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Old 01-18-2012, 06:27 PM   #1
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Default Is it possible that my water makes good light beer but bad dark beer?

I've made many great light beers, wheat beers and/or pale ales.

In my 3 attempts at dark beers (1 porter and 2 dark nut browns) I notice a really weird off taste. It's not undrinkable or foul, but the taste is unacceptable when I compare it with lighter beers I've made. The dark beer recipes contain chocolate malt and general darker malts.

I always use my tap water for mashing - so I'm guessing I can fix the problem by mashing with spring water? Any other reason why my darker beers have not been successful? Do they need more conditioning time?

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Old 01-18-2012, 06:35 PM   #2
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bump.

mineral content of water will alter the appearance and taste of a beer but i would have guessed that it would matter more to lighter beers. with darker and heavier beers, i would have guessed that the flavors and colors would mask harder water. i'd like to know the answer to this too.

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Old 01-18-2012, 06:42 PM   #3
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Well traditional wisdom says that water higher in sulfates and lower alkalinity can result in harsher-tasting darker beers due to the roasted malts.

I believe AJ Delange doesn't necessarily follow with the traditional wisdom, and I am sure he will contribute his two cents here at some point.

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Old 01-18-2012, 07:34 PM   #4
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It's entirely possible and the reason why some styles evolved in the traditional cities (e.g. Stout in Dublin, Pilsener in Cz). I'm by no means a water chemistry expert, but I've incorporated the basic treatments listed in the first post in this thread and it's really helped with my darker beers:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/bre...primer-198460/

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Old 01-18-2012, 07:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8shandini View Post
It's entirely possible and the reason why some styles evolved in the traditional cities (e.g. Stout in Dublin, Pilsener in Cz). I'm by no means a water chemistry expert, but I've incorporated the basic treatments listed in the first post in this thread and it's really helped with my darker beers:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/bre...primer-198460/
Thanks, I'll read up on that thread you posted!
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:42 PM   #6
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Or like the hard water around Sheffield,& Burton upon Trent,England. It's supposed ti give the famous Burton ales their particular flavor. I made my Burton ale without the Burton water salts,& a brewer that did thought mine tasted better. My water has been good for all ales light & dark. But I'll always wonder what that one with the Burton salts,let alone the original #3 Burton ale tasted like.It was written that the #3 Burton died as a style in 1890. So formulating the recipe wasn't/isn't easy when starting from scratch.
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:14 PM   #7
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I believe BLAM had a nice section on this though I don't have it around...it talked about hardness and how (as stated above) some places are suited for lighter and some for darker beer...but I can't recall its affects on taste

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Old 01-18-2012, 09:21 PM   #8
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Just for reference,I have a pic in my gallery of the #3 Burton ale I tried to replicate from the one that was said to have died as a style about 1890. Just try replicating an extinct ale from cobbled together news paper articles fron the last 200 years or so. Came out good with some imagination.
Must be my local water's profile? So,even with extract,water profile matters. Just not as critical to good results as AG. More for fine tuning flavor,ime.
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