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Thanks for all of your HELP gentlemen

Well, thanks to you guys I finally have a nice delicious American Pale Ale that is drinkable. Actually, it’s really good. My first two batches were terrible but thanks to this forum I was able to correct some of the mistakes I was making.

Most notable change that worked was using bottled Spring Water, our water had Chloromine that I had not accounted for. I now have three more in the pipeline and I guess I’m officially hooked on homebrewing.

Thanks,

Jim

Congrats! Glad to hear your beer is getting good. :cheers:

It’s cool that you surprised yourself. I bet you were bummed when the first two batches disappointed. But instead of quitting (as I’m sure many do), you did homework and got the job done. I say good for you.

There will always be incremental improvements, but the improvements are biggest in the beginning. Don’t rest on your laurels, what’s next? Mash Ph?

Edited to make more sense.

Water is arguably the most important factor in brewing good beer. Bottled spring water can be hit or miss, it may change over time or the supplier may bottle from a different location. A better option is to use water that has been purified by reverse osmosis or has been distilled and add brewing salts to achieve the water profile appropriate to the style of beer you’re brewing. RO water quality is dependent on how well the supplier maintains their machines so distilled water is probably the better option.

Here’s a great thread at HBT on water chemistry:

John Palmer has a book on the subject that is a nice read. They also did a video on Brew TV with him on the subject. The devil is always in the details.

Mr. Octabird
American Made!

Yep. Water is super important. I had the good fortune to live in areas with naturally good water for brewing for the first 6 yrs I brewed. Then when I moved to Texas it took me a while to figger out why my beer tasted like crap and mashing took forever. Ding! Finally got some water chemistry knowledge and the beer was good again. Yea beer.

Sorry for the late reply, i’ve been out of town the last four days.

Yeah, it is great to finally have something good to drink and I had a blast making it. I’ve got three full corny’s and a fermenter so far, so I think I’m done brewing for a while unless I find some really thirsty friends.

I am just getting into the water stuff and trying to wade through the different water calculators. So, hopeful;;y next brew I can take another baby step toward actually having a little but of brewing knowledge.

Thanks,

Jim

So let me ask you, did you just use the bottled water to mash and sparge with no changes?

Just curious, not criticizing you at all, so no offense intended. I’m strictly extract now, but of course would like to dive in to all grain one day. Reading a lot about water chemistry has hit me at the core of my inner scientist (my BS is in Environmental Engineering).

Reading into it, it seems most people make small, measured adjustments to RO water or distilled water. I think I read somewhere in the thread from HBT posted earlier that Poland Springs is considered “soft” water, so that thread may be helpful in adjusting water chemistry.

Did you measure the pH of your mash or just ride with what you had?

[quote=“Templar”]So let me ask you, did you just use the bottled water to mash and sparge with no changes?

Just curious, not criticizing you at all, so no offense intended. I’m strictly extract now, but of course would like to dive in to all grain one day. Reading a lot about water chemistry has hit me at the core of my inner scientist (my BS is in Environmental Engineering).

Reading into it, it seems most people make small, measured adjustments to RO water or distilled water. I think I read somewhere in the thread from HBT posted earlier that Poland Springs is considered “soft” water, so that thread may be helpful in adjusting water chemistry.

Did you measure the pH of your mash or just ride with what you had?[/quote]

I did two batches with only bottled spring water and they turned out pretty good.
The last batch was a Belgium Triple and I used 1/2 spring 1/2 RO and added a little calcium carbonate and Epsom salts( very tiny pinch). Jury is out on that one but the fermentation is chugging along at the two week mark so the wort hopefully had enough minerals to get the job done.

Jim

^ excellent! Wish you luck!

Reading all the science behind things is definitely interesting. I am going to look at some of the programs out there to see what I may be interested in brewing and what I’ll need to do.

Me personally? I enjoy a nice IPA. My friends, not so much. If I am brewing a batch for a party, I may have an IPA available for me but something else for the group. I’ll likely start with RO water just because it seems easier to build water from the bottom up than to mess with my tap water.

For now though, I am sticking to extract/specialty grains until I can muster the courage to tell the wife I want to buy more equipment :wink:

[quote=“Templar”]^ excellent! Wish you luck!

Reading all the science behind things is definitely interesting. I am going to look at some of the programs out there to see what I may be interested in brewing and what I’ll need to do.

Me personally? I enjoy a nice IPA. My friends, not so much. If I am brewing a batch for a party, I may have an IPA available for me but something else for the group. I’ll likely start with RO water just because it seems easier to build water from the bottom up than to mess with my tap water.

For now though, I am sticking to extract/specialty grains until I can muster the courage to tell the wife I want to buy more equipment :wink: [/quote]

Yeah. I love a good IPA but I like a lighter IPA and lately the IPA s are getting stronger and stronger .

If your doing extract all you really need for all grain is a cooler to mash in. All in it will probably cost about $100 for a 10 gal or $80 for a 5 gal. I would definitely go for the 10 gal, then you can brew almost anything in a 5 gal batch.

I definitely am taking a few hits along the all- grain route but it’s a blast and I’m learning a lot of great lessons. I’ve learned that my stomach can handle so pretty foul beer!

Just kidding the last one I would buy if it was on tap somewhere.

Good luck

Jim

Hi there scooberta,

It is worth mentioning that you can use Campden Tablets/powder(Sodium Metabisulphite) to neutralize Chloromine in the water. It can be used at the rate of 1 tab per 5 gallons. Pitch it the day before you plan to brew and the water will be ready to use the next day.

[quote=“LeithR”]Hi there scooberta,

It is worth mentioning that you can use Campden Tablets/powder(Sodium Metabisulphite) to neutralize Chloromine in the water. It can be used at the rate of 1 tab per 5 gallons. Pitch it the day before you plan to brew and the water will be ready to use the next day.[/quote]
I would just add to know what you are buying. There is also potassium metabisulfate. Does the same thing and 1 tab treats 20 gallons.

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