted, SRM 23.4
added 10 gr Gypsum, 5 gr Calc. Chloride,7gr Baking soda,6gr Table salt in mash and 3.8gr Calc. Chloride to boil.
I knew my mash was low from testing previous batches 4.6 4.8 PH this brought it to 5.2 for the first time ever.. I played around with the spread sheet a while and this gave me a Chloride to Sulfate ratio of 1.39
Thanks

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Old 01-12-2011, 01:09 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Henrythe9th View Post
so what I did= 24lb Marris Otter,3lb crystal,1.5 roasted, SRM 23.4
added 10 gr Gypsum, 5 gr Calc. Chloride,7gr Baking soda,6gr Table salt in mash and 3.8gr Calc. Chloride to boil.
I knew my mash was low from testing previous batches 4.6 4.8 PH this brought it to 5.2 for the first time ever.. I played around with the spread sheet a while and this gave me a Chloride to Sulfate ratio of 1.39
Thanks
You added salts to bring the RA up, and then salts to bring it down?

It's wild that you got a pH of 4.6 in a batch- I've never heard of that before!
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrythe9th View Post
so what I did= 24lb Marris Otter,3lb crystal,1.5 roasted, SRM 23.4
added 10 gr Gypsum, 5 gr Calc. Chloride,7gr Baking soda,6gr Table salt in mash and 3.8gr Calc. Chloride to boil.
I knew my mash was low from testing previous batches 4.6 4.8 PH this brought it to 5.2 for the first time ever.. I played around with the spread sheet a while and this gave me a Chloride to Sulfate ratio of 1.39
Thanks
It's not likely (but I won't say impossible) that you had pH as low as 4.8 let alone 4.6. The most acidic malt I ever measured (500L patent) had a titratable acidity of 60 mEq/kg to pH 5.7. I use that number because Kai Troester has done similar titrations on several malts and obtained similar results for some of the dark crystal malts including one that turned in 70 mEq/L (though interestingly enough he found the roast barleys and patent malts to produce but 40). Anyway, assuming that all 4.5 pounds of colored malt were as acidic as the 500L patent stuff I measured the alkalinity in 5 gal of your water (you don't say how much you mashed with so I'm guessing 5 given the quantity of malt and assuming this was a strong beer) would be sufficient to raise its pH to 4.8 and then the buffering of the base malt would raise it even further. So I suspect you are measuring with strips which are notorious for reading low or your pH meter is out of cal or broken or you have got some super-acid malt.
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:38 PM   #7
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Well it was my first attempt to treat my water, and yes I use the unreliable strips, in other batches the strips have never changed from light yellow,4.8PH this time it went into the brown 5.2 range..

What would you have done to this water to balance the Chloride to Sulfate ratio?

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Old 01-12-2011, 06:50 PM   #8
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I'm not a big subscriber to the concept of chloride/sulfate balance. That concept of controlling beer quality through chloride to sulfate ratio is pretty much limited to people doing UK style beers. Chloride tends to make beers smoother, rounder, fuller and, some say, sweeter whereas sulfate tends to emphasize hops dryness, harshness and roughness. I don't see those as being antipodal but some do. I don't personally like the effects of sulfate on hops but again some do.

From the use of Maris Otter and the original post I assume that your overall goal is to get a malty beer which, from the grain bill mentioned in #4 is, I assume, a Porter. The two main things that will get you lots of malt flavor are lots of malt and control of mash pH. Proper mash pH "brightens" flavors and using a lot of malts makes sure that there are flavors to brighten. Your water is fairly alkaline which pushes mash pH higher. Adding bicarbonate only pushes it higher. Dilution with RO water lowers it. I might try 1:1 dilution with RO water (will cut the alkalinity in half) and addition of about 1 g/gal (1 tsp/5 gal) calcium chloride which will give you a decent calcium level and some chloride for mellowness. The chloride to sulfate ratio will be high but I don't see this as a problem since I don't think of porters or stouts as agressively hopped beers.

I don't know about the colors of the crystal and roasted grains but am guessing that the remaining alkalinity will nicely balance their acidity to give you a pH close to 5.4. It is always best to confirm that with a pH meter but I know not everyone wants to spring for one of those.

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