Suggestions on building my water please
Here's my water report...
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 83
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.14
Cations / Anions, me/L 1.5 / 1.5
Sodium, Na 10
Potassium, K 1
Calcium, Ca 14
Magnesium, Mg 3
Total Hardness, CaCO3 48
Nitrate, NO3-N < 0.1 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S < 1
Chloride, Cl 1
Carbonate, CO3 < 1
Bicarbonate, HCO3 91
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 75
Looks like some Gypsum is in order, and I need to bring the Magnesium up. I'm also thinking I should try to get the Sodium up a little bit, but I'm not sure. This is from a well in the Sierra Nevada foothills, seems like a good base to build on. My beers have always been pretty decent and some have been excellent, but they always seem to be missing something.
I mostly brew IPA's but lately I have been leaning towards brewing more Pilsners & German styles.
Anyhow, I'd love to hear some opinions on how I should build this up.
I wouldn't add anything to increase magnesium- unless you're making a very hoppy IPA and want to get a sour/bitter flavor to it. Malt has plenty of magnesium, and you don't need it. No need to raise sodium.
For a pilsner or German lager, I would try to increase the calcium by using calcium chloride as well as drop the alkalinity, perhaps by diluting with RO water.
For an IPA, I would use gyspum.
I really like to use the information on the Bru'nwater website, as well as the spreadsheet for predicting mash pH.
Building up the sulfate (with gypsum) may be a good idea for IPA but keeping it low as it is now is a blessing for Pilsner (at least Bohemian Pilsner). Your calcium and in particular chloride levels are low for most beers and should be built up. Your alkalinity is a bit high. Diluting this water with 1 part RO water will lower the alkalinity (to 37.5) and you can go 2:1 to get it to 25 if you like. As you will have to supplement calcium and chloride in any case (even with out dilution) dilution may be a reasonable way to go if you have RO water handy.
See http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/brewing-water-chemistry-primer-198460/ for a bit more detail on this approach.
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