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mr x
11/05/09 07:48 PM  
Water adjustment
Anybody out there try much mineral adjusting ala wildBREWS? I am planning a 11 gal batch of Flanders Red on Saturday, and am going to do some adjustments to my fairly soft town water in New Glasgow.

------------- Ca - Mg - Na SO4 Cl HCO3

New Glasgow 13.0 1.2 15.0 30. 12.0 0

West Flander 114. 10. 125 145 139 370

Adjust profile 109. 5.9 126 150 143 158

Using Beersmith, to get WF profile, here's what I need to add for an 11 gallon batch:

Gypsum 7.5 gm

Table Salt 8.3 gm

Epsom Salt 2.0 gm

Calcium Chloride 0.9 gm

Baking Soda 5.0 gm

Chalk 5.0 gm

Anything seem outrageous there? The table salt number seems a bit high to me. I'm reading that West Flanders beer is high in sodium, but that doesn't mean that's right, or that the brewer doesn't try to remove it.

11/05/09 09:31 PM  
Re: Water adjustment
Hi X;

I agree, the sodium is high. Assuming you are working from disilled or RO water, here is what I suggest which will keep the chloride/sulfate ratio balanced while dropping the sodium levels and keeping the Ca up around 100 ppm:

Gypsum 3 gm

Table Salt 0 gm

Epsom Salt 2.0 gm

Calcium Chloride 5.0 gm

Baking Soda 5.0 gm

Chalk 5.0 gm

Let me know what you think.

11/05/09 09:43 PM  
Re: Water adjustment
X, sorry, I just realized you are working with Glasgow water, not distilled. I wish my well had a water profile like yours. Anyway, this may work well:

Gypsum: 0

Table Salt: 0

Epsom Salt: 0

Calcium Chloride: 1.7

Baking Soda: 0

Chalk: 10

mr x
11/06/09 07:05 AM  
Re: Water adjustment
So you don't think it's wise to match the West Flanders water profile from wildBREWS? It's just that Na ppm that makes me nervous....
Mike T
11/06/09 09:22 AM  
Re: Water adjustment
I have never had good luck trying to match regional waters (an over the top minerally burton pale, and a Westvleteren 8 clone that was rough. I find it is best to figure out what you want from the water and build towards that not some supposed “classic water.” In my opinion for sour beers water adjustments should just be to hit mash pH, I wouldn’t worry about the flavor ions (no point in risking salty beer after waiting 18 months).
11/06/09 05:33 PM  
Re: Water adjustment
I agree with Mike; water adjustments to match a certain profile have always resulted in disappointment for me too. As you mentioned, there is no telling what the brewer does with his water. For example, I know that Avery in Colorado preboil their water before use. And Ommegang chlorinates and then de-chlorinates it's water before brewing with it. Not to mention, I don't believe that we brewers can add salts to mimic water profile "X" and actually have that water. Doing a side by side taste test between our "manufactured water" and the actual example would be quite an eye opener.

When I stopped screwing around with adding salt additions to my water, my beers really improved. Anyway, just for yeast health, I would add enough calcium to reach 50 - 100 ppm and buffer it a with chalk only to keep the pH at 5.4 - 5.6. I think high sodium additions are asking for trouble. Sulfate can be troublesome too if it is much higher than the chloride.

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