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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > new water profile - advice?
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:47 PM   #1
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Default new water profile - advice?

Hi all,

I've been brewing for 5 years, all-grain for two. I recently moved to my new house in Maplewood, NJ, and just received the analysis of my new tap water:

  • pH: 7.7
  • TDS: 328
  • conductivy: .55
  • Cations / Anions: 5.9/5.7
  • Sodium: 40
  • Potassium: 1
  • Calcium: 57
  • Magnesium: 15
  • Total Hardness CaCO3: 205
  • Nitrate NO3-N: 1.0
  • Sulfate So4-S: 16
  • Chloride: 80
  • Carbonate: <1
  • Bicarbonate 144
  • Total Alkalinity CaCO3: 118
  • Phosphorus: .47
  • Iron: <.01

All units PPM.

I've been playing with Bru'nWater and EZWater for a few days, and it seems like there's a few directions I could go with this (including a 50-100% dilution with RO).

I've done one extract brew with this water as-is (just to get back on the horse; I hadn't brewed for several months because of the move), a DFH 60-minute clone, and the hopping tastes "wanky." "Under-expressed" might be a more descriptive term.

I'm planning to brew a Vienna+Hallertau SMaSH (10# + 3 0 oz) in the next few days. I do five gallon batches using a basic round 10-gallon cooler MLT, infusion mash, batch sparge.

Any advice on what to do with the water chemistry? Any thoughts will be much appreciated.

Cheers,
Greg
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:52 PM   #2
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Diluting with RO would be a very good thing to do because you want to brew with lower alkalinity for the majority of beers.

For the Vienna smash, I'd probably go 100% RO with a teaspoon of calcium chloride.

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Old 03-23-2013, 06:29 PM   #3
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Thanks, Yooper! That's definitely the way I'm leaning...

For the sake of investigation, what would all of you think of these additions into my tap water. Five-gallon batch, 3.8G of strike water:

  • 1 g gypsum
  • 4 g calcium chloride
  • 2 g epsom salt

EZ Water suggests that should bring the pH just down into the happy range. Thoughts?
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:42 PM   #4
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The Na, Cl, and Mg are just a bit high for softer flavored styles. However, dilution is not required for many other styles. The alkalinity is probably higher than desirable for many beers, but that is easily neutralized by acid addition. No need to dilute to take care of alkalinity.

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Old 03-25-2013, 02:02 AM   #5
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Thanks, Martin!

I entered this into Bru'n Water and I see what you mean with the Cl and Mg (I typically bounce back and forth between Bru'n Water and EZ Water until I can get the two to agree with each other).

It's showing my sodium at 40 ppm with those additions. Are you getting a higher number than that. Is that higher than you usually like to see with lighter grain bills?

Thanks again guys for your help!

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Old 03-25-2013, 01:34 PM   #6
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In finalizing recommendations for the water book, Palmer did some tasting evaluations and generally came to the conclusion that sodium effects are quite modest when at low concentration and even at 100 ppm, it wasn't terrible. 40 ppm sodium isn't that bad.

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Old 03-25-2013, 10:46 PM   #7
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Thanks again to both of you for your help.

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