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Old 10-28-2009, 05:08 PM   #1
neumann
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Jun 2007
Little Rock
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I'm getting ready to make the jump to all-grain and, as I understand it, water quality becomes more important when doing all-grain versus extract. What I have to go on is the city's water quality report (which obviously doesn't necessarily equal my tap water). Here are (what I believe are) the relevant measurements:
Ca ppm: 6.1
Mg ppm: 1.13
Na ppm: 1.9
Cl ppm: 4
SO4 ppm: 18
Alkalinity: 10
I've been told the water is a little soft for brewing. Do I just toss in some gypsum or calcium chloride in? If so, how much and when? The style I'm doing is an English Pale Ale and getting the water to match the style would be a plus, but I would be happy with just plain good brewing water. Also on the matter of pH (I believe my water is 7.8), I see that the 5.2 powder is fairly popular, do I need that too? Just trying to get all my ducks in order so that my first all-grain batch is a success.

 
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:21 PM   #2

Water chemistry isn't something you should really be worrying about in your first AG beer. If you can drink your tap water, then it's fine for brewing beer with. If you're trying to match a style exactly, that's when you should worry about chemistry. Even then, you'll still probably make a great beer without messing with the water.

Even when you do get to the point of adjusting chemistry, fixing the soft water and pH will not fix everything. There's a lot more to think about. I suggest reading How to Brew and going through his section on water chemistry.
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:39 PM   #3
wildwest450
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Actually your water is very close to mine which makes excellent pales/ipas, I wouldn't worry about it this stage of the game.

For dark beers you may want to make some adjustments, but my dark beers have been decent so far.

I've just started making water adjs for dark beers, 2 in the primary right now, so i'll see if there's a difference. As for the 5.2, I always used it , BUT, since buying ph strips I found it wasn't really necessary.

 
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:55 PM   #4
neumann
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Jun 2007
Little Rock
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Thanks. That's good news. The fewer supplies I have to buy the better .

 
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:06 PM   #5
Bobby_M
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You should be brewing Pilsners with that water. It's pretty darn perfect for it. The good news is that it's a lot easier to add minerals than take away. pH wise, you're good for 6-10 SRM but your calcium and magnesium is a little low according to Palmer's recommendation. Being that you have a nearly blank slate, I'd get a few ounces of all the salts to have on hand.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:21 PM   #6
neumann
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Jun 2007
Little Rock
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More good news . Thanks for all the input. By the way, Bobby, big fan of your youtube vids. They've been a pretty big help throughout my brew process. One more question, I going to be doing a batch sparge, will water chemistry be of more/less/equal importance if/when I move to fly sparge?

 
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:04 PM   #7

Water really isn't much of an issue with your sparge IMO. I only worry about my mash when I adjust water.
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