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Best Time to Burtonize Water

I will be doing a bitter within the next month or so. I don’t usually go full out and do too much to my water, but burtonizing is pretty simple.

Just wondering if it is important to add the minerals before the mash, or if you would get a similar result if you just added to the boil.

I think it depends on your water because adding salts (gypsum, calcium chloride, etc.) to your water can do various things. If you add them to the mash they will affect your mash pH (for better or worse). If you happen to know that your source water plus your grains will result in a good mash pH, then you could make the additions to the kettle. Adding them to the kettle typically done for “flavor” similar to cooking where you might use salt in the recipe but you might also sprinkle salt on your food when it’s on your plate. If you add them to the kettle, you’ll get that ‘crispness’ to the beer without causing any pH issues in the mash.

I add’em to the mash. The chloride and sulfate helps reduce the alkalinity of my water and allows me to use less acid.

I should have also mentioned that some people add it to the mash and the kettle.

I find my local water very difficult to use - very hard - don’t have a filter.
I use Labrador spring water most of the time which is fairly neutral - no exact #s of the top of my head, but nice for brewing. PH always works great.

Sounds like adding to the boil will get me what I want - that crispness is what I am looking for.

[quote=“Brew Meister Smith”]I find my local water very difficult to use - very hard - don’t have a filter.
I use Labrador spring water most of the time which is fairly neutral - no exact #s of the top of my head, but nice for brewing. PH always works great.

Sounds like adding to the boil will get me what I want - that crispness is what I am looking for.[/quote]
Filters don’t take minerals out of the water anyway. I use a carbon block to remove chlorine and “organic flavor” but otherwise my numbers for Ca, Mg, Na, Cl, SO4 and HCO3 would be the same filter or no filter. Nothing wrong with using the bottled water (I dilute mine with distilled anywhere from 25% to 87%) but it’s always nice to know what’s in your water. Maybe the bottled water company could give you some help… otherwise you could send a sample to Ward Labs and have them analyze it. Or not… if the water is working for you, giddy up.

I know most of the numbers are listed on the bottled water I use. They tended to be at levels where I just did not have to worry at all about them so I never put a second thought into it. Made my beer better first time I used it.

I’ll take a quick look at them again before I make an addition of gypsum, but I’m really not worried when I use bottled.

I don’t know that the water makes that much difference on an ESB anyway. I tend to enjoy the ones that are more balanced where the malt really gets to shine. I’d go for a 1:1 ratio of chloride and sulfate to enhance both malt and hops. And of course a British floor-malted pale ale malt and a little British crystal are the real keys to a wonderful bitter.

I tend to agree with you there. Like I said above, I’m really not looking to go overboard on water issues. Just want to add a little “seasoning” if I continue with K.Len’s cooking analogy.

This time around I am focussed on keeping it simple. Last few times I have messed around too much and missed the mark completely.

Grist will be 90-95 % Marris Otter with some Crystal 60 / and maybe if I get ambitious, some 120. A little minerality to the boil and that is it. Mostly EK Goldings with a little Fuggles. Serve on my nytro system for a smooth poor with low carbination. IBUs around 20ish.

Simple!

Which is what I do. I add enough to the mash to get the pH I want. The rest go in the kettle.

Looks like you know how to do this. Serving on nitro, nice touch. I just bought some Old Speckled Hen in cans that had the widgets, very creamy.

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