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Old 10-08-2013, 02:28 AM   #21
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I used gypsum to try and mess with pH under less than informed advice, and my brews came out with a harsh bite at the end almost like a thick minerally taste. Stopped using it and now back to normal great beer. +1 on "did your recipe call for gypsum?"

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Old 10-08-2013, 10:31 AM   #22
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I am still leaning toward water chemistry. Your description of the malty bite sounds like something i experienced. There is a simple way to find out.
Post the recipe of your next brew including mash and sparge water volumes. Use a simple recipe like your pale ale. Plan on using 100% RO water and I will tell you exactly how to build your water and we will see if that solves your problem.

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Old 10-08-2013, 03:26 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k_mcarthur
I used gypsum to try and mess with pH under less than informed advice, and my brews came out with a harsh bite at the end almost like a thick minerally taste. Stopped using it and now back to normal great beer. +1 on "did your recipe call for gypsum?"
Yep, calcium is a key element in both the mash and yeast health. Unfortunately, the common ingredient gypsum, isn't just calcium. It's calcium sulfite. If your water already is high in sulfite and you blindly follow a recipe that calls for gypsum, that could easily cause an astringent bite. Calcium chloride is USUALLY a better way to go, but all salt additions should include knowledge of source water parameters. Otherwise, you're shooting blind...
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:27 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by phuff7129
I am still leaning toward water chemistry. Your description of the malty bite sounds like something i experienced. There is a simple way to find out. Post the recipe of your next brew including mash and sparge water volumes. Use a simple recipe like your pale ale. Plan on using 100% RO water and I will tell you exactly how to build your water and we will see if that solves your problem.
How would you advise building the water for a pale ale?
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:50 PM   #25
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How would you advise building the water for a pale ale?
Here's what I do:

Download the Bru'N Water spreadsheet. It looks pretty overwhelming at first, but if you read the instructions it's pretty straightforward.

You enter in your grain bill and mash and sparge water volumes. Either give your starting water profile or if you're using RO water, indicate that. Then it gives you a target. Play around with different salts and amounts until you get a water profile that fits the numbers reasonably well.
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:53 PM   #26
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My source water was spring water from the grocery store. I thought I was doing myself a favor using that, but have since learned that spring water is a big gamble. I'm going to try RO water for my next batch, and use the sticky suggestion in the water chem section of this site to try an build the water profile according to the style. I'll also post here before I attempt to see if anyone suggests modifications.

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Old 10-08-2013, 04:14 PM   #27
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Like some others have said you should look at your water report it will tell the pH as well as many other useful value that have been discussed in other threads. I believe your problem lies in your water. If you are on a well then get it tested. Unless your water is extreme to the hard side you should still be able to use it saving yourself tons of money on spring and RO water. Remember pure water is 7 so one would need to drop the pH to 5.2.
If indeed your pH is too high then I would suggest investing in some 5 squared pH buffer I started using it and it improved my effeciany and over all balance of my beer. Also go easy on water salts like gympsum, and calcium carbonate a little so a long ways especially on the carbonate.

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Old 10-08-2013, 04:47 PM   #28
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Remember pure water is 7 so one would need to drop the pH to 5.2. If indeed your pH is too high then I would suggest investing in some 5 squared pH buffer I started using it and it improved my effeciany and over all balance of my beer. Also go easy on water salts like gympsum, and calcium carbonate a little so a long ways especially on the carbonate.
Mash pH has little to do with source water pH. If only it were that easy! It's got more to do with carbonate hardness, mineral content and grain bill. Soft water can have a high or low pH, so can hard water...
That said, knowing the numbers is indeed the key to knowing if your water needs any tinkering. Based on the OP's problems, I'd say he needs different water or to learn more about how to modify his. Starting with RO and using a teaspoon of calcium chloride and a pinch of Epsom salt is a decent place to start while you learn...
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:35 AM   #29
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How would you advise building the water for a pale ale?
I use and highly recommend using the Brunwater spreadsheet available here, https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/.
My mineral additions are based on my mash volume and my sparge volume so they will be different based on your system. My water is 100% RO.

These mash water additions are based on a 3.9 gallon volume of mash water.
7.8 grams of Gypsum
2 grams of Baking Soda
1.6 grams of Calcium Chloride

These sparge water additions are based on a 5.83 gallon volume of sparge water.
11.7 grams of gypsum
2.3 grams of calcium chloride
0.8 ml of lactic acid

These additions are also based on my grist for this brew so unless your grist is the same as mine these additions might not be ideal.

Here is the water profile I used.
Calcium - 153
Magnesium - 0
Sodium - 44
Sulfate - 296
Chloride - 55
Bicarbonate - 112
Estimated Mash pH - 5.4 Measured mash pH - 5.5. Added enough lactic acid to bring it down to 5.2.

All this being said your personal preference may be different than mine. You might prefer less sulfates or more chloride. The above additions make for a great beer for my tastes. Also kudos to the Brunwater spreadsheet. I am always within 1 point of the estimated pH on the spreadsheet so if you don't have a pH meter this is a very handy tool to have.
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:44 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemistBrewer View Post
Like some others have said you should look at your water report it will tell the pH as well as many other useful value that have been discussed in other threads. I believe your problem lies in your water. If you are on a well then get it tested. Unless your water is extreme to the hard side you should still be able to use it saving yourself tons of money on spring and RO water. Remember pure water is 7 so one would need to drop the pH to 5.2.
If indeed your pH is too high then I would suggest investing in some 5 squared pH buffer I started using it and it improved my effeciany and over all balance of my beer. Also go easy on water salts like gympsum, and calcium carbonate a little so a long ways especially on the carbonate.
I strongly suggest not using 5.2 pH buffer. Several water chemists on this website have done the science and this stuff just doesn't work. Feel free to search it under the brewing science category. Plus if you learn how to build your water properly there is no need for 5.2 pH buffer and your results will be dramatically better.
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