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Old 08-12-2013, 05:19 AM   #1
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Default IPA Water Chemistry Help Please

So I made a 5 gallon batch of a Ginger root IPA the other day and it turned out great!!

I used my tap water (of which the water profile I do not know) and I'm starting to dabble in Water chem.

One complaint I had about it is that it turned out a little bit bitter in the front but not as "Poppy" as i'd like.
From doing some research I've come up with this using brewer's friend:

Chalk 1g - .26 tsp
Baking Soda 1g - .23 tsp
Gypsum 6g 1.5 tsp
Calcium Chloride 2g - .6 tsp
Epsom Salt 3g - .7 tsp
Canning Salt .5g - .08 tsp
Lactic Acid adjust accordingly
Ca 94 Mg 13 SO4 199 Na 21 Cl 56 HCO3 59 Alkalinity 48

Any suggestion? What can I do differently?

PS - I'm using 100% distilled water.

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Old 08-12-2013, 06:49 PM   #2
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There are in infinite number of things you can do differently. Whether any of them are better than what you propose to do is a different matter. I usually recommend a slightly more direct, organized approach as set forth in the Primer. What this basically says is that you can make good beer with a modest amount of calcium chloride dissolved in low ion content water. The idea is that you would do this and then experiment with addition of varying quantities of sulfate, less chloride and so on until you hit on the combination that gives you the most pleasing result. You can be guided to some extent by what you know about the beer. A Bohemian lager will be made with no sulfate and less chloride than the majority of beers. A Burton ale will be made with huge amounts of sulfate.

The good news is that you can try sulfate and chloride additions in the finished beer. Add some gypsum to the glass. Does the beer taste better? If so use more next time you brew. If not, use less etc.
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:42 AM   #3
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The proposed water profile will be fine for an IPA. However, the mineral additions you intend on using will not get you there. Delete the chalk since it won't work. In addition, its unlikely that the alkalinity from the chalk is needed. More over, the chalk alkalinity can easily be replaced with additional alkalinity from baking soda.

Since you don't add alkalinity to sparging water, you won't have to worry much about overdosing the beer with sodium. The somewhat high sodium content in the mashing water will be diluted when the non-alkaline sparging water is added to the mash.

Although the recommendations in the Water Primer are good for many beers, I anticipate that you would be disappointed with the resulting beer if 'pop' is what you are looking for in an IPA. 200 ppm sulfate in an IPA should be OK, I found 100 ppm insufficient and 300 ppm really good.

Martin B
Carmel, IN
BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

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