Trying to hit London Water profile

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injac
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Trying to hit London Water profile

Post by injac » Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:39 am

Hi All,

Trying to hit the London Water profile in Bru N Water and not sure I'm using it properly.

Here is my grist:
(London Porter Clone)
3314g Maris Otter
435g Crystal 40
521g Brown Malt
86g Chocolate Malt

Here is my water:
Alkalinity 75 CaCO
Calcium 42.3
Bicarbonate 90.7
Magnesium 6.1
Sodium 14.1
Sulfate 63.6
Chloride 23.1
Nitrate 6.1

Mash water: 24.6 l

As is stands at the moment I'm adding 200g of Acid Malt to the mash and a gram each of Calcium Chloride and Pickling Lime. Does this sound like I'm on track?
Last edited by injac on Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Trying to hit London Water profile

Post by rpt » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:31 pm

What are you trying to brew?

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Re: Trying to hit London Water profile

Post by injac » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:44 pm

Whoops sorry - London Porter. Will edit original post now.
Supping:
Best Bitter (EKG+Styrian GOldings with 1275 yeast)
Vic Secret IPA

In the FV:
Oatmeal Stout with 1275 yeast

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Jocky
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Re: Trying to hit London Water profile

Post by Jocky » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:51 pm

First things first. Trying to mimic geographic water profiles are kind of pointless. London water comes from all over with hugely varying properties, and even historically brewers also adjusted their water through various techniques.

Instead, create the water that gives you the properties you want for the beer you are making and to get the mash pH in the right zone of 5.2-5.6 (lower for pale beers, higher for dark beers).

With that grist and mashing with the full volume of 24.6 litres of your water (I presume you are no sparging), I would simply add some calcium chloride and gypsum to the mash to bump up the calcium above 100ppm and to get some more sulfate/chloride in there. How much you use of each depends upon what you want to do to push the balance in either the dryer or fuller direction.

For a porter you might want to go the fuller direction, so maybe add more calcium chloride than gypsum.
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Re: Trying to hit London Water profile

Post by Matt in Birdham » Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:00 pm

injac wrote: As is stands at the moment I'm adding 200g of Acid Malt to the mash and a gram each of Calcium Chloride and Pickling Lime. Does this sound like I'm on track?
I'm not sure why you would add both acid malt and pickling (slaked) lime? In the mash they will achieve opposite effects. Also note that 200g of acidulated is quite a large percentage of your grist - in fact, very roughly, it is just over 5%. I've never used as much as that (typically around 2%, but in pale beers), and they generally caution that anything over 3% or so might affect the flavour of the finished beer (and some people have a much lower tolerance than that to the lactic taste).

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Re: Trying to hit London Water profile

Post by Kev888 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:01 pm

It may be helpful to step back from the water software initially and begin with the basics of what you are trying to achieve for a good porter, the chances are that your water may not need very radical changes. The software you are using is quite a lot more complex than needed for that, and IMO not particularly in line with a lot of UK thinking. Which isn't to say that it can't be a useful tool under the right direction, but I wouldn't suggest letting it lead your approach or prescribing to you what 'the' london water profile should be.
Kev

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Re: Trying to hit London Water profile

Post by BenB » Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:30 pm

Don't fall into the city water profile trap. I'm in London and my water profile is nothing like that. The Bru'n water beer colour profiles make sense. Basically city profiles are BS. Think beers from Munich- are Helles, Bock and Oktoberfest going to need to same water profiles? Yet.....

for as long as people have brewed they've mucked around with their water to brew what they want. City profiles are a starting point without a destination. ...
Recent brews...

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Re: Trying to hit London Water profile

Post by Aleman » Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:31 pm

Some London brewers also owned 'breweries' in Burton for the purpose of supplying water for brewing in London.
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Re: Trying to hit London Water profile

Post by injac » Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:51 am

Have stepped out of Bru n Water for a while and tried the EZ Calculator instead and focused on hitting a good PH. It is telling me to add 9g Gypsum and 15g Calc Chloride to hit a PH of 5.5 and Calcium levels of 108, Sulfate 118, Chloride 101 and Sodium 14.

Will give this a shot for a start.
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Best Bitter (EKG+Styrian GOldings with 1275 yeast)
Vic Secret IPA

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Re: Trying to hit London Water profile

Post by serum » Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:47 pm

To get authentic London water you should collect it directly from your toilet after heavy usage.

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Re: Trying to hit London Water profile

Post by WallyBrew » Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:53 pm

injac wrote:It is telling me to add 9g Gypsum and 15g Calc Chloride to hit a PH of 5.5 and Calcium levels of 108, Sulfate 118, Chloride 101 and Sodium 14.
Where did those figures for calcium, sulphate and chloride come from?

If you add those quantities to your mash water of 24.6L it gives an additional....
204mg/L sulphate
295mg/L chloride
251mg/L calcium

then you have to add your starting levels to those to get the final level.

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Re: Trying to hit London Water profile

Post by barneey » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:28 pm

Last time I looked at the EZ calculator there were a few errors on the program, whether they got fixed or not I do not know.

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Re: Trying to hit London Water profile

Post by injac » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:46 pm

WallyBrew wrote:
injac wrote:It is telling me to add 9g Gypsum and 15g Calc Chloride to hit a PH of 5.5 and Calcium levels of 108, Sulfate 118, Chloride 101 and Sodium 14.
Where did those figures for calcium, sulphate and chloride come from?

If you add those quantities to your mash water of 24.6L it gives an additional....
204mg/L sulphate
295mg/L chloride
251mg/L calcium

then you have to add your starting levels to those to get the final level.
Well...plonker of the year award goes to me! I'd put the mash water volume as 24.6 gallons and not litres!!

Now giving it as 2g of Gypsum and 4g Calc Chloride.
Supping:
Best Bitter (EKG+Styrian GOldings with 1275 yeast)
Vic Secret IPA

In the FV:
Oatmeal Stout with 1275 yeast

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Re: Trying to hit London Water profile

Post by mabrungard » Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:51 am

I wouldn't use the London profile in Bru'n Water to brew a Porter. It is more representative of water from the Thames.

I'll add a bit more history to water resources in London since I performed an extensive research project on the subject. Please be aware that this discussion is on the location of old London since that is where the brewers were in the centuries prior.

An important facet of London water is that it did not all come from the Thames. Functionally, there were essentially three sources: R. Thames, R. Lee, and the chalk aquifer under the city. The river waters were fairly similar with around 100 ppm calcium, low magnesium, low sodium, modest chloride and sulfate, 200 to 300 ppm bicarbonate. Contrast those river waters with the groundwater from the chalk aquifer in which the calcium and magnesium were under 15 ppm, but the sodium was fairly high at nearly 200 ppm and chloride was a little over 100 ppm. The bicarbonate content was in the mid 200 ppm range.

The low calcium and magnesium, high sodium, and fairly high bicarbonate content made the groundwater well-suited for dark beers. With the low Ca and Mg content, that water had a fairly high residual alkalinity (RA). All or most of the London Porter breweries drew their water from the aquifer. The river waters with their higher calcium content and similar or slightly lower bicarbonate content had much lower RA and it was predominately used to brew pale beers.

The elevated sodium content of the groundwater actually melds fairly nicely with the dark malts in Porter. While I've brewed London Porter with 110 ppm Na and 190 ppm Cl, I have to admit that it is a bit much for me. I now recommend reducing those levels to more modest levels of about 60 percent of those original levels. The calcium levels should be brought to around 50 ppm to get the yeast to floc out well. Bring the bicarbonate level high enough to bring the mashing pH into the 5.4 to 5.6 range and brew it.

Because of saltwater intrusion from all the industrial groundwater use in the London region, I understand that the UK Environmental Agency has been banning the use of groundwater from the Chalk aquifer. That use had undoubtedly increased the sodium and chloride levels in that water over the years. The records I used to assess the Chalk aquifer water quality were presented in a book from 1913 and I seem to recall that the well records dated to around 1870. As we know, London Porter breweries and the industries in London predate that by at least a 100 years, so its possible that saltwater intrusion had taken its toll on the groundwater back then. Therefore, I do feel that my recommendation to moderate that sodium and chloride level in your brewing water is valid.

Those of you that are American Homebrewers Association members can review the article on London water that was published in Zymurgy in May/June 2014.
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