Kegconnection Complete Starter Kit and More Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Brewing water adjustments

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-30-2013, 01:08 PM   #1
JBOGAN
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Rochester, Michigan
Posts: 366
Liked 60 Times on 37 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default Brewing water adjustments

So now that i have two AG batches under my belt i have started to go deeper into the chemistry of brewing water.Before i did the two batches i spent a few weeks building up equipment and using one of those water test kits from the tropical fish store.I know you can send a sample out to be tested but in my nieve mind state i figured the one i had would be adequate and as i looked at the results of my tap water i was lost.All that i could really pull from the test was,my water is very hard and high in alkalinity.

So for my first two AG beers i made a BIPA and a BPA one is bottle conditioning and one is still in the primary.Mash temps were good,sparge temps consistent and Efficiency was around 75/78%.I used distilled water and two gallons of spring water thinking that was enough to add some mineral content back to the water.I scoured through this forum and many others and came up with a basic addition of calcium and gypsum in which i used.I know i will get yelled at for messing with my water instead of getting down my process but i feel comfortable with my process just not the science part.

So my next step is to get a brewing water program,which one is the best?Is there a way to find a program more suited to using Distilled or RO water?What kind of books should i be reading?Not looking to match the brewing water in Dublin or any other city or country I am just looking to match mineral addition to style to match flavor,body and PH.Sorry for the long post but i want to make the best beer i can and i feel this is the most important part any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.Many of you have probably traveled down this road before and i must say it is upfront very daunting.

__________________
JBOGAN is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-30-2013, 01:15 PM   #2
jbsengineer
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Syracuse, NY
Posts: 350
Liked 8 Times on 7 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

I try to keep it as simple as possible by following the steps below:

-I send my water out to Ward labs every 6 months (so far the results have almost been identical)
-I have a set of water profiles for each style of beer
-I plug my source water and my target water profile into EZ Water Calculator. http://www.ezwatercalculator.com/
-Play with distilling the water down and modifying salt additions until I get close

Thursday I'm brewing a Cream Ale which is going to take 50% distilled water but I got close to my target profile. My source water sits in the middle of light and dark styles. The Cream Ale is at the extreme light side which requires that amount of distilled but I usually find I only need 10% or none at all for most of my beers.

The biggest difference I've noticed is how my hops shine in my hoppy beers. I attribute this to the chloride/sulfate ratio in my profiles which will determine your malt/hop balance.

__________________
Electric Brewery Build
jbsengineer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-30-2013, 01:25 PM   #3
Pie_Man
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Pie_Man's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 1,342
Liked 131 Times on 123 Posts
Likes Given: 13

Default

The two most popular water spreadsheets are EZ Water and Bru'N, both can account for using distilled water. EZ Water, as the name implies, is pretty easy to use. Bru'N water takes a little research and time to figure out, but is more advanced and from what I've read, more accurate at least in terms of estimating pH. It also has pre populated water profiles, so you can emulate the water of major brewing cities fairly easy.

Some good information about water and pH here: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Braukaiser.com. Kai also did a two part interview about pH on the Basic Brewing podcast.

__________________
Pie_Man is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-30-2013, 01:43 PM   #4
ajdelange
Senior Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 5,665
Liked 538 Times on 441 Posts
Likes Given: 15

Default

Brewing water can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. After having made it awfully complicated in the past I have settled in to an extremely simple approach: add calcium chloride to RO water. This will work for many/most beers giving a nice, round, smooth product with good mouthfeel but they will not be particularly hoppy unless you use lots of hops and will not have that British ale hop character. If more assertive hop effect is wanted, substitute calcium sulfate for some or all of the calcium chloride or even add calcium sulfate in addition to the chloride.

The basic phillosophy behind this approach is set forth at
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/bre...primer-198460/

The recommendations given there are meant as a stepping off point. As you have to use some water while learning the intricacies of process you might as well use one that is consistent and under control. The alternative is your tap water which may be consistent but which may not be at all. Beyond that until you do some testing or have the water tested you have no idea as to the suitability of your water for brewing. Given your location and your test kit results it looks as if you water is problematic. RO with some calcium chloride (and some sauermalz) will very probably make quite a dramatic improvement in your beers over what you would get with your tap water.

As to the spreadheets: there are dozens. By all means use them to teach you what general effects the additions of various salts to low ion (RO) water are likely to be but don't take the calculated ion concentrations as gospel if bicarbonate, carbonate lime or acids are involved unless the spreadsheet is one that asks you to specify source water pH and target water pH. RO water pH is always effectively 7 but the fact that the spreadsheet asks for that info is an indicator that acids and carbonates are being modeled correctly. Also don't take mash pH predictions as guarantees. pH prediction is difficult. See http://www.wetnewf.org/pdfs/estimating-mash-ph.html) for details on this.

__________________
ajdelange is offline
hops2it Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-30-2013, 03:33 PM   #5
JBOGAN
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Rochester, Michigan
Posts: 366
Liked 60 Times on 37 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

Thank you guys for the great info.Once again I have just tried to over complicate things.The next headache will be wiring for a fermentation chamber and keezer/beer cellar.Then you guys will show me that once again i am over complicating things.

__________________
JBOGAN is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-01-2013, 11:05 AM   #6
Calichusetts
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Calichusetts's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Plymouth, MA
Posts: 2,324
Liked 222 Times on 163 Posts
Likes Given: 600

Default

EZ water is awesome...Brun is a lot of work to get down. I highly suggest starting with this:

http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-ch...er-calculator/

Very simple and similar to EZ, but you can build off it. I tried starting with Brun and it was just too overwhelming. After using this for a while, Brun is far easier. I still stick with brewersfriend though in the end.

__________________
Calichusetts is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Brewing Water Adjustments for Dunkel Jcoz Brew Science 21 08-21-2012 12:28 PM
Water Adjustments and pH? p-nut Brew Science 1 02-23-2010 02:10 PM
PH and Water Adjustments Pumpkinman906 Brew Science 3 02-15-2010 07:45 PM
Water adjustments for my IPA klamz All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 11 12-08-2009 09:00 PM
brewing water adjustments jeepmarine71 Brew Science 7 06-10-2009 05:54 PM