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I have been using Martin Brungard's Bru'n Water spreadsheet to build up my water profiles from distilled water. This has worked very well for the dozen or so ales I've made. This weekend, I'll be brewing a Maibock (my first lager), and I'm not sure which water profile to aim for. The "yellow malty", "yellow balanced", "amber malty", and "amber balanced" sound close, but I'm not sure which one is the best fit. Also, there is an "american lager" profile, but no other lager-specific profiles. So, my question is, what water profile should I use? If it makes any difference, I'm using the Angel Wings all-grain recipe from Brewing Classic Styles.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The spreadsheet gives color ranges for "yellow" and "amber", so after you put your recipe together you select the color profile. Malty or balanced will depend on the recipe, also. In general, though, I think you could go with either and be OK.

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Thanks. I was starting to come to the same conclusion, but it's nice to get a confirmation. The recipe comes out as 7 SRM, so I could probably go either way. I think I'll go with "yellow balanced." I can always tweak it next time if it doesn't come out just right this time. – JesterVineo Mar 15 '12 at 1:19
You can always email Martin and ask him, too. He's a great guy and very responsive to emails. – Denny Conn Mar 15 '12 at 2:29

I've not brewed a maibock, but I've brewed plenty of Munich Helles which the BJCP says the maibock is a stronger version of. Since it's a malt-forward style, mostly on account of the large amount of malt and proportinally less hops.

I would use a neutral profile or one that accentuates the malt, and achieve the hop balance in the quantity of hops used, rather than trying to eek out more hoppiness by adding sulphates. A little carbonate may be helpful, as is typical of Munich water, to help offset the darker munich malt.

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You could look-up the water profile from Einbeck north Germany, where the style originated. You'd get some authenticity points too. The reason they used the malts they did, in many cases, was to help out with controlling the pH of the mash, so by using some of those profiles, you're actually making it harder to convert in the mash. But that 'struggle' might just be what gives the beer it's character.

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