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Old 04-08-2010, 04:07 PM   #1
JBrady
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Default Building water profiles from distilled water, dummy questions

Hello I'm ready to take baby steps into the world of water. With not even the slightest knowledge of chemistry I really need to start small here and not overwhelm myself. I was thinking of trying to get away with just using 2 or 3 different additives, when playing with all the water calculators it seems gypsum and calcium chloride have some of the biggest impacts. Would it be possible for me to build decent water using just distilled water, gypsum, calcium chloride, and 5.2 buffer?

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Old 04-08-2010, 04:19 PM   #2
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Um, I don't think you add the 5.2 with other mineral additions. IIRC, 5.2 is a pH stabilizer, which probably contains the other minerals. 5.2, I believe, is designed to be used solo.

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Old 04-08-2010, 04:27 PM   #3
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thanks, that shows how much i know about water profiling, lol

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Old 04-08-2010, 04:28 PM   #4
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I would do some more research before you start screwing with water. You can easily do more harm than good.

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Old 04-08-2010, 04:33 PM   #5
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guess I'll just stick with store bought spring water for now

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Old 04-08-2010, 04:35 PM   #6
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There's tons of great information here on water modification. Don't give up, just be careful.

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Old 04-08-2010, 04:49 PM   #7
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It might be over my head all together, I was hoping that adjusting the sulfate/chloride ratio using gypsum and calcium chloride would be enough, but if there is a million other things that I have to worry about adjusting at the same time then it may be a bit much for myself.

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Old 04-08-2010, 05:04 PM   #8
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Have you played around with the EZ Water spreadsheet? That gives a good sense of how the different additives will play together and might give a hint as to whether you could get away with just using the two. Bobby_M has a good tutorial on his youtube channel about playing with/interpreting the numbers.

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Old 04-08-2010, 05:20 PM   #9
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thanks redglass, im going to check that out right now

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Old 04-08-2010, 05:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SC_Ryan View Post
I would do some more research before you start screwing with water. You can easily do more harm than good.
Wow, I totally disagree. Building a profile is very easy if you start with RO water. Way easier than all-grain brewing in general. Just measure out the amounts and add to the crushed grain. You already have salt (NaCL) and baking soda (NaHCO3) probably. Maybe even Epsom salts (MgSO4). Some things to consider...

- Use a water profile calculator
http://www.brewersfriend.com/water-chemistry/

- Get a cheap-ass digital scale ($5 from Harbor Freight) to measure with.

- What really matters is the mash water volume. I don't include sparge water in the calculation.

- The salts won't dissolve in the RO water. Just add the salts to your crushed grain before mashing.

I wouldn't worry about adding 5.2 buffer unless you have harsh tasting pale ale. With RO water I would be shocked if this ever was an issue. If you really want to be sure, get some pH test strips and check the acidity. If the pH is over 6, then use the 5.2 stabilizer. Otherwise forget it.
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