Severn Trent water

(That's water to the rest of us!) Beer is about 95% water, so if you want to discuss water treatment, filtering etc this is the place to do it!
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Eric
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Re: Severn Trent water

Post by Eric » Tue Apr 21, 2020 2:56 pm

Rob_85 wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:28 am
Hi Eric,

Thanks for your help with this.
In the end I brewed a British Golden Ale (Pale malt, and a bit of torrified wheat. Admiral for bittering, Celeia for aroma & flavour). This has been in the keg for a couple of days now and is tasting good.

I took a read through the info on here you had linked, listened to the Brew Strong podcast episodes on water (from April & May 2009 I think!), and read through chapters 21 and 22 of How To Brew.
My base water is suitable for amber to brown beers, so I adjusted the minerals to bring my residual alkalinity down to around -50 and sulphate:chloride ratio to favour bitterness (with help from BeerSmith!). Needed to add a few drops of lactic acid to the mash to get my pH down too.
A useful exercise.
Cheers,
Rob
So American persuasion wins again. Good luck Rob and my very best wishes.
Without patience, life becomes difficult and the sooner it's finished, the better.

guypettigrew
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Re: Severn Trent water

Post by guypettigrew » Tue Apr 21, 2020 3:33 pm

Eric wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 2:56 pm
So American persuasion wins again. Good luck Rob and my very best wishes.
Hi Eric

Is it the use of lactic acid which made you comment thus?

Guy

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Eric
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Re: Severn Trent water

Post by Eric » Tue Apr 21, 2020 4:34 pm

guypettigrew wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 3:33 pm
Eric wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 2:56 pm
So American persuasion wins again. Good luck Rob and my very best wishes.
Hi Eric

Is it the use of lactic acid which made you comment thus?

Guy
Not just that Guy, treating Rob's water with lactic acid might scrape through without much of a lactic twang. Americans can't get CRS, hydrochloric and sulphuric are much more difficult to obtain than here and are henced forced to use lactic or phosphoric. We are not.

The use of colour to describe beers as if a beer from pale malt with dark crystal mashes as one of the same colour with roasted malt or with roasted unmalted grains, or that beers with pale malt and pale crystal might mash similarly as all pale malt or pale malt with pale adjuncts.

The use of "residual alkalinity", a derivative from research done by Paul Kolbach to explain high mash pH with low mineral water, then extrapolated to cover all levels of minerals which it never did or ever can.
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Re: Severn Trent water

Post by guypettigrew » Tue Apr 21, 2020 5:19 pm

Ah, of course, residual alkalinity. A very strange phrase and one which I didn't pick up when reading the post.

Thanks.

Guy

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Re: Severn Trent water

Post by Rob_85 » Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:57 am

Americans can't get CRS, hydrochloric and sulphuric
Is there one of these you'd recommend in particular? Any reasons why these acids are preferable to lactic acid?

I found the American literature readily available, simple to follow, and aligned with what I was seeing in my brewing software. So that's what I went with.
Can you recommend any British books or papers on this subject aimed at the novice home brewer? Also, any stuff on how crystal and roasted grains would differently affect the mash for a beer of the same colour?

All roads lead to Rome - some routes will have advantages over others! Care to share how you might have gone about treating water for this beer?
- Base water is Ca 40.8; Mg 4.5; Na 24.8; SO4 47; Cl 20.9; HCO3 100.3.
- Grist was 90% pilsner & 10% torrified wheat.
- Target was for a sulphate chloride ratio to favour bitterness.

My approach was to use BeerSmith to help me match the water profile for Thornbridge (given in Mitch Steele's IPA book). Measured pH of mash after about 10 mins, saw it was at about 6 so added lactic acid based on calculator in BeerSmith to get 5.4, which worked.
I've not noticed a lactic tang. I assume this would be sour?

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Jocky
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Re: Severn Trent water

Post by Jocky » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:31 am

Rob_85 wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:57 am
Americans can't get CRS, hydrochloric and sulphuric
Is there one of these you'd recommend in particular? Any reasons why these acids are preferable to lactic acid?

I found the American literature readily available, simple to follow, and aligned with what I was seeing in my brewing software. So that's what I went with.
Can you recommend any British books or papers on this subject aimed at the novice home brewer? Also, any stuff on how crystal and roasted grains would differently affect the mash for a beer of the same colour?

All roads lead to Rome - some routes will have advantages over others! Care to share how you might have gone about treating water for this beer?
- Base water is Ca 40.8; Mg 4.5; Na 24.8; SO4 47; Cl 20.9; HCO3 100.3.
- Grist was 90% pilsner & 10% torrified wheat.
- Target was for a sulphate chloride ratio to favour bitterness.

My approach was to use BeerSmith to help me match the water profile for Thornbridge (given in Mitch Steele's IPA book). Measured pH of mash after about 10 mins, saw it was at about 6 so added lactic acid based on calculator in BeerSmith to get 5.4, which worked.
I've not noticed a lactic tang. I assume this would be sour?
Hydrochloric, sulphuric and CRS (which is just a blend of the two) only contribute Chloride and/or Sulphate ions to the water profile, which is something we tend to adjust anyway and are very difficult to get to a level where they detract from the beer flavour. Lactic acid on the other hand has a flavour which is quite detectable. The flavour threshold varies person to person, and will depend upon the beer too.

The pH of the mash should always be measured at room temperature, and at that temperature you should be aiming in the range of 5.4-5.8. The actual mash pH will be around 0.25-0.35 lower than measured at room temperature. I don't believe there's any real benefit in adjusting the mash pH after that length of time as a lot of the enzymatic activity will have already happened - better off just to note it down and adjust residual alkalinity for the next brew.

As for adjusting your water - is the HCO3 value hardness or alkalinity?

Assuming it's alkalinity I would have added 0.34 ml of CRS per litre of water to bring residual alkalinity down to 20ppm as CaCO3, and boosted calcium, sulphate and chloride by adding 0.13g per litre of gypsum and 0.1 grams per litre of calcium chloride, all mixed in to the grain before the mash.

That would give you a final liquor with Ca 100; Mg 4.5; Na 24.8; CO3 49; SO4 120; Cl 80.

Both the explanation of water treatment and the calculator on this site are excellent:
https://www.jimsbeerkit.co.uk/water_treatment.htm
https://www.jimsbeerkit.co.uk/water.html
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

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