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Water: Pale Lagers vs. Pale-colored ales...

chemistry

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#21 mabrungard

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 06:49 AM

Interesting that you mention Cigar City since head brewer, Wayne Wambles is one of my old clubmates back in Tallahassee.  He knew how to turn Tallahassee's otherwise perfect water into WBC and GABF gold with proper acidification.  The Tallahassee profile is shown below.

 

Ca: 41

Mg: 10

Na: 3

SO4: 5

Cl: 6

HCO3: 168

 

Knowing Florida water as I do, Tampa's water varies between surface water and groundwater sources and its critical to know what they are delivering at any time.  Calling the water utility is a decent idea. However I feel that a commercial entity should be testing calcium and alkalinity at their facility for the best quality control.

 

Acid does react with the bicarbonate ion and neutralize it.  That equation is:

 

H  +  HCO3   =  H20  +  CO2

 

I can't properly denote the equation here, but that hydrogen proton combines with the bicarbonate ion and the reaction produces water and carbon dioxide. The thing not shown above is the anion that goes along with that hydrogen proton.  As pointed out above, the anion is dependent upon the type of acid used.  

 

All brewers using a public water source should know that removing the residual disinfectant is critical to brewing success.  Schwanz is taking care of that via a metabisulfite addition.  In the case of Cigar City, they are probably taking care of this problem by utilizing activated carbon filtration since it also provides the additional benefit of removing the 'pond scum' flavors that can occur from surface waters.  They could also be dosing the water with a liquid metabisulfite solution with a metering pump.  Either of these solutions are common.  To anyone using activated carbon treatment, be aware that the filtration has to be performed at an extremely slow rate to adequately remove chloramines.  For those of you using a typical 10" undersink filter canister, you can remove chlorine by flowing at a rate of 1 gpm or less, but it needs to be at 0.1 gpm or less for chloramines removal.  

 

Ken, brewing water chemistry is not EZ.  You can't rely on a program that has no checks and balances nor a full understanding of brewing water chemistry to steer you right in all cases.  Sure, I could make Bru'n Water simpler.  However we would lose some of the versatility in the things you can assess and analyze. Those that take the time to understand the program are rewarded.  As you may detect in some of the comments above, once you get the hang of Bru'n Water, it can help illustrate a lot about brewing water chemistry.  

 

The same thing will be apparent to those of you that read the Water book.  I can guarantee that your heads will hurt when you get to chapters 4, 5, and 6.  But there was no way that we could make the content any less technical and have it be useful and accurate.  Stop expecting things to be simple, stupid. Sometimes that can't be.  But I can tell you that the simplest concept for EVERY brewer to understand is that acidification is needed for virtually all brewing. With an effective and accurate acidification calculation, you will have almost everything you need to have a successful brewing outcome.    

 

I came to the following adage last night as I was autographing a copy of the Water book for one of my clubmates last night.

 

Good water is the gateway to great beer.  A brewer has to take the steps necessary to treat their water to enable them to make great beer.  Understand that there is no such thing as great water since a water can only be great for a small range of beers and it will not be great for others.  So good water that can relatively easily treated is what a brewer should be happy with.

 

Enjoy!



#22 Big Nake

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 08:09 AM

Martin:  Thanks again.  I'm going to get some ibuprofen and read the water book, headaches be damned.  I also have a few upcoming experiments on batches where I will be making some different water adjustments.  Between the new book coming out and Martin registering here, I have the feeling we're all going to have a better understanding of water and how to apply it to our beer styles.  Thanks again.



#23 SchwanzBrewer

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 09:00 AM

Martin, last time I took the tour with the head of operations he said all they were doing was getting a report each day and adding acid. I asked about filtration (they do it, but not for choilramine) and treatment for cholarmine and he said they don't do it. I've never tasted band aid or plastic in their beer, and I know for a fact city of tampa uses chloramine. Maybe I'll give Wayne a holler and see if he'll enlighten me.



#24 mabrungard

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 02:12 PM

I just PM'd Wayne since he's one of my Facebook friends.  We'll see. 



#25 positiveContact

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 04:13 PM

Ken, brewing water chemistry is not EZ.  You can't rely on a program that has no checks and balances nor a full understanding of brewing water chemistry to steer you right in all cases.  Sure, I could make Bru'n Water simpler.  However we would lose some of the versatility in the things you can assess and analyze. Those that take the time to understand the program are rewarded.  As you may detect in some of the comments above, once you get the hang of Bru'n Water, it can help illustrate a lot about brewing water chemistry. 

 

I don't find it too difficult until we are talking about flavor contribution.  hitting pH is easy.  knowing the right amount of sulfate or calcium or sodium or whatever in the final product is where I'm a little fuzzy.  i've never found a good guideline to follow for various styles. 



#26 MyaCullen

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 04:15 PM

I don't find it too difficult until we are talking about flavor contribution.  hitting pH is easy.  knowing the right amount of sulfate or calcium or sodium or whatever in the final product is where I'm a little fuzzy.  i've never found a good guideline to follow for various styles. 

that's what the OP was asking about I believe, IMO the color profiles in Bru'n Water are good starting points.



#27 positiveContact

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 04:28 PM

that's what the OP was asking about I believe, IMO the color profiles in Bru'n Water are good starting points.

 

i was responding to the internal post which seemed more general.  carry on brothers.



#28 positiveContact

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 04:33 PM

But I can tell you that the simplest concept for EVERY brewer to understand is that acidification is needed for virtually all brewing. With an effective and accurate acidification calculation, you will have almost everything you need to have a successful brewing outcome.

 

can you clarify a bit here?  what are the exceptions?  dark beers or people with a rare water report?  anything amber or darker does not require acidification via gypsum or calcium chloride at my house if we are just talking about hitting pH.



#29 mabrungard

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 06:53 PM

can you clarify a bit here?  what are the exceptions?  dark beers or people with a rare water report?  anything amber or darker does not require acidification via gypsum or calcium chloride at my house if we are just talking about hitting pH.

The VAST majority of water sources in the US have significant alkalinity.  You must be one of the lucky few that have low alkalinity.  I'm assuming that Limbo is somewhere near the mountains?  

 

The exceptions are when the brewer's water has very low alkalinity and they are brewing a darker grist. 



#30 positiveContact

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:43 AM

The VAST majority of water sources in the US have significant alkalinity.  You must be one of the lucky few that have low alkalinity.  I'm assuming that Limbo is somewhere near the mountains?  

 

The exceptions are when the brewer's water has very low alkalinity and they are brewing a darker grist. 

 

new england.

 

calcium 6.0 magnesium 3.0 sodium 29.0 sulfate 16.0 chloride 28.0  alkalinity 24.0

 

my bicarb gets calculated.


Edited by TheGuv, 30 September 2013 - 03:44 AM.


#31 Brauer

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:06 AM

new england.

Yeah, snow melt and rain water running over granite, essentially.  My water's softer than Pilsen.

Ca++ 4, Mg++ 1, Na+ 10, SO4-- 10, Cl- 0, HC03- 10



#32 positiveContact

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:11 AM

Yeah, snow melt and rain water running over granite, essentially.  My water's softer than Pilsen.

Ca++ 4, Mg++ 1, Na+ 10, SO4-- 10, Cl- 0, HC03- 10

 

what does the running over granite have to do with it?  just that granite doesn't really erode away that easily so it doesn't contribute much?



#33 mabrungard

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 06:32 AM

The only rock that contributes calcium and alkalinity is marble, limestone or dolomite(magnesium too).  So having a lot of granite around means that there probably isn't much limestone, hence the low Ca and HCO3 concentrations.  You are quite fortunate to have water of this quality.  



#34 positiveContact

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 06:44 AM

The only rock that contributes calcium and alkalinity is marble, limestone or dolomite(magnesium too).  So having a lot of granite around means that there probably isn't much limestone, hence the low Ca and HCO3 concentrations.  You are quite fortunate to have water of this quality.  

 

it's what gets me through the day :wub:



#35 Big Nake

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 07:04 AM

Seriously.  You should get on your knees and kiss the ground that produces such nice brewing water. 



#36 Brauer

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 09:00 AM

Yeah, granite is basically non-reactive, which makes it great for foundations and countertops.

Seriously. You should get on your knees and kiss the ground that produces such nice brewing water.

On the other hand, I brew mostly malty brown beers and use a lot of Munich.

#37 denny

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 09:25 AM

I don't find it too difficult until we are talking about flavor contribution.  hitting pH is easy.  knowing the right amount of sulfate or calcium or sodium or whatever in the final product is where I'm a little fuzzy.  i've never found a good guideline to follow for various styles. 

 

Your tastebuds are the best guidelines.  Experiment!  Wow, if only somebody would write a book about that....;)



#38 MyaCullen

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 09:58 AM

what does the running over granite have to do with it?  just that granite doesn't really erode away that easily so it doesn't contribute much?

yep, a buddy has a well that is in fractured granite, almost no mineral content



#39 MtnBrewer

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 10:14 AM

yep, a buddy has a well that is in fractured granite, almost no mineral content

That's why our water is so soft. Most of it is rainwater and snowmelt. The reservoirs are mostly up in the mountains which are 100% granite. Limestone is why the water in Florida is so high in bicarb. Florida is a big ancient reef made almost entirely out of limestone. Groundwater is slightly acidic, which dissolves the limestone easily.

#40 neddles

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 10:17 AM

That's why our water is so soft. Most of it is rainwater and snowmelt. The reservoirs are mostly up in the mountains which are 100% granite. Limestone is why the water in Florida is so high in bicarb. Florida is a big ancient reef made almost entirely out of limestone. Groundwater is slightly acidic, which dissolves the limestone easily.

Sinkholes!!!





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