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Old 01-08-2013, 12:23 PM   #1
Brulosopher
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Default Water experts, please look at mine and help

I've brewed many styles of beer, from light Pilsner to super dark Stout, using carbon filtered tap water. The beer I make is usually good and largely recipe dependent. Still, I see the value to manipulating my water, so I sent a sample off (pre-filtered as suggested) to Ward Labs. Within a week I received the following report:


At first glance, this looks like typical soft water to me. But all the guys in my brew club keep talking about how hard Fresno water is. We all live in different areas, but I can't imagine my neighborhood is the only one with soft water. Also, and I'm not sure it's worth much, but I do get calcification (or whatever) over time on my shower heads, faucets, etc. I heard from someone that the way Ward reports certain things may be the issue. I'm hoping someone with more knowledge on the subject might help me out, eh?

Cheers!

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Old 01-08-2013, 01:26 PM   #2
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Help... please?

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Old 01-08-2013, 01:40 PM   #3
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Nah, your water is soft. It's almost stripped bare. A good place to start since you won't have to resort to diluting or using RO water.

What style of beer are you interested in brewing with this water? Let us know, and we can tell you what to add.

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Old 01-08-2013, 03:11 PM   #4
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Its almost RO quality water. The recommendations in the Water Primer are appropriate. More alkalinity might be needed for more acidic grists with high amounts of crystal and/or roast malts.

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Old 01-09-2013, 12:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard
Its almost RO quality water. The recommendations in the Water Primer are appropriate. More alkalinity might be needed for more acidic grists with high amounts of crystal and/or roast malts.
How might I add alkalinity? I just bought some phosphoric acid. My Dry Stout with untreated water was tasty but would not hold a head... and it had 2 lbs of flaked barley. Maybe my water is the problem?
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brulosopher View Post
How might I add alkalinity? I just bought some phosphoric acid. My Dry Stout with untreated water was tasty but would not hold a head... and it had 2 lbs of flaked barley. Maybe my water is the problem?
The ideal way to add alkalinity is pickling lime, but only to your mash, and only if you have a very sensitive scale (0.1 g). Raises pH rapdily, easily dissolves, and adds some calcium.

You might want to consider a short protein rest if you're having head retention issues with that much adjunct grain.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:32 AM   #7
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I don't know what batch size that 2 lb of flaked barley went into, but I'm assuming it was a significant percentage of the grist. That should raise a good head. Yes, a low mash pH can increase the fermentability and reduce the body of wort. So that lack of head may be a result of the pH. I am less inclined to recommend a protein rest since the flaked barley is adding beta glucans and they are strong head builders. A protein rest or a beta glucan rest would only serve to further reduce that effect.

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Old 01-09-2013, 02:55 AM   #8
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I should have been more specific: a protein rest at the higher end (131 F) for 20 mins tops, before raising to sacchrification temp.

Of course, listen to Martin before me.

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Old 01-09-2013, 04:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard
I don't know what batch size that 2 lb of flaked barley went into, but I'm assuming it was a significant percentage of the grist. That should raise a good head. Yes, a low mash pH can increase the fermentability and reduce the body of wort. So that lack of head may be a result of the pH. I am less inclined to recommend a protein rest since the flaked barley is adding beta glucans and they are strong head builders. A protein rest or a beta glucan rest would only serve to further reduce that effect.
So by adding all the roasted grains, I'm reducing the pH of my wort, thereby making it more fermentable and decreasing head retention/formation? Will phosphoric work in place of pickling lime to increase pH? Thanks for all the help!!!
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:43 AM   #10
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Phosphoric acid will decrease pH.
I am using RO water w/minerals and never used pickling lime for bumping pH, instead of that if I need I add dark grains @last 5-10 minutes of mash or at vorlauf.

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