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Old 11-13-2010, 04:50 PM   #11
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The last guy to post on that thread is having the exact issue that I've had for my AG batches. It's too bad people stopped responding to it back in January. Maybe I'll bump it.


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Old 11-13-2010, 05:13 PM   #12
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Actually, your water seems perfect to brew with. I'd be pleased to have such a "blank canvas" for brewing.

After reading as much as I can of ajdelange's posts about adding chalk, I won't do it anymore. I think your water looks great, and I'd just recommend using the water "as is" and find a way to check the pH. Maybe some CaCl2, to bring up the calcium and chloride. Try a spreadsheet to see the results.


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Old 11-13-2010, 07:13 PM   #13
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Athens, what's up???

I brew in Athens too. First off, the pH of the water is more like 6.5 than 7.5. But that doesn't really matter (its actually better IMO).

I have messed around with a bunch of different salt additions for various beers, but first you must filter your water (mostly to get rid of the Cl- and less to get rid of lead). Terrapin filter's their water first too. You can use something as simple as a Brita filter or get a whole house filter at Lowes (~$30, search this forum for details).

Ok, now that you have filtered, Cl- free water, we can brew awesome beer.

For an APA, you really don't need any salts at all by default. If its a really pale one, then any Ca-salt will help (remember Ca is good). I would use up to 2-3 g gyspum (calcium sulfate) for ALL the mash/sparge water. 3 g will def. add a really sharp hop bitterness, so you might want to cut back the 60 min addition by 5 - 10 IBUs.

I would stop using the 5.2 stuff, pointless for our really soft water in most cases. Trust me, there are tons of brewers in Athens that make great beer (all styles) and I don't anyone that uses the stuff.

CaCO3 is another nice salt if you are trying to mimic Munich water for German lagers and ales. CaCl2 is good too, it makes beers "rounder" (opposed to gyspum making them sharper). CaCl2 is generally best for lagers needing a smooth malt/hop balance.

I would say forget about the salts, its not necessary for a great APA, but if you do make to sprinkle some in, start with 1 tsp total in the mash (skip sparge water additions) and go from there.

Oh yeah, where did you get that water report from for Athens? I could never find one that detailed.
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Old 11-13-2010, 07:24 PM   #14
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It's in the homebrew talk section of the Athens Home Brewer's website.

I'm worried about the ph because it's the only thing I haven't fooled with since noticing tannins in my beers.... a certain flavor I only got when moving to all-grain. I'm anal about my mash and sparge temp.. so I don't think that's it. Obviously, the first step is for me to find out the actual ph of the water, but using Five Star 5.2 just as an insurance policy seemed just as logical.
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Old 11-13-2010, 07:29 PM   #15
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The 5.2 definitely doesn't work with soft water. Myself, Kai and AJ Delange at a minimum have done soft or distilled water test mashes with it.

Read the water chemistry primer sticky. You are fortunate that you can use your water and follow the advice therein. A lot of people have to buy or produce RO water for all or part of their water.
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Old 11-13-2010, 07:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Five Star 5.2 just as an insurance policy seemed just as logical.
That's certainly what they market it as.

Where did you get the water report?

Tannin extraction is at high pH. You aren't going to have that problem unless you way over sparge your mash b/c our water pH is low (~6.5-7.0) and we have soft water with little buffering capacity (low in carbonates).

How do you go about your sparging? Batch sparge (you will certainly have to problems with tannin extract with this method) or fly sparging (possibly, but unlikely)?

It could be something else. Why do you think its tannins? Is this your guess or were you told by another brewer?

There is a club meeting coming up (Third tuesday every month). Bring some brew to that and we can tell you what we think better than internet forum would be able to.
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Old 11-13-2010, 07:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkswing View Post
That's certainly what they market it as.

Where did you get the water report?

Tannin extraction is at high pH. You aren't going to have that problem unless you way over sparge your mash b/c our water pH is low (~6.5-7.0) and we have soft water with little buffering capacity (low in carbonates).

How do you go about your sparging? Batch sparge (you will certainly have to problems with tannin extract with this method) or fly sparging (possibly, but unlikely)?

It could be something else. Why do you think its tannins? Is this your guess or were you told by another brewer?

There is a club meeting coming up (Third tuesday every month). Bring some brew to that and we can tell you what we think better than internet forum would be able to.
It's not my report, there are two from others in Athens that posted on your ALEZ site, I just copied and pasted it here. I'm just assuming my water is similar, particularly the Newton Bridge Rd report, where Terrapin is, because I'm on J River at the intersection of Little Mexico.

I might make this meeting... I met many of you at the Oktoberfest party and got some good insight. That was the same day I made batch #2 which is deliciously tannic right now.

I am batch sparging. I have been told to use a plate over the grain to diffuse the water being poured over it.. what else can you tell me about why batch sparging pulls more tannin?
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
what else can you tell me about why batch sparging pulls more tannin?
I either misspoke or you misread.

Batch sparging is LESS likely to pull tannins. Tannins are extracted at elevated pH (as in the mash pH is greater than 7), which is not going to happen with batch sparging, esp. with our water.

I would say you don't need a plate for batch sparging. I have batch sparged many beers. Here is my process:

Heat up strike water
Add it to your mashtun (mine is a cooler)
Add your grains, mix thoroughly, make sure temp is right, rest for ~60 min.
Vorlauf
Collect first runnings in brew pot.
Batch sparge, mix thoroughly again, wait a min. or two
Vorlauf
Collect second runnings.
Boil that mofo.

*Note: your infusion (60 min rest) water amount and batch sparge water amount should be roughly the same. I always batch sparge with 3.5 gal of water. And I use a ~1.25qt/lb for the 60 min rest (the mash). Then I topoff with ~1.25 gal for a mock mash out (temp never gets high enough). Then I vorlauf and collect first runnings......

Again, where did you get the idea of your off-flavor is from tannins? Are you just guessing? Did someone else tell you? Does it just not taste as good as you want it to? I know it happened when you switched to all grain, but there a lot of variables in all grain that could be off.

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