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Jye

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My first AG is tomorrow and I am wondering if you boil the water in the HLT and then let it cool before mashing and sparging, or is this a waste of time since the wort is boiled for an hour?

And who gets there water from the hose since most people brew outside?

Cheers
Jye
 

warrenlw63

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Jye,

It's a good idea to boil first for about 20 mins if your tap water has high levels of chlorines to drive them off. Otherwise if it smells/tastes good just heat to mash temps.

Good luck for tomorrow and enjoy. :beer:

Warren -
 

Jye

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Cheers Warren, I'm going to use filtered tap water so I think I will just heat up to mash temp... haven't started yet an I'm already saving time :D
 

colinw

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Boiling will work for chlorine, but may not drive chloramine off. It will also precipitate out calcium carbonate, which reduces the hardness of the water, but can also result in a Calcium ion deficient water.

I now dechlorinate my water with a pinch of sodium metabisulphite, or half a campden tablet, for each 15 litres. As soon as I started to treat the chlorine in my water this way, a consistent problem I was having with polyphenolic astringency went away and my beers became a lot cleaner in flavour.

Any residual sodium met after the dechlorination process will be beneficial in the mash, as it will work to prevent oxidation.

Sodium met isn't for everyone. Its fairly nasty stuff, and known to trigger asthma attacks and skin allergies (eczema, urticaria) in some people.

My own water treatment regime was worked out using Ken Schwartz's BreWater 3.0 software.

For Brisbane water it consists of:
- dechlorinate with sodium metabisulphite. This tends to bring the pH down from 7.9 to about 7.1, due to production of sulphurous acid as one of the side effects of the chlorine neutralisation reaction.
- Boost calcium to 50ppm by adding about 1g of either Calcium Sulphate or Calcium Chloride to each 10 litres of water. Necessary because Brisbane water has low Calcium levels (< 20 ppm)
- For English styles I go further with 2g Calcium Sulphate and 0.25g Magnesium Sulphate per 10 litres of water. This gives a much crisper pale ale or bitter without going over the top with full Burtonisation.
- pH of sparge water is adjusted to around 5.5, which takes about 2 ml of 85% phosphoric acid per 10 litres.

This regime, for Brisbane Water, has given consistently good beers, mash pH in the right ballpark (around 5.3), and minimal tannin extraction even when I have sparged below 1.010.

You will need to work out what works for your own local water profile. One man's water treatment won't work for someone with different water. It is therefore important to start simple, and only make changes if you feel you need to (like I did due to my chlorine driven off flavours).

cheers,
Colin
 

warrenlw63

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Jye said:
Cheers Warren, I'm going to use filtered tap water so I think I will just heat up to mash temp... haven't started yet an I'm already saving time :D
[post="72119"][/post]​

No worries Jye. Sounds like you're ahead of the 8-ball already. If it's a carbon filter it will knock out most of the chlorine. Just heat it to mash temps then. Use other mentioned methods as you see fit.

Warren -
 

Coodgee

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Colin, I am in Brisbane and I find your comments very interesting. I will write more about this later, but I am at work right now. so just one quickie: do you think using fish tank dechlorinator would be ok?
 

AndrewQLD

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A lot of people seem to worry excesively about there water and what might or might not be in it. If you are worried then get a water filter and that will remove anything that should'nt be in there.

But really for your first few brews don't sweat it , you have enough to think about :blink: . Get your mash process down pat first, and then after you have done a few brews and are confident you can tackle the water issue.
If you have been kit brewing or extract brewing with your water as it is, and have no complaints then an AG should be fine also.

What Warren says about boiling for 20 minutes is true, it will drive the chlorine off, or you can leave your water in a fermenter with a towel over the top and the chlorine will naturally evaporate. from memory it only has an active life of about 72 hrs?.



cheers
Andrew
 

Gough

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AndrewQLD said:
A lot of people seem to worry excesively about there water and what might or might not be in it. If you are worried then get a water filter and that will remove anything that should'nt be in there.

But really for your first few brews don't sweat it , you have enough to think about :blink: . Get your mash process down pat first, and then after you have done a few brews and are confident you can tackle the water issue.
If you have been kit brewing or extract brewing with your water as it is, and have no complaints then an AG should be fine also.



cheers
Andrew
[post="72158"][/post]​
Yep, agree 100% Water is obviously important, but for your first mash you can better put your effort and worry into other areas IMHO.

Good luck with it - it's great fun :beerbang:

Shawn.
 

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