1st AG w Soft water - can I just forget about it? - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > 1st AG w Soft water - can I just forget about it?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-31-2011, 02:38 PM   #1
0202
Recipes 
 
Dec 2008
Atlanta
Posts: 547
Liked 11 Times on 9 Posts



In preparation for my first AG Dry Stout, I've been reading a lot and am caught up on water adjustments. I'd like to save water adjustments for later brews and get to it, but my water is really soft (under 10ppm everything but bicarbonate @ 19ppm, 7.2 PH) and I need someone to weigh in on if I will destroy my Stout brewing without adjustment. It is hard for me to determine how essential adjustment is versus preferential.

This is a 3gal batch @ ~1.045 OG / 42 IBU / 38 SRM

I was going to simply adjust the PH of my mash and brew. Much thanks!


__________________
Kill your television

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2011, 02:45 PM   #2
BigB
Recipes 
 
Dec 2009
Shelby Twp, MI
Posts: 1,757
Liked 45 Times on 39 Posts


The mash itself will bring down the PH, so I wouldn't worry about it. I say brew away without modifying anything. BTW... that would be some great water to brew a Czech Pilsner.


__________________
I love the sound of an airlock bubbling in the morning. It sounds like.....VICTORY.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TxBrew
It's now degenerating into nu uh and uh huhs and it no longer serves a point.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2011, 03:47 PM   #3
wolfman_48442
Recipes 
 
Mar 2011
Fraser, MI
Posts: 531
Liked 12 Times on 12 Posts


It seems to me water adjustments become more critical the 'lighter' the beer is.
Pale ales, wheat beers, blondes, etc. - adjustment can make a remarkable difference.
Stouts, porters, IIPA's - not so much.
I think you'll make a stout that you'll really enjoy. Can it be better with water adjustments? Sure.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2011, 03:56 PM   #4
HomebrewMTB
Recipes 
 
Feb 2008
Raleigh, NC
Posts: 408
Liked 11 Times on 11 Posts


I didn't think you can make a good stout with really soft water just like you can't make a good pilsner with really hard water. I'd do at least a bit of calcium carbonate.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2011, 04:05 PM   #5
wonderbread23
Recipes 
 
Apr 2009
Brooklyn
Posts: 1,045
Liked 41 Times on 38 Posts


I'd certainly add some salts to buffer the mash ph. Depending on the amount of roast, it can easily drop the ph of the mash below its optimal ranges when using soft water. I also have really soft water and typically do a healthy chalk or baking soda addition on my roasty beers.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2011, 04:16 PM   #6
0202
Recipes 
 
Dec 2008
Atlanta
Posts: 547
Liked 11 Times on 9 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by HomebrewMTB View Post
I didn't think you can make a good stout with really soft water just like you can't make a good pilsner with really hard water. I'd do at least a bit of calcium carbonate.
That contention is part of my hesitation to just brew it. I planned on adding calcium carbonate if I added anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderbread23 View Post
I'd certainly add some salts to buffer the mash ph. Depending on the amount of roast, it can easily drop the ph of the mash below its optimal ranges when using soft water. I also have really soft water and typically do a healthy chalk or baking soda addition on my roasty beers.
3gal batch, this is my (WIP) BeerSmith recipe

2.4oz Black Patent
4.8oz Chocolate
8oz Flaked Barley
8oz Roast Barely
4lb Pale

I'm feeling like I might want to be prepared to add Calcium Carbonate to the mash.
__________________
Kill your television

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2011, 04:45 PM   #7
kansas_cty_shfl
Recipes 
 
Mar 2010
CO
Posts: 30
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts


If it's your first AG you'll have lots of other things to worry about without tinkering with the water. I also have super soft water and the batches I have done have all come out fine without adjustments (though I will say I have not done a stout, did do a red and a holiday brew that had a nice roasty character to them). If it were me I'd save water adjustments for when you have the rest of your AG process down pat.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2011, 07:26 PM   #8
rockfish42
Recipes 
 
Jun 2010
Merced, CA
Posts: 813
Liked 20 Times on 19 Posts


Without adding calcium in some form, most of the pH drop will be from the roasted malts. With those amounts I'd be surprised if the pH could drop too low. The historical preference for harder water with darker beers is because the malts can get the mash into the correct pH range. I've done stouts with Hetch-hetchy water in SF and they were fine with just the normal addition of gypsum or calcium chloride.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2011, 07:54 PM   #9
BeerCrafter2011
Recipes 
 
Mar 2011
Plattsburgh, NY
Posts: 94
Liked 6 Times on 5 Posts


I just did a Robust porter with 100% reverse osmosis water. I hit 80% efficiency (according to the calculator). The wort was perfectly sweet and in 12 hours I had a 3 inch high krausen.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2011, 10:24 PM   #10
ozzy1038
Recipes 
 
Jun 2011
Posts: 387
Liked 12 Times on 11 Posts


I would definitely think it would be lacking in some desired minerals.


__________________
_______________________________________________
On Deck: Cream Ale and Blue Moon clone for MIL

Primary: Hopped Up Brown

Bottled: Litehaus Wheat, Orange APA, Rauchbier, Willy's Cream Stout

Kegged: Tank 7 Clone renamed "Le Ferme" (dryhopped cascade, sorachi), Caramel Amber Ale, Trout Bum APA, 3 Dogs APA


Gallons Brewed Since June: 53.5
_______________________________________________
I seriously cannot imagine a day or life without beer!

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
All Grain with Soft Water? xxsn0blindxx All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 17 03-10-2013 03:17 AM
Soft Water Question Boski51 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 1 10-07-2011 08:56 PM
Soft water from Portland, OR ElDuderino All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 3 09-21-2010 06:11 AM
Extract Efficiency and my soft water... RichBenn All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 7 10-15-2009 07:15 PM
Brewing With Soft Water The Pol All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 16 07-30-2008 01:00 AM


Forum Jump