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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Oatmeal Brown Ale - Water Chemistry
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:51 PM   #1
Clint04
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Default Oatmeal Brown Ale - Water Chemistry

I will be brewing Northern Brewer's Surly Bender clone kit next week, and I am trying to figure out what a good water profile would be for this beer. Over the past few months, I have been using the tips laid out in the Water Chemistry Primer for my beer (100% Distilled, CaCl, Acid Malt, CaSO4), and my beers (for the most part) have been better.

Here is the recipe for the Bender Clone:
8lbs Canada Malting Pale Ale Malt
2lbs Aromatic
0.75lb English Medium Crystal
0.75lb Belgian Special B
0.75lb Simpsons Golden Naked Oat
0.25lb English Chocolate Malt

I use 100% Distilled Water, because this is my town's water profile:
http://www.eastonutilities.com/media...te_version.pdf

Needless to say, it's pretty brutal for brewing.

What would you recommend for this beer? 100% Distilled water + 1tsp CaCL + maybe a little bit of Gypsum? No Acid Malt (since there are roasted malts)?


Thanks in advance!

-Clint

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Old 07-25-2012, 06:04 PM   #2
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Yes, that tap water would not be ideal to brew with. Starting with RO or distilled water is the way to go. Adding calcium chloride and possibly some gypsum would be helpful.

No, acid malts will definitely not be needed or welcome. There may be a need for some additional alkalinity to keep the mash pH from dropping too low. You could add a small proportion of the tap water to supply that alkalinity as needed. Bru'n Water provides the tools to figure out how much to add.

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Old 07-25-2012, 07:41 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response, Martin.

I actually started messing around in Bru'n Water shortly after I posted this. It appears as if I should add some CaCl, Gypsum, and some chalk. I am still messing with it, but it is making more sense to me now!

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Old 07-25-2012, 10:30 PM   #4
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Chalk is not a reliable alkalinity producer. I would look more closely at reducing your dilution from 100% to a slightly lower value so that you can utilize some of that excessive alkalinity in the tap water. If you can avoid boosting the sodium too high, this approach might work. If this dilution approach leaves your brewing water with too much sodium, I recommend you utilize pickling lime for adding alkalinity. Its much more reliable.

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Old 10-23-2012, 10:59 PM   #5
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Hey, I'm going to be brewing the Surly Bender clone soon. What water profile did you end up using? How did the beer turn out?

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Old 10-24-2012, 02:18 PM   #6
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I used (if I remember correctly) 80% distilled water, 20% of my tap water (link above), 1.1 grams of Gypsum per 5 gallons, and 2.3 grams of CaCL per 5 gallons.

I was very disappointed in the beer. It has a weird, platic-like twang that I haven't had in a beer since the last time I used my tap water. I'm pissed at myself that I even used tap water at all.

I want to brew this again, but will do 100% distilled, but maybe add pickling lime or chalk to raise the pH.....

(Also, I really need a pH meter)

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Old 10-25-2012, 02:05 PM   #7
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This sounds like a chlorine issue, fixable with Campden tablet. 1 tables is good for 20 gallons. I generally crush up a tablet (about 0.65g) and weigh out enough to treat brewing water I've got in buckets.

I've never brewed with any sodium in my water, but your tap water may contribute about 30ppm by just using 20% tap water. Depending on if sodium is a undesireble taste for you in beer, that may be the reason to use 100% RO/distilled water with pickling lime.

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