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Another Water Question

Hey guys. I’m getting to do my first BIAB all grain 5 gallon batch. It’s the N.B. Cream Ale. My water here in Florida is not the best so I’m planning on using individual bottled water for my brew day. Are there any kinds that you like or tend to avoid? Also, I purchased calcium chloride and gypsum as potential additives to the water. Any insight you could give would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Just use the one gallon bottles of spring water from WalMart no additives needed use as is.

+1 – water source won’t be a huge factor in a cream ale, and no additional salts required.

Chances are the spring water could work fine. That said, do NOT assume that all “bottled water” is good for brewing… Since most all bottled water is sourced locally it is very difficult to generalize. Another member sent his bottled water for testing and it was WORSE than his tap.

I encourage you to use distilled with a tsp each of CaSO4 and CaCl. I think this will provide more acidity (mash pH) than spring water and the beer will end up more authentic. :cheers:

Also, be sure to measure wort temp prior to pitching and pitch cooler than intended ferment temps.

+1

Use distilled water to be absolutely sure, or RO water from a source with good turnover and regular maintenance. Also, check your mash pH with a meter. Invest in a decent one, along with some pH 4 and pH 7 buffer solution, and it will pay for itself quickly.

[quote=“zwiller”]Chances are the spring water could work fine. That said, do NOT assume that all “bottled water” is good for brewing… Since most all bottled water is sourced locally it is very difficult to generalize. Another member sent his bottled water for testing and it was WORSE than his tap.

I encourage you to use distilled with a tsp each of CaSO4 and CaCl. I think this will provide more acidity (mash pH) than spring water and the beer will end up more authentic. :cheers:

[/quote]

In the past week, I’ve heard a couple of basic formulas to try to mess with water… yours and this:

Baseline: Add 1 tsp of calcium chloride dihydrate (what your LHBS sells) to each 5 gallons of water treated. Add 2% sauermalz to the grist

So is your CASO4 just another way of adjusting pH, replacing the sauermalz in the other advice I saw?

Also, dumb question, but are these adjustments scaled for the ~8 gallons mash/sparge water (ending with about 5 gallons in the fermentor), or for 5 gallons of mash/sparge water (so increase to match your system)?

[quote=“uberculture”][quote=“zwiller”]Chances are the spring water could work fine. That said, do NOT assume that all “bottled water” is good for brewing… Since most all bottled water is sourced locally it is very difficult to generalize. Another member sent his bottled water for testing and it was WORSE than his tap.

I encourage you to use distilled with a tsp each of CaSO4 and CaCl. I think this will provide more acidity (mash pH) than spring water and the beer will end up more authentic. :cheers:

[/quote]

In the past week, I’ve heard a couple of basic formulas to try to mess with water… yours and this:

Baseline: Add 1 tsp of calcium chloride dihydrate (what your LHBS sells) to each 5 gallons of water treated. Add 2% sauermalz to the grist

So is your CASO4 just another way of adjusting pH, replacing the sauermalz in the other advice I saw?

Also, dumb question, but are these adjustments scaled for the ~8 gallons mash/sparge water (ending with about 5 gallons in the fermentor), or for 5 gallons of mash/sparge water (so increase to match your system)?[/quote]

I am doing a lot of reading on this right now as well. CaSO4 will adjust pH, but the sauermalz does the same, it’s got the lactic acid to lower the pH.

I believe I know where you got the idea you posted. I’ve read through about 50 pages of that 90+ page thread. The recommended doses are for 5 gallons of water being treated, so if you intend to use more, increase the dosage accordingly.

Recognize the work of AJ DeLange when I see it. :smiley:

The advice I gave is very oversimplified and based on BIAB (8G). It was also based on experience and the fact OP is doing his first AG. He’s got enough to worry about like hitting temps. But you are correct that I was using the gypsum to further reduce mash pH like acid malt and also to add some flavor.

uber, I would continue to follow AJ’s protocol and when you are ready to learn more about water, download and learn Bru’n Water. With this great tool, adjustments are made for each recipe and correctly scaled to your system.

Your source must be the Water Chemistry Primer from Homebrew Talk:

[quote]Baseline: Add 1 tsp of calcium chloride dihydrate (what your LHBS sells) to each 5 gallons of water treated. Add 2% sauermalz to the grist.

Deviate from the baseline as follows:

For soft water beers (i.e Pils, Helles). Use half the baseline amount of calcium chloride and increase the sauermalz to 3%

For beers that use roast malt (Stout, porter): Skip the sauermalz.

For British beers: Add 1 tsp gypsum as well as 1 tsp calcium chloride

For very minerally beers (Export, Burton ale): Double the calcium chloride and the gypsum.[/quote]

The CaSO4 is to add sulfate ions when brewing hoppy beers. The scaling is per five gallons of water used. So if you need to use 8 gallons of water in your process to get five gallons into your fermentor you need to scale accordingly. I believe AJ DeLange’s advice (burried somewhere in that thread) is to treat all of the water you’ll need for your process at the beginning, so if you use a three vessel process, treat all of your strike and sparge water in bulk, and if you’re doing full-volume, no-sparge BIAB treat all of your water in the brew kettle. A good gram scale, accurate to two decimal places, should enable you to treat your water on the fly, versus in bulk. (I quickly discovered my kitchen scale wasn’t up for the job.) You’ll need to know what a teaspoon of each addition weighs in grams. That information is here…

…which I summarize here:

Grams per Loosely-Packed Teaspoon

Calcium chloride: 3.4

Chalk: 1.8

Gypsum:4.0

Table salt (noniodized): 6.5

Epsom salt: 4.5

Baking soda: 4.4

Hydrated limet: 2.1

I have very hard water to, for how much I have to cut it and mess with iit it is to much of a pain.
I have a freind close by that has complete opposite water, I usually fill up kegs from him or I just use RO much much easier

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