What do you think of my water profile?
Calcium (Ca) ppm or mg/L 30
Magnesium (Mg) ppm or mg/L 60
Bicarbonate (HCO3) 57.4
Sulfate (SO4) 75
Sodium (Na) 18
Chloride (Cl) 20
Total Hardness (as CaCO3) 140
Total Alkalinity (as CaCO3) 70
Residual Alkalinity (as CaCO3) 13.2
Anything I should do generally to increase/decrease things?
I brew mostly Belgians and Scotch ales and have done nothing to my water up till now, other than use a charcoal filter.
Pretty good brewing water as is. The magnesium is a little high (Palmer recommends 10-30 ppm) but I would use the water as is if you have not noticed any issues so far.
from How to Brew
Atomic Weight = 24.3
Equivalent Weight = 12.1
Brewing Range = 10-30 ppm.
This ion behaves very similarly to Calcium in water, but is less efficacious. It also contributes to water hardness. Magnesium is an important yeast nutrient in small amounts (10 -20 ppm), but amounts greater than 50 ppm tend to give a sour-bitter taste to the beer. Levels higher than 125 ppm have a laxative and diuretic affect.
I would add calcium chloride to malty beers - raise the calcium level to at least 50 ppm. I would add gypsum to hoppy beers - again to raise the calcium level to at least 50 ppm. I might dilute with some distilled water (to reduce carbonates) for very pale beers, but if you are happy with the beer's flavor, just use it as is.
Thanks a lot.
So I should try and bring my Ca up to 50ish. So if I add gypsum, this increases SO4 as well. If I add calcium chloride, this increase Cl as well. It doesn't seem the SO4 and Cl increase too much. Would you agree that the increases are insignificant?
If I brew many Belgians, would I add anything, as they aren't really malty or hoppy, but yeast focused.
Also am I adding these to the mash or to the strike/sparge water?
If adding to the mash, do I base it on the amount of strike water only or re-add after each sparge (I batch sparge).
Lastly - does Mash 5.2 change stuff up too. I have been adding it to the mash. Do these change my Calcium levels too?
For Belgian styles, I would add calcium chloride. That will also accentuate the malt flavors somewhat. Palmer recommends 50 to 150 ppm of calcium for all beers.
Read this chapter from How to Brew for more info on mineral levels and brewing water. There is a handy spreadsheet at the end of the chapter - useful for calculating salt additions and water profiles.
How to Brew - By John Palmer - Understanding the Mash pH
I add salts to the mash, but you can add them to the strike water beforehand as well. I sometimes treat all the water, sometimes I only treat the strike water in the mash. If I am only adding salts for flavor, I add them to boil kettle.
Don't use 5.2 - don't know anything about it.
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