Originally Posted by phenry
That water profile shouldn't lend itself to harsh bitterness, what that's a result of is usually a high bicarbonate concentration. I like Martin B's pale ale profile as well, except I've stopped trying to reach the bicarbonate concentration he prescribes. My bicarbonate is at 62 ppm, and I've found that just number matching all the other ions (except for calcium which obviously falls a little short since I'm not adding any carbonate) really lets the hops shine through. The spreadsheet is free to download, and I'd say it helps immensely with water adjustments (Bru'n Water, that is)
You found that problem with the bicarbonate values! Yes, they are too high for the typical grist and color ratings for those beers and I've already revised those color-based profiles to provide a better starting guess for the bicarbonate concentration.
The bicarbonate concentration is stated as being a 'first guess' and that the brewer should ignore that value and let the requirements of the mash tell them what the proper bicarb concentration should be. But, that first guess should be closer! Those revised water profiles will be issued in the next version.