Water profile for Shepherd Neame

(That's water to the rest of us!) Beer is about 95% water, so if you want to discuss water treatment, filtering etc this is the place to do it!
NeilE1970
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Water profile for Shepherd Neame

Post by NeilE1970 » Sat Feb 03, 2024 4:44 pm

Hopefully this is the correct place for this post…
I’m looking to make a few Shepherd Neame beers….bombardier and spitfire.
Would anyone have any water profiles I could aim for please?
I have emailed the brewery but as yet and not unexpectedly…no reply.
Many thanks
Neil

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Re: Water profile for Shepherd Neame

Post by themadhippy » Sat Feb 03, 2024 7:32 pm

I’m looking to make a few Shepherd Neame beers….bombardier and spitfire
unless marstons have been flogging off the silver again bombadier is,and always was a charles wells beer
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Re: Water profile for Shepherd Neame

Post by NeilE1970 » Sat Feb 03, 2024 8:00 pm

Doh! Yeh my mistake. On the bombardier, but I think spitfire is shepherd Neame.
In which case water profile for bombardier too?

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Re: Water profile for Shepherd Neame

Post by NeilE1970 » Sat Feb 03, 2024 8:01 pm

Up too early this morning !

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Re: Water profile for Shepherd Neame

Post by MashBag » Mon Feb 05, 2024 4:40 pm

Did you want those beers specifically, or just that beer type?

Just thinking the Murphy's guide would get you close.

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Re: Water profile for Shepherd Neame

Post by NeilE1970 » Mon Feb 12, 2024 12:14 pm

Sorry for the delayed reply mate.
All I’m wanting to do is to make a clone of Spitfire and I’ve checked this time its Bishops Finger . So all I thought was that there might be someone out there that might have a rough idea at what the water profile is for Shepherd Neame. …or a rough guess at what it could be.

What is the Murphy’s guide?
Thanks for taking the time to post.
Cheers
Neil

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Eric
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Re: Water profile for Shepherd Neame

Post by Eric » Mon Feb 12, 2024 3:06 pm

The water in Faversham will be highly alkaline if drawn from the chalk that abounds in Kent. Untreated, such water is unsuitable for brewing beers like Spitfire, Bishop's Finger and indeed almost any of the beers we drink today. Murphy and Sons have for over a century supplied chemicals and advice to brewers for adjusting the mineral levels in waters that they might be used for manufacturing beer.

From what I can find, water in that region will contain anions at a little over 100ppm calcium, 2ppm magnesium and maybe 10ppm sodium, the cations will likely be around 5 for sulphate and 20 for chloride with alkalinity at 260ppm as CaCO3. By either, and both, sulphuric and hydrochloric acid to reduce the alkalinity to suitable levels for mashing malted barley, I would think Shepherd Neame were able to choose virtually any profile they might care to use for their beers.
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Re: Water profile for Shepherd Neame

Post by NeilE1970 » Tue Feb 13, 2024 3:24 am

Thanks for the info Eric.
I use distilled water for my brews, the water from our well is now not classified as drinkable.
I use Briess pale ale extracts for brewing and have for the last year annd half been adding small amounts of chemicals to the beers that I brew which have turned out phenomenal to be honest.
I add 11g gypsum to the boil. Then I add 8.58g baking soda, 3.12g CaCl2, 6g Epsom, 0.54g NaCl to a US gallon of water and dissolve prior to adding to the wort to bring it up to 6US gallon. To the UK clone beers, mainly bitters and ipas, I’ve been making these additions have made a great difference…and very drinkable.
I have a friend who works in a brewery in that area and I am really hoping to hear from him hopefully with useful info!
I’ll probly end up doing a straight brew then maybe adding micro grams of chems to a pint to see some effects…or go with what I have but maybe cut down on the epsom.
Cheers mate

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Eric
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Re: Water profile for Shepherd Neame

Post by Eric » Tue Feb 13, 2024 4:22 pm

It took me time to understand your method, and as your beers are phenomenal, there might be little I can add to aid your process. It's a very long time since I last brewed with all extract. My next planned beer will include extract, but only because it will be high gravity, as using all grain makes the task more difficult than I would care for at my age.

I take it you live in USA by your use of Breiss extract, having a well and in particular by adding salts for flavour to an otherwise finished beer. In UK we acknowledge brewing salts influence beer taste, but we primarily chose them for the chemical reactions and catalytical effects during the mash, boil and fermentation stages and accordingly add them at the beginning of the process. Calcium is tasteless in the amounts present in beer, magnesium noticeable only when in excess, but sodium does influence taste, often for the better, and is present in both your sodium chloride and baking soda additions. Sodium has minimal influence in brewing, so largely ends up unchanged in the finished beer, and indeed common salt can and has been added to finished UK beers.

Finished beer is usually be between pH 4.5 and 3.8, acidic, so will react strongly with the baking soda, carbonating the beer, but of more concern increases pH to reduce it's resistance to bacterial infection.

I would expect Breiss treated their water to enable the extract of the desirable components of malted barley, and accordingly your extract will likely have a goodly proportion of the desirable minerals necessary to make a beer. I can only agree with your gypsum addition to the boiler, the calcium content will aid the beer to clear and the yeast to flocculate more quickly than without that addition.

I would strongly advise against adding an alkali, baking soda, to fermented beer, it undoes some of the good work by yeast. You might add the Calcium chloride and Epsom salts to the boil where some of both calcium and magnesium would deposit with phosphates that can muddy beer tastes, and as said, no reason not to add salt to the finished beer if you find it improves the finished product.

Good luck.
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Re: Water profile for Shepherd Neame

Post by NeilE1970 » Thu Feb 15, 2024 6:39 pm

Hi Eric
Many thanks for that info it is invaluable to me.
I’m not sure you understand fully as you mention adding bicarbonate to finished beer.
If for instance I’m making a 6gallon batch my boil is usually around 3-3.5 gallons.
At the end I cool down the wort in the sink with ice till it almost reaches the correct temp which I add the yeast 68F whatever that is in real money.
Then when I’m adding the extra water to bring it up to 6gal I add in a gallon of water which I have added my chems to excluding the gypsum. The gallon of water include the chems which are calibrated for 6 gallons. So the yeast is then added to the wort which has the chems added already. No chems are added after the yeast is pitched.
If this is pointless then I am happy to bow to greater knowledge and you know what youre talking about.
Does this make any difference to your previous post.
Many thanks for taking the time I really do appreciate it.
I don’t use our well water but distilled instead.
Cheers mate

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Re: Water profile for Shepherd Neame

Post by Eric » Thu Feb 15, 2024 9:10 pm

Right, I did get it wrong, thinking other than gypsum, your additions were made after fermentation rather than before. So, I retract my comments about all of your additions, except for the baking soda.

Baking soda is usually an addition if mashing a dark all grain recipe in soft, distilled or RO water. It will provide alkalinity that those liquors lack and darker grains demand, lest pH becomes lower than optimum for conversion of starch to sugars. That process has happened when extract is made, so its addition will simply raise your wort's pH above what is usual prior to fermentation. I would be surprised if a baking soda addition would improve a brew made using extract.
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Re: Water profile for Shepherd Neame

Post by NeilE1970 » Fri Feb 16, 2024 3:50 am

Ah ok Eric. So I will actually leave out the bicarb next time I brew and see if there’s any distinguishable difference….and if it is detrimental to the shelf life of the beer then I’m actually better without it so many thanks for that.
As I’m an ex pat Yorkshireman living in New York State on Long Island and a pretty stubborn one at that I pretty much brew stuff I’m used to and try to bring a bit of the homeland into my home. I’ve made pretty reasonable clones of Stones Bitter, John Smiths Bitter, Banks’s Bitter, Worthington White Shield, Castle Eden Fuggles IPA, Flowers IPA all using the above method and water additions and all have been highly drinkable.
On the go at the moment and ready t bottle int’mornin is my own recipe of a clone attempt of Sam Adams Juicy IPA which was an incredible beer I tried just after Christmas; the tastes I’ve had from the fermentor bucket have been extremely encouraging and I’m really looking forward to when I can try a conditioned bottle in a few weeks.
Many thanks again for your time mate, much appreciated.

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Re: Water profile for Shepherd Neame

Post by Eric » Fri Feb 16, 2024 11:12 am

It will be interesting if you can distinguish any difference there might be. it is the norm for wort to be at around pH 5.2 when fermentation begins, and during the fermentation process, yeast will acidify the green beer to somewhere around pH 4. I would expect baking soda added to the wort would raise its pH, but as many reactions occur during the boil, I'm at a total loss to know what the overall effect sodium bicarbonate might have, except that the boil would likely start at a higher pH than is usual and optimal and the yeast may struggle at the start if the pH remains low.

OK on your past in Yorkshire, I'm sure you'll have plenty of good memories. I have lived and worked surrounded by heavy industry and the North Yorks Dales and Moors and their pubs were within an hour's drive and a another world for me.

I began brewing using extract in the sixties, when knowledge and ingredients were hard to come by, so what I produced cannot compare with what might be achieved today. In those days I certainly couldn't claim my beers resembled anything.
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Re: Water profile for Shepherd Neame

Post by NeilE1970 » Fri Feb 16, 2024 12:56 pm

But don’t forget Eric, I don’t put any water additions in the boil other than the gypsum.
The effect I’m getting I am assuming is making an extract beer with water from Burton….thats my thinking anyway….but with purish water in the boil.

I’m actually from Rotherham in a mining area…and worked in a WMC for about 12-13 years. Many happy memories…great down to earth people and it gave me confidence in myself…always being a very shy lad when I was younger.
My recipes are all down to Grahams books and a few from Dave Line..and a little bit of tweaking with the knowledge that I’m accumulating.
I’d love to give full grain a go but my time is very limited and extracts are doing the job at the moment. My immediate family and friends are liking the different flavours from them at least.
I bottle my beer too and use the coopers dextrose carbonation drops which work very well for me and the beers I’m making.
I remember my dad when I was about 5ish doing an ‘omebrew kit . I don’t think it went well. Things were definitely much more difficult then definitely.

Thanks again for your information Eric, much appreciated.
Have a very enjoyable weekend
Neil

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Re: Water profile for Shepherd Neame

Post by MashBag » Fri Feb 16, 2024 2:10 pm

Eric
This raises a good question.

Would you still adjust alkalinity, with say AMS, if you are just making up a kit? Not mashing.

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