Water Profile for British Brown Ale

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Brewer #348412, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. Brewer #348412

    Brewer #348412 New Member

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    For my next beer, I am going to brew a British Brown Ale (13B - BJCP). For the recipe, I have selected the “Balanced Profile 1” in the Brewer’s Friend recipe builder. I’m starting to second guess this, since this should be a more malt forward beer. So, here’s the question...should I change it to a more malt forward water profile, or just leave it alone? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    I don’t know what “Balanced Profile 1” is, but I would favor SO4 slightly to Cl. Something like 75-50? 1.5:1 ratio. Keep it drinkable.

    **Edited for stupidity**
    :(
     
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  3. Brewer #348412

    Brewer #348412 New Member

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    Great, thanks.

    Here is the balanced profile I was using.
    AFC55423-02E4-4E5D-9FCC-7858863D5BD0.jpeg
     
  4. Minbari

    Minbari Active Member

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    I always use ezwater and just adjust towards malty.
     
  5. Brewer #348412

    Brewer #348412 New Member

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    Thanks, I’ll check it out.
     
  6. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    That looks good to me. You can always add a bit more salt later on if you think it needs it. Heck, the old timers would salt the beer right in the glass.
     
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  7. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    I use the Balanced profile in my Irish Red. So, I think it will be good for you English Brown.

    I like simple rules that I can remember and saved this old Megary nugget from another thread
    upload_2021-4-18_18-12-8.png
     
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  8. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    Lol. For what it’s worth, I stole that from Bru’n Water. Credit where credit is due.

    The only thing is, the ratio is only part of the story, because obviously not all ratios are created equally.
    30 SO4 - 10 Cl (3:1)
    is absolutely not the same as
    300 SO4 - 100 Cl (3:1)

    What mineral levels are needed for us to taste can’t be the same for everyone across the board. We all need to try different amounts and take good notes.
     
  9. Brewer #348412

    Brewer #348412 New Member

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    Thanks all. I will stick with the balanced profile.
     
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  10. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    If you find the malt isn't coming out as much as you would like, you could just add a bit of gypsum next time.
     
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  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'd add chloride in this case.... Sulfate accentuates hops and dryness.
     
  12. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Whoops, correct you are, glad you corrected me on this!
     
  13. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Good point. As example of why that matters...my next brew will be the ESB from David Heath. He suggests a Burton water profile. Out of curiosity I set that for a target to see how much adjustment I would need to make. It was something like 30-40 grams each of Gypsum, Calcium Chloride, etc. :eek: Obviously I'll be sticking to my normal 3-4 grams.
     
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  14. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    Rant...

    I think salt additions require a lot of faith for the homebrewer. We read a lot about CL:SO4, recommended levels for the BIG 5 Ions, what accentuates this and what accentuates that, what levels are appropriate for what styles, historic regional water profiles...o_O

    If someone told us that the correct salt/pepper ratio for our french fries was 3:1, would we religiously shake the salt 3 times and the pepper once? You know...some rebel will eventually go 15 and 5!

    I might love a beer with 100ppm Sodium, while someone else might describe it as "salty". I might prefer my IPA's with a balanced CL:SO4 even though I've been told I shouldn't. Do you prefer the mouthfeel of your Stouts dry or malty? (You said dry, right?)

    The only way to really know how we like our beers is to brew them again and again, changing the water each time - and then hope we can remember what it tasted like last time. Uh-huh.

    Or, brew a beer with RO and add the salts to the glass afterwards. This could be a glorious exercise, drinking beer after beer with various levels of salts to see just when we can "perceive" the dryness imparted by our gypsum additions! I would likely fall over first, but all in the name of progress.

    /Rant
     
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  15. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    You put pepper on your fries??? :eek: Actually, I may need to try that :D

    I agree with this sentiment. That's why I wanted to see how much it would take to get me to a Burton water profile. If it was 3 times my normal amount I might try it but, I decided that at 10 times my normal amount, it wasn't an experiment I wanted to try. But I'll likely dose a glass of the finished beer to 10 times my normal amount just to confirm my suspicions.

    I usually don't try to match a city or region's water profile because, as has been said many times, you don't know if or how the brewery treated its water prior to brewing with it.
     
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  16. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    Of course. Because I read once that this is the profile to the historic Pont Neuf street vendors, whose original fries displayed a characteristic high in native ground peppercorn that accentuated potato residual sweetness and starchiness, this relationship being properly demonstrated in an 1824 study and the subsequent "Russet Index" standard.
     
  17. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    ALWAYS PUT PEPPER ON YOUR FRIES!!!!!!!
    Either that or you will be assimilated!!!!
    End joke:)
    I do always put pepper on my fries, brings out the, oh never mind.

    You are dead on @Megary , I have not ever, and will never try to recreate some historic water profile.
    THis is not practical, and in many cases, not actually possible.
    I do however use RO water and treat my water to suit what I am brewing.
    I have found the rule of thumb in having enough Ca2+ (50-150, but normally 45-100 actually), adjusting the Cl- to SO42- ratio to suit more malty, or more hoppy without ever getting either up to 200, then keeping the Mg2+ and Na+ at a reasonable level, has worked really well for me. Here are a few typical real life examples. Nothing is gospel with water.

    Cit Ruby Cit
    upload_2021-4-19_16-52-50.png
    Hazy:
    upload_2021-4-19_16-53-16.png
    Belgian Dubbel:

    upload_2021-4-19_16-53-41.png
    David's ESB:
    upload_2021-4-19_16-54-7.png
    Shady Bo:
    upload_2021-4-19_16-55-27.png
     
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  18. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting article, odd that it was written on rice paper...
     
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  19. west1m

    west1m Well-Known Member

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    Or, brew a beer with RO and add the salts to the glass afterwards. This could be a glorious exercise, drinking beer after beer with various levels of salts to see just when we can "perceive" the dryness imparted by our gypsum additions! I would likely fall over first, but all in the name of progress.

    Ok, would a taste test like this actually work or do the additives need to be in the mash and boil?
     
  20. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    Don't know. But the salts definitely interact with the mash, affecting the beer.
     

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