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Old 07-08-2010, 03:34 AM   #11
Stein
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The problem I keep running into when diluting and then trying to build a pale beer profile, is Calcium. It appears to be attached to almost everything I want to use to soften the water. I was specifically looking at the Vienna sample profile and I could not bump the other minerals without making the water harder again and having it tell me I am better off brewing a bitter beer.
I played around with your numbers a bit in the spreadsheet, and if you dilute your mash and sparge water 75% with RO/distilled, and add 6 grams gypsum and 1 gram calcium chloride to the mash (11 grams and 2 grams to the sparge, respectively), it will get you close on the Vienna profile. It'll allow you to brew anything from 2 to 7 SRM and stay within the mash pH range. The only thing you will be off in is magnesium, but I personally wouldn't want the recommended 68 ppm of magnesium in the beer. I thought too much magnesium (over 30 ppm) could cause nasty off flavors, but that's what this profile recommends, so I don't really know.

Like I said earlier, I have too much bicarbonate in my water too, so I've been trying to build my water profile from scratch by buying RO water and adding salts. So far I've had decent success with it.
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:45 AM   #12
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Thanks. I will keep tinkering. One more question about dilution. I am assuming it's pretty straightforward. But everytime I assume something is straightforward, I get burned. So here it goes. If you say 75% dilution does that mean:

let's say I assume 5 gallons mash water and 7 gallons sparge water for argument's sake. Does a 75% dilution mean a tap/distilled mix of 1.25g/3.75g for mash and a mix of 1.75g/5.25g for sparge. Then add the minerals to the mixed water at the rates provided by the spreadsheet based on the total volume of water for each (i.e., 6 grams of gypsum in the mash and 8.4 in the sparge?)

Because if that is the case, based on your numbers, the sheet tells me this is water would be best suited to a very bitter beer

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Old 07-08-2010, 03:49 AM   #13
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As long as I am asking. Is there a place on the web where profiles for different styles can be found? I have found myself drinking (and therefore brewing) more Belgian beers lately. It would be nice to have a couple of target water profiles that would translate well for a handful of Belgian styles.

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Old 07-08-2010, 04:05 AM   #14
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let's say I assume 5 gallons mash water and 7 gallons sparge water for argument's sake. Does a 75% dilution mean a tap/distilled mix of 1.25g/3.75g for mash and a mix of 1.75g/5.25g for sparge. Then add the minerals to the mixed water at the rates provided by the spreadsheet based on the total volume of water for each (i.e., 6 grams of gypsum in the mash and 8.4 in the sparge?)

Because if that is the case, based on your numbers, the sheet tells me this is water would be best suited to a very bitter beer
That's how I understand it. If you have a 75% dilution, it would be 1.25 gallons of tap and 3.75 gallons of RO/distilled. You add the salts for the mash adjustment to the mash water prior to adding the grains, in the mash tun. You add the sparge salts to the boil kettle after all the runnings from the MLT have been collected.

The Vienna profile will yield a very bitter beer because the chloride to sulfate ratio is about 0.18 (39 chloride, 216 sulfate).

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As long as I am asking. Is there a place on the web where profiles for different styles can be found? I have found myself drinking (and therefore brewing) more Belgian beers lately. It would be nice to have a couple of target water profiles that would translate well for a handful of Belgian styles.
I wish there was. I've been lucky so far and found answers on this, and other brewing forums. Most of the time somebody has already asked a question about a particular beer style's water profile. Hopefully Palmer, Jamil, or somebody else can address water chemistry more in depth at some point, because most homebrewers still believe "If the water tastes good, it's fine to brew with" and that isn't exactly true.
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