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Old 12-08-2010, 10:44 PM  
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Tucson, AZ
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Tucson home brewers question...

For you guys with all-grain setups, do you do any treatment with your water, do you use other than tap water, or do you just use plain-old tap water with no treatment?

I did my first all grain batch the other month which was a belgian white; I used plain old tap water and some brewers salt that brewers connection gave to me for free. Everything fermented well and I had a good tasting beer, however, it seemed a bit watery for me. Being that it was only my first all-grain I'm not sure if the lack of mouthfeel was from the water or possibly just the recipe.

Thanks in advanced... Normally I just post up brewing questions on homebrewtalk but since this was specific to tuscon I was hoping you guys might have some insight.
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:45 PM  
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Florence, OR
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The water here has no mineral content. I can and do add what I want to emulate the water for specific styles. Get a water analysis from your water district.

As for watery brews, I've has that issue and was told to add two or three pounds (I'm doing 10 gallon batches) of Pale Malt. Not Pale Ale, Pale Malt to the mash.

Haven't tried it...all my storage space is filled up!!
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:40 PM  
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Sahuarita, AZ
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I just finished a holiday ale, with straight tap water. No problems or taste issues. I live in Sahuarita and the water is very good.
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:51 PM  
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Tucson, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott View Post
The water here has no mineral content. I can and do add what I want to emulate the water for specific styles. Get a water analysis from your water district.

As for watery brews, I've has that issue and was told to add two or three pounds (I'm doing 10 gallon batches) of Pale Malt. Not Pale Ale, Pale Malt to the mash.

Haven't tried it...all my storage space is filled up!!
I was going to try and add a pound or two of cara-pils malt to take care of the mouthfeel in my next batch and see how it does. I tried to get a water analysis from the bio-environmental office on base but they seemed weary that I was asking for one, and got defensive on why I needed one. When I told them it's because I live on base and brew my own beer and was just curious to see if there were any contents that may affect my beer, they told me "oh.... well it's fine and you shouldn't have any problems". So I stopped pursuing the issue.
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:19 PM  
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Tucson, AZ
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I use tap water but let it sit in a bucket for 24-48 hours to allow the chlorine dissipate. Campden tablets work well for water treatment too.

Mouthfeel is likely a product of too low of a final gravity. Upping your grain bill to get a higher gravity or mashing in at a slightly higher temp might help out (results in less fermentable sugars that way).
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Old 12-20-2010, 02:36 PM  
saq
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Tucson, Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Tucson water is horrible for brewing IMO (at least in my part of town) so I buy RO water from waterstreet station and add salts to the profile my beer needs. Works quite well I am really happy with the results.
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Old 12-20-2010, 06:06 PM  
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Tucson, AZ
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Water for beer

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeekGunner View Post
For you guys with all-grain setups, do you do any treatment with your water, do you use other than tap water, or do you just use plain-old tap water with no treatment?

I did my first all grain batch the other month which was a belgian white; I used plain old tap water and some brewers salt that brewers connection gave to me for free. Everything fermented well and I had a good tasting beer, however, it seemed a bit watery for me. Being that it was only my first all-grain I'm not sure if the lack of mouthfeel was from the water or possibly just the recipe.

Thanks in advanced... Normally I just post up brewing questions on homebrewtalk but since this was specific to Tuscon I was hoping you guys might have some insight.
It also depends on the brew you are making. Some styles would require very soft water.

For Tucson water, I think you need to contact the district you are in to get a profile of the water. However, I would imagine that it has high Calcium Carbonate just out of the tap. I don't think, however, that the water was to blame.

Since you mentioned it was watery, did you take your first gravity (SG) and see if it matches the style of Belgian Wit? I would first look at the initial mash profile and see if you hit your target mash. It almost sounds as if you didn't mash long enough or it was not hot enough. Wit beer can be single infusion mash, and the mash should settle in at about 153-154 and hit target SG/OG at 1.050 (about). I just checked my last recipe and I had OG of 1.047
and FG at 1.011 or 1.010... it was close there. That gave me about 4.5 ABV.

There is also an issue with chlorine in the water which would concern me more than the profile of the water. Maybe it didn't finish out correctly due to that. If there is Chloromine it can not be removed by boiling.

All this being said, however, I don't think there would be enough chlorides in the water to actually effect the brew.

Still, I think looking at the water profile is something you should do. If you want pure water, just go to one of those water stations that are everywhere and get RO water and have the LBS adjust your water to the style.

Wit is also a very medium body ale, so a lot of protein mouthfeel won't be as present as a stout or porter. I remember it being a bit "silky and light" according to my notes.

I am on the HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community. all the time, so come on over.

brewman1957
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Old 12-20-2010, 06:08 PM  
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Tucson, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeekGunner View Post
I was going to try and add a pound or two of cara-pils malt to take care of the mouthfeel in my next batch and see how it does. I tried to get a water analysis from the bio-environmental office on base but they seemed weary that I was asking for one, and got defensive on why I needed one. When I told them it's because I live on base and brew my own beer and was just curious to see if there were any contents that may affect my beer, they told me "oh.... well it's fine and you shouldn't have any problems". So I stopped pursuing the issue.
GeekGunner: They are REQUIRED BY LAW to give you the water profile. Ask for it again and if they give you a bad time, remind them it is a Federal Law and none of their business why you want to know.
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:16 PM  
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Tucson, AZ
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Late addition to the OP.

I just filter with brita or the pur on my faucet. Basically, if the water tastes good, brew with it. No issues due to water at all.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:15 AM  
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filter

I have an under counter 5 stage system. Our water here in Tucson tastes like chlorine if you drink tap water. I doubt you can taste the chlorine in the beer, but just like I don't use crap ingredients, I try to use filtered water. At least get some from the station at Safeway or something, it's only $1 for 5 gallons.
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