water chemistry for extract pilsner

Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:50 am

OK gang,

Now the weather has gotten colder, and I don't have a proper beer fridge, I'm gonna try my hand at lagering in the garage.
So, as I review the BCS formula for American Lager, should I worry about my local water chemestry? To match my water in Topeka to match that from Pilsen, calculated using ProMash, I would need to use 6 gallons of distilled water to 1 gallon of local water filtered to remove chloramine. Since I'm already using extract for this batch, would the water chemistry make any difference anyway?

Thanks!
Alan Marks
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Re: water chemistry for extract pilsner

Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:21 pm

The water used will have a definite effect on the hops, so you will still need to cut your water with distilled or RO to achieve the soft hop character of a Czech Pils. If you are looking for a German Lager, you will not need to cut the water as much.
Good luck.
-Greg
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Re: water chemistry for extract pilsner

Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:35 pm

OK, I understand.
Thanks!

Alan
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Re: water chemistry for extract pilsner

Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:41 pm

If you are already using extract, there is already a mineral profile in the extract. You are in some ways stuck with the water profile they used to make the extract.

If you know the extract producer, you can contact them to get information about the water profile.

Without that information I would go with straight RO if you are looking for a soft profile.

I contacted Breiss once, and was surprised by the water profile. it was somewhat hard. So now I use RO water for the vast majority of my extract brewing.

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Re: water chemistry for extract pilsner

Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:50 pm

Interesting, that not only would effect hop utilization but color as well.
I was going to use both Coopers Light LME and Briess Pilsner DME, for fermentablity and mouth feel.
Add a couple of ounces of Saaz hops at 60 and 5 minutes, respectively, and it sounds like RO water only would work out perfectly. I think I'll play it safe using a couple of packets of Saflager S-23 and avoid the work of making a starter.
Alan Marks
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