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Old 03-08-2012, 05:39 PM   #1
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Default Water adjustments for an IPA

I will be brewing a fairly hoppy American IPA this weekend.

Just wondering if I could get some feedback on this water profile? Any ideas would be appreciated.

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Old 03-08-2012, 05:45 PM   #2
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Looks close to the profile I use, I usually just try to match Bru'n Water's Pale Ale profile though for all of my A/I/IIPAs.

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Old 03-08-2012, 09:10 PM   #4
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Looks relatively moderate profile for a pale ale water. It will work fine.

I would not reduce the sulfate levels and I think that a little bit of magnesium adds to the bitterness perception.

The table salt adds a bit of roundness, but shouldn't be overdone. The level proposed is almost inconsequential. Don't take the chloride level much higher or it will clash with the sulfate.

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Old 03-08-2012, 10:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
Looks relatively moderate profile for a pale ale water. It will work fine.

I would not reduce the sulfate levels and I think that a little bit of magnesium adds to the bitterness perception.

The table salt adds a bit of roundness, but shouldn't be overdone. The level proposed is almost inconsequential. Don't take the chloride level much higher or it will clash with the sulfate.
mabrungard is far more the expert on his spreadsheet, so I'll absolutely defer to him.

I've just recently noticed that even my hoppy beers are better with less CaSo4, and I like low magnesium water for brewing, so that's just my two cents. I think a high level of alkalinity and high sulfate can make a beer taste harshly bitter not good hoppy bitter, if that makes sense.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:12 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the help.

I think I will make a couple small tweaks, and just run with it.

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Old 03-09-2012, 11:52 AM   #7
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BTW. This is my local water report. I am a water noob, so if someone would help me work up a more ideal water profile for an IPA, it would be much appreciated.

Hardness 188 mg/L
Alk 170 mg/L
PH 7.5
Sodium 7.52 mg/L
Chloride 23.1 mg/L
Sulfate 8.7 mg/L

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Old 03-09-2012, 02:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I've just recently noticed that even my hoppy beers are better with less CaSo4, and I like low magnesium water for brewing, so that's just my two cents. I think a high level of alkalinity and high sulfate can make a beer taste harshly bitter not good hoppy bitter, if that makes sense.
The real key there is alkalinity. Alkalinity impacts mash and wort pH and oftens creates harshness from either or both tannin extraction and the hop bittering perception.

The level of sulfate is quite subjective. I had a conversation on sulfate with Colin Kaminski last month and he mentioned that he likes pale ales with up to 900 ppm sulfate, but his customers object to that level. He typically brews pale ales in the 200 to 300 sulfate concentration for more mass appeal.

Sulfate has been touted as accentuating bitterness. I don't think that is the correct term. A more proper term is 'dryness'. As the maltiness is overshadowed by the increasing dryness perception with increasing sulfate, the bittering does become more apparent. This is yet another issue from the sulfate/chloride ratio that leads brewers astray.
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Old 03-09-2012, 05:06 PM   #9
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I made a few tweaks, and got the chloride down and sulfate up a little. Will the lower amount of sodium cause any major problem?

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Old 03-09-2012, 05:15 PM   #10
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The only ions that less of them might matter is calcium and bicarbonate. The rest of the ions can be as low or high as the brewer desires for flavor.

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