Munich helles with Asda Smart Price water

While Beer is 90-97% water, it is a very tricky subject.

Munich helles with Asda Smart Price water

Postby f00b4r » Wed Aug 12, 2015 12:09

I am looking to brew a Munich Helles tomorrow and after taking a look at Graham W's water calculator over at Jim's I could not get it to balance for the lager profile, although I am not sure how appropriate it is given Helles were traditionally brewed in Munich (I understand matching historical water is not necessarily the best approach though).
After looking at the price of Asda Smart Price water and seeing it being recommended for brewing it seems a no brainer for me to shell out less than £3 to avoid any issues.
Do i need to add anything e.g. calcium chloride flakes to hit a good profile and if so how much (I have this and other water treatment chemicals available)?

Oh and am going to ferment this cold with WLP029 but once the wort is made the water treatment part is over so it won't make a difference which yeast i use right?

:cheers:
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Re: Munich helles with Asda Smart Price water

Postby Goulders » Wed Aug 12, 2015 12:32

Aleman is probably the best to advise on lagers and water I would think. This thread suggests the alkalinity or smart price water is 42, which is probably too high. No idea about sulphate or chloride levels though.

Aleman discusses water for lager here
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Re: Munich helles with Asda Smart Price water

Postby Aleman » Wed Aug 12, 2015 13:01

f00b4r wrote:I am looking to brew a Munich Helles tomorrow . . . <snip> . . .Oh and am going to ferment this cold with WLP029 but once the wort is made the water treatment part is over so it won't make a difference which yeast i use right?

Kolsch Ale Yeast . . . Munich Helles . . . :doh: Nah! Its a pale Kolsch you are brewing, not a Helles :D . 60-70% of the flavour compounds come from the yeast, the vast majority of the rest of the flavours come from the malt and hops, leaving around 1-2% to be influenced by the water . . . where do you thing you should be applying the most effort or concentration??

f00b4r wrote:I am looking to brew a Munich Helles tomorrow and after taking a look at Graham W's water calculator over at Jim's I could not get it to balance for the lager profile, although I am not sure how appropriate it is given Helles were traditionally brewed in Munich (I understand matching historical water is not necessarily the best approach though).

It may not be, but lets consider what is 'appropriate'. :D Munich water traditionally had moderate sulphate, with a high bicarbonate level. So when they tried to brew pilsener style beer they had a harsh bitterness, as sulphate an high hop rates don't go together well, at least in a lager :D. . . . The bicarbonate wouldn't have helped either. So by using slaked lime treatment to reduce the alkalinity, and reducing the hopping rate (so BU:GU ratio was around 0.4 to 0.5), they were able to produce a good pilsener style, which I actually like a lot.

I don't care too much about the final profile balancing, I just don't think it's important. So what would I aim for for a Helles Water.

Alkalinity 30 or below!

Calcium Minimum of 75, but up to 150 would be fine
Sulphate minimum of 150 up to 200-250 (watch hopping at higher levels)
Chloride 1/3 to 1/2 of the sulphate level.

f00b4r wrote:After looking at the price of Asda Smart Price water and seeing it being recommended for brewing it seems a no brainer for me to shell out less than £3 to avoid any issues. Do i need to add anything e.g. calcium chloride flakes to hit a good profile and if so how much (I have this and other water treatment chemicals available)?

So, now ask yourself is Smartprice is the way to go, as you may already have those sorts of levels in your water (apart from alkalinity) anyway? . . . Of course if you have to add lots of acid and blow past those levels, you have two options . . . Live with them and see what results :D, or use Smartprice and play with calcium sulphate and calcium chloride to get your levels around where I suggested.

please note:The use of punctuation, bold, underlining, italics, and different sized type, follows the convention used in writing, for many years, to place emphasis on the point being made, and to highlight the importance of that point in the opinion of the author. It is not the intention of the author to shout, if that was the case the author would adopt the, much more recent, convention of using all capital letters.
Albert Einstein wrote:Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.
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Re: Munich helles with Asda Smart Price water

Postby Bad 'Ed » Wed Aug 12, 2015 13:08

I did a helles with just tap water (using WLP860) and I think it turned out well. No idea what my water profile is mind.
I didn't pitch enough yeast despite attempting a 5l starter (using a 5l plastic bottle which used to house supermarket water ironically) so I'd make sure you're happy you're pitching enough. More important than the water profile imo, after all, how much taste can the best water add; 5%?

Edit: too slow...

Never enough time....
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Re: Munich helles with Asda Smart Price water

Postby f00b4r » Wed Aug 12, 2015 15:02

Thanks for the replies, my concerns were mainly around my alkalinity being too high (50 to 76 over a few measurements) and causing harshness, as I only have CRS and sulphate levels that were high to start with. I think I will go with the bottled water as it is only a few quid.
I take note about it not being a real Helles when using Kolsch yeast (at a low temperature mind) but I was interested to try Brulosophers take on it; I am out in Germany a lot, including Bavaria next week, so will have to do some research whilst I am there
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Re: Munich helles with Asda Smart Price water

Postby Aleman » Wed Aug 12, 2015 15:09

What are you sulphate levels, you shouldn't need to add too much CRS to bring the alkalinity down to 30 from 50-76, so you are not likely to be adding a huge amount of sulphate. As a plus CRS is intended to push the sulphate to chloride ratio towards 2:1 anyway, which is where I suggested you want it to be.

please note:The use of punctuation, bold, underlining, italics, and different sized type, follows the convention used in writing, for many years, to place emphasis on the point being made, and to highlight the importance of that point in the opinion of the author. It is not the intention of the author to shout, if that was the case the author would adopt the, much more recent, convention of using all capital letters.
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Re: Munich helles with Asda Smart Price water

Postby f00b4r » Wed Aug 12, 2015 17:07

My levels are : alkalinity of between 50 and 76, 45ppm calcium, 74 alkalinity, 14 chloride and 68 sulphate.

Someone local to me had a water report done recently that i believe may be from the same source:

Sodium as Na, mg/L 18.4
Potassium as K, mg/L 2.0
Magnesium as Mg, mg/L 7.4
Calcium as Ca, mg/L 56.7
Chloride as Cl, mg/L 19.7
Nitrate as NO3, mg/L 3.1
Phosphate as PO4, mg/L 2.5
Sulphate as SO4, mg/L 99.6
Total alkalinity as CaCO3, mg/L 76
pH 7.1
Conductivity, uScm-1 at 20C 385
Total residual chlorine as Cl2, mg/L 0.16
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Re: Munich helles with Asda Smart Price water

Postby f00b4r » Wed Aug 12, 2015 19:42

Hmm, so now I have had a chance to play with the water treatment calculator more over at Jim's and put in a custom target liquor based upon the recommendations below:

Alkalinity 30 or below!
Calcium Minimum of 75, but up to 150 would be fine
Sulphate minimum of 150 up to 200-250 (watch hopping at higher levels)
Chloride 1/3 to 1/2 of the sulphate level.

It looks like it is possible to do with my water but I would appreciate confirmation I am not doing anything stupid:

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