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Old 05-25-2012, 04:36 PM   #1
homebrewfrank
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Default what to add when brewing with natural spring water?

So heres a quick break down of my brewing history......started home brewing about 6yrs ago, brewed several partial mash/extract beers successfuly, and have brewed a few AG beers successfuly....have recently moved brewing locations to a new area....different water source, but dont know the ph levels of either location, i havent been able to brew a decent batch of beer at the new location (brewing number 5 tomorrow). All of the failed batches have had a watered down flavor and none really are that enjoyable (yes ive dbl and trpl checked my water vols overall and at each stage, all are accurate)....im brewing an AG wheat that i have successfuly made in the past, so i know what it should taste like....im 90% sure its the tap water here (its not very enjoyable to drink, so its not gonna be good enough to brew with, right?) So tomorrow im attempting the same receipe with bottled natural spring water....besides adding 5.2 to the mash, is there anything else i should be adding that might be missing from it being spring water?

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Thanks everybody!

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Old 05-25-2012, 04:58 PM   #2
StittsvilleJames
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Originally Posted by homebrewfrank View Post
So heres a quick break down of my brewing history......started home brewing about 6yrs ago, brewed several partial mash/extract beers successfuly, and have brewed a few AG beers successfuly....have recently moved brewing locations to a new area....different water source, but dont know the ph levels of either location, i havent been able to brew a decent batch of beer at the new location (brewing number 5 tomorrow). All of the failed batches have had a watered down flavor and none really are that enjoyable (yes ive dbl and trpl checked my water vols overall and at each stage, all are accurate)....im brewing an AG wheat that i have successfuly made in the past, so i know what it should taste like....im 90% sure its the tap water here (its not very enjoyable to drink, so its not gonna be good enough to brew with, right?) So tomorrow im attempting the same receipe with bottled natural spring water....besides adding 5.2 to the mash, is there anything else i should be adding that might be missing from it being spring water?

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Thanks everybody!
I brew with spring water all the time, never add anything to it.
I think you should do up this batch with nothing, see how it tastes, and if there a problem, then troubleshoot it.

If you think about it, a lot of the world's great beers depend on specific water profiles, so maybe the water profile of your spring water is going to make an excellent beer which brewers around the globe will try to emulate with additives!
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:23 PM   #3
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I'd do what StittsvillJames says. I'd skip the 5.2. There is reasonable evidence that in most cases, it doesn't do what it says.

I would't start adding stuff until you get a water report or you notice problems.

Lastly, look at the primer in the brewing science forum. There is lots of good info in that thread. I learned a ton.

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Old 05-25-2012, 08:22 PM   #4
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Google Brew Strong and listen to the water treatment shows.

The gist of it is that both Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer often start with distilled or RO water, add some gypsum and say that the water is good to go (in general). They actually mention 5.2 and various other packaged treatments (Burton) but don't seem to suggest using them. Instead they reccomend keeping the water treatment simple and until you have good control over the really important components (i.e. fermentation temps) that you should not delve deep into the water treatments.

I suspect your spring water will be fine (they talk about this too).

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Old 05-26-2012, 02:28 AM   #5
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Awesome!!! Thanks for all the info everybody, i think im gonna skip the 5.2 and see if changing to spring water solves the issues im having....then go from there....

Also found out that about 1/2 of my tap water is basically well water....im going to pick up some test strips tomorrow to test and see what the ph is at, just for curiousity sake

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Old 07-09-2012, 03:57 AM   #6
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Just an update.......i brewed with only using bottled spring water (Crystal Glacier, it was on sale 10 1gal bottles for $10), i didnt use the 5.2 stablizer...everything went as planned, fermented for 9 days (my gravity held solid) secondary for about 10, kegged, carbed, and it was a big hit with the beer tasting i hosted (it was one of about 6 beers) no off or bad flavors, carbination is holding and the flavor is still spot on and its been about a month since kegging it, by this time all the other "bad" batches had already tasted like liquid bread with very little carbination and zero head retention.......all in all, lesson learned; check your starting ph level! Thanks again for all the suggestions from everyone, i did a lot of reading and learned a lot!!! *mug*

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