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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Januray 20, 2004 * Water test results...Comments welcomed < Previous Next >

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Jim O'Conner (64.70.24.205)
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - 09:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is my recent water report. I realize I will need pH papers to test my mash, but can anything be deduced from the report alone?

pH...6.8
Sodium...8ppm
Potassium...<1
Calcium...17
Magnesium...6
Total Hardness...68
Nitrate...1.3
Sulfate...<1
Chloride...2
Carbonate...<1
Bicarbonate...93
Total Alkalinity...77
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - 09:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, read this:

http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter15-1.html

Because of the amount of bicarbonate, you might want to dilute 50/50 with distilled water when brewing pilseners; otherwise, you can probably brew just about anything.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - 10:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Your water is not particularly hard, but the hardness is more permanent than temporary (much of it would not be removed by boiling). Chunley's suggestion is a good one. You can use RO-filtered water in place of distilled water for brewing purposes; 50 percent would do for styles that benefit from soft water.

Ken Schwartz also has a good primer on water chemistry: http://home.elp.rr.com/brewbeer/water/wcprimer.html

If you use ProMash you might find the water section of the help files useful as well.
 

Jim O'Conner (64.70.24.205)
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - 10:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

No problems that you guys can see with brewing stouts, porters...Is this water prone to tannin extraction?
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - 10:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tannin extraction can occur when the mash specific gravity is low (below about 1.012) and the pH is relatively high (above 6.0), as might be the case at the end of the sparge. This is less likely to occur with dark malts which lower the mash pH.

Adjusting the mash pH is usually only necessary when mashing light colored beers with hard water or dark beers with soft water.
 

Jim O'Conner (64.70.24.205)
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - 10:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Since I'm batch sparging and my water is on the hard side, I should be okay with darker ales?
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - 10:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, Jim, for the former reason (batch sparging), not the latter (somewhat hard water). If you have soft water and are brewing darker beers it might be desirable to raise the mash pH with calcium carbonate; however, tannin extraction would not be a problem.
 

Travis Adams (12.224.168.202)
Posted on Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 12:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill - cannot a low amount of calcium also inhibit the conversions of starches to sugars - leaving extra starch in your beer that would make it more susceptable to infection? I know that extract brewers don't have to worry about this because the conversion has already happened - but I thought AG'ers with soft water really needed to add some gypsum or something similart to get the calcium up to help with conversion. Am I wrong in this thought? (Since I live in Portland Oregon with very very soft water).
Thanks - Travis
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 01:57 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you have very soft water you can accomplish the two goals of raising the mash pH and adding calcium by adjusting the mash with calcium carbonate. However, guessing can do more harm than good; a means of accurately measuring the pH, such as a meter or high quality strips, is strongly recommended.
 

danno (63.224.229.154)
Posted on Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 07:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill, I'm reading Jim's water differently than you. The Ca and Mg add up to only 23 ppm which is very soft (much like Portland). The total hardness of 68, still relatively low, must be temporary hardness. That's supported by the high bicarbonate and alkalinity numbers. That would mean that pre-boiling Jim's water would leave him with very soft water.

For medium and light colored beers, I'd pre-boil and add some CaCl2 to get the Ca up to 50ppm. For dark beers, I'd punch the numbers through Palmer's book and see if more CO3 needs to be added.

Jim, the only thing you didn't post was whether your local water company uses chlorine (not the same as chloride) or chloramine to disinfect. If you need help with Palmer's guidlines let me know but it will do YOU far more good to try and use his guidlines than to have one of us punch in the numbers and give them to you.

Travis, I have started adding CaCl2 to our Portland water (calcium starved) to get the Ca up to 50ppm. I don't have a batch ready to drink yet but if you hit me up in a month or two, I'll let you know my results.
 

Travis Adams (12.224.168.202)
Posted on Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 07:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dan - I guess that would get you closer to the london profile from:
http://www.oregonbrewcrew.com/technique/water.html

I know that adding gypsum seriously improves the portland water. I have purchased gypsum, CaCl2, and CaCO3 along with burton water salts and some acid to make sure I can do everything right this next time. It just seems to me that I need the calcium badly in the beer to make the conversion work well.
Since there is 5 inches of snow outside I am sitting here instead of brewing like I had hoped. My plan was to treat all my water according to style from the page above and do a batch sparge to try to reduce astringency. But alas - it's too damned cold. I have a fear of wort chiller water freezing...
Travis
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 07:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The drawback of adding gypsum to a mash with soft water is that it also lowers the pH. This can be a problem when brewing dark beers that already are acidic from the roast grains. A better choice in this case would be to use calcium carbonate, which will add calcium but raise the pH rather than lower it. Sodium bicarbonate also will raise the pH but increase the sodium.
 

danno (63.224.229.154)
Posted on Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 08:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Travis, the snow was a surprise this morning. I expected, as did the weatherman, that rain was going to wash away what little we had left.

I am having a decoction demo at my house on Jan 17 and you're welcome to join us Travis. Let me know and I'll email you directions and a phone number. I am going to decoct a pilsner while another guy is going to use his HERMS to use the same ingredients and rest temps for comparison. He is going to add some melanoidin malt to compensate for the decoction. I have already brewed the exact recipe without the melanoidan for comparison. I have also brewed a batch with modified Budvar malt. All the rest are with the undermodified Budvar malt. Lastly, all batches have been split with the Budvar and PU yeasts. We will have quite a Pils tasting in May.
 

Travis Adams (12.224.168.202)
Posted on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 06:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dan - As soon as I am able to make a Drinkable all grain beer I will definately join the brew crew. And as soon as I can figure simple mashing out, I will try to understand decoction mashing. I am afraid right now the comparisons you are making would only serve to confuse my wee little brain. Thank you very much for the invite however, and I will definately take you up on one of these invites eventually!
Travis

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