Do water treatments affect flavor or just mash efficiency?

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Danek

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I've just figured out my water chemistry using the charts on How To Brew, and in terms of color, my brewing water seems pretty spot on for the beers I tend to make (pale ales and IPAs). What I wondered was: if I made a stout without altering my water chemistry, would there be off-flavors in the beer, or would my efficiency just suck?
 

pjj2ba

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You'll probably be fine. Normally the problems that do arise are associated with to high a level of something. The issue with dark beers is that if you water is soft with a low buffering capacity, the dark malts may lower the pH too much, and efficiency might suffer. Dark malts can always be added late in the mash though to get around this. Just add them when you hit mash out temps and maybe let it sit there a little longer.
 

Piotr

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I've just figured out my water chemistry using the charts on How To Brew, and in terms of color, my brewing water seems pretty spot on for the beers I tend to make (pale ales and IPAs). What I wondered was: if I made a stout without altering my water chemistry, would there be off-flavors in the beer, or would my efficiency just suck?
In case of stout high level of bicarbonates helps figthing astringency and acidity that comes from dark malts - sometimes it is advisable to add chalk to mash to rise bicarbonates.
 

HomebrewJeff

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Unless you are really high in something, or abnormally low in something else, you should fine for making all types of beers. That's been my experience anyway. Altering the chemistry of the water is where you might start noticing the off flavors, as adding one element generally also increases something else.

I would suggest brewing the beer and see how it tastes. More than likely, you'll be fine.

:mug:
 
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