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Old 02-01-2010, 05:16 AM   #1
eimar
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Default Pale lager and Dortmund water is there a trick ?

I really like the DAB Dortmunder export and would like to give a try at brewing this style. So I first checked the Dortmund water profile and was amazed by its high level of bicarbonate.
How could the Dortmund brewers , let's say 1 century ago when water treatment was unheard , brew such a pale lager with such inappropriate water ?.

Jacques

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Old 02-01-2010, 11:55 AM   #2
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It's because there is a ton of Calcium in there, Calcium helps acidify the mash. The Magnesium level is pretty high too which also helps acidify the mash (but less so than Calcium).

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Old 02-01-2010, 02:05 PM   #3
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There pretty much is no water that is appropriate for very pale beers without some method of mash acidification. That is why it was a big deal when the first pale/clear beer was brewed in Pilsen in the 1840s. By 1900 mash acidification was pretty well understood.

That said, there is lots of evidence that Dortmund beers aren't actually brewed with that water.

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Old 02-01-2010, 02:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remilard View Post
That said, there is lots of evidence that Dortmund beers aren't actually brewed with that water.
Yes... IIRC, it was Fix who suggested that today's Dortmunders are brewed with water comparable to Pilsen.
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:48 PM   #5
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It wouldn't take much dilution with distilled/RO to get it right. Untreated Dortmund water has a RA of -4 (SRM 5-10) per TH's spreadsheet. You could use it untreated and be fine.

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Old 02-01-2010, 03:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpanishCastleAle View Post
It wouldn't take much dilution with distilled/RO to get it right. Untreated Dortmund water has a RA of -4 (SRM 5-10) per TH's spreadsheet. You could use it untreated and be fine.
Depends on what you want your mash pH to be. I haven't like beers I have made where it has been around 5.8 (about what you would get with an all pilsner mash with water of RA = -4). If you want, say, 5.3 you have to acidify.
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remilard View Post
Depends on what you want your mash pH to be. I haven't like beers I have made where it has been around 5.8 (about what you would get with an all pilsner mash with water of RA = -4). If you want, say, 5.3 you have to acidify.
Yea, you're right. I thought just diluting it with RO a little would get you there but diluting doesn't really affect the RA very much (it actually goes up a tiny amount).

It's easy to get it in the right range with a little dilution plus Calcium, but that wasn't the question.
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:41 AM   #8
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Thanks to all the nice members on this forum who took some of their valuable time to reply.
So to resume: I'm wasting my time ( and my brewing ingredients ) trying to copy Dortmund water when brewing a DAB . Right ?


Jacques

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Old 02-20-2011, 12:42 PM   #9
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Edit: Bumpity Bump! I just realized this was from 2010, not 2011.


I'm curious about your recipe and how you decided to proceed with your DAB. I am going to brew a Dortmunder Export in another week -- I included my recipe (below) and bought some ingredients to modify my local water but have yet to decide how to proceed.


Dortmunder Export Recipe

Ingredients
8 lbs. German 2-row Pils
1.5 lbs. German Vienna
1.5 lbs. Dextrine Malt
0.5 lbs. German Light Munich
1.2 oz. Hallertau Hersbruck Pellets boiled 60 min.
0.50 oz. Hallertau Hersbruck Pellets boiled 15 min.
0.50 oz. Czech Saaz Pellets boiled 1 min.
Teaspoons of gypsum and calcium chloride
Yeast: White Labs WLP830 German Lager

Predicted Results
Original Gravity 1.056
Terminal Gravity 1.013
Color 4.22 °SRM
Bitterness 26.5 IBU
Alcohol (%volume) 5.6 %

Instructions
I added some gypsum and calcium chloride to the recipe to mimic the water of Dortmund. BCJP site speaks specifically to the type of water needed.
Most recipes that I looked at while I formulated this one had multi-step mashes. When malt wasn’t so well modified, it probably had a bigger effect on the beer. There are enough purists that would tell you otherwise, so…

Perform a protein rest for 30 mins @ 122° F. 60 minute saccharification rest at 152° F. Primary fermentation for 2 weeks with a diacetyl rest. Lager for a least four weeks at refrigerator temperatures. Brew on.

http://www.brew-dudes.com/dortmunder-export-recipe/459

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