treating water for English beers

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treating water for English beers

Postby RobertHSmith » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:38 pm

Anyone treat St Louis tap water to emulate an English water profile for brewing some English type beers. If so, what did you do and did it work out?
Robert
http://www.robertandcathy.com

On Tap:
1: English Pale Ale
2. English Dark Mild
3. Oatmeal Stout
4. Breakwater Pale Ale Clone
5. IPA, DH w/ Centennial
6. American Wheat
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Re: treating water for English beers

Postby siwelwerd » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:21 pm

RobertHSmith wrote:Anyone treat St Louis tap water to emulate an English water profile for brewing some English type beers. If so, what did you do and did it work out?


It depends on what you want to brew. The water for a bitter is going to be different than what you want for a porter. I add some CaCO3, maybe a touch of CaCl to my milds, browns, stouts and porters. Bitters get a gypsum (CaSO4) addition.
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Re: treating water for English beers

Postby JoeHPhil » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:24 pm

Drew,

I assume you mean you added those things while you lived in the Lou. These is no way Alabama water is the same as STL.
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Re: treating water for English beers

Postby siwelwerd » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:29 pm

JoeHPhil wrote:I assume you mean you added those things while you lived in the Lou. These is no way Alabama water is the same as STL.


I haven't been able to find a good water report for around here, but I keep adding the same things and my beer keeps tasting the same. So it must be pretty similar.
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Re: treating water for English beers

Postby JoeHPhil » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:39 pm

Interesting - In FL I continued to have problems with chloramines and sulfer in the city water. So much so I eventually had to brew with bottled water since you can't effectively filter out chloramines.

I can't remember the rest of the water content, but there was clearly a reason that FL is not a brewing mecca.
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Re: treating water for English beers

Postby JoeHPhil » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:48 pm

Not much of a report for your fine town, but no Chloramines!

STL report was a pain to decypher so I just emailed the city water quality contact listed on the report and specifically listed the items I wanted to know (pH,hardness,calcium,etc).

http://www.tuscaloosa.com/Assets/water- ... n/2012.pdf
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Re: treating water for English beers

Postby siwelwerd » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:57 pm

The city here has been unresponsive to my emails, and I don't really want to call them up and be like "Hey, I'm a felon! Can you help me out?"

The local brewery in town doesn't treat the water ever. Their pale ale could benefit from a bit more sulfates, but they have an almost dogmatic belief in the quality of the tap water. They haven't even bothered to get it tested (I asked them).
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Re: treating water for English beers

Postby jeffjm » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:09 pm

Drew, it might be worth sending in a sample to Ward Labs. They only charge something like $16 and they will provide the exact information brewers are interested in.
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Re: treating water for English beers

Postby robininski » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:12 am

Ward Labs:
http://www.wardlab.com/FeeSchedule/WaterAnalysis.aspx
I would recommend twice . The water company flushes the lines in the spring and it changes a bit from spring to fall. Fluctation stays pretty much on through out the year, but two test spring and fall are best.

It also might be fun to test pure tap against, say a whole house filter.

money well spent
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