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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Water additions for my IIPA
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:37 AM   #1
AventinusCam
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Default Water additions for my IIPA

Hey guys,

First and foremost I am 100% sorry for posting yet another water treatment thread. I searched and read for hours, but still did not feel comfortable enough to do this myself so here it goes:

I am making my second go at a IIPA this weekend. My first batch ran into problems involving my brewing rig that were rather tragic. It was a lot of money down the ****ter. I am giving this another go, and to make sure I don't waste more money again...

Secondly, I live in Western PA. I am about 35 minutes North of Pittsburgh. I have the option to use Pittsburgh water, but due to the convenience I am going to spring for distilled water and just add everything (my water at home is well water and fluctuates so much in hardness and other things present). Here is the recipe:

Hop Box IIPA:

Water: distilled w/ option of Pittsburgh water
Yeast strain: WLP 001
Hops: 60 min ( 1 oz Summit, .5 Magnum), 10 (2 oz Centennial), 5 (1/2 oz of each Amarillo, Simcoe and Centennial), Flameout (1/2 oz of Amarillo, Simcoe and Centennial), Dry hop with 1 oz each of Amarillo and Simcoe

14 pounds pale 2 row (90.3%)
.5 Crystal 20L (3.2%)
.5 German Wheat (3.2%)
.5 German Acid Malt (3.2%)

I have gypsum and Calcium chloride at my disposal. How much should be added in addition to anything else?


P.s. Sorry once again. And thanks to whoever replies.


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Old 09-19-2012, 03:48 AM   #2
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Additions for 5 gallons of distilled water:

1.9g gypsum
1.1g table salt
2.7g epsom salt
4.5g chalk

That'll get you to near Sierra Nevada water. I use this for most of my IPAs. Final water (from distilled) will be roughly:

117 Ca
14 Mg
22 Na
111 SO4
35 Cl
140 HCO3


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Old 09-19-2012, 03:53 AM   #3
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thanks. I probably should have mentioned that this was a 5 gallon batch with about 9 gallons of water to begin with.
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:03 AM   #4
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Yeah, sort of depends on how much you mash with and stuff, but for 9 gallons, it'd be

3.4
2.0
4.9
8.0

Just use the 5 gallon quantity to calculate each addition for the water you put in. Brewing software can really help, and there are some free excel spreadsheets floating around that help calculate water additions. I use a program called BeerSmith and it's Water Profile Tool. I also use Bru'n Water spreadsheet when I'm really interested in locking in some water profile. I think you can search for it and download it for excel, it's free.

For an IPA, getting your SO4 number up around 100 will bring out the hop bitterness and make it crisper. You can test values between 100-150 or so and see what suits your taste.
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:58 PM   #5
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The need for the acid malt is likely dependent upon the amount of calcium added via any gypsum addition. More calcium will help depress the mash pH and lessen the need for acid malt. I like a decent dose of sulfate in my IPAs and therefore add over a 100 ppm calcium. I do start with RO water since my tap water quality is poor. I actually find that a touch of pickling lime is needed to help keep the mash pH from dropping too low. But my standard PA and IPA recipes use around 10 % crystal malt. They help depress the mash pH. The OP's recipe above may not have that degree acidity since it uses only a small percentage of light crystal. The acid malt could be needed. Do check out Bru'n Water to enable the ability to evaluate what that grist might do in the mash.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:12 PM   #6
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You might want to invest in a pH meter eventually, otherwise you really won't know what you have created. I'm assuming you are adding all the chemistry to your mash, though some recommend splitting between mash and boil.
For my local soft tap water, I've been adding 5 g calcium chloride and 2.5 g gypsum to the mash. My grain bill is similar to yours with .5 lb acid malt. Last mash tested 5.2 pH. Good luck!
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:47 PM   #7
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A pH meter will undoubtedly be bought. I have been reading the water primer thread, books and other sources a lot, but sometimes the chemistry thing is above my head. Still waiting for the "a HA" moment where it all clicks.

A few questions for you, Hex,
Is this grain bill you said is similar a IIPA? And when you add the 5g of calcium chloride and 2.5g gypsum to the mash, are you just adding that amount or are you adding supplemental additives to the boil?
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:47 PM   #8
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I'd just add 0.33 gram of CaCl2 per gallon and 0.67 gram of CaSO4 per gallon of your water - applied to all your RO or distilled water (mix it in larger quantities than just single gallon jugs...). The final water profile will be about:

Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 64 / 64
Mg: 0 / 0
Na: 0 / 0
Cl: 42 / 42
SO4: 98 / 98

I mashed a similar grain bill a few days ago with the water suggested above and didn't need any acid malt to get 5.4 mash pH (measured at room temp). The base malt will be the biggest contributer to your mash pH, mine was Rahr American 2-Row that has about 5.6 pH in distilled water and some crystal malt brough the mash pH down without acid. Other base malts may not be that acidic. I think you'd be safe with 2-3 oz of acid malt.
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:57 PM   #9
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I appreciate the help. I thought about bumping the Acid malt down or out of it completely, but at this point it is like a security blanket.
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:11 PM   #10
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I'm pretty sure you don't need 0.5 lb of acid malt. 2, 3, 4 oz should be ok.

Dry out and save your 9 gallon jugs from distilled water and fill them up at the local grocery store RO water unit for less than half the cost next time.


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