Quick Extract Recipe Question: Water Profiles?

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easttex

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I've been brewing all grain for several years and managing all aspects of the process as best I can. However, it's gotten hot outside and I don't like to take time away from my son, and my all grain brew day is kinda long...

I tried the search function before asking this question and didn't get a conclusive answer so here goes:

I'm going to brew several extract recipes soon that showcase particular hops. While I know that LME comes with a "preset" amount of minerality, I want the hops to "pop." So my question - do any of you devout extract brewers bother to add any additional like gypsum when you brew a hop-forward beer? I use RO water for al my beers so other than what comes in Briess bulk Light LME, this is a blank canvas.


Thanks!
 
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So my question - do any of you devout extract brewers bother to add any additional like gypsum when you brew a hop-forward beer? I use RO water for al my beers so other than what comes in Briess bulk Light LME, this is a blank canvas.
When I'm brewing a hop-forward DME-based recipe with Briess DME, I often add 1/4 gram gypsum per gallon of wort (for future readers: I would use a different amount if I was brewing with Muntons DME). For my taste, I find that 1/2 gram gypsum per gallon has a mineral-ish taste.

Outside of the web search engines, there are a couple of resources that I have found helpful:
  • The BrunWater 1.25 spreadsheet, "0. Instructions" tab, rows 140-142.
  • The book Brewing Engineering has a section that talks about brewing salt flavor additions with different brands of DME/LME.

I'm going to brew several extract recipes soon that showcase particular hops.
If you don't have time to "dial in" the recipe, I would go lighter on the gypsum (say 1 gram per five gallons wort).

If you have time to "dial in" a recipe, I have found the that the idea of adding minerals in the glass, then adjusting the recipe to include those findings works. There are a couple of people here (besides me) who have talked about doing that. So if you have some time to "dial it in", I/we can offer some ideas.
 
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ReaperOnefour

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I brew 3-4 gallon batches. Usually i just use tap water, but if i want to do a full boil i'll buy a few gallons of drinking water from the store. I've never had any problems with these methods.
 
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I've never had any problems with these methods.
Many brewers successfully use tap water (treated for chloride / chlorimine) with an unknown mineral content.

Understanding the mineral content of tap water can be helpful for troubleshooting unexpected flavors in a bad beer (or a series of bad beers).

With DME/LME based recipes, another approach to troubleshooting unexpected flavors is to buy water that is known to be low in minerals.
 

RM-MN

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I brew 3-4 gallon batches. Usually i just use tap water, but if i want to do a full boil i'll buy a few gallons of drinking water from the store. I've never had any problems with these methods.
The mineral content of the water really is necessary for all grain during the mash. Your extract has been created with the best possible mineral content before you buy it. You could then us RO or distilled water if you wish. If your tap water makes good beer, I would just use that. If your tap water comes from a municipal supply, use Campden tablets to remove the chlorine/chloramine that has likely been added. The drinking water you buy should not need Campden tablet treatment.
 
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The mineral content of the water really is necessary for all grain during the mash.
With DME/LME, it is reasonably well known that "excess" mineral content in tap water can "over-mineralize" the beer (and lead to unexpected, undesired, or "off" flavors).

As noted in a number of places, many people have "low mineral" tap water. So on a person-by-person basis, may not be necessary to brew DME/LME recipes with distilled/RO water. It depends on the water.

But if the beer doesn't come out good and tap water (of unknown mineral content) is being used, switching to a source of low mineral water can be helpful in identifying the problem.

Your extract has been created with the best possible mineral content before you buy it.
There are minerals the the concentrated wort. I'm not aware of "ppm" values (which frustrates some brewers), but one can certainly add minerals to "season to taste".

It is reasonably well known among those who brew with DME/LME, that
  • one can add minerals to make a specific style of beer better.
  • the amount of minerals to use is brand specific.
  • the amount of minerals added is beer style specific.

eta: clarified that mineral additions with DME/LME are beer style specific.
 
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