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Old 11-20-2012, 11:43 AM   #1
Kyled93
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Default IIPA water profile help

So I'm planning on brewing a Double black IPA for this black Friday. I'm am very curious is there an ideal water profile for an IPA? I know brewers like to use water profiles from London for pales and IPAs but I'm fairly sure that back in the day if London could change their water they would.

Can any one offer a suggestion on an ideal profile for an IPA?

Kyle



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Old 11-20-2012, 12:37 PM   #2
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Ideal??? I don't think there is an ideal since its subjective and dependent upon the drinker's palate. But, you can have a preference for a profile. I do like 300 ppm sulfate in my pales and IPAs. In the case of a double black IPA, I'd be inclined to continue to use my typical pale ale profile since this beer is going to end up sweeter due to the high gravity and inability to match the gravity with bittering. Therefore, I'd keep the sulfate level up instead of focusing on less sulfate or more chloride.

The crystal and roast levels might require a bit more bicarbonate than a typical IPA, but it shouldn't be much more.

I would not be too worried or focused on London water. That profile is no more likely to provide the effect you would prefer than a hybridized profile that was developed through thousands of taste tests.

The Pale Ale profile in Bru'n Water is what I've used for over a decade.



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Old 11-20-2012, 01:06 PM   #3
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I would say you will do well if you focus on Calcium Sulfate and Calcium Chloride additions, but check your water chemistry first.

Calcium and Sulfate are very important for American IIPAs as it pertains to optimal yeast health and attaining that hop bite. An example of a good Calcium range for this beer would probably be around 90-150 ppm. I usually do a 1 to 2 ratio of Chloride to Sulfate. For Partial Mash with Extract, a 75/150 ppm ratio (give or take) is good since the extract and the brewing water will already contain some background minerals. For All Grain, you might want to bump that ratio up a bit more. Martin can confirm/elaborate if any of these figures are off.

Try to keep the magnesium, sodium, and bicarbonate levels low (below 20 ppm each). This will be a little tougher with bicarbonate, but I wouldn't think it will be necessary to add anything to boost these three things.

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Old 11-20-2012, 02:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
...I do like 300 ppm sulfate in my pales and IPAs...
The Pale Ale profile in Bru'n Water is what I've used for over a decade.
Wow, 300ppm. I've brewed lots of IPAs and Pale Ales but never pushed SO4 above 100. (Cl is usually ~50ppm or so).

What can I expect by jacking the SO4 up to 300ppm? I know it "enhances bitterness"...can you (or bobbrews) provide any more color commentary on that?

And my Ca is usually around 50-75ppm...should I expect anything different from 150ppm Ca?
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:00 PM   #5
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300 ppm sulfate is getting near the upper end of sulfate in brewing. I've heard of some brewers recommending 350 ppm, but I've found that 300 is good enough. In discussions with Colin Kaminski, he has indicated that he has pushed sulfate to 800 ppm and 'he' enjoyed it. But since he is a commercial brewer and his customers apparently did not enjoy that level, he uses a more modest level in his beers.

You do have to be aware that elevated level of sulfate can produce a sulfury aroma in beer. The 300 ppm level is well below that concern, but many brewers try to emulate a Burton level of sulfate that could be as high as 800 ppm depending on the location of the well. Fortunately, most Burton breweries had enough dilution of the deep sulfate-rich groundwater with less mineralized surficial groundwater that they probably didn't have to brew with sulfate levels that high.

Many commercial brewers brew with modest levels of sulfate. Unfortunately, they don't typically define what that level is. In comparison to the 600 to 800 ppm sulfate typical in many versions of Burton water, the 300 ppm level is quite moderate. For a hop-focused beer, I recommend that 100 ppm sulfate is the minimum I would use. The beer tends to be too bland and lacking crispness and hop expression if you go lower.

PS: the 300 ppm level is recommended by Randy Mosher.

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Old 11-20-2012, 03:12 PM   #6
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Awesome, thank you for the helpful response! Exactly what I was looking for. I'll give it a shot.



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