Got my water report. Please help.
Got a few numbers back from my water company. Can someone give me an idea of what this means for my brews?? How would you adjust for various styles or can I leave my water alone??
I would really appreciate any help because these numbers mean nothing to me. Thanks!
Calcium Ca (ppm)- 81 ppm
Sodium NA (ppm)- 20 ppm
Sulfate SO4 (ppm)- 50 ppm
Chloride Cl (ppm)- 30 ppm
PH level- 7.1 to 7.3
Hardness as (CaCO3) 238 ppm
Alkalinity as (CaCO3) 190 ppm
Download Brewater 3.0 and adjust to your desired water based on style. You will need to bring down your ph for mashes to around 5.2 to 5.4. Might want to use 5.2 mash for that. Where in PA is this water?
Meadville. About an hour and 10 minutes north of Pittsburgh.
So I've been brewing with this water for a long time now and not adjusting anything.
What effects is that PH level having on my beers??
From How to Brew
There's a very good spreadsheet at the end of that chapter that will help you to determine the best beers for your water and how to adjust the water to suit your needs. I entered your data in the spreadsheet - your water is ideal for beers around 18-19 SRM according to Palmer's spreadsheet.
Did you get a test for magnesium? Not a critical element, but it is usually included in water reports.
In general, I aim for these ranges
calcium - 50 to 150 ppm
sodium - 0 to 50 ppm
sulfate - 50 to 150 ppm (up to 350 ppm for very hoppy beers)
chloride - 50 to 150 ppm
carbonate - under 50 ppm for light colored beers - 50 to 150 ppm for ambers - 150 to 250 + for dark beers
Your water should be good for dark beers as is. I would dilute with 50% distilled water for ambers and 80% distilled water for pale beers.
I use the spreadsheet from Palmer that desertbronze posted above me here.
I also preboil my water to remove carbonate. If you want to get your number down, you might try that.
See my thread on this here:
Dave Miller says:
Look at Palmer's info on bicarbonate and the other salts to see what levels are good.
So is this a bad water profile for IPA's?? It seems that my dark beers turn out better than my lighter ones. Could this profile explain some of that??
Is this profile so off that I shouldn't attempt brewing any pale beers until I learn to adjust my water?? I've read the links posted but some of it is still over my head.
If you have Excel, get this: http://www.huizingh.net/EZ_water_adjustment.xls
If not, use this: www.huizingh.net/EZ-water-calculator.htm
Correct. You have too much alkalinity for a light beer as is. You'd be fine for a hoppy amber but not a pale IPA. You'd probably need to cut with 50% RO/Distilled and add back in a pinch (1gram in 6 gallons) of CaCO3, CaCl, and MgSO4.
I just emailed the Commercial Brewery that is down the road from my house and asked them what they do with their water in preparation for brewing.
They emailed back and said that they simply boil all of the brewing water for 2 hours and that's it. They don't add a thing for any of their beer styles. The use the water as is and they make a good variety of beers.
Given the water report I posted, is this surprising?? These guys make great beer (Voodoo Brewing) http://www.voodoobrewery.com/ Meadville, PA.
Is there a way I can get this same result without boiling for 2 hours?
What exactly do you think the boiling is accomplishing?? Thanks!!
Also - it takes a lot of energy to boil all the brewing water for two hours. I just buy distilled water from the dispenser in the grocery store. 30 cents a gallon. I'm not wasting time and propane boiling water when distilled water is that cheap.
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