water profile question

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

walker111

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2016
Messages
195
Reaction score
45
Location
Calgary
Hi all
Still working on water profiles and reaching out with a question. I found this profile for a hoppy pale ale:
Ca 140
Mg 18
Na 25
so4 300
cl 55
Caco3 110

Water report for Calgary Alberta in 2020, most recent I could find shows:
Ca 55
Mg 16.1
Na 8.5
So4 74
Cl 11.1
CaCo3 143

We are known for our hard water here and I only brew ales. Learning and reading lots on water and know I should try a calculator.
For brewing a double batch all grain can someone tell me how many grams of what additions I should go with???
I usually just add my CC and gypsum and lac acid in a ratio but am still guessing some depending on malt beers vs hoppy. I add camden tablets and measure ph with a meter.
Thanks for any direction.
 

cire

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Messages
338
Reaction score
153
Location
UK
The good news is that your desired profile, in ionic terms, is reasonably balanced and therefore possible. The bad news is that alkalinity of 110 ppm is too high for any pale ale.

Whatever pale beer you wish to brew, it will be essential to eliminate the majority of that alkalinity.
 
OP
W

walker111

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2016
Messages
195
Reaction score
45
Location
Calgary
That 110 alkalinity is from the pale ale profile I found. Are you saying my 143 for local water source is to high?
Thanks for reply. What adjustment would you have me try? Thanks again.
 

cire

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Messages
338
Reaction score
153
Location
UK
The given profile is not suitable for brewing a pale ale without a significant reduction of its alkalinity, mash pH would be much too high.
While pH can be lowered by adding acid during the mash, removing excessive alkalinity beforehand makes adjustment either unnecessary or minor. To achieve a suitable mash pH for a pale ale, alkalinity should be typically 20 to 40 ppm as CaCO3.

Obviously the alkalinity of your water will require further reduction. My water's alkalinity is typically 255 ppm.
 
OP
W

walker111

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2016
Messages
195
Reaction score
45
Location
Calgary
I thank you again for answering but I do not know how to proceed in getting the alkalinity in the 20-40 you suggest. I will research more.
 

Silver_Is_Money

Larry Sayre, Developer of 'Mash Made Easy'
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
5,718
Reaction score
1,740
Location
N/E Ohio
I thank you again for answering but I do not know how to proceed in getting the alkalinity in the 20-40 you suggest. I will research more.
For every 5 'US' (not Imperial) gallons, an addition of 4 mL of 88% Lactic Acid, or alternately of 42 mL of 10% Phosphoric Acid should bring 143 mg/L of Alkalinity down to ~21 mg/L.
 

Redhouse Brewing

Active Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
30
Reaction score
12
In my opinion the best way to reduce alkalinity would be to either dilute your water with Reverse Osmosis or distilled water or use all RO water and build from there.
 
OP
W

walker111

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2016
Messages
195
Reaction score
45
Location
Calgary
For every 5 'US' (not Imperial) gallons, an addition of 4 mL of 88% Lactic Acid, or alternately of 42 mL of 10% Phosphoric Acid should bring 143 mg/L of Alkalinity down to ~21 mg/L.
Thanks so much. i was thinking along those lines but as stated prior I have still been guessing some on additions . I use both those acids and will give that a go.
Appreciate the feedback...... 5 years in but always learning !!!
 
OP
W

walker111

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2016
Messages
195
Reaction score
45
Location
Calgary
In my opinion the best way to reduce alkalinity would be to either dilute your water with Reverse Osmosis or distilled water or use all RO water and build from there.
Thanks. I will work with what I have now and do have a water softener in house for our hard water but obviously don't use this for brewing.
 

CascadesBrewer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
1,332
Reaction score
912
Location
VA, USA
Maybe I am wrong. I am not the most experienced with water chemistry, but what I would do is.
  • Ignore the Mg and Na targets and be happy with the amounts in your tap (which are quite close to the target anyway).
  • Adjust the So4 and Cl values "close" to the target values using Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) and Calcium Chloride. Don't worry about hitting the target exact, but within about 10% is fine. (I might suggest a Sulfate level closer to 200 as a starting point as 300 is high for my preference.)
  • With the above additions I would expect your Ca level to be decent. I have not done any specific experiments myself on Calcium level, but my understanding is that 50 to 150 is fine for brewing.
  • I would then use software to predict a mash pH, and adjust that with acid to bring the pH down to around 5.4.
Asking for myself and the OP...is a CaCo3 value 143 a huge problem? Can this water just be adjusted with the addition of acid to make a fine Pale Ale? My water report lists "Total Hardness, CaCO3" as 99 and "Total Alkalinity, CaCO3" as 63. I tend to ignore Alkalinity when making adjustments, but mine is lower.
 
OP
W

walker111

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2016
Messages
195
Reaction score
45
Location
Calgary
Maybe I am wrong. I am not the most experienced with water chemistry, but what I would do is.
  • Ignore the Mg and Na targets and be happy with the amounts in your tap (which are quite close to the target anyway).
  • Adjust the So4 and Cl values "close" to the target values using Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) and Calcium Chloride. Don't worry about hitting the target exact, but within about 10% is fine. (I might suggest a Sulfate level closer to 200 as a starting point as 300 is high for my preference.)
  • With the above additions I would expect your Ca level to be decent. I have not done any specific experiments myself on Calcium level, but my understanding is that 50 to 150 is fine for brewing.
  • I would then use software to predict a mash pH, and adjust that with acid to bring the pH down to around 5.4.
Asking for myself and the OP...is a CaCo3 value 143 a huge problem? Can this water just be adjusted with the addition of acid to make a fine Pale Ale? My water report lists "Total Hardness, CaCO3" as 99 and "Total Alkalinity, CaCO3" as 63. I tend to ignore Alkalinity when making adjustments, but mine is lower.
Thanks for this. I am brewing in the next few days and gathering my info here on water. I will treat the water with acid as per recommendations here.

cascade Brewer .... how much gypsum and how much cc in grams would you suggest I add for this pale ale considering it is a double batch. This is the measuring part I have to learn.
I take it I need yo adjust my sprarge water accordingly too. Will measure ph a few times as my normal routien.
Thanks
 

CascadesBrewer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
1,332
Reaction score
912
Location
VA, USA
how much gypsum and how much cc in grams would you suggest
I use software for this. Mash prediction seems rather complex, but any brewing software should help you determine how much Gypsum and Calcium Chloride to add to hit a target. It depends some on your process and water volumes. I use a mix of BeerSmith, Bru'n Water, and a spreadsheet where I try to keep track of some preferences. The Mash Made Easy sheet linked in @Silver_Is_Money's signature is another option.
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
514
Reaction score
522
Location
duncannon
Maybe I am wrong. I am not the most experienced with water chemistry, but what I would do is.
  • Ignore the Mg and Na targets and be happy with the amounts in your tap (which are quite close to the target anyway).
  • Adjust the So4 and Cl values "close" to the target values using Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) and Calcium Chloride. Don't worry about hitting the target exact, but within about 10% is fine. (I might suggest a Sulfate level closer to 200 as a starting point as 300 is high for my preference.)
  • With the above additions I would expect your Ca level to be decent. I have not done any specific experiments myself on Calcium level, but my understanding is that 50 to 150 is fine for brewing.
  • I would then use software to predict a mash pH, and adjust that with acid to bring the pH down to around 5.4.
Asking for myself and the OP...is a CaCo3 value 143 a huge problem? Can this water just be adjusted with the addition of acid to make a fine Pale Ale? My water report lists "Total Hardness, CaCO3" as 99 and "Total Alkalinity, CaCO3" as 63. I tend to ignore Alkalinity when making adjustments, but mine is lower.
Alkalinity in the water will hinder what calcium does for the mash. Getting the alkalinity into the 20 to 40 ppm range is ideal for a pale. As mentioned above adding lactic or phosphoric acid you can achieve that level and this will also likely result in not needing to further adjust the mash for a ph correction. Add your acid to water then add your salts to achieve the desired levels. So no its not a huge problem and yes you use acid to reduce your alkalinity. I am not super qualified in this aspect but this is information that I have gathered in regards to your question. My water has 98ppm alkalinity and I add 5ml per gallon of 10% phosphoric acid solution to achieve about 30ppm alkalinity as CaCO3. From there I make my salt additions and so far have not needed to make any other ph adjustments in the mash for my IPAs.
 
Top