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Old 02-03-2009, 09:22 PM   #1
cootr_brn
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Default My water report - What style of beer is it good for brewing?

Hello All

I have listed the water report for Kyle, Tx below - can I get your input on what its good for brewing?

Fluoride - 3.3 ppm
Nitrate - 0.03 ppm
Gross beta emitters - 1.6 pCi/L
Gross Alpha - 0.75 pCi/L
Chlorine Residual - 1.06 ppm
Total Haloacetic Acids - 20.8 ppb
Total Trihalomethanes - 41.5 ppb
Lead - 2 ppb
Copper - 0.148 ppm
Bicarbonate - 293 ppm
Chloride - 15 ppm
pH - 7.6
Sulfate - 108 ppm
Ttl Alkalinity (CaCO3) - 240 ppm
Ttl Dissolved Solids - 236 ppm

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Old 02-03-2009, 10:48 PM   #2
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your water has a fair amount of residual alkalinity. At least compared to mine. You'd probably be best off with darker beers.

With a carbonate content like that Mosher recommends Dark lager, stout and porter and the sulfate content lends to darker beers as well.

Chloride content is on the highish side which may increase hop bitterness.
Copper is also a touch high which will reduce the amount of sulfur compounds during fermentation.


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Old 02-03-2009, 11:35 PM   #3
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That report is a "health/contamination" report and doesn't show a lot of what you need to know as a brewer. It can be inferred from the alkalinity that the water is probably OK for amber to dark beers but if you are brewing all grain beer you should ask for a more complete report that shows the various brewing ions particularly calcium. The link below is a nice introduction to brewing water and contains another link about what numbers you need to know about your water.

Water And Homebrewing

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Old 02-04-2009, 12:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Chloride content is on the highish side which may increase hop bitterness.
I thought Cl added fullness/maltiness and it was SO4 that increased crispness/bitterness? The ratio of the two are something Palmer and Daniels have talked about; both saying that higher Cl:SO4 ratios are 'maltier' and low Cl:SO4 ratios are 'more bitter'.

cootr_brn,
You can always 'cut' your water with Distilled water to get the alkalinity down and make it more suitable for lighter beers. I would stay away from Gypsum and Epsom Salt with your water (you already have a lot of SO4)...use CaCl if you need to add Calcium (you could cut your water with distilled and then add some CaCl if you need Calcium and that could make your water better for lighter beers...but your report doesn't show Calcium).
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpanishCastleAle View Post
I thought Cl added fullness/maltiness and it was SO4 that increased crispness/bitterness? The ratio of the two are something Palmer and Daniels have talked about; both saying that higher Cl:SO4 ratios are 'maltier' and low Cl:SO4 ratios are 'more bitter'.
I went and looked it up:
Chloride: typical ppm: 5-16, No affect on mash pH, Very Water soluble, Increases hop bitterness, In limited amounts gives fullness.

Sulfate: typical ppm: 5-70, Acidifies mash, Water soluble, Acidifies, best for pale dry beers. Enhances clean hop flavor, decreases hop bitterness. Lightens color.
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:35 PM   #6
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What is your source?

From Palmer's How To Brew:

Quote:
Sulfate (SO4-2)
Molecular Weight = 96.0
Equivalent Weight = 48.0
Brewing Range = 50-150 ppm for normally bitter beers, 150-350 ppm for very bitter beers
The sulfate ion also combines with Ca and Mg to contribute to permanent hardness. It accentuates hop bitterness, making the bitterness seem drier, more crisp. At concentrations over 400 ppm however, the resulting bitterness can become astringent and unpleasant, and at concentrations over 750 ppm, it can cause diarrhea. Sulfate is only weakly alkaline and does not contribute to the overall alkalinity of water.

Chloride (Cl-1)
Atomic Weight = 35.4
Equivalent Weight = 35.4
Brewing Range = 0-250 ppm.
The chloride ion also accentuates the flavor and fullness of beer. Concentrations above 300 ppm (from heavily chlorinated water or residual bleach sanitizer) can lead to mediciney flavors due to chlorophenol compounds.
Then later when he mentions Pilsen water:
Quote:
The lack of sulfate provides for a mellow hop bitterness that does not overpower the soft maltiness;
Similarly for Munich water:
Quote:
The relatively low sulfate content provides for a mellow hop bitterness that lets the malt flavor dominate.
Then for Burton-On-Trent water he says:
Quote:
The high level of sulfate and low level of sodium produce an assertive, clean hop bitterness.
Then later when talking about Gypsum:
Quote:
Useful for adding calcium if the water is low in sulfate. Can be used to add sulfate "crispness" to the hop bitterness.
Then Epsom Salt:
Quote:
Can be used to add sulfate "crispness" to the hop bitterness.
Then if you use the speadsheet from the online version of the book you'll notice that water profiles with high Cl:SO4 ratios are rated as 'Malty or Very Malty' and ones with low Cl:SO4 ratios are rated as 'Bitter' and 'Very Bitter'.

Daniels in Designing Great Beers also talks about high SO4 as potentially harsh on the bitterness and Chloride as fuller/smoother.

I'm questioning your source but maybe I'm misinterpreting all of this.

EDIT: and this is from the link above that BigEd provided (content written by Daniels):
Quote:
SO4: Sulfate. Gives a dry, fuller flavor, some sharpness. Strongly bitter above 500 ppm, but characteristic of some British ales. Compliments high hopping levels.

Cl: Chloride. Acquired from table salt (NaCl) or calcium chloride, it enhances beer flavor and palate fullness. It increases perception of sweetness or mellowness. Increases stability and improves clarity. Usual levels 1 to 100 ppm in light beers. Can go up to 350 ppm in beers greater than 1.050 in gravity.
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Last edited by SpanishCastleAle; 02-05-2009 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 02-05-2009, 06:58 PM   #7
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The source I cited was Randy Mosher. I also have the Daniels book and yeah what you wrote is what is in there as well.

Here's another source:

Quote:
The divalent ions can be a component of the brewing water as it enters the
brewery, or the level(s) of these ion(s) might be significantly boosted by
adding salts to the water, mash or kettle, as “Burton salts” (mostly calcium
with magnesium present primarily as the sulfates), as gypsum (essentially
calcium sulphate) or as calcium chloride. The last is commonly used because
it dissolves easily and the chloride ion (with K+ and Na+ undoubtedly) has a
positive effect on perception of mellowness and palate-fullness (“body”); it
also helps to counteract the dry, bitter and even sour character of excessive
sulfate in some beers (especially as MgSO4 or Na2 SO4 ). The divalent ions
Ca2+ Mg2+ play an essential part in the pH of brewing systems and so
affect many aspects of brewing technology (as mentioned above and fully
explored at Chapters 2 and 13 and not repeated here). In addition to these
pH-based effects, calcium helps to precipitate oxalic acid as calcium oxalate
in the brewery, which otherwise would appear in beer and might cause
gushing. Calcium is also intimately involved with the mechanism of yeast
flocculation (see Chapter 11). It stabilizes malt α-amylase during mashing.
Magnesium by contrast has much less influence on pH than Ca2+ because it
is generally present in much lower concentration (e.g. 25 mg/l vs 250 mg/l)
and also the magnesium salts of phosphate or phytin are much more soluble
than those with calcium. Magnesium, however, is a component of essential
yeast enzymes such as pyruvate decarboxylase and all kinases (ADP/ATP-
handling enzymes).
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Last edited by z987k; 02-05-2009 at 07:06 PM.
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