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Old 12-28-2011, 05:45 PM   #1
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Default confused about water profile for Belgian Tripel

According to another thread on here, the water profile given in Brew Like a Monk for Chimay is as follows:
Ca 70 Mg 7 Na 7 SO4 21 CL 21 HCO3 216

I'm confused because with such a high HCO3 level and given the light grains used to brew a tripel, how does Chimay get a proper mash pH? Do you think they use a fair amount of acid malt? Or do they just mash at a really high pH?

I'm gearing up to brew my first tripel and am concerned about hitting an adequate water profile.

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Old 12-28-2011, 06:19 PM   #2
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That's a high ra but id do a 20 minute acid rest at 104 when u dough in, that eliminates the acid malt and should lower the pH enough for good enzymatic activity

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Old 12-28-2011, 07:35 PM   #3
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Also when your building your water don't worry about getting the HCO3 that high, just get a balanced cl/so4 that is as close to 21/21ppm as possible and a good amount of calcium 70-100, I also want to reenforce my previous post, I looked up tripel mash schedules and most of them did an acid rest like I stated, they do this with a lot of light malts.

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Old 12-28-2011, 08:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by KuntzBrewing View Post
Also when your building your water don't worry about getting the HCO3 that high, just get a balanced cl/so4 that is as close to 21/21ppm as possible and a good amount of calcium 70-100, I also want to reenforce my previous post, I looked up tripel mash schedules and most of them did an acid rest like I stated, they do this with a lot of light malts.
Thanks for the info.

Any reason not to use acid malt? I generally use some to dial in my mash pH instead of doing an acid rest. I am not opposed to an acid rest if it is a better method for this style, but I am also not opposed to keeping it simple with a single infusion using some acid malt.
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:34 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info.

Any reason not to use acid malt? I generally use some to dial in my mash pH instead of doing an acid rest. I am not opposed to an acid rest if it is a better method for this style, but I am also not opposed to keeping it simple with a single infusion using some acid malt.
Acid malt will work fine. I use it for every beer, and I brew a lot of abbey ales.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:24 PM   #6
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That Chimay water profile is typical of a water that can easily be decarbonated by boiling to reduce both calcium concentration and alkalinity. You can see the easy calculation of what the water profile will be after boiling in the Water Knowledge section of Bru'n Water.

The boiling process is easy. Boil the water for several minutes to drive off most of the dissolved CO2 and then let the water cool and the sediment to precipitate out of the water. The clear water is then decanted off the sediment and used for brewing.

Enjoy!

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Old 12-28-2011, 10:06 PM   #7
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There's no reason you shouldn't use acid malt, there's also no reason not to use acid rest, both will work fine, and I see no significant difference, just personal preferences

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Old 12-29-2011, 12:13 AM   #8
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There is a pretty good reason not to use acid malt, an acid rest, or straight acid. That is the flavor impact. With almost 200 ppm alkalinity to fight through, this brewer might start experience flavor effects from the large acid additions. In the case of this water, the boiling treatment will be very effective. Beside that, its what the brewers in that area did historically to brew their beers.

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Old 12-29-2011, 12:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard
There is a pretty good reason not to use acid malt, an acid rest, or straight acid. That is the flavor impact. With almost 200 ppm alkalinity to fight through, this brewer might start experience flavor effects from the large acid additions. In the case of this water, the boiling treatment will be very effective. Beside that, its what the brewers in that area did historically to brew their beers.
Just to clarify - my water is not this high in HCO3 - it is much, much lower. When I saw the chimay water profile it made me wonder what they are doing to brew their beer and if I needed to pay attention to that process in mine. I am not going to recreate their profile - at least not in terms of HCO3 - I'll use some acid malt to get my mash pH right (i guess the crux of my concern comes down to whether or not Chimay is brewing with the standard mash pH - I had assumed so, but the high HCO3 made me wonder).
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:29 AM   #10
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With no acid malt or acid rest he is looking at around a 5.7 - 5.9 mash pH with the info given. So you want him to stay at this range? Id say go with my advise and the beer will turn out great, or go with the guy above me's advice and have poor extraction and a risk of tannin extractions. Historically the acid rest was used in this area to offset the RA's effect on mash pH. And with an RA of 213 the acid rest will not hurt you at all

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