Back to Shopping at

Need opinions - water profile

I need your opinion on this water profile:

Starting Water Profile:
(Ca ppm) 68.54
(Mg ppm) 6.32
(Na ppm) 2.82
(Cl ppm) 5.00
(SO4 ppm) 37.95
(HCO3 ppm) 207.4

I added 2.8 g of CaCl2 and 3 g of MgSO4 to get these values:

(Ca ppm) 119
(Mg ppm) 25
(Na ppm) 2.82
(Cl ppm) 95
(SO4 ppm) 116
Cl/SO4 = 0,82 (balanced)

I also added 3 ml of lactic acid to get my ph to 5.52

the grain bill is 96% base pale ale malt + 4% crystal.

do you think it’s ok for english bitter with IBU 36?

do you have any suggestions, what would you change here? thank you!

I’m not an expert, but that seems like too much bicarbonate for what you’re brewing. I had a similar problem before and had better results when I just bought RO water from the store and built up with salts.

why are those bicarbonates important? what are they going to affect in large quantities? if I mix my starting water with 25% of RO water will I lower the bicarbonates level?


Bicarbonate raises pH and yours is so high that your water is probably inappropriate for anything lighter than a dark brown ale. Diluting it 25% might not be enough, but English pale ales can be pretty minerally, so you could go for it. I say this having lived in a place with similarly high-bicarbonate water and doing everything I could to avoid carrying 20 gal of RO water upstairs to my apartment.

In fact, your water profile looks very similar to the profile Bru’n Water calls, “Black Malty” meaning it is meant for malty black beers. In fact, adding just a tiny touch of Magnesium Chloride would probably give you excellent porter/stout water. I suppose if you diluted your water 25-50% and added some CaCl, Epsom Salt, and Gypsum, you could get your numbers in line with the “Pale Ale” profile listed on Bru’n Water, though I personally like my water softer than that.

I agree a little that you may have a little too much bicarbonates for I think a lighter beer. Definately would work good for a pale ale. My bicarbonate level is 85 and I brew pilsners and helles no problem but even that I think I am at the upper upper limit. I would give it a try.

Bicarbonate concentration is pH dependent.
If you add acid…you should be shifting the carbon from HCO3 to CO2.

HCO3 + H → H2O + CO2

At least that’s how it works in ocean water: ... jerrum.jpg

This beer thing is new to me though. I don’t understand how carbonate could be a bad thing independent of other ions like calcium or magnesium.

From what I have heard the beer isn’t as crisp and clean in ligher colered beers when you have too much bicarbonate. You can lower the ph with acid but I think you still get the after taste. I brew with water that has 85 ppm of bicarbonate in pilsners. It tastes good for me but I bet that it could be better and more true to stlye if I diluted it. Maybe maybe not.

Too much bicarbonate for an English Ale??
Look at some english water analysis and you’ll see that you are about like a London water profile.
I say brew with it and see what you think.

Do you like Porters? At first glance, your water looks good for a Porter.

For lighter beers, like your Pale Ale, you can try adding about 150 ppm calcium and bringing the water to a boil before using it. That should drop most of your carbonate out of solution.

Also, I wouldn’t add the Epsom Salt. You need calcium, not magnesium.

[quote=“fimbrew”]Too much bicarbonate for an English Ale??
Look at some english water analysis and you’ll see that you are about like a London water profile.
I say brew with it and see what you think.[/quote]

Most London water profiles don’t seem to have that much alkalinity. And, regardless, many breweries decarbonate water through various means since highly alkaline water is rarely suitable to brewing beer.

English Ale – More or less a London water profile. Model: A. J. deLange’s “Ale” from HBD1965.
Ca=52, SO4=65, Mg=10, Na=6.2, Cl=9.6, CO3=63, Hardness=173, Alkalinity=106."

Bru’n water lists a London water profile as having an alkalinity of 80.

I’d avoid too many additions or you could end up with a minerally taste. You could cut 50/50 with RO and have some great water.

Back to Shopping at