April tech topic brewing water flavor contribution

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April tech topic brewing water flavor contribution

Postby rsc3da » Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:38 pm

This is from the document I was using for the tech topic, you may have seen it passed around:

Brewing water basic ion flavor contribution

Calcium, Ca+2 – Contributes to water hardness, assists in fermentation. Should be no less than 50 ppm in wort. Added by Chalk, Gypsum, Calcium Chloride, and Lime.

Magnesium, Mg+2 – Contributes to water hardness, assists in fermentation (not as valuable as Calcium). Large amounts can start to affect the flavor (sour/metallic). Added by Epsom Salt.

Sulfate, SO4-2 – Can accentuate hop bitterness and add to palate dryness, harsh at very high levels. Added by Gypsum and Epsom Salt.

Sodium, Na+ – Can accentuate flavor adding a roundness/fullness at moderate levels, makes beer salty at high levels. Added by Table Salt and Baking Soda.

Chloride, Cl- – Similar to sodium in flavor contribution (roundness/fullness). Excessive amounts are disagreeable. Added by Table Salt and Calcium Chloride.

Bicarbonate, HCO3- – Alkalinity ion, an indicator of how hard the water is. In relation to Calcium, Magnesium and also the mash grist will determine the corresponding mash pH, AKA residual alkalinity.


Often used to give a general idea of the taste balance of the beer in relation to bitterness and maltiness. Here will be keeping chloride the same at 1 in relation to sulfate.

2.1 or greater : 1 – Very bitter
1.4 – 2 : 1 – Bitter
0.8-1.3 : 1 – Balanced
0.6-0.7 : 1 – Malty
0.5 or less : 1 – Very malty

There are 6 beers here each with different salts added. See if you can determine which beer has which water profile.

1 : Ca 50, Mg 1, SO4 50, Na 41, Cl 79, HCO3 58 (a profile I use a lot for lighter beers)
2 : Ca 92, Mg 12, SO4 61, Na 12, Cl 106, HCO3 218 (similar to Dusseldorf)
3 : No salts added (similar to Pilsen or essentially RO water, very low ions but not zeros)
4 : Ca 100, Mg 1, SO4 100, Na 41, Cl 160, HCO3 58 (similar to 1 but double sulfate and chloride)
5 : Ca 22, Mg 20, SO4 59, Na 93, Cl 134, HCO3 104 (St. Peters water)
6 : Ca 120, Mg 4, SO4 140, Na 55, Cl 50, HCO3 315 (similar to Dublin)
Kegged: CAH (Cider + Agave + Honey)
Lagering: -
Conditioning: RIS (BA Abraxas 2.0),Quad/Saison
Fermenting: Oktoberfest, Lambic
Plan: -
Posts: 224
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:36 pm
Location: St. Peters MO

Re: April tech topic brewing water flavor contribution

Postby sdrilling » Sat Apr 18, 2015 1:41 pm

Donnell did a blog on water additions a few months ago you might find useful.

http://www.design2brew.com/blog/better- ... er-style-/

The water blog looks at local water reports in comparison with John Palmer's book


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Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:03 am

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