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Water?

Hello I am little confused when it come to water for brewing. It seem there are two camp the one camp try to match there water profile to famous brewing city’s from around the world. An camp two just want to get to the right pH level for brewing ?

Depending on your source water, matching extreme water profiles from the great cities of Europe means adding a lot of salts. Or in the case of Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, youre talking about a water profile approaching distilled water! If youre relatively new to water chemistry for brewing, I would shoot for the right pH for style first. The more experience you get the more you might want to experiment. Sometimes I like to know what the famous brewing city’s water is, but undershoot quite a bit on the extremes.

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If you’re just starting water adjustment I’d focus on beer color and pH. So in the dropdown box for target water profile choose a color and maltiness level that matches the beer you’re brewing. City profiles are kind of hard to hit unless you’re using distilled water and building up from there.

When you’re just getting started with it focusing on pH will help you control what’s most important until you get the hang of it. Then you can experiment more.

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You should always shoot for getting the right pH for brewing. The thing about certain cities and styles from around the world… those cities became famous for those specific styles because the water had just about the right chemistry to hit the right pH and flavor profiles. So if you get the historic profile, you should be at the right pH.

Of course, there are certain things that were done historically to adjust pH beyond where it naturally fell, like sauermalz for pale german styles, and boiling to lower temporary hardness.

But if you want to make a traditional IPA, Burtonize your water and I think you’ll find yourself at the right mash pH, which is why the region became famous for that style.

My SOP, pick a geographic region where a particular style was made (London for a porter, e.g.), get close to the historic water profile, and adjust pH from there with lactic acid additions. But the MOST IMPORTANT is to hit your pH. What you do with the water beyond that is of secondary importance.

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Get a water analysis from Ward Labs: https://producers.wardlab.com/pay/order-brewers-kit.php?step=1&op=kit and order test W-6.

Go to: Bru'n Water and download the Bru’nwater spreadsheet.

Read the instruction tab twice!

Read the WATER KNOWLEDGE TAB.

Use Bru’n Water to identify any mineral additions you need. It will take a bit of experimentation to learn to use the spreadsheet, but it will help improve your beer noticeably.

Martin Bruning will send you a slightly more capable version of the sheet - and any updates - if you make a donation.

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Read the water knowledge tab again.

I’ll be the outlier. I can’t figure out Brunwater. Once I get to the sparge acidification tab, I’m totally lost. If on your fourth read of the instruction tab, you are still lost, you’re not alone.

I do water treatments using ez water. It’s nowhere near as powerful or full featured as Brunwater, but is a little less intimidating for water chemistry noobs like me.

It’s just a spreadsheet. There’s no magic. Well, maybe a little but it’s still just a spreadsheet.

The sparge sheet is really just for input. Just tell it what you want your sparge pH to be and it calculates the acid addition minus the buffering power of the the grain bill that’s been spent in the mash. So just fill in your desired sparge or kettle pH on the sparge tab and the required acid will be reflected on the water additions page for your full sparge volume. At least that’s how the supporter’s version works.

I was fairly confused by BrunWater also. Figured it out by just putting in different numbers to see what and how it changed. Took a chance with following the output for a partial mash and the beer turned out good.

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