Quantcast

Pilsner water profile for NE PA/IPA

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

thehaze

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
2,144
Reaction score
933
Location
Iasi, Romania
Hi.

Have any of you brewed a NEPA/IPA using a soft water profile, like a pilsner?

Or something like
Ca2+ Mg2+ Na+ Cl- SO42- HCO3-
80 5 25 75 80 100

Is the lower mineral content detrimental to the overall aroma and flavour of the style?

Thank you!
 

mabrungard

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
5,948
Reaction score
1,878
Location
Carmel
You certainly can brew an IPA or NEPA with low mineral content. It will be beer. However those few times where I've had one of these beers that had low mineralization, they came across as somewhat bland. Bland can be OK in beer styles that focus mainly on malt, but that doesn't seem to hold true for more hoppy styles. I believe you'll find that moderate to high mineralization is more fitting to those styles.

To test this out, I do recommend that you brew with low mineralization and then dose glasses of your resulting beer with either calcium chloride or gypsum to see if you like the dosed beers more or less. Use that experience to guide future mineral use in your beers.
 
OP
thehaze

thehaze

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
2,144
Reaction score
933
Location
Iasi, Romania
Great answer. Thank you!

I think it sounds like a very good and easy to perform idea. I will brew a medium strength NEIPA with soft water to test what salts added to the glass and then I will decide if I want to brew it again, with a slightly more agressive water profile.

PS: " Bland " does not really sound all that good in the context of brewing a somewhat expensive beer. Thanks again.
 

couchsending

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
2,736
Reaction score
1,697
Those look fine but why HCO3? Is your water that high in alkalinity or are you for some reason adding some?
 
OP
thehaze

thehaze

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
2,144
Reaction score
933
Location
Iasi, Romania
I pasted that from Brewer'sFriend and forget to adjust. I was actually trying to determine whether Ca, chloride and sulfate at lower levels, would work for a NEPA/IPA. My water is quite soft:

Ca: 10.19
Mg: 2.56
Na: 2.65
Cl: 3.32
SO4: 6.02
HCO3: 42.7
pH: 7.2

and with additions of phosphoric acid, the HCO3 drop under 10 ppm, so that's no issue.
 

couchsending

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
2,736
Reaction score
1,697
Wow... what I’d give to ha w water like that!

I’ve been brewing more hoppy beers latey with “softer” water profiles in that they have lower Ca levels but using other sources of Cl and So4, namely KCl, NaCl, and even upping MgSo4 a bit.

Personally I find high Cl can be rather offensive when combined with high Ca levels.
 
OP
thehaze

thehaze

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
2,144
Reaction score
933
Location
Iasi, Romania
I am actually about to brew two different hoppy beers: one will be a sessionable, hazy beer, with a soft ( pilsner/helles ) water profile and the other one, just a regular one, with the following mash water profile:

Ca: 110 ppm / Mg: 3 ppm / Na: 3 ppm / Chloride: 125 ppm / Sulfate: 80 ppm and Bru'nWater tells me I need around 3 ml Phosphoric Acid ( 75% ) to get the pH down to 5.3.

" Personally I find high Cl can be rather offensive when combined with high Ca levels. " ---> is this something you have noticed once or a few times?
 

couchsending

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
2,736
Reaction score
1,697
I am actually about to brew two different hoppy beers: one will be a sessionable, hazy beer, with a soft ( pilsner/helles ) water profile and the other one, just a regular one, with the following mash water profile:

Ca: 110 ppm / Mg: 3 ppm / Na: 3 ppm / Chloride: 125 ppm / Sulfate: 80 ppm and Bru'nWater tells me I need around 3 ml Phosphoric Acid ( 75% ) to get the pH down to 5.3.

" Personally I find high Cl can be rather offensive when combined with high Ca levels. " ---> is this something you have noticed once or a few times?
Quite a few beers I made with high CL levels that came mostly from CaCl additions. Chalky, minerally, overall not good. Noonan also talks about the Ca-Cl relationship in one of his lager books (I think it’s the “New” one) and it specifically mentions what I’m referring to and was experiencing.
 
OP
thehaze

thehaze

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
2,144
Reaction score
933
Location
Iasi, Romania
Then it seems like I will add another comparison factor for the two brews, and that would be the Ca and Cl ratio.

Then my proposed mash profile with 110 ppm Ca and 125 ppm Cl would risk adding chalky flavours in my beer, right? If that's true, I need a way to add chloride without adding Ca, and that would be KCl ( Potassium chloride ). Any flavour impact using it?

Thanks for the heads-up!
 
OP
thehaze

thehaze

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
2,144
Reaction score
933
Location
Iasi, Romania
Sorry to bring this thread up again, but I've got an answer from Cloudwater UK regarding some aspects of brewing water for certain softer styles of beer.

This is the reply:

" We definitely found chalkiness with too high Ca additions. In our IPAs we now use a blend of Calcium, magnesium and potassium chlorides to up the chloride without too much Ca, and also get extra body from magnesium and potassium.

I'd suggest aiming for around 30ppm Mg, 50ppm K, 60-70 ppm Ca, which should give you around 150-200ppm chlorides. "

couchsending you said you have used and still use KCl: how much of it do you use? Are the amounts somewhat similar to CaCl?
 

ccous

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2014
Messages
164
Reaction score
92
Yeah, I’m not sure Mg or K help body/mouthfeel. Na for sure does. I’d definitely love to see any evidence for Mg and K to mouthfeel. I’m open to any and all possibilities to help this parameter. Currently relying on a fair amount of calcium (but not too much), and the rest of the chloride from salt.
 
OP
thehaze

thehaze

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
2,144
Reaction score
933
Location
Iasi, Romania
Cloudwater UK make some really good beers and NE IPAs as well. So I just emailed them and asked for some details. That was the answer I got. Of course, there are so many variables at play, that changing one, will surely change others, we/i am not aware, but I am willing to give KCl a try as a source of Cl, without the fear of upping the Ca at over 100 ppm, as it usually occurs for my beers.
 
OP
thehaze

thehaze

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
2,144
Reaction score
933
Location
Iasi, Romania
A late reply and a bit of back-tracking:

I brewed a simple Blonde Ale back in November, which I splitted in two: 1 remained the base beer and the other one, got 9 oz Lactose and a blend of dried and fresh apricots, peaches and mango. Malt: 50% Crisp Lager malt + 40% Best Ale malt + 10% Flaked Torrified Barley.

OG: 1.058 / FG: 1.014 / 5.8% ABV ( 75% AA ) / 25 IBUs / Imperial A38 Juice ( direct pitch - pouch was under 30 days from manufacturing ) / Mosaic + Motueka ( NO dry hopping, and only 1 hop addition at 30 minutes and a whirlpool at 158F for 20 minutes - around 5.5 oz hops ( 150 gr ).

Mash water---> Ca: 40 ppm / Mg: 5 ppm / Na: 20 ppm / SO4: 35 ppm / Cl: 70 ppm / Mash pH: 5.35

Both beers were really, really soft. No perceived bitterness and the hop aroma and flavour were there, especially the Mosaic. Now I know that the grainbill, yeast and FG ( although I've brewed dry tasting IPAs with a far higher FG ) might had something to do with it, but I would argue it's not really that much. Of course they help, but the taste and feeling of the beer was really different and quite a big step up, from previous batches, where I tried to get a much softer beer overall.

I am willing to say it was the way I treated the water this time. I am decently excited to brew again. The next 5 batches will be 3 different lagers ( Hoppy Pale, Vienna, India Schwarzbier ), 1 British Golden Ale and a Biere de Garde. Again, I will try to use more Chloride and less Sulfate than I'm used to, with a slightly lower mash pH ( maybe 5.2-5.25 ). Maybe something like 100 ppm Cl and 30 ppm Sulfate, with Ca only at 50-60 ppm, 5 ppm Mg and 15 ppm Na.
 
Top