buying high mineral water

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by oliver, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    Just out of curiosity, some one told me not too long ago that I could buy water at the store that's already high in certain minerals, and it's good for brewing dark beers. Which leads me to believe it has a decently high bicarbonate in it. I have a multitude of questions about this.

    does anyone buy this water themselves and continue to build it up for their stouts and porters?
    If so, how do you know the mineral content of that high mineral water?

    Can I buy this at Whole Foods or some other fancy grocer? I looked at my local grocery and they didn't sell it.

    Is this worth it? The only reason I want it is because it might have a good amount of carbonate in it...

    I can't necessarily build up from DI water because too many baking soda additions will skyrocket my Sodium levels, and I don't have a way to dissolve chalk at this point in my brewing life.


    any suggestions?
     
  2. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I saw a "high alkalinity" option on the Whole Foods RO water machine yesterday. Not sure what other options there might be out there. It seems to be a fad and it's highly unlikely that it'll take care of your sodium-overload issue.
     
  3. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    at Whole Foods here the RO machine is also a DI machine, I'll have to look closely at it, but as far as I know it only spits out raw H20 or minuscule mineral content H20.


    What's best for brewing dark beers then when building up from DI? Can I just overload baking soda and get a solid amount of Sodium, like up to 100? And then the bicarbonate will do me some favors with the dark malts.

    Brulosophy seems to think high sodium can be good: http://brulosophy.com/2018/01/22/wa...impact-of-sodium-on-beer-exbeeriment-results/
     
  4. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Yeah that EXBEERIMENT piqued my interest into adding salt in small amounts to a brew or two. I've added salt to a Kolsch some time back and it turned out Delish I'll be giving it a go for sure.

    I've got a malty larger lined up to brew soon which I'm upping the bicarbonateS with bicarb soda.
     
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  5. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    yes yes. I have a doppelbock recipe I want to get going that could use some bicarbonate to balance the maltiness. and if lagers benefit from the sodium additition... bump the baking soda right?

    I guess I'm also planning to ferment my porters with a lager strain, or at least SanFran Lager, so maybe the sodium will benefit that too??


    ....do I even need to go seeking the high mineral water?
     
  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    There's a water profile selector in the recipe calculator. Just choose the style beer and the numbers will come up in the water profile. You can get to the chemistry calculator by clicking the question mark in the water chemistry section and that'll tell you how much of each mineral to add to achieve the desired results.
     
  7. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    I've seen those. Those are typically telling me what the city's water is, and you're telling me the brewery just pumps in city water with no additions and filtering? Also some of these city profiles are nearly impossible to replicate on our scale because they have such weird numbers.
     
  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    #8 J A, Feb 20, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
    We're not talking about the same thing...In the Brewer's Friend recipe calculator you can see select by style to get a target water profile and then use the chemistry calculator to find out exactly how much of any particular mineral to add to your water.
    I have no idea what specific breweries do with their brewing water. Around here, most breweries do a couple of additions to adjust for PH and some have more elaborate additions.
     
  9. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    I see those. Under water chemistry, target water profile, those show me profiles that I have entered, and water from city around the world, plus some historic profiles. we're talking about the same thing
     
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  10. KC

    KC Active Member

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    Water chemistry as we know it was basically nonexistent before the mid 1800's. Regional styles became globally famous because the native water supply was a good match for the beers they were brewing. e.g. Bohemain Pils, Bavarian Lager, Burton Ale/IPA, and London Porter. So the city profiles are a good place to start if you are targeting a classic style. Particularly German styles, where the reinheitsgebot made mineral additions illegal for the most part. Every serious brewery uses water processing now to maintain a target profile but on a commercial scale it's often too inefficient to RO or distill so the treatments are based on the local supply which is constantly monitored.

    Homebrewers can do the same thing as long as they have an accurate local water report. There is another section on this site where users keep a database useful for this.
     
  11. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    #11 Trialben, Feb 20, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
    im not sure you do. im guessing that a chloride favoured salt addition with around 150 bicarbonates from baking powder should do the trick. this is what ill be trying out next malty dark lager anyhow. see.tweeked water profile below. this is with around half teaspoon baking powder, table salt, calcium chloride and gypsum. this.is vy far my biggest mineral addition

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-chemistry-and-brewing-water-calculator/?id=53D9NHG
     
  12. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    that profile seems to maybe be a sweet spot of my research so far.

    I did find the high alkaline water, it's called Evamore water, from Covington, LA, right near me. But it's kind of BS, because I found the mineral content of it, and it's 66mg/l of Sodium and 93mg/l of HCO3. Well I can replicate the sodium content with Baking Soda but nearly hit double the bicarbonate, which could work in my favor to balance out dark porter malts.

    so no, I don't think at this point that special alkalinity water would help me. Baking Soda dissolves in DI water, and I'm interested in replicating that Brulosphy post water, but bump up my Gypsum and CaCl additions, for many reasons.
     
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  13. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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  14. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    i just threw that together not taking grist or acid into consideration. but i usually aim at 5.2 ph.
     
  15. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    even for darker beers? Is there any merit to mashing at like 5.7 when making something with a lot of roasted grains?
     
  16. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    Generally, an ideal amount of bicarbonate is 0, as the only reason it's needed at all is to bring up the mash pH in very dark grainbills. An ideal mash pH is 5-3-5.5 or so. I like to mash pale beers at 5.4 or so, and darker beers at 5.5 or so.

    For grainbills with alot of acidic grains, baking soda may be necessary when using RO or distilled water, but in most cases it's not a good thing in brewing water.

    We have a three part "water article" on our site, if you want to look at some very basic tips on brewing water: https://www.brewersfriend.com/blog/ They are listed backwards, with part 3 at the beginning, since it came out in a series. I think this is good basic reading for any one who wants to learn a little about water in brewing, and the salts that can be used, and what they do.
     
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  17. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Yep. I shoot for slightly lower - 5.2 for light beers and 5.4 for darker ones but agreed: Carbonate is something to overcome, not to add, unless there's a very specific reason - a mash very high in crystals (read overly acidic).
     
  18. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    so what I might be understanding is that I don't need to worry about bicarbonate at all? I've been told that bicarbonate balances out darker roasted grains and is necessary.

    I'm understanding now the pH raising effectiveness of Baking Soda, but if I brewed two stouts, or two porters, side by side, 1 with no baking soda and no bicarbonates, and the other built up to 150 on the bicarbonate, would one be totally astringent bitter because it had no bicarbonate to balance out the dark malts? That's been my early understanding of that sort of thing.
     
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  19. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    or... is the use of carbonates ONLY to balance out pH back to, 5.5 let's say.

    And there is no flavor contribution or dark malt flavor balancing power from bicarbonate like I previously believed.
     
  20. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    i was thinking.the same thing im guessing as well your lactic 88%.should stabalise mash PH where you want it but i wondee if thus will also cancelout your bicarbonates a little.

    there is a reason some historic places were better suited to brewing different beer types like that burton on trent joint
    with its unrealistically high bicarbonate levels.

    i think its worth trying Oliver.
     

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