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Old 08-01-2013, 02:50 AM   #1
StefanM47
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Default Water Chemistry Help Needed!

Hey everyone. I'm trying to make a Grolsch clone for my dad. Here's the recipe:

5 Gallon Batch

2lbs German Munich Light
2lbs Crystal 15L
3lbs German Pilsner
4lbs Extra light LME

1oz Northern Brewer for 60mins
1oz Mountain Hood for 30mins
1oz Czech Saaz for 5mins

1 Whirlfloc tablet for 5mins

2 Smack packs of Wyeast 2042 Danish lager yeast


I don't need help with the recipe, but I DO need help with the water chemistry and additions. I figure that since most of this recipe uses light or Pilsner malt, I should try to achieve a Pilsner style Water profile.
Which, from what I've found, should look like this:
(ppm) Ca:7, SO4: 6, Mg: 2-8, Na: 32, Cl: 5

That's clear enough.
I Plan on using 100% distilled water because my tap water here is really hard.
With that in mind, can someone tell me what the actual additions need to be? As in, how many grams of gypsum, Epsom salt, chalk, baking soda, etc... need to be added and when?

I would really appreciate your help!

Thanks in advance.


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Old 08-01-2013, 03:07 AM   #2
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K, So I just did some more research and found that for a 100% distilled 5 gal batch I should be adding:

gypsum - 1.7g
epsom - 2g
calcium chloride - 1.5
baking soda - .4g
chalk - .4g
lactic acid - 3ml

Does this sound/Look right to you?


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Old 08-01-2013, 04:42 AM   #3
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No gypsum (because you are using Saaz), no epsom salts, definitely no baking soda or chalk (these will raise pH and you need to lower it - these nullify the pH lowering effect of the lactic acid/sauermalz). 2.5 grams of calcium chloride for a 5 gal batch is all you need. See the Primer.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanM47 View Post
K, So I just did some more research and found that for a 100% distilled 5 gal batch I should be adding:

gypsum - 1.7g
epsom - 2g
calcium chloride - 1.5
baking soda - .4g
chalk - .4g
lactic acid - 3ml

Does this sound/Look right to you?
I'm curious what guided you in adding chalk and baking soda to the water for this beer. Neither of those minerals is needed. AJ's recommendation to use the Water Primer is very appropriate for this beer.
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Old 08-02-2013, 05:39 AM   #5
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You're saying I just need to use distilled water and no additives? Are you serious?
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanM47 View Post
You're saying I just need to use distilled water and no additives? Are you serious?
That's not what he said. You have the two water chemistry authorities on the site trying to help you out. Soak it up.

Here's the Primer AJ referred to:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/bre...primer-198460/
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:22 AM   #7
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No gypsum (because you are using Saaz)
I've been diving into water chemistry for the past few weeks. Can you please explain to me why no gypsum with Saaz? Is it just because both calcium and sulfate help to punctuate hop bitterness and saaz is supposed to be delicate?
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:01 AM   #8
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Essentially. The calcium does not have this harshening effect but the sulfate does. You pay a premium for the fine bittering of Saaz. Don't throw it away with sulfate.

OTOH we should note that you are using the Saaz as a finishing hop so that it is not responsible for much, if any, of the bitterness. I've had lots of craft 'Pils' where they do this (i.e. use something with more punch for bittering and add Saaz at the end for 'authenticity') without reducing sulfate and I don't like those beers very much but that's not to say that you wouldn't. My more or less standard advice is to brew it without sulfate, taste it, add some gypsum in the glass and taste it again. If you think sulfate improves the taste then add gypsum to the water the next time you brew it.

Reason: 2nd Paragraph added.
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:56 PM   #9
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I'm not as fanatical about limiting sulfate when brewing with noble hops. But I do agree that in delicate beers like Pils, restraint in sulfate content is wise.

Grolsch is a Euro Lager and I would be surprised if the brewing water should have much sulfate in it. A very modest sulfate content of 30 ppm or less is all I would recommend. A modest chloride content is welcome too, maybe 50 ppm or less. Pair those anions with calcium and you are ready to go. Gypsum and calcium chloride are the minerals of choice.

Since a base malt mash in distilled water is going to produce a mash pH that is several tenths higher than desirable, an acid addition is required. Since little acid is required, lactic acid is a suitable choice and it should not affect flavor.
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:52 PM   #10
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Thanks for your help!!


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