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Old 12-27-2011, 02:26 AM   #1
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Default water adjustment question

I originally posted this in techniques, but decided to move it here. I'll start by saying that I'm a partial mash (BIAB) brewer, and I'm considering adjusting my brewing water for an upcoming batch to replicate the water in Yorkshire, UK:
Water Profile
Yorkshire, England
Calcium (Ca)= 105.0
Magnesium (Mg)= 17.0
Sodium (Na)= 23.0
Sulfate (SO4)= 66.0
Chloride (C1)= 30.0
Bicarbonate (HC03)= 153.0
PH= 8.33

I've been reading and searching the internet this afternoon and i have some thought and questions. First and foremost, does anyone with some experience doing this think that water profile looks right? It's the only one i could find for Yorkshire.
Secondly, i believe my choices for creating this water would be to either use distilled water and add mineral salts to the desired ppm. Or, to compare my local tap water and add what's needed to make that like the water I'm looking for. My concern here is if i have too much, say, sodium in my tap water, can i easily remove or lower mineral levels? I can't see a way that i can. Is distilled water OK to use for brewing IF i add the mineral salts I'd need to achieve the desired profile?
Also, I noticed the PH of the water is 8.33. Quite high. My tap water is 7.8 and i cut it with RO water to brew because I understand you need a low pH to mash. Is 8.33 to high a pH to mash? I'll be using a half lb of dark malts (light chocolate and roasted barley), I understand that will help lower the pH a little. But will it still be too high?
I know that's a laundry list, and I'd really appreciate some input/advice. My wife whipped up an amazing northern english brown (extract with grains), we're down to our last few bottles and we'd like to brew it again as a partial mash and think it'd be great to replicate that water to make it truly authentic.


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Old 12-27-2011, 11:51 AM   #2
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I think the best thing you can do is read the- Brewing Water Primer- sticky in the Brew Science forum and go from there . I am not a water expert by any means but I think the best approach is to not over complicate things by trying to match a Brewing towns water profile.
It took me a long time go get a grasp on water and did ALOT of reading and Brew science has alot of info. Also I found ez water calculator 3 a big help, maybe not as an absolute, but by changing up the recipe and salt additions, how the ions react to each other.
Hope this helps a little,
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:30 PM   #3
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wow, whatta sticky! thanks roadking. it does kinda sound like it over complicates things to match a particular regions water. my tap water has high calcium and sulfate as is, which i believe are the key minerals in the water i'm looking for, so maybe adding simple 'burton salts' to my 2:1 tap:RO water would get me what i'm looking for. i do that already for my english pales and ipas, and like the results. besides, that's a far less daunting task than trying to make Yorkshire water in minneapolis.
thanks.
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