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Suggested water profile for Belgian Tripel

Can anyone suggest a good water profile for a Belgian Tripel. This will be my first Belgian beer ever brewed so any advice would be appreciated.

Don’t have my copy of BLAM handy but a soft water profile with acid additions shooting for a ~5.3pH would be appropriate.

If you use BruNWater perhaps try the yellow balanced maybe even the lager profile with a slight boost to the calcium.

OTTOMH:

Ca 32
Mg 9
Na 5
CaCl2 36
CaSo4 23
HC03 150

[quote=“Bitter”]Don’t have my copy of BLAM handy but a soft water profile with acid additions shooting for a ~5.3pH would be appropriate.

If you use BruNWater perhaps try the yellow balanced maybe even the lager profile with a slight boost to the calcium.

OTTOMH:

Ca 32
Mg 9
Na 5
CaCl2 36
CaSo4 23
HC03 150[/quote]

I’m assuming CaCl2 and CaSo4 were supposed to be chloride and sulfate and not calcium chloride and calcium sulfate?

This looks awfully close to my untreated water profile though my bicarb is lower. My current untreated profile is

Ca - 34
Mg - 9
Na - 11
So4 - 33
Cl - 17
HC03 - 105

I use the Bru’nwater yellow balanced profile for mine and it works great.

[quote=“mattnaik”]
I’m assuming CaCl2 and CaSo4 were supposed to be chloride and sulfate and not calcium chloride and calcium sulfate?[/quote]

Yes, was editing a copy paste.

I suspected as much and generally build my own water profiles but it’s good to know that someone has tried it.

Hey Matt, I’m doing a Tripel this weekend also!

So, you guys all buy distilled and use Bru’n Water to build your own water profile for every brew?

I don’t think GLBC does anything to their water… what am I missing here?

[quote=“moose”]Hey Matt, I’m doing a Tripel this weekend also!

So, you guys all buy distilled and use Bru’n Water to build your own water profile for every brew?

I don’t think GLBC does anything to their water… what am I missing here?[/quote]

I usually dillute about 50% with distilled which gets everything low enough where I can bump minerals up as needed and I don’t have to dose it so much with lactic to get my pH in line.

[quote=“mattnaik”][quote=“moose”]Hey Matt, I’m doing a Tripel this weekend also!

So, you guys all buy distilled and use Bru’n Water to build your own water profile for every brew?

I don’t think GLBC does anything to their water… what am I missing here?[/quote]

I usually dillute about 50% with distilled which gets everything low enough where I can bump minerals up as needed and I don’t have to dose it so much with lactic to get my pH in line.[/quote]

Same here. My well water is pretty good so diluting it with distilled works great for light colored beers.

Apparently I missed the boat on the Brunwater thing. I initially went down the path of the Mash 5.1 product and it made my beers taste crappy, so abandoned the project and never went back. So you dilute your water with distilled, then individually add chemicals back to raise it to the level that is preferred to for that style. And you need this Brunwater app to calculate it all for you. And how exactly do you know what your water is prior to diluting? An annual water report? The thought of adding another cost for water is not appealing to me.

Denny, does it really make that big a difference?

My city water is so soft that it’s as good as distilled for these purposes.

[quote=“moose”]Apparently I missed the boat on the Brunwater thing. I initially went down the path of the Mash 5.1 product and it made my beers taste crappy, so abandoned the project and never went back. So you dilute your water with distilled, then individually add chemicals back to raise it to the level that is preferred to for that style. And you need this Brunwater app to calculate it all for you. And how exactly do you know what your water is prior to diluting? An annual water report? The thought of adding another cost for water is not appealing to me.

Denny, does it really make that big a difference?[/quote]

I sent my water about a year ago to ward labs for analysis. Since you are on the same water as me you should be able to use my numbers I would think. Brunwater is pretty easy to use once you get everything plugged in. Once all the numbers are plugged in you’re only ever going to be changing a few fields on tab 3 and 4 for each beer.

As to it making a difference, I can’t say from experience because i started with water profiles immediately from my first all-grain brew. I can say that Cleveland city water is pretty good for brewing so if you are hitting the correct pH for conversion then I don’t know if you will notice a big difference in flavor unless you had 2 beers, one treated and one not, right next to each other or have a really good “taste memory” and can make comparisons weeks or months after you’ve tasted it.

All Great Lakes water is a good starting point for brewing. The main thing to recognize is the need to neutralize the alkalinity level with some sort of acidification. The modest alkalinity level is low enough to allow acid malt or lactic acid use without incurring any taste effects. I agree that either a Yellow Balanced or Yellow Malty profile should be fine for a Tripel. To help you understand the relative levels of flavor ions (Mg, Na, SO4, and Cl), review the various Belgian water profiles that are included in Bru’n Water and you will see that some have moderate levels of those ions. The Yellow profiles should be modest semblances of those Belgian waters.

Thanks for the input Martin. I did notice that the different Belgian city profiles were somewhat close to the Yellow profiles but the one big difference was the sulfate was quite a bit lower. I assume the higher sulfate would actually help in the case of a tripel because the excessive dryness is one of the defining features of a good tripel.

[quote=“moose”]Apparently I missed the boat on the Brunwater thing. I initially went down the path of the Mash 5.1 product and it made my beers taste crappy, so abandoned the project and never went back. So you dilute your water with distilled, then individually add chemicals back to raise it to the level that is preferred to for that style. And you need this Brunwater app to calculate it all for you. And how exactly do you know what your water is prior to diluting? An annual water report? The thought of adding another cost for water is not appealing to me.

Denny, does it really make that big a difference?[/quote]

I get my water tested by www.wardlab.com. Test W-6.

I’ve found that for middle of the road colored beers, my water is fine. I just add a bit of gypsum for really hoppy beers. But for very light (pils, tripel) or dark (porter, stout) colored beers, the water adjustments make a big difference. and even in the mid range beers, making some adjustments other than gypsum has improved them, although not to the extent of the beers on the extremes of color.

[quote=“mattnaik”]
I assume the higher sulfate would actually help in the case of a tripel because the excessive dryness is one of the defining features of a good tripel.[/quote]

Yes, but a Tripel includes a dose of simple sugar in the wort to enhance attenuation. I would be cautious about boosting sulfate much in a tripel since the dryness may already be a result of attenuation. There may not be a need to accentuate that factor with sulfate. If this was a Saison, then sulfate is definitely a desirable component.

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