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Old 10-22-2010, 03:44 AM   #1
Jan 2008
San Diego
Posts: 88

Trying to figure out how to get there from do you balance between Residual Alkalinity for a SRM of 25ish while keeping the Chloride to Sulfate ratio down at 0.30 and 0.50?

I assume the target is still Burton-y, but there seems to be an internal conflict there...

Can you do both?
If someone out there gets it, please help and here's my water for Bobby's spreadsheet:
Ca: 72.7
Mg: 27.7
Na: 89.5
Cl: 110
SO4: 214
HCO3: 137.5

Thanks in advance!

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Old 10-22-2010, 04:18 AM   #2
Nateo's Avatar
Jul 2010
Bennett Springs, MO
Posts: 2,050
Liked 39 Times on 30 Posts

AJ Delange, the brewing chemist extraordinaire, says to never add alkalinity.

Using only distilled water, and 210 trials, only 4 combinations of grains fell below mash pH range. SRM is not a reliable estimator of mash pH.

So add in ANY amount of alkalinity for your water, and you'll be probably be fine without any additional alkalinity. The only way to know for sure is to measure your mash pH after dough-in. Delange also says that the pH strips commonly available are biased to be -0.3 pH from what a pH meter would read, so a reading of 4.9 would really be 5.2.
To paraphrase Dr. England - "Off-flavors smooth with time. So do mountains. Brew it right from the start!"

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Old 10-22-2010, 06:16 AM   #3
thataintchicken's Avatar
Sep 2008
Lewiston, ID
Posts: 8,543
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edit: dammit remilard caught me posting half asleep again. disregard previous comment

Reason: half asleep

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Old 10-22-2010, 12:00 PM   #4
Nov 2008
Kansas City
Posts: 3,654
Liked 43 Times on 41 Posts

So you would consider the two ideal water sources for IPA to be Bull Run and Burton know that Burton is roughly the opposite of Bull Run in every way? It seems like if those both work well, so does everything in between (all water).

Another problem with pH strips is that they have poor resolution and there is user error. Even if you identify and correct for a bias, I consider the narrow range ones to be not accurate enough for measuring mash pH.

When I used them I found myself trying them under different light sources and basically trying to justify what I thought the pH would be based on spreadsheets. This is dangerous, but it is human nature and we'll all do it. When I figured out what I was doing I bought a pH meter. I now think about water much less and my beer is better.

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