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Old 03-29-2011, 08:55 PM   #1
fishnuttoo
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Default yet another water profile

ph 8.3
tds 209
elec conductivity 0.35
anions/cations 3.1/3.1

sodium Na 23
potasium K 2
calcium Ca 28
magnesium Mg 8
total hardness CaCo3 103
nitrate NO3 0.9
sulfate SO4-S 18
chloride Cl 28
Carbonate CO3 6
Bicarb HCO3 56
Total Alk 56

I have been playing with ez calc on the web. Is this profile better suited for darks, than pale ale. Brewing an Irish red. adjusted numbers to :
RA 105
ca 60
mg 15
Na 71
cl 95
so4 56
cl-so4 ratio 1.70

any help would be appresiated, i have been looking for info on diiferent styles pale ale, stouts, porters, reds etc, not alot of easy to read info found...

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Old 03-30-2011, 03:32 PM   #2
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Pretty nominal report. A little low in alkalinity (good) and a little high in sulfate (good if you like sulfate). About the only things you can't brew with water like this are the delicate lagers which use lots of noble hops (because of the sulfate) but that is easily remedied by simply diluting 1 + 2 with RO water (cuts everything to 1/3).

You can brew any color beer with this water. Color really has little to do with it other than the general fact that dark beers originally evolved as a way of dealing with high alkalinity water. Stouts, porters, pale ales should all come out fine with this water with no treatment.

I know this water chemistry stuff isn't easy to read (it isn't easy to write either). In an attempt to bring the KISS principle to it I've put a Primer in the Stickies area. This should be sufficient to get you started.

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Old 03-31-2011, 07:23 AM   #3
fishnuttoo
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thanks for the help, my beer is good but not great. thought maybe the water was the obstacle. i have been reading up, but can't find links to general water profiles for different styles of beer.

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Old 03-31-2011, 11:36 AM   #4
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After 20 years chasing profiles I found that I was making much better beer using the guidelines of the Primer - low mineral water supplemented with calcium chloride makes darn good beer. Just because Burton ales were made with Burton water doesn't mean they can't be made better with water with less mineral content. No, they won't be exactly like Burton beer but still better. The primer is there to get you making good beer. You can step off from there by adjustments to what the Primer recommends to go in whatever direction with respect to authenticity, adherence to BJCP guidelines... you want.

Profiles themselves are problematical in many cases. There are lots of ones published, listed in spreadsheets etc. that are way off. One of the newer spreadsheets (Bru'n water) has a set that at least meet the criterion that they can be physically realized. Remember also that it is not enough to know what the mineral profile of the Isar is - you also have to know what the original brewers of the style did to it in brewing Dunkles (nothing) or Helles (decarbonate) and do that same thing. It's best to work up to this gradually as your knowledge and experience increase.

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Old 03-31-2011, 12:55 PM   #5
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As AJ says, lower mineral concentions are probably better for producing good beer.

For instance, the groundwater in Burton is the result of upwelling from the Mercia Mudstone (a gypsum-bearing formation) into the surficial sand and gravel aquifer where it mixes with groundwater from rainfall infiltration and Trent River inflow. The more the brewers of the region utilized that water source, the more the dilution from these other sources. The amount of rainfall and river level also affect the groundwater quality.

The location of the water supply well also has an influence. At Marston Brewery, the sulfate content is up to 800 ppm, while at Coors Brewery the sulfate content was only about 200 ppm. These were sampled at the same time and come from the same sand and gravel aquifer. So, defining a 'true' Burton water profile is impossible.

I've included a balanced Burton water profile in Bru'n Water that was estimated based on the relative concentrations of ions observed from that aquifer, but clearly those concentrations could be higher or lower. At over 600 ppm sulfate, the provided profile is not as extreme as that groundwater gets, but its pretty mineralized. I would personally be reluctant to brew with that Burton profile and would go with the Pale Ale profile that is also included in Bru'n Water as a first try for brewing a good hoppy beer (300 ppm sulfate). A less mineralized water profile is also going to produce a good beer, but it might not have the 'pop' a brewer is looking for. Its all dependent on the brewer's taste and skill.

Personally, I'm with AJ in believing that a 'less is more' mantra is more likely to produce a good beer.

Use water profiles with caution.

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Old 03-31-2011, 04:08 PM   #6
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thanks guys, for your time. I think your right. KISS has been around, and seen in many aspects of life, for a reason. It's true. i will dilute my cincinnati water with RO, (like I have been 50/50) use the calcium chloride and call it a day.

one side note, that spreadsheet was kinda fun, add this, subtract that.

thanks again

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