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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Water Chemistry - Is it REALLY this easy??
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:48 PM   #1
AmandaK
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Default Water Chemistry - Is it REALLY this easy??

So I got my water report back from Ward Labs...

Na - 11
Ca - 22
Mg - 4
SO4 - 27
Cl - 15
HCO3 - 44
pH - 9.2

So if I want to make my water like Burton-on-Trent... can I just add 3 grams/gallon of Gypsum and call it good?

I mean, it won't be perfect, but it'll be a start... right?

Burton-on-Trent:
Na - 25
Ca - 275
Mg - 40
SO4 - 450
Cl - 35
HCO3 - 260

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Old 07-11-2012, 08:58 PM   #2
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Yep, it's that easy

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Old 07-11-2012, 09:17 PM   #3
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The easy answer is yes, it's that easy to replicate a target profile.

The hard part is realizing even those brewing often modified their water and didn't use it as-is. What did they do exactly? There's not a lot of consensus on that.

Did they soften their water? Reduce the alkalinity? Do you even like the harsh bitterness from that ungodly amount of sulfate?

Just keep an open mind about it. Brewers made the best beer they could that was suited for their water, but often you can do better. We are not limited, RO water and salts are easily accessible. Don't shoot yourself in the foot by doing something that those brewers historically were working *around*.

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Old 07-11-2012, 09:34 PM   #4
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I've recently gotten been big on water chemistry after a stout was too malty and my ipa's werent hoppy and crisp. Such a little adjustment makes a HUGE difference.

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Old 07-11-2012, 10:46 PM   #5
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I just started using RO water and treating with minerals plus saurmalz when needed my last batch (a Belgian Blonde). Mainly I did it for cost savings since my tap water is no good for brewing. My gravity samples so far taste great and it was far easier than I first thought it would be.

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Old 07-11-2012, 11:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaK View Post
So I got my water report back from Ward Labs...

Na - 11
Ca - 22
Mg - 4
SO4 - 27
Cl - 15
HCO3 - 44
pH - 9.2

So if I want to make my water like Burton-on-Trent... can I just add 3 grams/gallon of Gypsum and call it good?

I mean, it won't be perfect, but it'll be a start... right?

Burton-on-Trent:
Na - 25
Ca - 275
Mg - 40
SO4 - 450
Cl - 35
HCO3 - 260

Don't worry about perfect, you can't and frankly you don't have to match a particular brewing water style exactly. It's fine and it is fairly easy especially with base water that has very low ion values to begin with. Some folks over-think it and some have difficult water to begin with but if your water isn't too crazy and you just look at the numbers combined with basic math skills your beer will be fine.
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:17 PM   #7
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Whoa! 9.2 pH! Thats nuts!

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Old 07-11-2012, 11:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfrank85 View Post
Whoa! 9.2 pH! Thats nuts!
I was just thinking that...
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:42 PM   #9
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I would pm ajdelange with your water profile. The pH seems way out of whack considering what's actually in it. I would think your pH should be *lower* than most.

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Old 07-12-2012, 12:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfrank85 View Post
Whoa! 9.2 pH! Thats nuts!
The pH of the water is not important. Mash pH is what you need to be concerned about.
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