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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: Steve L on March 02, 2014, 03:13:02 PM

Title: When calculating water additions do you adjust for grain/absorption loss?
Post by: Steve L on March 02, 2014, 03:13:02 PM
I was sitting here plugging numbers into brewers friend water calc and a thought hit me. I figure my water adjustments based on total mash volume including the water lost from absorption to make sure my RA and PH are correct. But what about after sparging. Will my overall water adjustment be flawed due to the grain absorption water loss and should I be adjusting for this? (or am I splitting hairs). I typically do 2.5 gallon batches and my water loss to absorption is about 1/2 quart per pound of grain. so with my current brew that equates to about 3.25 quarts lost. Any suggestions are appreciated!

Thanks
Title: Re: When calculating water additions do you adjust for grain/absorption loss?
Post by: duboman on March 02, 2014, 03:21:28 PM
I don't account for the grain absorption or losses but there is a difference between the water profile of the mash and the sparge. During the mash the grain will affect the pH of the strike water and that water will be adjusted to account for this. During the sparge, the water should be adjusted as well so the pH is in the proper range but the adjustment might be different to get the desired level.

I use Bru'n water and note that it allows for both mash and sparge adjustments and typically they are slightly different in what needs to be added.

Take my comments lightly as this is my basic understanding with a lot of learning to come, perhaps Martin or someone with a greater understanding can chime in:)
Title: Re: When calculating water additions do you adjust for grain/absorption loss?
Post by: Jimmy K on March 02, 2014, 03:29:10 PM
Grain that absorbs water will also absorb dissolved minerals, so you don't need to worry that you are concentrating the minerals. 

Boiling would concentrate minerals. But I also think you can be confident that any recommended mineral levels are for total water volume and account for any loses during brewing.
Title: Re: When calculating water additions do you adjust for grain/absorption loss?
Post by: Steve L on March 02, 2014, 03:34:55 PM
Grain that absorbs water will also absorb dissolved minerals, so you don't need to worry that you are concentrating the minerals. 

Sent from my XT1030 using Tapatalk

 Should I worry about calcium loss affecting fermentation/yeast health. I typically use the profile ranges from the Water book and go towards the high side of calcium for the style I'm brewing. I guess my biggest worry was enough minerals for proper fermentation.
Title: Re: When calculating water additions do you adjust for grain/absorption loss?
Post by: duboman on March 02, 2014, 03:37:14 PM
IIRC, calcium should be at minimum 50ppm for yeast health. Yeast nutrient is also beneficial particularly for zinc.
Title: Re: When calculating water additions do you adjust for grain/absorption loss?
Post by: HoosierBrew on March 02, 2014, 03:44:12 PM
+1 to all the above. ~ 50ppm Ca for ales, but often less works fine for lagers. I'm pretty sure I've seen Martin answer the question about grain absorption with a no. If you use Bru'nWater you'll estimate your pH very accurately.
Title: Re: When calculating water additions do you adjust for grain/absorption loss?
Post by: Steve L on March 02, 2014, 03:49:25 PM
+1 to all the above. ~ 50ppm Ca for ales, but often less works fine for lagers. I'm pretty sure I've seen Martin answer the question about grain absorption with a no.

This may be why Brewers friend states that Total water volume may be more than mash and sparge volumes. cool. I'm gonna check out Martin's site.
Title: Re: When calculating water additions do you adjust for grain/absorption loss?
Post by: Jimmy K on March 02, 2014, 04:08:35 PM
Grain that absorbs water will also absorb dissolved minerals, so you don't need to worry that you are concentrating the minerals. 

Sent from my XT1030 using Tapatalk

 Should I worry about calcium loss affecting fermentation/yeast health. I typically use the profile ranges from the Water book and go towards the high side of calcium for the style I'm brewing. I guess my biggest worry was enough minerals for proper fermentation.
Explained another way, if you start with 8 gallons of 50ppm calcium water and grain absorbs 1.5 gallons, you wind up with 6.5 gallons of 50ppm calcium water, so the mineral concentration status the same.
Title: Re: When calculating water additions do you adjust for grain/absorption loss?
Post by: HoosierBrew on March 02, 2014, 04:44:46 PM
Grain that absorbs water will also absorb dissolved minerals, so you don't need to worry that you are concentrating the minerals. 

Sent from my XT1030 using Tapatalk

 Should I worry about calcium loss affecting fermentation/yeast health. I typically use the profile ranges from the Water book and go towards the high side of calcium for the style I'm brewing. I guess my biggest worry was enough minerals for proper fermentation.
Explained another way, if you start with 8 gallons of 50ppm calcium water and grain absorbs 1.5 gallons, you wind up with 6.5 gallons of 50ppm calcium water, so the mineral concentration status the same.

That was the explanation Martin gave IIRC. Pretty helpful.
Title: Re: When calculating water additions do you adjust for grain/absorption loss?
Post by: Steve L on March 02, 2014, 04:48:06 PM
excellent. that's what I needed.