Palmer's book gives the following information about ideal bicarbonate levels:
0-50 ppm for pale, base-malt only beers
50-150 ppm for amber colored, toasted malt beers
150-250 ppm for dark, roasted malt beers
The Bru'n Water spreadsheet says:
Bicarbonate does not have an ideal range. It is needed only to the extent required to produce the appropriate mash pH.
Right now I'm looking at a water profile for BM's OktoberFAST Ale that has a bicarbonate level of 982.8 ppm to get the correct mash pH. It also has a Ca level of 350.4 ppm.
Two questions - who should we believe about bicarbonate levels, and is the calcium level too high? Again, with regard to calcium, Palmer and Bru'N Water do not agree on ideal levels.
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