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Old 01-23-2012, 02:59 PM   #1
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hey guys,

I have 163 ppm HCO3 in my water.... I'll brew a hefeweizen tomorrow with this water - I just wanted to ask do you find this too hard for the style?

What off flavors should I expect?

Is it possible to get a good hefeweizen with such a water?

I can't buy any distilled water today to dilute it, so I'm stuck with 163 ppm bicarbonates...

I have regular salts for adjusting brewing water (CaSO4, CaCl, MgSO4) and i have 80% lactic acid.....what can I do about it? If I lower the ph to 5,5 with lactic acid, would it fix the beer taste at all?


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Old 01-23-2012, 06:28 PM   #2
ajdelange
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Hefeweizens seem pretty durable given that you use the right yeast strain.

Bicarbonate at 163 is quite a bit and will doubtless result in a mash pH higher than desirable. Using lactic acid to lower it to 5.5 is a fine idea.

The result of proper mash pH as opposed to overly high mash pH was best put, IMO, by the guy who said "all the flavors seem brighter".



 
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:15 PM   #3
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A Hefe should have a degree of tartness in the finished beer. Having judged hundreds of these beers, I'd say that the biggest fault in the beers I judged was likely that the brewer failed to adequately reduce their water's alkalinity.

A 5.5 mash pH target might still be a little too high in my opinion. For this style, I'd suggest targeting 5.3 at room temperature. This assumes that the OP has a calibrated pH meter.

I would also suggest that keeping the overall mineralization of the water relatively low. If the calcium content is already over 50 ppm, there is little need to increase it. Avoiding any additional sulfate is also strongly recommended. This style has no hop focus.
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:11 AM   #4
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Bringing this thread back from the dead, I'm constantly fighting my insanely hard water (thanks San Diego municipal!)
Ca 2+ 60.5
Mg 2+ 22.9
SO4 – 192
Na+ 87.2
Cl – 94.9
HCO3 – 130
Total Alkalinity 107

For a weissbier, would it be better to start with distilled (more easily available for me than RO) and build up? Or, not being super interested in competition scores, if I want to brew this with no water changes, will it still be tasty? Not sure how mash pH is going to work for me on this one.
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:27 AM   #5
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The sodium, sulfate, and chloride levels are all fairly high. That is in addition to the significant hardness and alkalinity. A very significant dilution with distilled water is warranted if you want the beer to shine instead of being overshadowed by the water.
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:08 PM   #6
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If you use one of the Weihenstephan 68 (Wyeast 3068 and White Labs has one too) yeasts and operate it at about 62 F you should be fine at that level of alkalinity but a couple percent sauermalz would probably be a good idea. I'd be more concerned about the sulfate. Be sure to go really easy on the hops.

If DI water is readily available you might want to cut 4:1 (DI:tap) and supplement with a half tsp CaCl2 per 5 gallons treated. That would knock sulfate and alkalinity down into the respectable range. I'd still use 2% sauermalz though.

 
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:16 PM   #7
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Okay, I was thinking half DI, and 1tsp in 7 gallons, but this stuff is not my forte. I'll dilute even more. I typically shoot for the bottom of the IBU range for wheat beers anyway, so I think that should be ok. I always use a little sauermalz in my light beers, so thanks for the confirm. Cheers!


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