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Burton water... really?


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#1 Matplat

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 08:24 AM

Morning all,

 

So I recieved a copy of 'Designing Great Beers' for christmas, which I have been working my way through over the past two weeks.

 

Planning an English Golden Ale to brew this weekend, and figured I would attempt to put some of the advice from the book into practise. For English Pale Ales and Bitters, Mr Daniels recommends aiming for the traditional Burton water profile. I couldn't quite believe the water profile when I read it, something like 300ppm Ca and 800ppm SO4!

 

I checked the profile according to bru'n'water and although not quite as high, Martin still puts it at 600ppm SO4. These sort of figures seem pretty crazy, I would have to add 20g CaSO4 to my mash to get to the profile, the most I have ever added before is about 5g.

 

Bru'n'water recommends only 350ppm max for 'highly hopped' beers and at the moment, I have only got 80g planned for this beer, bearing in mind that it's supposed to be English, not American.

 

Considering I have two conflicting sources of information, I'm not sure which way to go. Has anyone actually gone for the Burton profile before and had success? At the moment I am leaning towards a slightly more moderate gypsum addition, unless someone can confirm that it is a good idea.

 

Cheers, Matt



#2 MHB

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 08:56 AM

I can't confirm that it's a good idea, but it is reflective of some of the water in Burton.

Problem with just assuming that what is there is what the brewers were using can be misleading. In Burton there were three water sources, the river Trent, shallow wells and deep wells, there is an impermeable layer between the shallow and deep wells and the water is very different on either side of the layer called the Marl.

 

Also true that the high Sulphate levels in Burton beer gave it a unique character referred to as the Burton Snatch (draw your own conclusions).

 

Brewers may well have been boiling the water to reduce some of the salts so what Martin says is probably not too far off, on most thing I find his advice pretty much on the money.

 

Mark



#3 Pratty1

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 09:57 AM

I haven't pushed the sulphate to the full burton level of 800ppm, however the 300ppm has become quite regular for hoppy ales like ipa or imperial IPA. I often back it off for pale ales to around 225ppm.

Those ppm amounts achieve the desired hop character to be more pronounced within the beer.

Id suggest you target 200-300ppm and keep the chloride around 50-80ppm for a British ale and see how you like it, I can only imagine that 800 would be a bit extreme.

#4 rude

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 10:35 AM

Once you add enough to the mash for PH correction the rest would go in the kettle for flavour
Just finished a best bitter with 6.3 g caso4 110ppm sulphate
The highest I have gone in a Janet's Brown was 17 g caso4 which I think was around the 270 ppm mark
Also calcium min should be considered 50ppm
The history of the Burton Snatch is fantastic but I roll with Brun Water & experiment from there

#5 Matplat

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 11:16 AM

Thanks guys, I guess my gut feeling was somewhat right then....

 

I will push it, but not too far! Will be interesting to see what it brings.

 

Last pale ale I did had 70ppm Ca and 140ppm SO4....