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Old 03-07-2008, 11:48 PM   #1
Dr_Deathweed's Avatar
Jul 2007
Bryan, Texas
Posts: 2,381
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I know our water sucks:
Ca = 3ppm
Mg = 0.7ppm
Na = 200ppm
SO4 = 9ppm
Cl = 54ppm
Bicarb = 459ppm

I have a big brew day coming up on the 16th and i am going to be doing 3 widely different styles; a Koelsch, a brown ale, and a stout. My hope is that by using a mixture of distilled water, local water, and some simple salts (Epsom, gypsum, CaCl) to come up with some halfway decent water profiles. I know I could build my own profile from scratch, but i am trying to keep it simply complex as possible

I have been trying to mess with water profiles using beer smith and brewater 3.0, but beer smith has no self calculation feature, and brewater won't work with our water profile. (Try it, enter my water profile, dilute it 100% with distilled, and it still will not self calculate the ion additions. Either that or I am stupid) Here is my idea so far:

Koelsch: Target Cologne Germany (edit: had trouple finding a profile for this area, if anyone has a reliable source, please let me know)
5 gal distilled, 2.25gal local water, 4g gypsum, 1g epsom salt, 5g CaCl
resulting profile:
Ca = 84.8ppm
Mg = 3.8ppm
Na = 62.1ppm
SO4 = 98.7.3ppm
Cl = 104.3ppm
Bicarb =142.4ppm

Brown Ale: Target London.
5gal distilled, 2.75 gal local water, 2g gypsum, 4g epsom salt, 2.5g CaCl. resulting profile:
Ca = 40.3ppm
Mg = 13.7ppm
Na = 71ppm
SO4 = 94.5ppm
Cl = 60ppm
Bicarb =162ppm

Stout: Target Dublin
5gal distilled, 1.5gal local water, 2g gypsum, 1g epsom, 2gCaCl, 4g chalk
resulting profile:
Ca = 107ppm
Mg = 4ppm
Na = 46.2ppm
SO4 = 63.5ppm
Cl = 51.5ppm
Bicarb =203ppm

Do these values look right/feasable? Is there a better and easier way to get the same results? I usually use 5.2 in my mash, but as a phosphate buffer, will it not precipitate out any Ca I put into my water? Thanks for the help.

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Old 03-10-2008, 03:18 AM   #2
Got Trub?
Apr 2007
Washington State
Posts: 1,538
Liked 10 Times on 8 Posts

The stout and brown ale won't need 5.2, the dark grains will pull your pH into the appropriate range for mashing.


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Old 03-10-2008, 10:27 AM   #3
Feb 2008
Kalamazoo, MI
Posts: 98
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according to my source (CJHB Papazian pg. 263) your Dublin water profile is way off. Here's what Papazian gives.

Ca 115-120
SO4 54
Mg 4
Na 12
Cl 19

as far as the other two go I've no clue.

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Old 03-10-2008, 12:11 PM   #4
Apr 2007
Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 123
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Cologne (Koln) water profile here:

Isles of Langerhans Brewery

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Old 03-10-2008, 06:27 PM   #5
Mar 2007
Dav. IA
Posts: 188
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I have been having this problem too. Noonan in New Lager Beers has this for London water:

CA 90
Mg 5
Na 15
SO4 40
Cl 20
HCO3 125

Designing Great Beers has this for London:

Ca 50
Mg 20
Na 100
SO4 80
Cl 60
HCO3 160

And BeerSmith has completely different numbers as well! This has been my experience with basically All water profiles. I wish I could help rather than confuse you more, but hopefully the experts can chime in and clear this up for us...

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Old 03-11-2008, 03:09 AM   #6
Dr_Deathweed's Avatar
Jul 2007
Bryan, Texas
Posts: 2,381
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Originally Posted by Aclay
according to my source (CJHB Papazian pg. 263) your Dublin water profile is way off.

Right, I know it is not spot on, but it was as close as I could get given the dilution and salts I detailed above the profile. Given RO, my water profile, and some SIMPLE salt mesurements (I can only wiegh in gram increments right now) If any one wants to play around and get something closer, be my guest. Also let me know if my ballpark figgures are completely out of whack.

uhlee1, yeah, I noticed this as well. 10 different profiles from 10 different sources. Kinda like a poll on the best method of sparging My numbers above are pretty much ballpark of what I could hit with what I have. I was wondering if there are people out there (and I am sure there is) that play with water extensivly and know a better way to go at this, or can even narrow it down to 2 or 3 profiles that get most any beer that you would like to brew. Because to me, the Koln and London profile don't look that much different....

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Old 03-11-2008, 02:45 PM   #7
Apr 2007
Posts: 78
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add some CaSO4 if you want higher Ca and to also handle the bicarb. Add lactic if you want to leave Ca level where it is

dilute if you want lower Na

high bicarb can be handled by lowering the pH alone without dilution.

(geezer, chemist)

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Old 03-12-2008, 02:58 AM   #8
Apr 2007
Janesville, WI
Posts: 31

Check out Brewwater 3.0 when you get a chance. It's free and it helps with calculations

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