Water Chem for Classic American Pils

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by pweis909, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,762) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    I was going to follow the Bru'n Water yellow bitter profile for the classic American pils I plan to brew next.

    Ca ~50ppm, Sulfate 105ppm, Chloride 45 ppm, Bicarb 0 ppm. (Mg and Na is negligible; I always ignore them)

    But then I reread this classic reference which calls for a CaCl2 addition but doesn't say anything about sulfate. Renner does say he starts with hard water and eliminates bicarb alkalinity. Perhaps some of his hardness was calcium sulfate?

    What do you think my sulfate target should be?
  2. invertalon

    invertalon Devotee (454) Jan 27, 2009 Ohio

    For my German/American Pils, I like around 125 sulfate. I want the dryness and crispness with the hops from the sulfate additions. Here is from my last Pils:

    My finished profile:
    Ca - 60
    Mg - 8
    Sodium - 12
    Sulfate - 125
    Chloride - 17
    Bicarb - 112

    For Czech Pils of course, I will cut my water with distilled to get it soft.
  3. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (208) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    Water is really not critical.
  4. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,476) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

  5. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,390) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I find 70-90 ppm SO4 gives the lingering dryness that I like. Jever is said to be about 70 ppm, and one should know that the malt flavour is fairly low - had one on draft last month. For CAPs where some corn will add sweetness I like the 90 ppm. Over 100 might work fine with high % corn in the grist as I use 20-35%.

    I use this Pils profile often.
    skivtjerry and VikeMan like this.
  6. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,762) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    Thanks @hopfenunmaltz. I’m actually doing two batches, one with 23% corn and the other 23% rice. I hadn’t considered that I might want different sulfate levels based on corn sweetness vs rice’s lack there of. Not sure how I’ll play it now, but you’ve given me something to think on.
  7. Mabrungard

    Mabrungard Initiate (32) Jan 9, 2015 Indiana

    For those beer styles that don't have a lot to hide behind, water is definitely an important factor. I wouldn't make it too minerally. I like the yellow and amber dry profiles for my English Bitter. It dries it out a bit, but not like the pale ale profile would. For the CAP, I'm not sure that I'd go all the way to Dry. Balanced might be more pleasing by avoiding too much dryness for that style.
    pweis909 likes this.
  8. Genuine

    Genuine Devotee (420) May 7, 2009 Connecticut

    I don't know if I could go to those PPM levels in an American Pilsner.....depends how much bitterness you're looking for. I made a Session IPA with 150ppm of Sulfate 50-60ppm of chloride and for that beer, it was too bitter. Crisp, yes but overpoweringly bitter.
  9. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,762) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    I ended up as follows:
    Ca: 67.4 ppm
    Mg: 5.0
    Na: 4.0
    SO4: 68
    Cl: 57
    Bicarb: -19.6 (as per Bru'n Water)

    Approximating a yellow-balanced profile. I'm finding the beers not bitter enough. Of course, the main dial to play with was the bittering hops, and in retrospect, I could have taken a bolder approach. Could also be that my hops are getting long in the tooth.