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Perth Allgrain Ale Brewers

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Tony M

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I have been grain brewing lagers for the last six months but as I can lager only 25L at a time, consumption easily outstrips production so its time to get into ales.
My question is, to what extent does our perth water need modifications. How dinkum should I get with salt additions. Palmer made me feel I should rush off and get a chemistry degree.
 

Vlad the Pale Aler

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I got a water analysis report from western water, buggered if I can understand it though. I just chuck a few teaspoons of gypsum into the filtered water, not very scientific but it makes me feel better.
I will forward a copy to you.
 

chiller

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From my memory of Perth's water it is very hard. Adding gypsum may be the wrong way to go ... can you post the water report and I will have a quick look at it.

I live in Adelaide and our "town" water is a bit "rough". It is excellent though for making dark beers.

Do you have access to clean rain water? Or better still RO [Reverse Osmosis] water. Tricking these up with salts is very easy.

One simple question ..... without playing with the water chemistry of Perth's water are your beers good?

If they are, don't be too concerned with water chemistry for the time being.

Regards Steve.
 

JasonY

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Tony I was going to look into water treatment but have decided it is just too hit and miss. I have attahced the water profile for Canning which I got from the water corp it looks like a nice profile but I am dubious about it if they are making up with bore water etc ... I got my hands on some ph paper and tested the ph ... to me it looked like it was about 5 ....

Seems all to hard to me and the ales that I have been making a have been great so I am in no rush to become a water nazi :ph34r:

View attachment canning.doc
 

Goat

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I can't really add much to the scientific debate, but as a matter of interest, I've attached the Mt Yokine profile (scan of hard copy). I'd also be interested in some comment by someone in the know. I tend to glaze over after a few paragraphs of the Gospel according to Palmer.

When I spoke to the chap at the Water Authority he said that basically, the southern suburbs use dam water (explaining the soft water JasonY's got) whereas the northern suburbs where I am (Bayswater), tend to use bore water, with the bulk of perth using a comination.

The diference in the mineral levels is quite interesting - particularly Sodium, Potassium, Calcium etc

Do to ignorance, I tend to use about %60 cheap bottled water ($5 for 10L) with the assumption that the high mineral content of my tap water will be sufficient for the yeast to do its thing. Results would perhaps suggest an alternatie solution might be worth looking into however....

Mt_Yokine_Water.jpg
 

devilsaltarboy

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Ok ill throw my two bobs into the chemistry debate here. Perth's water is fine for brewing ales, the only two things you have to watch out for are hardness and chlorine levels(sometimes quite high). A simple charcol water filter (plenty variety around) will handle that problem easily. The hardness of perth water is not too dramatic you just need to keep an eye on the pH of the mash (cheap narrow range indicators are fine dont need $200 pH meter). Using phosphoric acid or lactic acid you can adjust your pH so it is in the 5-5.5 range, note this is for the mash. You can also add a few tsp of gypsum(doesnt hurt). Your sparge water is where the pH becomes a problem and you need to pre acidify your sparge water to between 5.5-6 to minimise tanin extraction. You can add a tsp of gypsum to sparge water since it will help buffer the pH slightly and apparently minimises tanin extraction. You can go a lot further than this with water chemistry but it is not easy unless you have a chemistry degree. My opinion is stick to these basics and you will be fine
 

chiller

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Hi Vlad,

Looking at the water report for your area your Calcium is just a touch low but the average pH of the water is reasonably acidic so the mash enzymes will get to work quite ok.

If those figures are correct you wont have any trouble brewing with the water and unless you notice tannin tastes in your beers acidifying the sparge wont be of any real benifit.

With that water I would definately batch sparge and not worry about the water pH. too much.

The advice given about a charcoal filter is spot on.

Steve
 

Tony M

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Thanks for the prompt replies blokes,
You have eased my mind somewhat. I do put my water thru a charcoal filter so thats the chlorine taken care of but as my sparge water is heated in a copper tank, I would worry a little about adding any acid to it. I shall add a little gypsum to the mash and see what happens. Can anyone tell me if there is any difference in adding gypsum and adding Plaster of Paris which is Gypsum with the water of crystallization driven off?
From what I see in the water reports, Vlad has sweet water compared to Goat and mine (attached)

View attachment Water_Analisis.doc
 

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