Pilsner Water Chemistry

We continue to explore our Ward Labs water results and how it effects our beers.  Last week, we talked about my experiment with splitting a batch of IPA and playing with calcium sulfate.  This we we discuss John’s latest brew as he adjusts his Pilsner Water Chemistry.

We know that our water is pushing recommended levels of both sodium and chloride.  Trying to get that clean and crisp Pilsner profile, John chose to cut his water in half with some store bought distilled water. By doing so, he effectively reduced those minerals by half.  John then added back some gypsum to try and create that critical balance between chloride and sulfate.

Using a simple kitchen scale, John weighed out his gypsum and added some to the mash and some to the sparge.

Only time will tell if this brew will have a pronounced hop character classic to German Pilsners.  It will also be interesting to note whether the increase calcium contributes to yeast flocculation and attenuation.  Keep an eye out for a future tasting video on this beer and that IPA I mentioned.

Brew on!

Since this is a lager, this beer will take a few months for it to be ready for a taste test. The initial reports from the lagering phase is that the beer is clearing well. The other big thing we are testing with the gypsum addition is the effect it has on hop aroma and flavor in the final beer. There were a good amount of noble hop additions in the boil so we’re hoping to taste and smell those floral aromas.

There will not be a control beer to compare the results of this lager but we have a good memory of lager brewed in the past. The ultimate result would be an excellent German lager – clear, crisp, and slightly hoppy.

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