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Old 10-22-2009, 02:07 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by HarryHood1 View Post
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??
Yes - I had the same results. Dark beers good - amber beers ok - pale beers bad.

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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.

Thanks!
It took me several months of reading and rereading everything I could find about brewing water before it all made sense to me. Read the linked section from How to Brew again. I would not attempt a pale beer with your water (or my water) without dilution with distilled water at a minimum.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:25 AM   #12
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I don't boil my water for two hours. I boil for maybe 20 minutes and rack off of the carbonate left behind. My water starts with 386 ppm of carbonate. I calculate that it ends the boil with 243 ppm. For a pale beer, I then dilute 50/50 and add some salts back.

As I said, if you don't feel like boiling, simply dilute with distilled water. Use that spreadsheet. Really. Put your numbers in, and try to hit your residual alkalinity on that spreadsheet. You can agonize over this if you want to but if you just use that spreadsheet and distilled water, it'll work. Then you brew killer pale ales.

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Old 10-22-2009, 08:26 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
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.
He doesn't want to go to all of the trouble of removing bicarbonate then add it back. CaCO3 is carbonate. Don't put that back in your water. I think you meant Calcium Sulfate/Gyspum here.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:57 AM   #14
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Harry, I setup the spreadsheet for you if you wanna give it a go. I didn't see your number for Magnesium, and put in 20 in that column. So, you'll need to change that.

But if you look over this spreadsheet, you'll see I put your numbers in. I made one change to the spreadsheet. I add a box for "Avg RA", which is the average residual alkalinity. You'll see it in red. I aim for that.

If you look over the spreadsheet, you'll see that I diluted your water 56% with distilled water. Assumed a 4 gallon mash water volume for no particular reason. Adding 2 grams of Gypsum and 2 grams of Calcium Chloride with all of that got me to an RA of 5, which is the average RA here for a beer with a color of 8.

I don't personally mess with acid.

This yielded a beer with 102 Ca, 9 Mg, 85 alkalinity as CaCO3, sodium 9, Chloride 77, Sulfate 96, RA of 5 and a chloride to sulfate ratio of "Balanced".

You can adjust this sheet from there. Put in you're real color that you want at the beginning and see what the average RA is. Then input the amount of water you're mashing with. Then your dilution rate with distilled water. Then go to the salt area and add some salts if needed to get to the desired RA. Then when you mash in, add those salts and your pH should fall into the correct range. Works for me every time.

Hope this helps. This is with NOT pre boiling the water, BTW.

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Old 10-22-2009, 01:00 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by MattHollingsworth View Post
Harry, I setup the spreadsheet for you if you wanna give it a go. I didn't see your number for Magnesium, and put in 20 in that column. So, you'll need to change that.

But if you look over this spreadsheet, you'll see I put your numbers in. I made one change to the spreadsheet. I add a box for "Avg RA", which is the average residual alkalinity. You'll see it in red. I aim for that.

If you look over the spreadsheet, you'll see that I diluted your water 56% with distilled water. Assumed a 4 gallon mash water volume for no particular reason. Adding 2 grams of Gypsum and 2 grams of Calcium Chloride with all of that got me to an RA of 5, which is the average RA here for a beer with a color of 8.

I don't personally mess with acid.

This yielded a beer with 102 Ca, 9 Mg, 85 alkalinity as CaCO3, sodium 9, Chloride 77, Sulfate 96, RA of 5 and a chloride to sulfate ratio of "Balanced".

You can adjust this sheet from there. Put in you're real color that you want at the beginning and see what the average RA is. Then input the amount of water you're mashing with. Then your dilution rate with distilled water. Then go to the salt area and add some salts if needed to get to the desired RA. Then when you mash in, add those salts and your pH should fall into the correct range. Works for me every time.

Hope this helps. This is with NOT pre boiling the water, BTW.
Thanks for doing all of that Matt. It's really helpful. I'm all set to make a stout this weekend but a pale ale is next and I may shoot you a couple of questions once I have my magnesium number and I mess with the spreadsheet.

So do you agree with others here that if I'm making a stout, I shouldn't need to tweek my water?? Thanks again for your effort.
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Old 10-22-2009, 01:52 PM   #16
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Thanks for doing all of that Matt. It's really helpful. I'm all set to make a stout this weekend but a pale ale is next and I may shoot you a couple of questions once I have my magnesium number and I mess with the spreadsheet.

So do you agree with others here that if I'm making a stout, I shouldn't need to tweek my water?? Thanks again for your effort.
Yeah, for the most part I agree on the stout thing. I did a brown recently though and adjusted it a little bit to get the balance I wanted with the chloride and sulfate. The dark grains lower the pH for you, though, offsetting the bicarbonate. That's why the color of the beer affects the desired residual alkalinity. The darker the beer, the more bicarbonate can be tolerated, basically. I've made a super tasty pale ale here with something like 56% distilled water. Came out great and hit the pH just right. If you want to do super pale beers, that's when you'll need to use a lot of distilled water.

Glad to help. Feel free to ask anything. If I can help, I will.
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:30 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by MattHollingsworth View Post
You can adjust this sheet from there. Put in you're real color that you want at the beginning and see what the average RA is. Then input the amount of water you're mashing with. Then your dilution rate with distilled water. Then go to the salt area and add some salts if needed to get to the desired RA. Then when you mash in, add those salts and your pH should fall into the correct range. Works for me every time.
Works for me as well. I use the spreadsheet and adjust the water as needed. pH is consistently 5.1 - 5.3.
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:24 PM   #18
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I'm going to take you up on offering assistance in building the correct water for a beer style. I plan on brewing a Special Bitter next and according to this discussion, my water is not suited towards this beer style.

I definitely get too much harsh bitterness at the end with these types of beers. So if anyone (Mattholdingsworth) would help me figure out the spreadsheet for my first time, I think I could take it from there.

So my water profile is listed in the post above but they couldn't supply me with the magnesium number. What I do know is that the water here is extremely hard. So the magnesium number must be pretty big too.

So how would you go about changing my water for this brew?

Special Bitter
OG: 1.047
FS: 1.012
IBU: 30
Color: 11 SRM
4.6% ABV
Pre Boil Volume 7 Gallons


9.5 pounds of marris otter, .5lb aromatic, .5lb crystal 20, .25lb special roast

So how would you cut this with distilled water? And do you use the distilled just for the mash or also the sparge??

A quick primer for my first time adjusting water would be SO appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 10-29-2009, 03:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryHood1 View Post
I'm going to take you up on offering assistance in building the correct water for a beer style. I plan on brewing a Special Bitter next and according to this discussion, my water is not suited towards this beer style.

I definitely get too much harsh bitterness at the end with these types of beers. So if anyone (Mattholdingsworth) would help me figure out the spreadsheet for my first time, I think I could take it from there.

So my water profile is listed in the post above but they couldn't supply me with the magnesium number. What I do know is that the water here is extremely hard. So the magnesium number must be pretty big too.

So how would you go about changing my water for this brew?

Special Bitter
OG: 1.047
FS: 1.012
IBU: 30
Color: 11 SRM
4.6% ABV
Pre Boil Volume 7 Gallons


9.5 pounds of marris otter, .5lb aromatic, .5lb crystal 20, .25lb special roast

So how would you cut this with distilled water? And do you use the distilled just for the mash or also the sparge??

A quick primer for my first time adjusting water would be SO appreciated. Thanks!
Well, not sure exactly what your harshness is coming from. Your chloride/sulfate ratio looks fine. Could be some grain based harshness from bicarbonate. Dunno. I'm no guru. But here's what I think:

My water is super hard and my magnesium is 27. I wouldn't assume yours is super high or anything. I put it as 20 for no particular reason.

Read this page:

http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter15-1.html

I'd aim to get calcium 50-150, magnesium I'd leave alone, I'd try to get the sulfate at 50-150 and my chloride to sulfate ratio as bitter. If you want to match a specific beer from a specific area, you'll have to do that research. I've been brewing American styles and can't really guide you there.

So, anyway, on that spreadsheet that I attached, plug in your color number, which you list as 11. You'll see that gives you an average RA of 41. Aim for that.

If I put mash water at 4 gallons and dilute with 46% distilled water, then add 1 gram each of gypsum and calcium chloride, then the water comes out like this:

Ca 77, Mg 11, Alkalinity as CaCO3 103, sodium 11, chloride 48, sulfate 64, RA as 41 and chloride to sulfate ratio as bitter.

If I want more sulfate and chloride, maybe I'd try this instead:

Dilution 23%, 2 grams gyspum, 2 grams calcium chloride, 1 gram epsom salt, which yields:

Ca 129, Mg 22, alkalinity as CaCO3 146, sodium 15, chloride 87, sulfate 138, RA 41, chloride to sulfate ratio as bitter.

The attached spreadsheet I gave you earlier already has your water numbers input. So, to do this yourself, you need to open that up. Change the target color to 11, then you'll see an average RA of 41. Then go to step 3 and enter a dilution rate. You'll see the numbers on the right change, but don't look there to nail this number. If you JUST enter a dilution of 65%, you'll see your RA go to 42. But then your minerals are really low, especially the calcium. You want to enter a number for dilution to just get you started, then go to the next steps and you'll look for your numbers after you add salts.

So, now go down to step 4 and put in your mash water volume. Then go to step 5 and add some salts. I skip the acid and go to step 7. Look at your numbers here. Then you go back and forth from your dilution rate and your salts to get these numbers listed in step 7 to how you want them. It usually takes just a few minutes. It's not difficult, it's just a matter of going back and forth a few times to get it in the right spot. Make sense?

Hope this helps. But the main thing here now, is you'll have to do this yourself so you learn how this works. The basic concept is that calcium sulfate, calcium chloride and magnesium sulfate lower your pH and your RA. Carbonates raise it. Diluting your hard water will lower your RA too. So it's just a balancing act between these, but you need to also get your minerals in the desired range for the reasons listed on that Palmer linked page above.
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:07 PM   #20
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Well, not sure exactly what your harshness is coming from. Your chloride/sulfate ratio looks fine. Could be some grain based harshness from bicarbonate

So does that mean that you think if I just charcoal filter my water it would be ok to brew a Special Bitter??? I'm kind of confused now. I thought that the previous posts were telling me that I don't have good water for this type of beer.

Thanks for spending the time to write that extensive post Matt. It's helpful and I appreciate it. But now I'm wondering if I even need to adjust my water for this brew?
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