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Old 03-24-2013, 11:03 AM   #1
RatsoRizzo
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Default Water question from complete science dunce

Hi all

I have a question about my water. Since I switched to all grain back in November I have noticed that my beers have a round smooth taste even when I brew a hoppy beer. The FG is normally on target so I don't think they're finishing too sweet. I have also noticed that I barely get more than a centimeter of krausen no matter what grains or yeast I use. This might not be due to the water of course but I'm kind of interested so went looking for my water profile online and found that Stockholm has the following profile:

ph 8,5
Alkalinity HCO3 7,8
Total hardness odH 5,9

Calcium Ca 35
Magnesium Mg 4,6
Sodium Na 12
Sulfate SO4 45
Chloride Cl 17

Water report available here in case I missed anything (in Swedish, but all of the information is clear enough)
http://www.stockholmvatten.se/common...2-05-21-CB.pdf

Now, I've tried reading about this stuff but when it comes to science I'm seriously hard of understanding. I did the Palmer nomograph thing and figured out that my water has a residual alkalinity of 45-50 as CaCO3 which means I should be able to brew mid SRM beers without any issues. However, I also think that I read that my Calcium levels are too low. I generally brew APAs, English bitters, etc with emphasis on hops rather than malt.

Does anything about my water strike you guys as being a bit off? Would you recommend some mineral additions to boost a few of the minerals and if so which ones?

Should also mention that diluting with or starting with RO or distilled water is out for me; that stuff isn't really sold in Sweden as far as I know, certainly not in supermarkets anyway.

Would be grateful for any general advice you science guys can give me. I'm going to try and read the Palmer chapter again and fiddle with the various spreadsheets in the meantime.
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:18 PM   #2
afr0byte
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You'll need to lower your alkalinity for most beers. Lactic acid, phosphoric acid, or acid malt (Weyermann makes a good one.) will be fine, given your alkalinity. You'll also want to increase your Ca to 50-100mg/L. For your hoppy beers I'd use calcium sulfate. The sulfate may be what you're expecting more of. It gives hoppy beers that crisp (or perhaps slightly rough) hoppy flavor. Also, lowering your mash pH (by adding the acid mentioned above) will likely make the flavors brighter.
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:53 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input, mate. After reading a bit more that seems to make sense.
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