Matching a water profile

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I have been given a specific water profile to use for a recipe, and as I use RO water as my source water, I thought it would be easy to build the exact profile. Here is the profile:

Ca 100, Mg 7, Na 100, Cl 150, SO4 60

I can’t seem to raise the calcium and sodium without throwing something else out. I guess it’s a bit of a balancing act but just wondered if anyone else had any tricks or ideas to get me closer, or if there are some other salts I can use etc?
It's not "a bit of a balancing act" - the positive and negative ions literally have to balance.

In this case - the positives add up to (2*100) + (2*7) + (1*100) = 314 charge-ppm
The negatives add up to (1*150) + (2*60) = 270 charge-ppm

(calcium and magnesium ions have 2+ charges each, sodium 1+ etc so you have to account for that.)

So there's something missing (probably (bi)carbonate) - if you want to get this profile, you need a salt which has calcium in combination with something that doesn't affect flavour, certainly not sulphate or chloride. Calcium hydroxide (slaked lime) has the least effect on your water since water is hydrogen hydroxide, but you probably don't have that to hand.

Frankly, you're so nearly there I wouldn't sweat it, or just add a bit of calcium chloride and gypsum to bump them up a bit. Calcium is something that you need an absolute amount of - 50ppm is a starting point (and certain USians would say that's all you need), but really you want at least 100ppm. Whereas it's the ratio of SO4:Cl that's more important (as long as you're not at an amount that's one extreme or the other). So I'd just bump up the CaCl2 and gypsum until you've got 100ppm calcium whilst keeping the proportions of Cl:SO4 at 2.5:1

I'd be very happy to sell my tap water for £1/litre
Bring your own bucket :)
View attachment 49540
There's a reason that Sandbach was known as a brewing town in the 1600s...
 

Knuckles

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Thank you, although I always used Ashbeck bottled water from Tesco before turning to RO, as I didn’t trust the water reports for our area. I guess I could use some of that maybe…?.

The Ashbeck profile is Ca 11, Mg 4, Na 10, Cl 14, SO4 11
Is the ashbeck water only any good for a certain type of beer? IPA....maybe?
 
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Is the ashbeck water only any good for a certain type of beer? IPA....maybe?
Well you can brew beer with just about any water, but Ashbeck on its own wouldn't contain enough minerals for the yeast to work properly or to give your beer a distinctive character.

However Ashbeck water (or any other really soft water, or reverse osmosis 'RO') water is really useful because it is like a blank canvas that you can start from to create a water that approximates that from a particular country or region whose beer you're trying to emulate. Like a blank canvas, you can put minerals IN but it's very hard to get them OUT again.

Have a look at this thread for a very good introduction to this topic: Beginners Guide to Water Treatment (plus links to more advanced water treatment in post #1)
 

Dellboy78lfc

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It's not "a bit of a balancing act" - the positive and negative ions literally have to balance.

In this case - the positives add up to (2*100) + (2*7) + (1*100) = 314 charge-ppm
The negatives add up to (1*150) + (2*60) = 270 charge-ppm

(calcium and magnesium ions have 2+ charges each, sodium 1+ etc so you have to account for that.)

So there's something missing (probably (bi)carbonate) - if you want to get this profile, you need a salt which has calcium in combination with something that doesn't affect flavour, certainly not sulphate or chloride. Calcium hydroxide (slaked lime) has the least effect on your water since water is hydrogen hydroxide, but you probably don't have that to hand.

Frankly, you're so nearly there I wouldn't sweat it, or just add a bit of calcium chloride and gypsum to bump them up a bit. Calcium is something that you need an absolute amount of - 50ppm is a starting point (and certain USians would say that's all you need), but really you want at least 100ppm. Whereas it's the ratio of SO4:Cl that's more important (as long as you're not at an amount that's one extreme or the other). So I'd just bump up the CaCl2 and gypsum until you've got 100ppm calcium whilst keeping the proportions of Cl:SO4 at 2.5:1



There's a reason that Sandbach was known as a brewing town in the 1600s...
That’s interesting, thanks! I have a lot to learn!
I do actually have some Calcium Hydroxide, the Brewfather calculator doesn’t seem to want me to add an awful lot of it, although I can increase the amount manually and see if I can get my calcium up a little higher….
 
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That’s interesting, thanks! I have a lot to learn!
I do actually have some Calcium Hydroxide, the Brewfather calculator doesn’t seem to want me to add an awful lot of it, although I can increase the amount manually and see if I can get my calcium up a little higher….
Be careful with it - it's a fairly strong alkali so you'll probably have to add a bit of acid to balance it. Which then means you're adding more phosphate/lactate/chloride/sulphate to the mix... But eg calcium phosphate is pretty insoluble in water, whereas both calcium hydroxide and phosphoric acid are soluble, so adding a hydroxide and an acid can be a way to get ions into solution that would not be easy to add in the form of a single salt. Particularly with calcium and magnesium whose salts vary a lot in solubility, whereas eg sodium and potassium salts are almost all very soluble so you don't need to play games.
 

Dellboy78lfc

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Be careful with it - it's a fairly strong alkali so you'll probably have to add a bit of acid to balance it. Which then means you're adding more phosphate/lactate/chloride/sulphate to the mix... But eg calcium phosphate is pretty insoluble in water, whereas both calcium hydroxide and phosphoric acid are soluble, so adding a hydroxide and an acid can be a way to get ions into solution that would not be easy to add in the form of a single salt. Particularly with calcium and magnesium whose salts vary a lot in solubility, whereas eg sodium and potassium salts are almost all very soluble so you don't need to play games.
Had a little play and think I’ve got about as close to my target profile as I’m going to. I upped the chloride and sulphate a little and then adjusted the calcium hydroxide and phosphoric acid to get this profile…

267F2FDD-D53E-40D3-8627-83F89191C495.jpeg


with a predicted water pH of 5.34….
 
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This is the nearest I can get to using my hot tap profile (through an inline filter into a combiner's boiler which seems to reduce the calcium and HCO3 a little compared to my cold tap), using 7-8ml lactic acid to bring pH down to 5.4
I live in the same water supply area as Wild Card so makes sense I don't need to add much to get a similar profile. I tried it based on my filtered water and it was hopeless, as was using AMS for the acidifier.
1624560150512.png
 

Dellboy78lfc

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This is the nearest I can get to using my hot tap profile (through an inline filter into a combiner's boiler which seems to reduce the calcium and HCO3 a little compared to my cold tap), using 7-8ml lactic acid to bring pH down to 5.4
I live in the same water supply area as Wild Card so makes sense I don't need to add much to get a similar profile. I tried it based on my filtered water and it was hopeless, as was using AMS for the acidifier.
View attachment 49642
Wow, that’s pretty close with minimal additions! I’ve got the contents of a chemistry set going into mine.😂
Are you going to try and brew this beer?
 
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it’s a toss up between this, a stout/Porter or a clone… Only my second AG brew but was doing extract kits before that. Will need another corny though as both mine are half full with the last two brews, I need to drink more!
 

Dellboy78lfc

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it’s a toss up between this, a stout/Porter or a clone… Only my second AG brew but was doing extract kits before that. Will need another corny though as both mine are half full with the last two brews, I need to drink more!
A nice problem to have! Let me know if you do try this one. I’m hoping to get it done this weekend so be interesting to see how others get on with it.👍
 
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In the end I went for a clone porter from MaltMiller, Elusive Spellbinder. My standard water profile is nearly spot of for this as i'm in London, only really small additions needed to get it to match the 'porter' profile:
1624875967952.png


Coffee and couple of cans of the real thing on order, one to drink whilst making and one for comparison afterwards!
 
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Hey @Dellboy78lfc did you brew this one yet? My IPA ran out unexpectedly quickly (must be all the footy) so need to crack on with another one once the porter has fermented out (and I've brewed it as well, currently penciled in for Thursday if the weather is good).
 

Dellboy78lfc

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Hey @Dellboy78lfc did you brew this one yet? My IPA ran out unexpectedly quickly (must be all the footy) so need to crack on with another one once the porter has fermented out (and I've brewed it as well, currently penciled in for Thursday if the weather is good).
Yeah, I brewed it last weekend. Still in the fermenter at the moment. Need to dry hop it later and hopefully get it in the keg at the weekend. Tasted good when I took my last gravity reading so looking forward to it!
 

Dellboy78lfc

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Hey @Dellboy78lfc did you brew this one yet? My IPA ran out unexpectedly quickly (must be all the footy) so need to crack on with another one once the porter has fermented out (and I've brewed it as well, currently penciled in for Thursday if the weather is good).
This beer turned out great in the end. Nice tropical and juicy with a little bitterness as well. Highly recommended 👍
 
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This beer turned out great in the end. Nice tropical and juicy with a little bitterness as well. Highly recommended
On the strength of that I‘ve just ordered it myself!
Did you do the fermentation schedule in the recipe, 7 days at 18, 3 days at 23, reduce to 15, dry hop for 2 days then crash? Sounds like it’s asking for dry hopping after the fermentation has finished rathe than the usual ‘towards the end’ where there’s a bit of yeast activity still to consume any introduced oxygen.
cheers,
Joe
 

Dellboy78lfc

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On the strength of that I‘ve just ordered it myself!
Did you do the fermentation schedule in the recipe, 7 days at 18, 3 days at 23, reduce to 15, dry hop for 2 days then crash? Sounds like it’s asking for dry hopping after the fermentation has finished rathe than the usual ‘towards the end’ where there’s a bit of yeast activity still to consume any introduced oxygen.
cheers,
Joe
Yeah, was pretty much same as that I think. I’ve been dry hopping at around 14-15°C after fermentation has finished for a while now. I’ve not had any noticeable oxidation from it. Let me know how it turns out!
 

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