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Brewing with RO water - understanding the recipe

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Suicid

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Hi all,

I see alot of recipes (in BYO mag in particular) which call for using RO water.
They often start with short sentence "RO water used for this recipe". Thats it about water treatment for recipe.

My question is: should I treat RO water in any way to clone the recipe (once again recipe tells nothing about it) and if yes - then is there any "generic routine" for it?

Or is it enough just simply use RO water as it is, meaning that all the ions and minerals will be finally picked up during mash from the grist?

Thanks in advance!
 

Beer-lord

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I'm still learning using RO water even after 2 years of using it. But, it's a blank slate and you definitely need to add brewing salts to have it give your beer what it needs.
There are a number of free water calculators that you can use to help you with this. I like Brun' Water and find it works well as does ezBrewing Water. All will take a learning curve but can be extremely useful in helping you decide what is needed to make your beer.
 

RealRayDizzle

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I use RO water in all my all grain batches. (get it from a watermill express since their computer system monitors water quality)

This water is pretty much a blank slate, so I use Beer Smith to calculate water profile additions for Mash and sparge water. There are other free calculators out there that you can use as well.

If the recipe does not have the additions listed (gypsum, calcium chloride, Epsom salt, lactic acid), then best you can do is take a look at the style and figure how you want it to taste.

When diving into water chemistry a good calculator is essential, especially when working with lactic acid. It can be pretty easy to add too much as the PH range is pretty narrow. most recipes about 1ml per gallon of mash water works, but grain and other additions can affect this as well
 

acidrain

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Probably means they used straight RO water. I would never use straight RO water.
Like all recipes, take it and adapt it to your efficiency and boil-off.
If you want to start with RO water, I would add your mineral additions and brew normally taking careful notes, and adjust the next brew as as needed.
 

urg8rb8

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Another thing you need to have for adding salts/minerals/acids is a .01g (or better) weight scale.
 

Silver_Is_Money

Larry Sayre, Developer of 'Mash Made Easy'
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I'm still of the opinion that mineralization should be quantified in terms of mEq's rather than ppm's. If you and I both brew the exact same recipe and use the exact same weights of each grist component, but due to sparging you have 50 ppm of Ca++ present within 5 gallons of mash water, and due to no-sparge BIAB I have 50 ppm's of Ca++ present within 10 gallons of mash water, then (despite the exact same Ca++ ppm's) my batch has fully twice as much Ca++ present for the fixed weight of grist to react with than yours does. Just something more to ponder.
 
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