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Old 01-08-2013, 05:07 PM   #11
dachbach
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Jan 2012
Indianapolis, IN
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So these numbers are for the water coming to our house, right? Don't our water softeners change these numbers? I can't just plug them into the water profile software since the water coming out of my faucet is actually different, correct?

 
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:03 PM   #12
Taboot
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Aug 2009
Indiana
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You will want to collect your water before it goes through your softener by using an outside spigot(no garden hose) or use a different way.

 
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:37 PM   #13
joelrapp
 
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Martin, I use 5.2, is this really having the effect that I'm looking for? Can you give me a brief explanation either way? Would using phosphoric acid still be beneficial?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
The main thing is to neutralize alkalinity as needed to produce an acceptable mash pH and to reduce the alkalinity of sparging water. Given the typically high alkalinity, using phosphoric acid will have the least flavor impact in the beers.

 
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:43 PM   #14
mabrungard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelrapp View Post
Martin, I use 5.2, is this really having the effect that I'm looking for? Can you give me a brief explanation either way? Would using phosphoric acid still be beneficial?
I'm clutching my chest! You guys are killing me.

5.2 has very little beneficial effect and anyone properly using an acid to acidify their mash would have NO need for that product. Drop it off in the nearest trash bin. Be sure you are acidifying your sparging water. That is a huge improvement by itself.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:52 PM   #15
joelrapp
 
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One more question Martin. I know to never use a salt based water softner, but what about the newish product on the market EZ Water? It is supposed to use an electrical charge on the water line to neutralize ions. What effect does this have on brewing water? I am considering one for the house and it's effect on my brewing will be a major factor.

 
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:14 PM   #16
mabrungard
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I have not seen any confirmation by any source (other than the manufacturer) that those things work. Its also counter-intuitive...how could an electrical field affect the positive or negative charge on an ion. Those charges are teeny, but at the atomic level, they are huge. Those charges are much larger than the electrical field.

By the way, this scam has been going on for decades. Do try and keep your money in your pockets and save it for a RO system.

Another system you might see is based on using Citric acid to reduce hardness. That system does actually work because citrate causes metallic ions like Ca to chelate and effectively removes them from the water chemistry. Now, that chelated calcium is still in there, it just can't do anything. The acid part of the citric acid also neutralizes some of the water alkalinity. The problem with that system is that you'll spend a fortune on citric acid. So its not really too viable, but it does work. Again, save for RO!
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Old 02-08-2016, 05:44 PM   #17
marvinsjunk
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May 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
Warning: the water profile for Carmel is NOT for the municipal tap water. That tap water is ion-exchange softened and is full of sodium and not suitable for brewing without RO treatment.
Old thread, I know. Sorry. I'm hoping Martin will see this.

The above statement was very interesting to me. I also live in Carmel, IN and am curious to know what effect brewing with the municipal tap water would have on, say, an English IPA. The water was run slowly through a carbon block filter then treated with campden. The malt bill was about 86% pale, 8% C60, 4% Amber, and 2% torrified wheat. Hop bill was moderate. Going for a fairly balanced beer. I do full volume mashes using BIAB. Before I got the filter, I commonly diluted the tap water with about 50% distilled for pale beers. Since getting the filter I haven't bothered. A porter made just before the English IPA, with just tap water, was pretty good. Not great, but good.

This beer was disappointing, and I'm trying to figure out why. Mash temps were good, OG and FG were close to expected. Foam and retention are pretty good. I've had an infected batch or 2 before but I'm fairly sure this one is not. The bitterness is aggressive, more so than expected, but there is little to no hop aroma or flavor, even with 2oz of dry hop still in the keg. The flavor is hard to describe and I'm not well versed with such things. Maybe minerally. Definitely bland, despite the bitterness. There's some malt there, but it's not a pleasant flavor. It's almost a funky, musty flavor (and smell), but not like the batches that I know were infected.

After reading this thread, I started to think it could be mostly a water issue and have spent a lot of time trying to get a better understanding of brewing water science. To test the hypothesis, I brewed another IPA last weekend using 100% distilled water with mineral and acid additions calculated using Bru'n Water. Not the same recipe as the English IPA, but fairly close.

I guess at this point I'm just wondering if the results are consistent with what one would expect using Carmel water, other things being equal.

 
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Old 02-08-2016, 05:55 PM   #18
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Not martin, but I am also an Indy brewer and BIABer and have based my water treatment on Martin's advice posted above. The key with our water is to neutralize the alkalinity so that your mash PH is in the right range. The water is pretty good otherwise. I use Phosphoric acid (usually 5-8 ml in a 7.5 gallon full volume mash depending on style) and have found the improvement to my beers to be dramatic. This has helped both dark and lighter beers.

For the IPA's though, you may need to also look at adding sulfates to get the hop presence to pop. Adding Gypsum to the boil will definitely help. The sulfates help the hops come through.

NOTE: I base all my additions on BruN Water spreadsheet.

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Old 02-08-2016, 06:44 PM   #19
marvinsjunk
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Hey Foosier. Thanks for the reply. It's interesting that you say the results were dramatic. I'm starting to realize that water has a more profound effect than I thought. I've read many times that you can make good to great beers without worrying too much about water. I'm sure that's true for many water sources, but Martin's post and the little bit of knowledge I've gained recently, leads me to believe that Carmel tap water is might be the culprit in many of my brewing struggles.

Cheers!

 
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:59 PM   #20
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I personally was getting discouraged with my beers before I started treating my water. I did a porter and had a marked astringency which did not taste like it came from the malts. After looking into water treatment, it really seemed to be something I could control with a few simple adjustments to get to a better quality beer. I have asked this question of Martin also both here and in person and he confirmed that the alkalinity is the only real issue with Indy water (besides needing to treat with Campden to remove Chloramines). You can definitely take a KISS approach to adjusting your water, and it may be the best method anyway as many have said that over adjusted water can be a problem on its own.

I did a Porter late last year which was the first for brewing that style since I started adjusting my water. It came out MUCH better.

Good luck!

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