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Water profile for a light lager...


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#21 SchwanzBrewer

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 09:23 PM

Softer the better in my book. Tough to do in most places. I have about 180ppm residual alkalinity. I'm too cheap to get RO, so I make due with acid.
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#22 ER Pemberton

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 05:33 AM

Softer the better in my book. Tough to do in most places. I have about 180ppm residual alkalinity. I'm too cheap to get RO, so I make due with acid.

I think it works.  My bicarbonate is 138ppm and it's the only out-of-whack number in my water... everything else is modest.  For that I neutralize with lactic acid and it does its job.  I thought about RO but only for about a minute after people told me that the systems were hard to maintain, created a lot of waste, etc.  Also, the small amount of sulfate I have does create some crispness which is necessary.  



#23 Bklmt2000

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 08:13 AM

For pale lagers, I adjust for pH first with lactic, then add some small salt additions for the style I'm making.

 

A little more gypsum and less chloride if making a German-style pils, and for a straight-ahead American light lager, I'll use both, just less.

 

Our water here is a pretty decent blank canvas for brewing (~68 ppm bicarbonate), so adjusting it w/ acid for paler beers isn't much of a hassle.


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#24 Zsasz

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 04:24 AM

how much sulfur and chloride do you guys shoot for for munich helles?  and has there been any new information on if Ca levels really matter?  I could always do the majority or all of my adjustment with acid.


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#25 Bklmt2000

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 12:26 PM

I don't usually add sulfate to a helles mash, mainly b/c my water's sulfate levels are already ~70 ppm.

 

I do add a little bit of chloride to balance (and get a bit more calcium in the mash, since my Ca levels are ~30 ppm right out of the tap).

 

Not sure if it really is necessary to have calcium at/above 50 ppm, but I shoot for that target in all of my recipes, out of habit and for a bit of insurance if nothing else.


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#26 Zsasz

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 12:46 PM

last time I made helles I brought my sulfate up from 14ppm to 76ppm and my chloride from 26ppm to 59ppm.  I used lactic acid to do the rest of my pH lowering.  it looks like i was trying to get my Ca over 50ppm as well b/c I brought that from 6ppm to 51ppm.

 

would it be better to maybe just add a little bit of gypsum and let the lactic do the rest?  also not worry about the Ca levels too much?


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#27 Bklmt2000

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 01:05 PM

last time I made helles I brought my sulfate up from 14ppm to 76ppm and my chloride from 26ppm to 59ppm.  I used lactic acid to do the rest of my pH lowering.  it looks like i was trying to get my Ca over 50ppm as well b/c I brought that from 6ppm to 51ppm.

 

would it be better to maybe just add a little bit of gypsum and let the lactic do the rest?  also not worry about the Ca levels too much?

 

I'd say it depends on what your water's sulfate and chloride levels are to start with, and what flavor you're aiming for.

 

From what I see above, the adjusted mineral levels look fine to me, so I'd say if you were happy with how your helles turned out last time, I'd leave well enough alone.

 

One thing I've noticed is, when I adjust my water for a given batch, I seem to hit 50 ppm or more of calcium without even trying, since I'm trying to increase either sulfate, chloride, or both.


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#28 Zsasz

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 01:34 PM

I'd say it depends on what your water's sulfate and chloride levels are to start with, and what flavor you're aiming for.

 

From what I see above, the adjusted mineral levels look fine to me, so I'd say if you were happy with how your helles turned out last time, I'd leave well enough alone.

 

One thing I've noticed is, when I adjust my water for a given batch, I seem to hit 50 ppm or more of calcium without even trying, since I'm trying to increase either sulfate, chloride, or both.

 

the "to start with" is in the post but easy to miss:

 

SO4 is 14ppm

Cl is 26ppm

 

pretty low numbers but I have also heard that a little sulfate is good for "crispness" which seems like a good thing in a lager.


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