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Old 08-04-2010, 06:38 AM   #1
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Default Water profile

Hey all,

I'm gearing up for another brew and would like to mess around with the water a bit as I am tired of making OK beers and want to step up my game. After checking my water report here.

http://www.lbwater.org/pdf/longbeachccr.pdf

Things don't look too horrible but I do notice chloramines which may be a reason that my past brews were good but not stellar. So my questions.

What water to use.

1. My city water with Campden tablets to take care of the chloramines and then adjust to style.

2. I have an ro/di setup for my reef tanks, I can T off before the DI and get RO water or I can get DI and either way add in salts to get the desired profile however I have read that Chloramines may still be present.

3. Distilled water and go from there.

4. A mix of RO and city or a mix of distilled and city which seems to be how many commercial breweries go about it. Would still need the Campdens though.

I am planning on brewing BM's Centennial Blonde. I want to make something that my wife will drink and I want it to be good hence the water chemistry. My previous brews have been drinkable but not something I'm proud to offer friend, just good enough for me to be happy.

BM's recipe for reference

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f66/mult...10-gall-42841/

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Old 08-05-2010, 09:30 PM   #2
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Anyone?

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Old 08-05-2010, 11:49 PM   #3
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For a blonde, I'd go with RO or distilled water and use a brewing spreadsheet to get the correct profile for the light color. Messing around with tap water and adding campden anyway, and still mixing it with RO water just sounds like a pain to me.

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Old 08-06-2010, 03:09 AM   #4
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honestly, i'd do what yooper said or just try option #1 for now and see how it turns out. i routinely use campden to de-chlorinate the water and it works great for me. then, if you are still detecting some water-based off-flavors, go from there.

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Old 08-06-2010, 04:52 AM   #5
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so does RO get rid of the chloramine? I have read conflicting ideas about it, or would it be better to go straight DI. I can go buy distilled but I have an RO/DI so if I can use it that would be easier.

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Old 08-06-2010, 02:12 PM   #6
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With my RO system, all traces of Chloramine are gone using the smell and taste test. My beer comes out great. Don't have DI so can't comment.

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Old 08-06-2010, 02:53 PM   #7
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No, the RO membrane does not remove chlorine/chloramine but the carbon filter which precedes it does. Chlorine or chloramine will poison one of the most common membrane types and so it is important to keep that carbon filter up to date.

As to your water: It's not too bad but not too great either. If you have RO available your best bet would probably be to use that with a tsp. of calcium chloride per 5 gallons. That's a prescription for a good beer in most cases. If you want the hops drier and more assertive than just the CaCl2 gives then add a tsp of gypsum per 5 gal the next time you brew it, see if you like the difference and adjust the gypsum up or down depending on whether you want more or less hop assertiveness. Sulfate seems to be OK for the British hop cultivars but not so good for the continental. I don't know about the American varieties because I never use them.

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Old 08-06-2010, 04:47 PM   #8
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OK, I'll do that then. I found the same information about the carbon clearing up chlorine and chloramines as well so that is good to know. I was planning on adjusting my water to specific beer styles anyhow, I was just concerned about the best starting water. My ro water pre DI is usually less than 10 tds so when measuring salts is it safe to assume 0 on all starting values? Cal, mag etc...

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Old 08-06-2010, 05:05 PM   #9
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Yes, I'd think so. Those 10 mg/L are divided up over sodium, magnesium, chloride, sulfate,bicarbonate averaging 2 mg/L (though some will probably be higher and some lower). No point in wasting the capacity of you DI exchanger(s).

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Old 08-06-2010, 07:33 PM   #10
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So after talking to the company that made my ro/di unit it seems that the best bet is to use DI for a few reasons. The carbon filter does not exactly remove the chloramine but breaks the bond between the chlorine and the ammonia. My understanding after talking with him is that chloramine is basically chlorinated water treated with ammonia that then bonds together. From what he said if I T off before the DI the ammonia will still be present as it does not get taken out through the RO however the DI resin will remove ammonia. Also since you can't be certain exactly what amount of what element are present in the RO without testing, DI will be more constant as it is completely stripped of all TDS.

Also he told me that chloramine treated water will break down carbon blocks much faster than other city water and carbon filters should be replaced more often in services containing chloramine. They do make a carbon block upgrade package that supposedly is a bit beefier and will hold up a bit better.

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