HOMEBREW Digest #5683 Mon 24 May 2010

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  Re: Na ("David Houseman")
  Re: aqua (Water for a Pilsner) (Calvin Perilloux)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 21 May 2010 07:12:04 -0400 From: "David Houseman" <david.houseman at verizon.net> Subject: Re: Na I agree that simply using water from a softener will be problematic for most beers. However, adding back the Calcium needed, in the form of Calcium Chloride or Calcium Carbonate has worked for me for many years. I keep a number of common chemicals on hand and treat all my brewing water. I'll admit that the sodium and chloride ions are too high but so the end result has not suffered greatly. Now is there a convenient way add something to the softener water to drop the sodium and chloride ions out of solution prior to adding other chemicals? Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 24 May 2010 11:32:09 -0700 (PDT) From: Calvin Perilloux <calvinperilloux at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: aqua (Water for a Pilsner) Joe, If this is the first time you're dealing with a Pilsner, and you haven't played with water chemistry before, then AJ's advice is very sound to just go with reverse-osmosis/distilled water and add a bit of your own raw water for minerals. That's a lot easier than worrying about lime treatment to precipitate the carbonates, not to mention checking sulfate content, which is also important but takes time and some money. But first, you have to decide which kind of Pilsner you want to brew. Bohemian Pilsner needs really low-mineral water; North German Pilsner is more forgiving, but your water still needs treatment or dilution for best results. In general, I follow AJ's wise advice, but I also often take non-Reinheitsgebot shortcuts, using modest amounts of lactic or phosphoric acid to keep the pH down, since I usually don't have sauermalz on hand and habitually neglect to plan ahead. Quick and dirty: Water dilution: 90/10 distilled/raw-water for BohPils 75/25 distilled/raw-water for N. German Pils Calcium: A few grams (0.5-1.0 tsp?) of CaCl per 5 gal pH control: 1-2 mL of 85% lactic, or 5-10 ml 10% phosphoric acid, but best to use a pH meter to verify. Otherwise, when I'm lazy I use "5.2" pH buffer from Five Star chemicals. In my opinion: For this, definitely avoid using your softened water. Good luck as you venture into Pilsner brewing. Get a very large starter ready. Chill like mad to get wort to 50F or so to pitch (seriously). Keep that fermentation temp 48-54 F. Make sure to do your diacetyl rest if needed. Long, cold conditioning! And yes, all that work *is* worth it in the end. Calvin Perilloux Middletown, Maryland, USA Return to table of contents
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