Brewing Water..

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Coach_R

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Hello fellow brewing enthusiasts,

It's been a couple of years since i have brewed anything (or posted on here) not because i don't love it but i had space/time restrictions. This has now changed and i'm getting back into the brewing game.. none to soon i might add!

Just want to see what most people use as a water supply in the brews? In all my previous brews i used tap water (Good ol Adelaide tap water). But i can now get my hands on bulk mineral water and i am wondering whether to use this in my first brew back or stick with ol faithful.

Don't know if the mineral water would help or hinder.. any advice would be great!

Cheers!!

:beer:
 

razz

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mabrungard

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Knowing what is in your brewing water and what to do with it, is the most important thing to learn about water. There isn't a blanket statement that can be used for water. The requirements change with each beer style. I suggest you visit the Water Knowledge page of the Bru'n Water website to learn about the 'what to do' part of the advice above. You will have to do some research or get your water tested to find out what is in it.
 

slash22000

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I recently discovered that Darwin water is shockingly "pure", which is actually not a good thing apparently. Adelaide has a water hardness of something like 140, Darwin it's 30.

So now I'm trying to figure out water chemistry. -_- Seems simple enough, I guess, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up on some kind of ASIO watch list with the number of chemicals I need.
 

manticle

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Only a few ions are of significance if your water is soft slash and most of those mainly for mashing or flavour profile.
Calcium is the biggest one and is important for mashing and yeast health and various other functions. Another is zinc which will be contained in a good yeast nutrient.
Some calcium chloride, yeast nutrient, your water profile and a copy of ez water profile should sort you out.Better soft than hard to start.
@coach - to reiterate - you need to know what the mineral content is for it to be worth your while. Mashing or extract/kit?
 

mabrungard

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slash22000 said:
I recently discovered that Darwin water is shockingly "pure", which is actually not a good thing apparently. Adelaide has a water hardness of something like 140, Darwin it's 30.

So now I'm trying to figure out water chemistry. -_- Seems simple enough, I guess, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up on some kind of ASIO watch list with the number of chemicals I need.
Starting with low mineralized water makes a lot of things easier. The only thing that will be tougher is when you need more alkalinity when brewing darker and more acidic grists. Using slaked lime is preferable since chalk has been proven to work poorly in the mash (it doesn't add the alkalinity you think it is).

EZ looks simple, and it is. Unfortunately, it will let you hang yourself very well. If you want more guidance with what you are doing to your water and why you are doing it, you will have to check out Bru'n Water. It helps avoid "hanging yourself" and screwing up a batch of beer.
 

slash22000

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Bloody hell. This "Bru'n Water" spreadsheet is like something off Star Trek.

I've put in all my water stuff and it's not calculating anything? I've allowed the macros and all. It tells me my current profile, my "target" profile, and then it doesn't actually calculate what I'd need to add.

Science!
 

manticle

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Slash - if you are extract brewing or kit brewing then all you really need is calcium (and as you know you can make beer without adding any to your current water source).

Water chemistry/additions is one of the later things most brewers try and master so don't sweat it. Main reasons for concern are for AG brewers wanting to tweak their beer UNLESS you live in an area that has really hard water or is sanitised with chloramines. WA is pretty hard but most other parts of AU are OK and it sounds like you are too.

Water chem is interesting and I enjoy reading about it and trying things out but I never worried when I was making kits or extracts (or even my first few AGs).
 

slash22000

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Darwin water has ~10ppm of calcium and apparently the minimum recommended is 40 - 100 ppm.

If I'm reading this spreadsheet correctly ~5g of gypsum should be enough to get the water sorted out.
 

felten

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How much calcium is in the extract can?
 

slash22000

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No idea. I haven't brewed with a can for a while.
 

manticle

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Felten's point is that whatever extract you are using may have had added calcium or calcium in the water used to mash it.
 

felten

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Sorry, was being a little vague there.
 

slash22000

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... Well that's a pain. Is there any way to know what sort of chemicals extract is adding to the water? Or even guess?
 

manticle

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Almost undoubtedly the water used to mash it would have appropriate levels as they would be wanting to extract every last bit of sugar they could and calcium helps with efficiency.

Best bet though is to get in touch with the manufacturer and find out if they are happy supply you with calcium levels.

Extract brewers with soft water shouldn't stress about this stuff though.
 

slash22000

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Extract brewers with soft water shouldn't stress about this stuff though.
I am told this quite a lot, but as I intend to move to all-grain whenever I can, and it can't hurt my extract beers (unless I get it completely wrong) then I might as well read into it now. :p

Everything I've read about water chemistry also mentions that it has a significant effect on hop perception, even with extract brewing. Since I almost exclusively brew hoppy beers, that's definitely of interest to me.
 

manticle

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There's three elements water/mash chemistry and all are interlinked: water, mash pH and ionic composition.

Ionic composition of the water and mash impacts on pH of the mash and subsequently conversion extraction. Some ions affect behavious of yeast, foam stability etc. Some ions affect flavour.

The mash stuff has already been done in the manufacture of the extract which is why I say don't worry about it (read about it by all means as it's interesting stuff). Adding a touch of calcium sulphate to lighter, hoppier beers will brighten your hop profile and by all means have a play around.

My take on it all can be found at the bottom of this thread: http://aussiehomebrewer.com/topic/46120-ahb-articles-water-chemistry/ and I recommend the braukaiser and br'un water pages as good things to read on the subject too.

If you can find a copy of Tony Wheeler's water chemistyry articles, they are simple and easy enough to follow but you may need to read them more than once.

Too much in the way of salt additions CAN hurt the beer so be judicious but your palate is the best final instrument.
 

KaiTroester

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slash22000 said:
Bloody hell. This "Bru'n Water" spreadsheet is like something off Star Trek.

I've put in all my water stuff and it's not calculating anything? I've allowed the macros and all. It tells me my current profile, my "target" profile, and then it doesn't actually calculate what I'd need to add.

Science!
You may want to give this calculator a try: http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-chemistry-and-brewing-water-calculator/

We are still working on scrubbing the target water profiles.

This calculator, like any other water calcuator, is more geared towards all grain brewers. The problem with extract brewing is that the extract already contains the minerals from its brewing water. US home brewers, for example, have found that Briess extract is produced with water that is rather high in sodium.

Kai
 

Coach_R

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Hey guys sorry i haven't gotten back to you sooner, below is the content of the water. From the sounds of things it can get pretty full on regarding what type of water people use in brewing. I mainly brew partials, haven't brewed anything for a while so i think i'll just work on getting my processes bacl up to scratch before i look into the water more in depth.

Cheers guys.



 

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