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Old 11-19-2009, 12:16 AM   #1
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Default Water Treatment Question

Just wanted to now if anyone on here can give me a quick run down on what i might need to add to my water if i bought distilled water from walmart? Burton salts? Gypsum? Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Old 11-19-2009, 12:31 AM   #2
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If you are using distilled water, then salts additions would depend on what style of beer you are trying to brew.

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Old 11-19-2009, 01:18 AM   #3
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Planning on doing an Alaskan Amber clone with a few added extras of my own. The beer is to be fermented with an alt yeast.

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Old 11-19-2009, 03:09 AM   #4
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Wow- what a big question! That's like asking if someone can give you a quick rundown on astrophysics! Believe it or not, water chemistry is one of the most difficult things to master for some of us homebrewers.

I would highly recommend John Palmer's nomograph and spreadsheets to help you determine the additions. I know in the "brewing science" section there are links to help you find the information you need.

Some of the most simple spread sheets just give you the basic "malty" or "bitter" balance information. It'll take a little bit of digging and reading to find exactly want you want.

In my case, my tap water isn't bad but is very high in alkalinity. So, I use 1/2 distilled water to bring down the alkalinity and then adjust with salts. I use mostly gypsum and calcium chloride to adjust my calcium and sulfite/choride. For distilled water, a spreadsheet will be easy for you- all the numbers will be "0" and you can add the salts until you hit the profile you're looking for.

Check out that brewing science forum- we may have a thread that can give you the answers without too much digging. Good luck!

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Old 11-19-2009, 04:59 AM   #5
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if you're an ipod owner, i'd recommend downloading the 'brew strong' podcasts about water. i think there's 4 or 5 parts to it... it's a little heavy to swallow, but if you listen a few times, it starts to make sense. then you can use this online spreadsheet to calculate what additions you need to get the right profile for your style. you can also get the data for your local water and you might only need to cut it in half, if that and maybe add some campden tabs to get rid of chlorine/chloramine...

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Old 11-19-2009, 08:34 PM   #6
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thank you folks for guiding me in the right direction. ill look at the info you suggested yooper

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Old 11-19-2009, 08:50 PM   #7
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Even if you don't have an ipod, you can still get the podcasts from www.thebrewingnetwork.com. I hope you have four hours to spare and then another few to digest.

Here's a slightly easier way. Go to the spreadsheet linked in my sig, enter zeros in all the water stats because that's pretty much what distilled water is. Set your mash and sparge water values to your recipe.

Select various amounts of chalk, gypsum, epsom salt, etc (skip the acids) until you're close to say the "london" profile, except I'd lower the sodium. Here's one way of going, note these additions are PER gallon of water used in the mash. Stir them into the mash. Of course I'm assuming 100% distilled water.

Adjustments (grams) Mash
CaCO3: 0.5
CaCl2: 0.25
MgSO4: 0.5
NaHCO3: 0.5

Mash Water
Ca: 71
Mg: 12
Na: 36
Cl: 32
SO4: 52
CaCO3: 143

RA (mash only): 85 (12 to 17 SRM)
Cl to SO4 (total water): 0.62 (Bitter)

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Old 11-21-2009, 10:09 PM   #8
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Thanks Bobby_M!!!

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