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woosterhoot

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It's been along time since I posted, but here it goes. Ive been improving my brewing since over the past year and am doing full boil, all grain, starters, controlled fermentation temp, etc. But I did a taste test with a non craft brew drinking friend and was embarassed not from anything he said, but from my own critic of the differences. I noticed a lingering muddy sweetness in the aftertaste. When I got home I tasted my IPA and amber and they both have the same taste that is not noticable but when side by side with commercial its apparant. My gravities and bittering were very close on both receipes. I think its my water. I haven't filtered and just used tap water. I got a charcoal filter for the brew today. My water tastes good out of the tap, but if you put it in a bottle in the fridge and then tasted it, it tastes crappy. Does anyone have a good reference book for water and brewing. I don't have How to Brew and wonder if Palmer covers it, enough were I could start trying to build my water. I gotta take brewing to the next level of geekiness anyway so...
 

Professor Frink

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I don't have any references, but I would recommend checking out your local water report, that may give you some leads. I did that and found out my water was incredibly soft.
 

brewjunky

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I would use Reverse osmosis water then add a ph 5.2 and burton water salts to it
 
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Palmer: www.howtobrew.com

Do a side by side tasting with your beer and your tap water. See if you can pinpoint the flavor in the water.

Beyond that, I recommend the pH 5.2 buffer as well. It's not a perfect solution, but it can minimize a few issues with a fairly unknown water profile.
 
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woosterhoot

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Thanks for all the advice. I dug up the last water report that was done by my district and it didn't have most of the info that Palmer talks about. However it appears my water has a ph range from 7.2-8.4 (in reading excerpts it averages at 8-8.2 and they are trying to lower it) and the hardness is 23 mg/L, which seems to be on the low range of slightly hard by comparing it on a website on water hardness. I haven't tested the ph of my mashes and don't have any problems with acrid flavors. This flavor I taste is a subtle off taste in the finish. I think I'm going to trying using some bottled water and the 5.2 today for the brew today and try the side by side sugessted by Yuri to see if I can pin point the flavor.
This was the report
Alkanlinatiy - 23
Calcuim - 4.6
Hardness - 20
Potassuim - 2.1
Sodium - 26.3
Suflate- 30
Chloride - 18.4
missing magesium and the bicarbonates hco3
 
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