From the HBD Archive
From: Pete Soper <soper@maxzilla.encore.com>
Subject: Re: problem water
Date: 1989-05-15 14:31:16 GMT

From: florianb%tekred.cna.tek.com@RELAY.CS.NET

>Pete Soper talks about increasing pH with boiling. I interpret this as
>a concentration of the alkaline ions. I recommend stop boiling the water.

The pH increased but the buffering effect changed only slightly. The point
was that without other treatment, this water is useless before boiling and
useless after boiling, for most recipes.

What I was looking for was an explanation of what is likely to be in this
water other than the kind of simple bicarbonates that can be precipitated,
and more importantly, how I can greatly reduce this buffering effect.

>If you want to sterilize it, simply heat it to boiling. Try acidifying
>it with, say, citric acid. Anyone have a better method?

Adding acids was what I meant by "drastic measures". I wasn't explicit
because I didn't want anybody to start adding acids to their recipes just
because they had read about them in the digest. I've used acids (OTHER
than citric) with great success but have decided to switch to trucking
decent water to my house. But at 80-120 pounds of water per batch there is
a lot of inducement to find improved kitchen chemistry for my water
treatment :-)

Speaking of water, the homebrew club I joined recently carried out an
interesting experiment. Each of six members was given an identical kit
of ingredients and a detailed recipe to make a batch of homebrew. The one
main variable that was allowed to vary was water. Four very different
sources of water were used and although the sample beers looked and tasted
quite similar there were very distinct differences in flavor. One sample had
a faint clove character. One had a level of hop bitterness absent from the
other samples, and so on. One sample was really awful, but it didn't taste
like it was infected. It just had a yucky flavor that reminded me of coffee
brewed with terrible water. OK, yes, there were in fact many other
variables in this experiment. In fact large trucks could be passed through
the holes in it. However I like to think that the lake, river, and well
waters used did play a part. The experiment goal was stated as follows:
"To establish baseline variability by brewing a sample of beers somewhat
more similar than Coors Light and No. 6 diesel oil" :-)
---------------------------------------------------------------
Pete Soper, Encore Computer Corp, 901 Kildaire Farm Rd., bldg D
Cary, North Carolina 27511 USA phone 1 919 481 3730
arpa: soper@encore.com (129.91.1.14)
uucp: {talcott,linus,bu-cs,bellcore,decvax,necntc}!encore!soper

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