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Suggested Water Profiles by Style

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matt76

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Ah, as you were folks, I think I may have answered my own question;

Brewer's Friend actually has a number of suitable target profiles that I hadn't thought to check previously.

This includes one for London which I think is suitable (possibly a bit low on chloride?), though I'm generally a bit cautious about blindly using these city/historic profiles:
Screenshot_20200831-113915_Chrome.jpg


Not that I didn't know this already but my hard tap water is almost perfect for this, along with various other dark beers athumb.. :beer1:

Weirdly, the BF profiles for Dublin (Dry Stout) and Edinburgh (Malty Scottish ales) seem to lean more heavily on the sulphate...

Maybe this makes some sense for a dry stout, otherwise I'd have thought you'd want to go bigger on the chloride (like the profile for Stout in the OP!) for malty styles like this.
 

matt76

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Brewers friend is American and they seem to rewrite British parameters to suit their own ideas of how our beers should be. Stick to Steves advice.
Yup - hence my comment about using their profiles with caution athumb..
 

matt76

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Also the suggested profiles in the OP are probably quite conservative as far as mineral content goes, I have been gradually increasing the amount of chloride especially in my brews and really liking the results.
Ah, ok, that's interesting to note - thanks for the tip athumb..

I can pretty much mail the BF profile, except the CA in my water is a little higher to start with, but not a major issue.

But playing around in BF it looks like if I add 2-3g CaCl it'll push the Cl content up towards 150ppm which doesn't sound too crazy, and a SO4:Cl ratio of 0.4 or even 0.3 (and Ca is still below 200ppm).
 

strange-steve

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But playing around in BF it looks like if I add 2-3g CaCl it'll push the Cl content up towards 150ppm which doesn't sound too crazy, and a SO4:Cl ratio of 0.4 or even 0.3 (and Ca is still below 200ppm).
Not crazy at all, my last milk stout had 250ppm chloride and it certainly doesn't taste minerally. In fairness the sulphate was relatively low at 60ppm, but still Bru'n Water suggests 10-100ppm as the ideal chloride range.
 

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I enjoy some of David Heaths video's, his latest is for designing an ESB but I was quite surprised that he recommends a full on historic Burton Water Profile, I made a BB recently and went with Ca: 188, Mg:41, Na:47, Cl:85, SO4:483, HCO3: 116 the beer was really nice but definitely seems over mineralised and I intend to tone it down for the next batch but I do wonder whether his suggested Ca:270, Mg:41, Na:113, Cl:85, SO4 720, HCO3: 270 is a bit OTT.
This is not a post for 'having a go at him' just genuinely unsure about the historic Burton profile in practical terms.
 

strange-steve

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but I do wonder whether his suggested Ca:270, Mg:41, Na:113, Cl:85, SO4 720, HCO3: 270 is a bit OTT.
Ruddy hell I don't think I'd ever go anywhere near that high, but I'd be interested to try a beer with that mineral content out of curiosity.
 

Galena

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Ruddy hell I don't think I'd ever go anywhere near that high, but I'd be interested to try a beer with that mineral content out of curiosity.
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Hopsteep

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Nice to see some proper profiles there Steve, the higher Sulfate/chloride content is something I’ve had success with. It’s an American thing using really clean profiles, and whilst these will make a good beer, some of the best breweries will adopt these more ‘English’ profiles.
 

matt76

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Another question for you @strange-steve , why is Alkalinity important in these profiles?

For example, let's take bitter:
150 calcium
250 sulphate
130 chloride
35 alkalinity

Now my water is high in calcium and alkalinity to start with. I can add CRS for example to hit 35ppm alkalinity, but intuitively it feels like quite a lot (20ml in 17-18L total liquor volume).

But if I do this then, according to BF at least, my mash pH is around 5.15 - sounds pretty low to me.

But if I halve the amount of CRS, pH is around 5.4 which sounds intuitively more right for a bitter at least, but then I'm way off on Alkalinity.

Should I care that much? Assuming I don't want to start diluting two water with Tesco Ashbeck, should I prioritise one over the other or try to strike a balance instead?

TIA,

Matt 👍
 
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strange-steve

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The purpose of the alkalinity value is to try to hit the correct pH, that's all. So if you're using software of some kind then simply adjust the alkalinity until the pH is where you want it. The fact that you got a predicted 5.15 pH demonstrates the fact that these alkalinity values are very general estimates, and the actual pH will depend greatly on the specific grain bill used. For example if there's a lot of dark crystal malts this will push the pH down and so will require a higher alkalinity.

So to answer your question, you should prioritise pH over alkalinity, however for those who don't use predicting software then targeting alkalinity will usually get you in the right range.
 

Cheshire Cat

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Steve
I have looked at my water profile from United Utilities for WA4 5HG and can only see
Calcium
But not
Sulphate
Chloride
Alkalinity
Can you help?
 

UKSkydiver

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It is there
Did you click on Full

ParameterMinAverageMaxUnitsRegulatorySamples%Failed
Alkalinity as CaCO356.1104129mg/l80

Chloride7.48<29.498.9mg Cl/l250320

Sulphate10.127.869.5mg SO4/l250330
 

Cheshire Cat

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It is there
Did you click on Full

ParameterMinAverageMaxUnitsRegulatorySamples%Failed
Alkalinity as CaCO356.1104129mg/l80

Chloride7.48<29.498.9mg Cl/l250320

Sulphate10.127.869.5mg SO4/l250330
Thank you and no I didn't as I am not aware of these reports.😂
Do I use mean or Max value?
 

UKSkydiver

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Personally - I use the mean / average figure

If it's anything like my water report, the values are taken over a period of time - and mine is from 2019 anyway. So it's more an indication.
 

Hanglow

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That's fairly variable water, so I'd be tempted to test it for alkalinity with a salifert kit before each brew. Or get an RO setup and work from scratch
 

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That report shows why you should not rely to much on water authority reports. They are taken over a period of time and from multiple sites so what is coming out of your tap may be a lot different from their mean averages. For around £25 get an accurate test from Phoenix Analytical
 

matt76

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The purpose of the alkalinity value is to try to hit the correct pH, that's all. So if you're using software of some kind then simply adjust the alkalinity until the pH is where you want it. The fact that you got a predicted 5.15 pH demonstrates the fact that these alkalinity values are very general estimates, and the actual pH will depend greatly on the specific grain bill used. For example if there's a lot of dark crystal malts this will push the pH down and so will require a higher alkalinity.

So to answer your question, you should prioritise pH over alkalinity, however for those who don't use predicting software then targeting alkalinity will usually get you in the right range.
Thanks for clarifying, much appreciated 👍
 

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