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Old 11-27-2010, 01:46 AM   #1
Apr 2009
Cottage Grove, Wisconsin
Posts: 393
Liked 14 Times on 8 Posts

I posted this in Brew Science as well, but it doesn't look like many people are over there. Hoping someone may offer their opinion tonight as I'm brewing in the morning.

Hey All - Wanted to run by my plans for a brew tomorrow. Want to make sure I get the water treatment reasonably correct. If you wouldn't mind taking a look and giving your opinion I would very much appreciate it.

Porter Recipe:

8lbs Pale
1lb Munich
.5lb Crystal 60
.5lb Crystal 80
.75lb Chocolate
.25 Carapils

1.060 OG
33.5 IBU's
32 color

My water profile:

Ca-69.2, Mg-48.7, Na-3.3, Cl-1.5, SO4-9.9, Alk-345

One plan:

dilute with 50% distilled (4.15 gallons Mash, 3.125 Sparge)
add 1 gram of Calcium Chloride to the mash and .8 to the BK

End up with - Ca-52, Mg-24, Na-2, Cl-31, SO4-5, RA-121, PH-5.21

Other plan (try to match closer to London):

dilute with 50% distilled
.5 gram Gypsum, 1 gram Calcium Choride, 3 grams Baking Soda, and 1 gram non-iodized salt to the mash and same additions (smaller quantities) to the BK

End up with - Ca-59, Mg-24, Na-79, Cl-70, SO4-23, RA-229, PH-5.33

My concern with the first plan is the low levels of Sodium and Chloride. In Daniels Designing Great Beers book he states that the Sodium level of 100 and Chloride level of 60 contribute to palate fullness. The concern with option two is the higher RA.

Any help/opinions would be appreciated. I've been playing with water chemistry (mostly using Palmer) and have been less than successful in my opinion. Feel like I've learned a lot here on the forums recently, but it's a lot to take in over a short period of time. For what it's worth, the last brew I made seemed too thin. It was a 42 gravity APA, but tasted much too thin for what I was looking for. Here is what I did to the water at that point (same original water profile) - 1tsp of gypsum and .5 tsp of cal cl to the mash and .75 tsp of gypsum and .33 tsp of cal cl. This was done before I had the EZ water spreadsheet.

If you think a different plan for my water profile is in order please don't hesitate to suggest.

Thanks ahead of time.

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Old 11-27-2010, 03:59 AM   #2
Nateo's Avatar
Jul 2010
Bennett Springs, MO
Posts: 2,050
Liked 39 Times on 30 Posts

Those water RA spreadsheets are pretty useless. You can't accurately estimate pH from color. you just have to dough-in and test, and adjust. I almost always have to go down, regardless of my grist, and my water is barely alkaline at all, like Alk-87.

I wouldn't add the baking soda. The only time I add baking soda or chalk is if I overcorrect with my acid and get the pH too low. I do like adding some salt to the mash for darker/sweeter beers.
To paraphrase Dr. England - "Off-flavors smooth with time. So do mountains. Brew it right from the start!"

My blogsite: http://nateobrew.blogspot.com/

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