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BigJefe 07-23-2010 11:58 PM

What would you brew?
Hey everyone -

So I'm anticipating a jump to All-Grain Brewing in the next few months and I decided to start doing research on water chemistry in light of the recent water discussion on extract brewing. For the record I use bottled water, partial boil, and bottled water (unboiled) to top off an I'm quite happy with my most recent beers.

Here are the tools I've pulled off the internet to try and come to some understanding of what I need to do with my brewing water:

Annual Drinking Water Quality Report 2009

Tom M's Water Spreadsheet Thing

My water is coming from the Alvarado Treatment Plant, so I plug in the following:
Calcium (Ca) - 59.9ppm
Magnesium (Mg) - 25.6ppm
Total Alkalinity (as CaCO3) - 124

At this point according to the calculator if I take out all additions/dilutions it is saying my tap ware is good for a Dark American Lager, a couple Scottish Ales, American Amber, Belgian Strong Dark Ale, etc...

Is this a reliable tool for determining how to treat my tap water? If I brewed using my tap water would it make for a tastey Belgian Strong Dark Ale? If this is a bunch of Horseweiser can someone steer me in the right direction? I'm not a scientist, I've only got a basic understanding of half the acronyms used by this site, so an answer that is simplified would be appreciated.

Thanks for your help, Cheers,
Jeff C.

944play 07-24-2010 10:09 AM

Congratulations, you have excellent brewing water. Just dechlorinate and RDWHAHB.

If you want to start getting anal, check your mash pH and correct it with acid or chalk. Add some gypsum to your pale beers. Since you are starting with more than adequate Mg and more chloride than I'd personally like, I would not look to epsom salt or calcium chloride.

HTH. :mug:

HotbreakHotel 07-26-2010 04:41 AM

+1 What he said, also you are very "minerally rich" so I would pick something bold and flavorful.

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