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Old 07-19-2009, 06:45 PM   #11
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If you do decide to dilute with distilled water, you should do at least 2:1 (two parts distilled) to get your Mg down. 2:1 would look like

Ca 92
Mg 38
SO4 16
Na 4
Cl 1
HCO3 122

You could add some gypsum (CaSO4), calcium chloride, or maybe table salt from there to fine tune.

Check out other dilution and mineral additions on this great calculator.

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Old 07-19-2009, 06:49 PM   #12
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:34 PM   #13
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You can knock down Calcium and Magnesium with 5.2 buffer or starsan, Calcium and Magnesium phosphate are both very insoluble and are what make starsan solutions cloudy. The problem will then be that you don't know the new water chemistry. Best bet is to dilute with RO to whatever target level you want

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Old 07-21-2009, 02:22 PM   #14
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I use 5.2 in my mash. Will that have an affect on the water profile I start with?

Maybe I have my thinking wrong. My plan was to prepare 14 gallons of water to end up with a 11 gallon batch of Centennial Blonde.

I picked up some Distilled Water. Plugged in the numbers to get the figures as hammacks suggested. Then figured I'd Mash with that water and 5.2 in the Mash, Sparge with the remainder of the prepared water.

Is this the "correct" way to prep and use water?

How do I pick a target level for Centennial Blonde? It is BierMuncher's American Ale Recipe.

Sorry for all the questions. I've brewed several batches now and none have been up to my expectations. It's time for a good one.

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Old 07-21-2009, 02:31 PM   #15
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Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Nottingham
Yeast Starter: Nope
Additional Yeast or Yeast Starter: Nope
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5 & 11
Original Gravity: 1.039
Final Gravity: 1.008
IBU: 21.6
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60-75
Color: 3.9
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 4 days at 68 Degrees
Additional Fermentation: Kegged, chilled and Carb'd for one week
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 5 Days at 68 Degrees

You aim for the SRM color of the desired beer. You will want a very soft water (low bicarbonates) for a light beer.

If you have the right water for beer, you don't need to amend it.

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Old 07-21-2009, 03:22 PM   #16
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Thanks Henry, That helps somewhat.

Now from what I have read it seems that there are several water profiles with known minerals that are used in calculating profiles. They seem to be Pilsen, Dublin, Dortmund, Vienna, Munich, London, Edinburg, and Burton-Trent. These are from Palmer's book and the calculator hammacks pointed to. So I'm guessing that they are somewhat a basis to start from. Trouble is none of them are Ale's. So I'm guessing again I'd start with a Pilsen? That seems to me to be the closest to a light SRM.

FWIW here is my water profile;

Calcium 272
Magnesium 112
Bicarbonate 360
Sulfate 48
Sodium 11
Chloride 2.0
Hardness 384
PH 7.51

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Old 07-21-2009, 03:36 PM   #17
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As dark grains are added, the need for harder water rises.

Since you want a relatively light beer color, you want a low level of bicarbonates.

You need some of the other minerals, but the bicarbonates are your enemy.

Whether lager or ale yeast is used is irrelevant.

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Old 07-21-2009, 03:48 PM   #18
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I'm still learning about this stuff but all of your levels seem high. I'd guess that just cutting your water 1:1 with distilled would be better than nothing for lighter beers. There's more to it than that obviously. It seems that if you wanted to brew a pils or any really light beers regularly, an RO/DI unit would be the only way.

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Old 07-21-2009, 04:07 PM   #19
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Yeah it seems that an RO is in my future. But I'm still learning about them and I "need" to brew ASAP! The pipeline is empty, I'm drinking store bought 1/6 barrel's from my Kegerator. Have'nt brewed in a while, busy summer and I want to try some better water for my next batch. My first 10 gallon batch.

Good info about the yeast type. I'd of thought it did matter for sure.


Maybe I'd be better off with a Fat Tire or Sam Adams clone this time? Fatty is what I'm tapping now.

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Old 07-21-2009, 06:18 PM   #20
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I have just spent the better part of two days on this very subject. I am planning on moving my brewery to an addition of the back of an existing garage on some land that has a well. The water you have is very hard and chalked full of minerals. I would simply get a holding tank....around 20 to 30 gallons and one of those RO systems that will give you the 20 gallons a day that way you can turn it on a day or two in advance. After looking at my well water and talking with experts I have decided that if this plan to move the brewery comes together it will follow this path.......well => green sand filter=> softener=> RO=> Holding tank.

The best way to remove the Mg and Iron is the green sand filter and those are fairly inexpensive. Do you have Iron in your water? if you you probably have Iron Bacteria which will plug the RO diaphram over time. The green sand will help eliminate that problem.

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