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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: dean on January 18, 2010, 10:00:45 PM

Title: Water Report
Post by: dean on January 18, 2010, 10:00:45 PM
Wohoooo!  Just got it!!   ;D

Now... I'm new to this so I don't really know what to make of it yet.  Here is the report.  Suprisingly the sulfates are low so I don't know why I'm getting such harsh and dry bittering?
pH: 7.8
Na: 6
K: <1
Ca: 50
Mg: 18
Total Hardness CaC03: 200
N03-N: <.1 (SAFE)
S04-S: 5
Cl: 6
C03: <1
HC03: 221
Total Alkalinity CaC03: 181

So... what the hell is this telling me?   :D   ???
Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: dean on January 18, 2010, 10:02:49 PM
Maybe "harsh" is the wrong word... overpowering may be more correct.
Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: Kaiser on January 19, 2010, 04:01:44 AM
Suprisingly the sulfates are low so I don't know why I'm getting such harsh and dry bittering?

I don't think its the sulfates. Its your alkalinity. You have fairly alkaline water and light beers don't have enough acidity in the grist to lower your mash pH into the 5.4 - 5.6 range. As a result your boil pH is high and you extract more and harsher bitterness from the hops.

There are a number of options you have:

dillution + gypsum and or calcium chloride
lactic acid addition + gypsum and or calcium chloride

You can also reduce the alkalinity by adding some more calcium and boiling your water. As you may have already noticed in cooking this precipitates chalk. If you let that chalk settle and decant the clear water you'll have lower alkalinity water. But that takes a lot of additional energy. An alternative is the use of slacked lime (a.k.a pickling lime) but that is a rather advanced process that I don't want to get into now.

Kai
Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: dean on January 19, 2010, 12:26:44 PM
Thanks Kai.  :)  

I'm kinda confused on putting in either the CaC03 from the HC03 or the total hardness? on Palmer's spreadsheet, it asks for the source water in step 2 and again later from the total alkalinity?   Am I reading that right?

I went to your site Kai but I couldn't find the water calculator, did you remove it?

Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: Hokerer on January 19, 2010, 02:23:15 PM
I went to your site Kai but I couldn't find the water calculator, did you remove it?

It's still there...

http://braukaiser.com/documents/Kaiser_water_calculator.xls (http://braukaiser.com/documents/Kaiser_water_calculator.xls)
Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: Kaiser on January 19, 2010, 04:41:17 PM
I'm kinda confused on putting in either the CaC03 from the HC03 or the total hardness? on Palmer's spreadsheet, it asks for the source water in step 2 and again later from the total alkalinity?   Am I reading that right?

I think I need to clean up that confusion in the instructions. What we brewers need to know is Alkalinity: the water’s ability to neutralize acid. If the water report gives that it should be entered. If Alkalinity is not given it can be calculated from bicarbonate by making the assumption that the water pH is lower than ~8.5. That’s why a lot of spreadsheets allow for entering bicarbonates (HCO3-). While Alkalinity and hardness have the same unit (ppm as CaCO3) they are not necessarily the same.


Quote
I went to your site Kai but I couldn't find the water calculator, did you remove it?

Yes, I renamed it since water_calculator.xls was a bit too generic. But I should have updated all the links as well.
Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: dean on January 19, 2010, 08:00:39 PM
I've been playing with J.Palmer's spreadsheet and after reading your last post, Kai, I'm supposing I should enter the total alkalinity CaC03 ppm where I had been entering the the bicarbonate HC03 ppm in the section it asked.  I understand that JP's program will work either way as long as I select which one I want to use and input the correct ppm profile for whichever one is selected.  But it appears to change the adjusted profile if I go from one to the other without changing any of the other inputs.

When I give the program an SRM value and have my water profile it tells me I need additional water hardness, should I try to add that much more so the adjusted profile has that much in addition to what it started with?  I've messed with it quite a bit and the more I do it the more I understand it but I also like the KISS approach so I went with lactic acid alone and it adjusted the profile enough to where its balanced but I'm afraid I won't get as much aroma or flavor from the hops with such low S04 or will it only effect the character of the bitterness?  I followed the link to your spreadsheet program but I can't input anything, its protected so its read only.  Do I have to register and log on or something?

Sorry to be a pain.   :-[ 
Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: Hokerer on January 19, 2010, 08:45:47 PM
I followed the link to your spreadsheet program but I can't input anything, its protected so its read only.  Do I have to register and log on or something?

You do understand that you can only enter things into the cells that are "grey", right?  The "yellow" cells are the results of calculations and are protected.
Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: dean on January 19, 2010, 09:13:25 PM

You do understand that you can only enter things into the cells that are "grey", right?  The "yellow" cells are the results of calculations and are protected.

Arghhh!  I was trying it backwards, its the yellow on JP's spreadsheet so you know I didn't "READ" the little table at the top.   ::)   :D  Thanks!   ;D
Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: Kaiser on January 19, 2010, 09:16:35 PM
I followed the link to your spreadsheet program but I can't input anything, its protected so its read only.  Do I have to register and log on or something?

You do understand that you can only enter things into the cells that are "grey", right?  The "yellow" cells are the results of calculations and are protected.

Yes it's protected so you don't change anything that doesn't need changing. You can also un-protect it if you want.

Note that John and I use different algorithms for calculating the necessary residual alkalinity based on the beer color.

What beer color are you going for?

Kai

Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: dean on January 19, 2010, 09:40:02 PM
I'm just playing with them now but I think I'm going to do two different batches, one with an SRM of about 7 to 10 and one with an SRM of about 3 to 6.  I'd like to do a pilsen sometime soon I'm thinking 80% distilled water.  I am getting sooo tired of dark beer.   :D

How do I input for using lactic acid... I see it says % of water, I plugged in 1 just to see what it would do but I didn't see anything change.  I'll mess with it some more, I'm going to have to learn more about the metric system.  I think this might help get me motivated again.   ;D
Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: Kaiser on January 19, 2010, 10:01:20 PM
I took the liberty to fill in the numbers for your water, set the units to lb and gal and made an assumption about the amount of water and grain you’ll be using.

http://braukaiser.com/documents/misc_forum/Kaiser_water_calculator_for_dean.xls

When you enter lactic acid (88% or acid malt) as % of water the water treatment becomes independent from the actual water volume which might be helpful.

I assumed 10lb of grain and a strike water volume of 4 gal. This gives a mash thickness of 1.6 qt/lb. To estimate the mash pH the spread sheet needs to know the mash thickness in addition to the beer color and residual alkalinity.

Once you enter the beer color you get a mash pH estimate. That estimate should be between 5.3 and 5.6. To make a 5 SRM beer with your water I can add 1% of the water’s weight as acid malt. This drops the residual alkalinity to -190 ppm CaCO3 and gives a mash pH estimate of 5.3. I also added 100 ppm gypsum to boost your calcium and sulfate levels.

If you want to dilute the water with distilled or RO water, enter the percentage of your tap water into E18. If you choose 50/50 enter 50%. Now cut back on the acid malt and lower it to 0.8% of the water weight. That gives you about the same mash pH.

Kai

Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: dean on January 20, 2010, 06:52:54 PM
Thanks Kai!   :)   I spent a couple of hours yesterday and last night messing with all of the calculators too.  I've been calling the pharmacies and health food stores... nobody carries any of these minerals in their pure form that is food grade.  Everything is cut with something, magnesium, talc, phosphorus, etc.  So I'm going to order some online.  I have a couple of minerals now I just need to see which ones I have, I know I have lactic acid, epsom salt and I think I have calcium chloride but it may be calcium carbonate so I have to look to be sure.  It amazed me that none of the pharmacies carry gypsum.  When I was a kid the pharmacys were old school and stocked all sorts of mineral salts etc.  I guess I'll order some acid malt while I'm at it.   :)

Thanks again!   ;D
Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: uisgue on January 31, 2010, 05:15:03 PM
Reading this thread, I am wondering if my water is too alkaline also.  Last spring I moved a couple of hundred miles and now have different water.  I have noticed a pronounced harshness to the bitterness in the batches I have done here.  I have never fiddled with the water chemistry before, but I have some Gypsum on hand.  I am thinking that I could add a few grams (10 gallon batches) and see if it helps.  I have no numbers to work with.  I would be trying to work bass-ackwards from the symptoms.  Plausible?
Thanks, Doug
Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: denny on January 31, 2010, 05:27:25 PM
Difficult, Doug.  I'd recommend spending $16.50 and getting test W-6 from Ward Labs.  Check it out at wardlab.com .  That way, you aren't shooting in the dark.
Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: dean on January 31, 2010, 05:37:40 PM
The $16.50 that Ward Labs charges is well worth the money, it takes out the guesswork and not having to dump a batch or more trying to get it down right when you could possibly add the wrong salts taking you the wrong direction.  I wish I wouldn't have been so bullheaded and done it sooner, heck I've spent more than that on commercial beer in one weekend.  

Btw, Denny, what is your water report like out there?
Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: denny on January 31, 2010, 05:51:55 PM
Dean, going from memory, it's on the slightly hard, slightly carbonate side.  pH about 7.4, IIRC.  I used to get a test twice a year, but it's been several years now and I really need to send in another sample.
Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: Kaiser on January 31, 2010, 06:04:12 PM
You don't have to send in regular samples. Just get a GH&KH test kit and test the water once in a while. If it didn't change you don't need to send in a sample. This also works well for brewers on a water supply that may change with the seasons.

Kai
Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: denny on January 31, 2010, 06:08:14 PM
That's a good idea, Kai, and I think that's what I'll do after I send a sample this time.  I'm on a well and the water can change some, so I'd like to establish a current baseline.
Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: dean on January 31, 2010, 06:09:43 PM
I think I'll pick one up too Kai, I don't know if my water changes with the seasons here or not.  I'm about a half a mile from the Muskegon river so it may.  Is that the test kit sold for fish aquariums?  
Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: summy on January 31, 2010, 08:12:47 PM
Question...  I ordered the kit suggested.  Since I use my outside faucet and I use a carbon filter, should I run the test water to be submitted through the carbon filter outside like when I brew?  Or can I just use my inside water?
Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: denny on January 31, 2010, 08:18:18 PM
I assume you want to test the water that you're actually using to brew...the filtered water.
Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: Kaiser on January 31, 2010, 08:36:01 PM
Is that the test kit sold for fish aquariums? 

Yes. Although there might also be use for that test in pools it is mostly used for aquariums.

Kai
Title: Re: Water Report
Post by: summy on January 31, 2010, 10:43:35 PM
Yes Denny.  I use the water supply outside my house (same one I use to water plants, wash the car, etc.) run through a carbon filter that came with my B3-1500 from MoreBeer.  Now I assume that that water is the same as the water that comes out of our kitchen sink, but who knows (about the pipes, etc.)?  I'm not sure about how particular they are about the sample that you send into them.