Bubba Juice Homebrew

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I brew the beer I drink..

Tucson Homebrew Club meeting #2

I attended my second THC meeting last night. The topic was water chemistry. A pretty tough topic to talk about. Especially since it was not narrowed down in anyway. The speaker covered the different ions that contribute to the beer taste and yeast health. However, this was just a very brief overview. What did pique people’s interest though was how to adjust our local water to suite our the style that we are brewing.

They talked about the Chloride (CL) to Sulfate (SO4) ratio particularly. We sampled several beers that should have different CL:SO4 ratios that should extenuate the different malty to bittering flavors. These were Krušovice Imperial (Czech Pilsener), Left Hand Polestar Pilsner (German Pilsener), and Fullers ESB (Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB). Probably one more, but I can’t remember. As they talked about the BJCP style guidlines for each style, you can clearly tell how this ion ratio is affecting each beer fairly well.

This was just a small overview on water chemistry and further reading is needed. I would recommend Chapter 15 of John Palmers “How to Brew” and the four part podcast on the Brewing Network (1, 2, 3, 4).

As how this all relates to me: I’m currently at the point of just trying to dial my all grain process to hit my efficiency, mash temperature, and specific gravity. So, I’m not too overly concerned with the water profile. I know that to make GREAT beer, the water profile has to be taken into consideration. I’m purposefully avoiding most of it for now. However, as I intend on competing at some point in the future, I will begin working it into my brewing.

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