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Old 04-22-2013, 08:37 PM   #1
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Default Gypsum vs 5.2 ph stabilizer

Ok, I have well water going thru a water softener, so my brews seem to always be lacking that something.
I listened to Basic Brewing Radio podcast on water chemistry and thought I should maybe start playing with my brewing salts but then I heard about the 5.2 ph stabilizer and thought I should use that, but now I am confused.

What are the pros of using the stabilizer vs adding salts, taking in to account the I have no idea what my water chemistry is, so about all I can put in is results from pool test strips that I have. Gives me ph and a few other things on the strip.

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Old 04-22-2013, 09:35 PM   #2
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Ok, I have well water going thru a water softener, so my brews seem to always be lacking that something.
I listened to Basic Brewing Radio podcast on water chemistry and thought I should maybe start playing with my brewing salts but then I heard about the 5.2 ph stabilizer and thought I should use that, but now I am confused.

What are the pros of using the stabilizer vs adding salts, taking in to account the I have no idea what my water chemistry is, so about all I can put in is results from pool test strips that I have. Gives me ph and a few other things on the strip.
The 5.2 stabilizer is a bad idea- don't do that! It doesn't work anyway, and it can leave a salty taste in the beer. It also doesn't remove bad things- say, you have tons of bicarbonate in your water. The stabilizer won't remove the bicarbonate, so you'll still have any flavor issues from the bicarbonate.

In order to really add salts, you need to know where you're starting from. I'd send a sample of water to Ward Lab. For $16.50, you get back the report you need. I'm assuming that if your water is going through a softener that it may be high in sodium- and you'll want to correct that. You could try sending unsoftened water to Ward Lab, and see if you can work with that water.

I have very hard very alkaline water, so I invested in a reverse osmosis (RO) water system for brewing for $119. I was buying RO water in jugs at the store, and it is cheap- but I started doing more 10 gallon batches and I didn't like hauling 15 gallons of water for brewdays!
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:46 PM   #3
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Thanks for you quick reply. Since I have an RO, but don't have the bottles to store the water in, if I buy the distilled water for this batch(Friday I am making BierMuncher's centennial blonde) and save the bottles I can do the RO in the future. Can you recommend what I should add to the distilled water to use it for the blonde?

I was going to use this( http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-ch...er-calculator/ ) but didn't know what the starting numbers would be for distilled and for RO in the future.

PS love your dogfish 60 min recipe, it rocks.

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Old 04-22-2013, 11:17 PM   #4
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the ph 5.2 stabilizer is garbage IMO, do a search for a spreadsheet called bru'n Water, you will need a water ananlysis to input your baseline water profile but after that the spreadsheet is awesome and easy to use.

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Old 04-22-2013, 11:21 PM   #5
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Thanks for you quick reply. Since I have an RO, but don't have the bottles to store the water in, if I buy the distilled water for this batch(Friday I am making BierMuncher's centennial blonde) and save the bottles I can do the RO in the future. Can you recommend what I should add to the distilled water to use it for the blonde?

I was going to use this( http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-ch...er-calculator/ ) but didn't know what the starting numbers would be for distilled and for RO in the future.

PS love your dogfish 60 min recipe, it rocks.
An easy addition for RO water (or distilled) and a lighter beer is simply 5 grams (about a teaspoon) of calcium chloride for the water in a 5 gallon batch.

Some quick 'n easy info: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/bre...primer-198460/
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:05 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by tieflyer View Post
Thanks for you quick reply. Since I have an RO, but don't have the bottles to store the water in, if I buy the distilled water for this batch(Friday I am making BierMuncher's centennial blonde) and save the bottles I can do the RO in the future. Can you recommend what I should add to the distilled water to use it for the blonde?

I was going to use this( http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-ch...er-calculator/ ) but didn't know what the starting numbers would be for distilled and for RO in the future.

PS love your dogfish 60 min recipe, it rocks.
The numbers for distilled water are zeros across the board because distilled water has had all of the ions stripped out. It's a little different for RO water. I do recommend the Brunwater spreadsheet that was mentioned above. You can google it and it is free. Once you learn how to use the spreadsheet it makes it super easy to make the adjustments you need no matter what kind of beer you are brewing. You just have to put in the time to do the reading and just learn it. You will be glad you did.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by tieflyer View Post
Thanks for you quick reply. Since I have an RO, but don't have the bottles to store the water in, if I buy the distilled water for this batch(Friday I am making BierMuncher's centennial blonde) and save the bottles I can do the RO in the future. Can you recommend what I should add to the distilled water to use it for the blonde?

I was going to use this( http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-ch...er-calculator/ ) but didn't know what the starting numbers would be for distilled and for RO in the future.

PS love your dogfish 60 min recipe, it rocks.
I like that calculator a lot...you can input your grain bill and save and reload the profile when needed...brun is the go to though
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:41 AM   #8
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WOW, my head is now spinning.
Tons of info and not enough time to absorb it all. Guess I will start out with teaspoon of calcium chloride and see what happens.

I was thinking of using spring water, but who really knows what is in those bottles.

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Old 04-23-2013, 03:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by tieflyer
WOW, my head is now spinning.
Tons of info and not enough time to absorb it all. Guess I will start out with teaspoon of calcium chloride and see what happens.

I was thinking of using spring water, but who really knows what is in those bottles.
If you are using distilled just follow yooper's link. I use the water chemistry primer on my beers and they come out great. Simple and easy too.

Goodluck
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:20 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the help guys, I really do appreciate it!

Does this look right for a centennial blonde?

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