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Old 06-28-2007, 10:02 PM   #1
Johnny5
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Default Adjusting Minerals in Water?

Greetings!

Fairly new poster here, but I like all the good info and discussion.

I've brewed for about 5 years and as I prepare to make the transition from extract to all grain, I'm also reading up more about water and how to adjust it for taste depending on what style of beer you're after. I've used both bottled and tapwater over the years, both with good results tastewise (and only a couple of major problems in 20+ batches).

If it works out, I'd like to save a few bucks and use more (boiled) tapwater in the future. I got a city water report and found a place online to plug in those figures into a chart to adjust the water using salts, baking soda, etc.

I'd love to some opinions on both options (tap vs. bottled). Considering my past success, tap seems like a decent option, but I also want to keep improving the quality of my brews. Anyone use tapwater and go off info from their local water reports? My city's water quality was rated very highly recently, so it's tempting. My biggest concern is that some of the ranges for a couple of elements in the report were pretty big, so I'm concerned that I may miss my mark with additives and throw off the flavor.

So am I best off using bottled water and if so, I take it I'll probably need to use additives to that depending on the style I'm looking for to get the optimum taste. Is that right?

Thanks!

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Old 06-28-2007, 10:18 PM   #2
FlyingHorse
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I've always used tap. I don't worry too much about trying to adjust it for particular styles; our tap water is pretty middle-of-the-road as far as minerals go (although, like you say, with some pretty big swings). I've tossed in some gypsum to get it closer to Burton levels wen appropriate. I suppose if I were to attempt a Pils I might tweak it a little. But mostly I figure it's close enough, toss in a campden tab to get rid of the chlorine/chloramines, and away I go.

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Old 06-28-2007, 10:42 PM   #3
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Cool. Thanks for the input, Bike N Brew.

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Old 06-29-2007, 11:02 PM   #4
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The best thing to do is to first brew a beer with your tap water and find out if it tastes okay. A lot of folks mess with their water that don't have to.

My water is really hard. It will work okay for stouts but that is about it. For most of my beers (even the dark ones) I cut my tap water 50/50 with reverse osmosis filtered water. For my lighter beers I will only use 25% tap water. Lately I have had success building my water from scratch using all RO water. This gets a little tricky as you need to use an accurate scale that will measure down to 0.1 gram. Most folks don't have one of those. However, you can still brew good beers if you are somewhere in the ballpark.

I found a great resource on building your water recently. Most brewing books and software will give you the water profiles for famous brewing cities. The problem with those profiles is that you don't really know what beers are brewed where and what adjustments the breweries in those cities make to that water. This site shows suggested water profiles for various beer styles. Much more useful than the charts of profiles of brewing cities.

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homep...e/waterqal.htm

Wayne
Bugeater Brewing Company

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