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 Post subject: Munich Ale water?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:13 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:39 pm
Posts: 15
I have just begun all grain brewing with 3 or 4 batches under my belt and have decided to try modifying my water for better results. My next beer is going to be a Roggenbier (an ale) and I was thinking about modifying my water to resemble Munich water, which is primarily used for dark lagers not ales. Does anyone see any problems with this? I've searched through all of my brewing books and haven't seen anything that clearly differentiates lager water from ale water.

Thanks in advance for any feedback and advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Munich Ale water?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:35 am
Posts: 129
Lager water is usually much softer.


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 Post subject: Re: Munich Ale water?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 9:18 am
Posts: 1385
Munich water has quite a bit of carbonate hardness (hence dunkles) but is easily decarbonated (leaving not much else) hence helles. For a weizen/roggen I'd go with low mineral water with especial emphasis on keeping the sulfate low if noble hops are to be used.


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 Post subject: Re: Munich Ale water?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:39 pm
Posts: 15
So do you think water with sulfate levels of 11 ppm and bicarbonate levels of 208 ppm would be acceptable?

Complete water profile:
Calcium: 136 ppm
Magnesium: 20 ppm
Sulfate: 11 ppm
Sodium: 17 ppm
Chloride: 9 ppm
Bicarbonate: 208 ppm
Alkalinty/hardness: 170 ppm


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 Post subject: Re: Munich Ale water?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:43 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:15 am
Posts: 396
Location: Reno, NV
Water is the last thing to worry about. With only four batches under the belt, I bet there are many other things to improve on first. To many people ruin good beers by adjusting water chemistry. However, if you know exactly the water you are using and you want munich water then those numbers are pretty close.

Remember that now with the invention of water filters most cities with hard water filter out most of the minerals to soften the water. But if you are trying to brew a historical version then by all means throw salts at the beer.


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 Post subject: Re: Munich Ale water?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:39 pm
Posts: 15
BrewerJ,
Thanks for your input. I have to say the last few batches I've brewed have been pretty good but I've been using 100% RO water with only 1-2 tsp. of gypsum added. After listening to the archived Sessions and Brew Strong shows on water I got interested in what my water "looks" like. I was able to obtain a partial Water Analysis Report from my local water department and my city's water has a total hardness of 50 ppm (about 61 ppm Bicarbonate) but Magnesium levels that are way too high for brewing. Therefore I will have to dilute my tap water 3:1 with RO water dropping the Bicarbonate level to 15 ppm and Calcium to 28 ppm. With water this soft I think it's necessary to add salts (specifically Chalk and Baking Soda) to the mash to harden the water and increase Calcium to more advantageous brewing levels. I think I'll target the amounts listed in my previous post for my Roggenbier and see how it turns out and post the results.

PeaceandBacon
PFC - Tiger Hawk Division


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 Post subject: Re: Munich Ale water?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:15 am
Posts: 396
Location: Reno, NV
Yeah ro is too soft, If you want harder water I would add a little more sulfates or chlorides depending on what you want to emphasize. Keeping the hardness about the same. Good luck and remember less is sometimes more.


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 Post subject: Re: Munich Ale water?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:24 am 
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Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 9:18 am
Posts: 1385
peaceandbacon wrote:
So do you think water with sulfate levels of 11 ppm and bicarbonate levels of 208 ppm would be acceptable?

Complete water profile:
Calcium: 136 ppm
Magnesium: 20 ppm
Sulfate: 11 ppm
Sodium: 17 ppm
Chloride: 9 ppm
Bicarbonate: 208 ppm
Alkalinty/hardness: 170 ppm


peaceandbacon wrote:
I was able to obtain a partial Water Analysis Report from my local water department and my city's water has a total hardness of 50 ppm (about 61 ppm Bicarbonate) but Magnesium levels that are way too high for brewing.


This second quote is at conflict with the first. 50 ppm alkalinity is equivalent approximately to 61 ppm bicarbonate (what we care about is the alkalinity) but hardness has nothing to do with alkalinity (despite the fact that the Germans call alkalinity 'carbonate hardness').

Taking the first quote as the valid one: The 11 ppm sulfate is good but alkalinity at 170 is too high. For something with no dark malt you want the alkalinity as low as possible (below 30) and to get that here you would have to dilute 5:1. That, of course, will also drop the calcium to 23 which is probably OK but it wouldn't hurt to boost it a bit with some calcium chloride.

In most beers (certainly a Weizen) would require some acid in the form of sauermalz (or mineral acid) but I have no experience with rye malt. If it is, for some reason, acidic the acid might not be required. This is a job for a pH meter.

There are general directions for treating brewing water for those just starting out at
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/brewin ... er-198460/


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