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Old 12-07-2010, 01:00 AM   #1
Dec 2010
Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 85

I am attempting my first all grain brew in 2 days (started the starter today):
The only part that I am confused on (so far) is the gypsum/baking soda additions to the water since I am using distilled water.

Batch size: 5.00 gal Boil Size: 6.34 Gal Boil time: 60min

7.5lb Pale Malt (US)
1.0lb Oats, Flaked
0.75lb Chocolate Malt
0.50lb Caramel/Crystal Malt- 60L
0.25lb Roasted Barley
2.00oz Goldings, East Kent: 5.00% 60min
4.00gm Calcium Chloride (Mash 60min)
5.00gm Gypsum (Mash 60min)
6.00gm Baking Soda (Mash 60min)
1.00lb Maple Syrup (B) boil
Yeast: Irish Ale (White Labs starter) (WP-004 I believe?)
Est OG: 1.058 Est FG: 1.015 Est Alcohol: 5.65% Bitterness: 34.2IBU Est Color: 31.5 SRM
Mash: Single infusion, Medium Body
Total Grain Weight: 10.00lb
Sparge Water: 2.92gal
Sparge Temp: 168.0F
60min: MAsh in 12.5 qt Water at 169.3F (For 154'F step temp)
10min: Mash out: 7.00qt water at 198.2'F for 168.0'F step temp.

I followed the recipe for Nerdalicious's Bacon Beer but added Maple Syrup and I will be adding 4lb of bacon to the secondary. Please let me know what you think or if I should change the water profile at all. I already picked up all the grain, etc. I mainly wanted to try doing distilled water to see what the difference was from my tap water. Thanks for the help in advance. -Matt

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Old 12-07-2010, 02:08 AM   #2
Senior Member
ajf's Avatar
Oct 2005
Long Island
Posts: 4,646
Liked 105 Times on 99 Posts

Welcome to the forum.

For some information on water treatment from someone who knows a whole lot more than I do, check out

There are only 10 types of people in this world. Those that understand binary, and those that don't.

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Old 12-07-2010, 11:00 AM   #3
Dec 2010
Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 85

Thank you ajf. I have gotten to the point where I understand the water chemistry part somewhat - but read too much that I am confusing myself now if that makes sense. I am following the suggestions of my LHBS on adding the minerals to try to make it ideal conditions for a stout - I believe this makes the profile similar to that of Ireland, high in bicarb. If anyone else has any suggestions I appreciate them since I still have to run back to the homebrew shop to pick up a new thermometer.

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Old 12-07-2010, 02:03 PM   #4
CBK's Avatar
Nov 2009
Rochester, NY
Posts: 259
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

This has worked well for me.

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Old 12-07-2010, 02:17 PM   #5
strat_thru_marshall's Avatar
Mar 2010
Oklahoma City
Posts: 1,641
Liked 31 Times on 25 Posts

wait....your first ag brew is a BACON STOUT??

That is amazing.

In my experience I've always made good tasting beer with just filtered tap water. I think when going all grain it's more important to get your process and system 100% dialed in before you start messing around with water chemistry. Just my opinion though.

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Old 12-07-2010, 03:11 PM   #6
Dec 2010
Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 85

After using the spreadsheet (and reading a bit):
I have decided to use mostly distilled water with maybe 1gall of tap water and changed the additions to:
3grams Gypsum CaSO4
4grams CaCL2
5grams Baking Soda
added to mash

1.7grams CaSO4
2.2grams CaCl2
2.8grams NaHCO3
This results in (Mash+Sparge):
150 Calcium, 0 Mg (will get some through tap water), 116 Na, 163 Cl, 142SO4
this leads to a Chloride to Sulfate Ratio of 1.15 which is a balance between bitter and malty (more toward malty side)
The estimated mash ph is 5.27

Nothing is a better motivator than bacon in my opinion.

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