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Old 02-28-2011, 07:37 PM   #1
cliffyj
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Default EZ water calculator?

Hi ,
I want to improve my beer,so i thought i might try and improve my water.
I have made afew beers so far,which have included BierMuncher Centennial Blonde,and BierMuncher Oktoberfast(2nd version)while all my beers hve been drinkable, they don,t seem to be as good as everyone on hear says, i think i could improve these with better water?
I brew BIAB.
I got my tap water tested, and these were the results CA...62mg ppm
SOD...18mg ppm
SULFATE...69mg PPM
CL...24mg ppm
BICARB...111mg ppm
PH..7.38
The test didn,t give magnesium results.
My question is , can i still put these results in EZ calculator and set mag to 0?,
If i can, do i add a campden tablet aswell.
Thanks Clifford

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Old 02-28-2011, 07:57 PM   #2
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I think that most of your water traits are within the recommended ranges. Have you only done All Grain or have you made extract recipes before? Does your water that you use for brewing taste ok when you drink it? What are your other brewing practices?

When I first went all grain I had some concerns with water, but I realized that I needed to be more concerned with my process. Pitching the right amount of viable yeast, fermenting at the correct steady temperature, sanitation etc. There are a lot of variables with making beer, and water is a big component, but it might not be the best place to look for fixing problems with your beer. Can you give us some more info on your beers - what you tasted vs what you thought you would taste and your process in brewing so we can provide the best possible advice?

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Old 02-28-2011, 08:16 PM   #3
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Magnesium is typically lower than calcium and you should be able to ignore it for now. Based on your reported concentrations, the magnesium is probably very low (1).

The bicarb and resulting alkalinity is high. You would need to reduce the alkalinity for most beers excepting brown and black beers.

The campden tablet is for chlorine or chloramine removal. If that is how your performing that removal, go right ahead. Filtering through an activated carbon system is another option.

I suggest that you can pick up some more knowledge on brewing water from Bru'n Water. It can be downloaded at the link shown in my signature line.

Enjoy.

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Old 03-01-2011, 05:51 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replys.
All my sanitation is done with the vinegar /bleach recipe i got off the net(30ml of each in 20ltres of water,seems to do the trick.
I only have done AG.
Its hard to put my finger on the after taste i get , but i seem to get it on every brew.
I must admit my temp for fermenting could be more exact, but i am working on this,
I use dry yeast ,safe-05/04 , and i put 1 pk into 23/25 ltrs of wort, I just sprinkle it dry into wort.
i will have a look at Bru'n Water also.
I am planning to do Bee Cave Brewery Haus Pale Ale next.
Clifford

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Old 03-01-2011, 06:28 PM   #5
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I think water is the last thing you should be worrying about. Unless you have problems with mash pH or your bitterness seems really harsh then messing with your water will most likely not result in enourmous flavor improvement.

I would recommend not using bleach as a sanitizer (Are you rinsing afterwards? Bleach shouldn't be used as a no rinse sanitizer). I have used it in a pinch and it was fine, but I wouldn't use it regularly.

Without some sort of description it is really just impossible to figure out what the flavor is. It is also possible that you just don't like those beers. There are plenty of highly rated recipes on this site that I read and think "Now that sounds disgusting" (I don't care for C-hops, so about 1/3 of the recipes on this site are non-starters for me) Everyone has their own pallet, you might just need to keep looking for what you like.

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Old 03-01-2011, 06:43 PM   #6
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Maybe the bleach / vinegar is the prob?, but it is used by some as a no rinse sanitizer, and i do not rinse.

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Old 03-01-2011, 06:46 PM   #7
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Water treatment is fun and can improve your beers that last little bit (unless your water is way off, or if you are wanting to do a style that doesn't fit your water profile, but most people's water is "good enough".)

But I'd start with:
a) stop using bleach. It's a fantastic sanitizer, if you aren't making beer...
b) nail down those fermentation temps. Try to keep it consistently at the low end of the yeast range for a cleaner flavor.
c) Make sure you aren't rinsing with too hot of sparge water. You could be leaching tannins once the ph changes.

I'm not sure if all water reports will list chlorine/chloramine. Chloramine is a fairly common treatment and can affect your beers' flavor even if it's not too noticeable in the water alone. Campden tablets can take care of that I think, but it's very important to know if you have it anyway.

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Old 03-01-2011, 07:15 PM   #8
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Ok thanks ,ill stop using the bleach/vinegar and see how that goes.

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Old 03-01-2011, 07:23 PM   #9
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Pivovar_Koucky , what do you mean by C hops ? cascade?

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Old 03-01-2011, 07:29 PM   #10
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Check out the brewing science portion of the boards. There's a great stickied water primer that I've been going by lately.

Looks to me like your water is pretty good as is. For maltier beers you might wanna up the chloride levels a bit.

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