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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Preparing for my first all-grain, need some help with water
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:26 PM   #11
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Dare I suggest but what would happen if you tried brewing with just the water that you have and not adding anything?
+1

One of these days I'll get into water chemistry but for most folks the water they drink on a daily basis is usually just fine. I haven't done enough studying to know if your numbers indicate a completely whacked water profile but I would bet if you just went with what comes out of your tap, at least for your first few all grain batches, you will get good results at the very least.

One question I would ask is if this is your first all grain what were you doing to your water when you were doing extract or partial mashes? If nothing and your beer was good then I see no reason to go forward with all grain in the same manner. Get your process down then start messing with your water.
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:29 PM   #12
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One question I would ask is if this is your first all grain what were you doing to your water when you were doing extract or partial mashes? If nothing and your beer was good then I see no reason to go forward with all grain in the same manner. Get your process down then start messing with your water.
Yes, but there is the mashing process in all-grain which is water chemistry dependent. Boiling extract, not so much.
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:31 PM   #13
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Okay, so if I make a dark lager with a bit of roast malt, I should use maybe 1% of sour malt, and a teaspoon of calcium chloride?
That should work out fine.

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Hm, there are some hand-held pH-meters around 100$, with an accuracy of 0.2 pH. That would be good enough. Not right now, though.
0.2 is better than test strips but if possible you should have a meter that reads to 0.1 or 0.05. These are available in the States for under $100. Don't know about over there though.
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:34 PM   #14
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It is water chemistry dependent but there is a tremendous amount of flexibility.

Yes, it's nice to be in a 5.2-5.4 range but you'll still end up with good beer if you're outside of that.

Yes, it's also nice to have good percentages of the right salts etc., but you've got reasonable water on that front anyway.

I'm cheap and I like things simple. If I can end up with good beer and not have to do anything extra or buy any more gear or chemicals then I'm in! If the pH meter is too expensive or difficult to get then just go with your tap water and see what happens.

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Old 09-19-2011, 07:44 PM   #15
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Yes, but there is the mashing process in all-grain which is water chemistry dependent. Boiling extract, not so much.
I suppose there is however, with extract brewing you also have the added issue of whatever was in the water the manufacturer used to make the extract. Whatever is in their water ends up in your boil kettle via the extract. I'm going to assume you weren't accounting for any of that (though maybe you were). If not, then I would take it just as easy with your first few all grain batches. I bet they'll be great, and if not, well, then see if messing with the water improves them after you've accounted for everything else.

I'm with Pcollins in doing what I can to keep things simple. Not to say that some folks can't take that attitude to an extreme and just become downright lazy but I truly believe the less you mess, the better off you usually are. Exceptions exist, of course!

Either way, do what YOU feel would help your beer. That's the beauty of the hobby. FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:45 PM   #16
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Dare I suggest but what would happen if you tried brewing with just the water that you have and not adding anything?
The beer would turn out fine but can be made better by controlling mash pH downwards with acid (sauermalz = acidulated malt). Calcium chloride is kind of the chicken soup of brewing. It can't hurt.
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:49 PM   #17
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That should work out fine.



0.2 is better than test strips but if possible you should have a meter that reads to 0.1 or 0.05. These are available in the States for under $100. Don't know about over there though.
Hm, there's a one that's just a tad more expensive with a precision of 0.01pH and an accuracy of +-0.02 pH. I guess I'll go with that then, when I order one.
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