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Old 05-09-2013, 04:44 PM   #1
Yankeehillbrewer
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Default Suggestions on building my water please

Here's my water report...

pH 6.7
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 83
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.14
Cations / Anions, me/L 1.5 / 1.5
ppm
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.

Thanks, Mike

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Old 05-09-2013, 04:51 PM   #2
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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.

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Old 05-10-2013, 02:59 PM   #3
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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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