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Old 11-13-2006, 07:06 PM   #1
Adam's Apples
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Hi everyone

I posted a few questions a few days back (just before I am about attempt my first brew) and I got some very helpful answers, but now I have thought of some more!

If any of you guys could advise me on the following I should then be set to get things underway:

- Do any of you take into account the water hardness when brewing? The book I'm reading advises hard water is good for bitters and soft for stouts and lagers. Do you guys use tap water or bottled? Do you ever add any solution to the water to change it's hardness?

- Can someone give me a quick run down of how to calculate the abv of the finished beer?

Cheers

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Old 11-13-2006, 07:27 PM   #2
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If you are doing extract, water hardness doesn't enter the picture.

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Old 11-13-2006, 08:12 PM   #3
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I've brewed with both tap water and bottled....can't even tell a difference. Save the money and use the tap.

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Old 11-13-2006, 10:34 PM   #4
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Easiest way of calculating ABV is ...

(OG - FG) * 131

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Old 11-14-2006, 12:14 AM   #5
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I've used other calculations in the past, but now I use:

OG - FG = G x 105 = ABW

...and ABW x 1.25 = ABV


Some brewing "experts" (the ones who wrote books on the subject) say to use 131 for calculating ABV:

http://beeradvocate.com/news/stories_read/518/

http://www.oldershawbrewery.com/abv.htm

Others have a more complicated calculation for ABW:

http://www.realbeer.com/library/beerbreak/archives/beerbreak0301.php

Still others provide on-line calculators (also good for other conversions, see bottom of site):

http://www.brewhaus.com/Calculators_s/46.htm


Incidently, I have an Excel spreadsheet that made for calculations. I can email it to anyone who wants to use it: homebrewer_99@yahoo.com

Is there anywhere I can submit this to so people can have access to it on their own? Any ideas?
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Old 11-14-2006, 05:20 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice.

I would be interested in that spreadsheet hombrewer. I will email you my email address.

I was concerned about water hardness as the book I'm reading states that water or water type is one of the most significant factors for determining the flavour of the finished brew. One of the replies above mentions this shouldn't matter for malt extract. Is this what is contained in most beer kits then? Is it what most of you guys use?

Cheers

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Old 11-14-2006, 05:37 PM   #7
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Is there a way to calculate the expected OG and FG before any brewing has taken place?

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Old 11-14-2006, 05:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mew
Is there a way to calculate the expected OG and FG before any brewing has taken place?
Easiest is to invest in some software; ProMash is classic, I like BeerSmith a lot, and BeerToolsPro is a new offering that a lot of people think is very good. There are ways to do the calculations manually (that I don't know), but I think any of those programs are well worth the ~$25 that they run.
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Old 11-14-2006, 06:06 PM   #9
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Yes, the answer is: if it's not grain, it's extract.

As far as water composition goes, you should receive an analysis of your water from your town on a yearly basis. It lays out the composition and concentration of chemicals and minerals in your tap water.

If you want to make a clone brew IAW its original water composition then this sheet is an asset.

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Old 11-14-2006, 06:06 PM   #10
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OG - FG divided by 8 x 1000 = ABV

It is easy to figure in your head, if you just drop the zero in front of the difference and divide by 8.

This may be a tad lower than the lab spec ABV, but it is close enough.

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