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Old 12-18-2011, 05:20 PM   #1
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Default american brown ale water additions. build from distilled?

trying to do some research on this, but i am a noob with the water calculators and such. digging through a ton of search results at the moment with not a lot of luck. hopefully someone can point me in the right direction.

i am brewing up a northern brewer caribou slobber american brown ale today, via biab. i have 8 gallons of distilled water, and would like to use it, and build my water profile to what it should be. are there any spreadsheets that tell you exactly what to add for the style of beer when building water from distilled?

i have read the water primer sticky...im not sure what style to put this beer under, im assuming the roast malt variety, so all i would be adding is calcium chloride. does this sound right?

my tap water is well water and fairly hard i assume, with a bit of a sulfer smell. any advice here? thanks for any help in advance!


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Old 12-18-2011, 05:42 PM   #2
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I'm no expert on water chemistry, but I've brewed with distilled water and it came out fine. I used one gallon of spring water for trace elements, one tspn of Burton salts and one tspn of gypsum. You can probably fix the sulphur smell by boiling - you ever tried to brew with it? I'll bet if you check around you could get information about your water - I don't know, usda or a nearby university ag or natural resource department? Good luck.


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Old 12-18-2011, 06:37 PM   #3
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:52 PM   #4
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If you're building from distilled water, I'd suggest that "less is more" and not add much at all in the way of salts until you know your results. You could use 5 grams of CaCl2 and have a very nice beer.

The style of beer isn't really all that important to building water, when it comes right down to it. You may want to add some gypsum to enhance bitterness with hoppy/bitter beers but again, "less is more".

For your beer, I'd be inclined to use 3 grams of calcium chloride and 3 grams calcium sulfate, so that all of your calcium needs are met, and you're within "recommended" guidelines for the additions. If you don't have a pH meter, you can't check the actual pH, but these additions should help put you in the range.
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:20 PM   #5
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thanks yoop, fellow yooper! i do have a ph meter, should the 3+3 get me fairly close on mash ph?
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:29 PM   #6
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thanks yoop, fellow yooper! i do have a ph meter, should the 3+3 get me fairly close on mash ph?
Yes, but have some lactic acid (or phosphoric acid) on hand just in case you miss. Or use 1% acid malt and you should be right in there. This is just a guess, of course, as each grain will be a bit different in practice than in my generalities.
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:42 PM   #7
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gotcha. will keep you posted on how it works out. thanks for the help!
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:00 PM   #8
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added 3 grams of cal chloride, 3 grams of cal sulfate, checked ph throughout the whole mash. ph was around 5.8 about 15 minutes in, took another sample, was 5.7 20 minutes in, added 3ml lactic acid, checked ph at 30 minutes into mash, was 5.7, added 3 more ml lactic acid, ph came down to 5.5, finally at 45 minutes, ph was at 5.3 with a total of 9ml total of lactic acid. thoughts?
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:11 PM   #9
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added 3 grams of cal chloride, 3 grams of cal sulfate, checked ph throughout the whole mash. ph was around 5.8 about 15 minutes in, took another sample, was 5.7 20 minutes in, added 3ml lactic acid, checked ph at 30 minutes into mash, was 5.7, added 3 more ml lactic acid, ph came down to 5.5, finally at 45 minutes, ph was at 5.3 with a total of 9ml total of lactic acid. thoughts?
Well, 5.3 seems pretty darn low- what was the temperature that it was taken att? I like 5.4-5.6 at room temperature.
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Old 12-19-2011, 01:18 AM   #10
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temp was cooled to about room temp, ph meter read 23c. 5.3 is good, no?


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