Water Chemistry for Juicy Beers

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Brewer #203785, May 1, 2020.

  1. Alex P

    Alex P New Member

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    Hi guys, hope everyone is enjoying the lockdown brewing. I certainly am and most recently experimenting with the east coast juicy beers. Been brewing all grain for about 2 years and most of my beers (stouts, west coast pale ales, weiss, etc) are decent and drinkable. However, I recently read the book by Scott Janish "the new IPA".

    Based on this I started playing around with water. A RO system is not an option for me right now so instead of using the super hard English tap water I just get 5L jugs of supermarket mineral water which seems to be simpler to modify. When I use both the basic and advanced calculators here and base everything on the recommended 2:1 Chloride to Sulphates ratio it always comes out as "too malty".

    The two batches I brewed so far were super bitter. I know this is not an issue with how to handle hops and at what temperatures, this is under control on my end (ie: almost none during the boil, good charge during whirlpooling and then I usually like to dry hop during active fermentation). Most of my readings tend to suggest this is a water issue.

    According to the book I should be aiming roughly for:

    115 CA+2
    5 MG+2
    8 NA+
    75 CL-
    150 SO4-2
    pH 5.2 to 5.2

    Is there anything I'm missing here? For further reference, my Tesco supermarket water goes as follows:

    11 CA+2
    3 MG+2
    10 NA+
    14 CL-
    11 SO4-2
    pH 6.2

    According to the advanced calculator here, I should be roughly hitting those numbers with the following additions to a 5 gallons brew:

    2 ml Lactic acid 88%
    3 gr Gypsum
    0.2 gr Canning Salts
    5 gr Calcium Chloride
    0.7 Magnesium Chloride
    0.5 Chalk

    Is there anything that I'm missing? Any guidance will be appreciated! Cheers
     
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  2. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    Without running all the numbers...

    Keeping your Ca numbers <=100, I would add:
    Gypsum to bump your SO4.
    Calcium Chloride to bump your CL.
    Lactic as needed to hit your desired pH.

    I wouldn't add any Na or Mg.
    And I'm not a fan of chalk under any circumstances. Others may disagree.

    Good Luck!
     
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  3. Alex P

    Alex P New Member

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    Thanks! Appreciate the help. If I add any of both, my CA levels go up to at least 130...is there a way to reduce besides boiling the water I presume? Thanks again!
     
  4. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    According to Bru'nWater, the upper limit for Ca is around 150ppm. But the IDEAL range is more like 50-100.

    You don't have to hit 150 for SO4 or 75 for Cl. Keep the ratio of SO4:Cl at 2:1, but the exact numbers are not that crucial. If your Ca hits 100 and you end up with a SO4:Cl of 100:50, you will still create a hop assertive water profile. I think its easy to get carried away with water adjustments, but I find less is better.
     
  5. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I am sorry Megary, but I have to disagree on the water profile you have outlined.

    If you are looking for a juicy/hazy New England (or north East) IPA, you want to reverse the Chloride to Sulfate ratio.
    It doesn't seem to make sense, but it is what you need for this style.
    My most recent batch blew my socks off, best beer I have ever made.
    This one is 4.3%, the hop aroma, and flavor are off the charts!
    Here is the water profile, and picture of the beer.
    Also, no boil hops, plenty of whirlpool hops, and use a heavy hand on the dry hops.
    First dry hop addition at peak fermentation (you may need headspace it could get a little aggressive)
    Second dry hop addition before fermentation ends.
    I used VOSS Kveik, so first dry hop was less than 24 hours after pitch, and the second 24 hours after that.
    Some will suggest that there are diminishing returns, but to each their own.

    Recipe for brew below:
    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/957937/low-speed-chase

    Hazy Profile.JPG
    20200420_162316.jpg
     
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  6. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    @Craigerrr

    No need to apologize. I'll take your word for it as I don't make Hazy IPA's.
    I was only basing my advice on the water profile the OP stated he was aiming for:

    "According to the book I should be aiming roughly for:

    115 CA+2
    5 MG+2
    8 NA+
    75 CL-
    150 SO4-2
    pH 5.2 to 5.2"
     
  7. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    By the way, the picture of your Low Speed Chase may make me rethink my position on Hazy IPA's! :)
     
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  8. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    One thing to keep in mind, high pH in the finished beer will give the impression of a harsh, lingering bitterness no matter what the chloride to sulfate ratio is. Soft water is the key to smooth bitterness. Once you fix that then you can concentrate on the water profile and ratios. The finish pH should be below 4.5. Ideally 4.3 in the finished beer.
     
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  9. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I will take your word on that HVM, I haven't checked pH for quite some time. I have come to trust the mash pH prediction in the recipe editor, and have not had any pH related issues.

    Another note for the Original Poster, my local water is SHIT, I buy RO water from the local fill your own jug water shop, and build my desired water profile from there.
     
  10. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Mash pH, boil pH and finish pH are all different. It’s not talked about much. Boil pH sets up the proper pH for the yeast, 5.1-5.2 is the default range for post boil pH. The yeast then excrete acids to their ideal range. Each yeast strain has a different pH range that it prefers, some yeast are more acidic than others. Dry hopping will raise the pH .2-.3 points. It’s sometimes hard to get it right, it a symphony that comes together in the end. But the yeast plays a big role in pH.
     
  11. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    I'm not seeing any problems in what you've described. Maybe your yeast?
     
  12. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Still taking your word for it, I just haven't gone down that rabbit hole. I am so pleased with my results that I don't forsee trying to monitor that.
     
  13. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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  14. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    As was mentioned, that's not a good profile for a NE IPA. Reverse the chloride and sulfate, and it'll be better for what you want. Take out the magnesium chloride (no need to increase magnesium, malt has plenty), remove the chalk (you certainly don't want to add chalk in 99.9% of cases anyway), and target a mash pH of 5.2-5.3 or so. That's about it.
     
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  15. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    keep your calcium low, around 20ppm, by relying on mostly Epsom and Table salt additions, and target a ratio of 150:50 Cl:SO4. low calcium = soft water.

    I aim for:
    Ca: 20 ... Mg: 15 ... Na: 75 ... Cl: 150 ... SO4: 50
     
  16. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    3:1 chloride to sulfate is a good ratio for sure.
     
  17. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    I second what you and Yooper say on this. The OP could get by with a CL:SO4 ratio of 1.5:1 if they found 2:1 too malty. I wouldn’t let total Ca get above 100 ppm. Hops all FO, WP and DH and lots of them.

    Craigerrr, nice looking NEIPA there and solid recipe. I like the 40 IBU target.

    I’m working on a Juicy that’s a cross between a NEIPA and a WCIPA. Type of hops and water treatment like a NEIPA but higher IBUs and clear like a WCIPA. No fruit. It’s going to take a few batches to get what I’m looking for.
     
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  18. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I haven't used any fruit yet, don't see myself going there, at least for now anyway
     
  19. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    Same here. I see lots of juicy recipes with zest. It adds flavor but a bit of sour/powder mouth feel.
     
  20. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Wait, maybe I lied, the beer above got 2oz tangerine peel (dried, from the LHBS) added for the duration of the whirlpool. Does that count as adding fruit?
     

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