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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2011 * Archive through September 14, 2011 * Water Quality < Previous Next >

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Bierview
Senior Member
Username: Bierview

Post Number: 1037
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 68.197.192.230
Posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 - 09:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For more than 10 years I have been brewing with water that is a bit on the hard side in Hoboken NJ provided by United Water. The water at an upstate NY home from our well is rather soft. What changes should I expect with the use of soft water?
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 13187
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.150.49.181
Posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 - 11:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Assuming your water in the Catskills is also low in iron, expect the beers to be a little "softer" and "rounder." Lighter styles will show the greatest change. Hop presence will be slightly diminished as well. You will also find that you don't have quite as good a hot break unless you add some calcium to the soft water.
 

Bierview
Senior Member
Username: Bierview

Post Number: 1038
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 68.197.192.230
Posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 - 11:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Would certain amounts of calcium correct all the effects mentioned?
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 13188
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.150.49.181
Posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 - 11:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I wouldn't say that "roundness" and "softness" need to be corrected, at least in many styles. Yes, increasing the calcium to 50 mg/L will improve the hot break, but it's not a requirement. And if you like your beers hoppier, use more hops. After all, in Pilsen they use very soft water to brew a light-colored beer that is soft, round and hoppy, though not to extreme.

Use your Hoboken water for IPAs and darker beers. I suspect it's somewhat harder because it comes from the Delaware River watershed rather than the Hudson.

(Message edited by BillPierce on September 12, 2011)