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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: Jackbflyin on December 18, 2021, 11:30:00 am

Title: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: Jackbflyin on December 18, 2021, 11:30:00 am
I created a vanilla Porter and each of the three software. However bru’n water gave 4.98 pH when BrewFather and BeerSmith gave 5.44.  Normally I use bru’n water for deciding how to treat my RO water but in this case I think it’s off. Any explanations why the difference?
input 2 row-base malt, caramel 40L-crystal malt, chocolate- roast, black patent-roast, munich light- base, roasted barley-roast.

Vanilla Porter-recipe
Water target- Brown Balanced. Ca50/Mg10/Na27/S70/C55/B90
RO water
Fermentables (12 lb 12 oz)
9 lb - Mash - Pale Malt 2-Row 2 °L (70.6%)
1 lb 8 oz - Mash - Caramel Malt 40L 40 °L (11...
1 lb - Chocolate 350 °L (7.8%)
12 oz - Mash - Black (Patent) Malt 369.7 °L (...
4 oz - Mash - Munich 7.9 °L (2%)
4 oz - Mash - Roasted Barley 300 °L (2%)
Hops (1.85 oz)
60 min - 0.25 oz - Chinook - 13% (11 IBU)
30 min - 0.6 oz - Tettnang (Tettnang Tettnage...
15 min - 0.5 oz - Perle - 8.2% (7 IBU)
5 min - 0.5 oz - Goldings, East Kent - 5% (2...
Miscellaneous
Mash - 0.18 g - Baking Soda (NaHCO3)
Mash - .96 g - Calcium Chloride (CaCl2)
Mash - 0.86 g - Canning Salt (NaCl)
Mash - 1.06g - Chalk (CaCO3)
Mash - 1.68 g - Epsom Salt (MgSO4)
Mash - .96 g - Gypsum (CaSO4)
Sparge - 0.96 g - Calcium Chloride (CaCl2)
Sparge - 0.86 g - Canning Salt (NaCl)
Sparge - 1.68 g - Epsom Salt (MgSO4)
Sparge - .96 g - Gypsum (CaSO4)
10 min - Boil - 0.1 oz - Irish Moss
10 min - Boil - 0.5 tsp - Yeast Nutrients
Yeast
1 pkg - Fermentis Safale American US-05
Title: Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: lupulus on December 18, 2021, 12:56:47 pm
Why don't you buy a pH meter if you are worried?
There are lots of assumptions for malt pH contributions in software.
Software is helpful to get you in the ballpark.

Sent from my SM-G981U1 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: Jackbflyin on December 18, 2021, 03:26:56 pm
Yes, I have a pH meter and will check and adjust my mash pH as needed on brew-day. It will be interesting tomorrow to see how the actual numbers read.  Bru'n Water has been very close to actual experienced data for me and the other programs have been in the ballpark too.  It's just not even close in pH to the other two programs in planning for this batch/style. I'm just curious if anyone else has had a similar experience and pinpointed the disconnect. Thanks for the input!
Title: Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: jjflash on December 19, 2021, 08:29:37 am
Bru'n Water has been the most accurate for me.
BeerSmith is always way off, almost double the acid amount.
I spent better part of a year trying to get BeerSmith to work to no avail.
Gave up and use Bru'm Water exclusively.
Agree some have software issues under certain conditions.
Title: Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: Andy Farke on December 19, 2021, 09:54:15 am
FWIW, BeerSmith's default pH model of "MPH 3" tends to be off (recommending double the optimal lactic acid additions, as noted elsewhere in this thread). If you switch to "BW" (which is supposed to be based on the Bru'N Water model), you will get (in my experience) far more representative results.

As an example, I built a grist of 10 lb. 2-row, 1 lb crystal 60, and 0.5 lb. crystal 120, with my (high carbonate load) tap water as the water. For the BW Model, BeerSmith calculated a mash pH of 6.03 for the BW model and recommended 7.6 mL of 88% lactic acid to get to a pH of 5.2. BeerSmith calculated a mash pH of 5.73 for the MPH 3 model, but recommended 11.7 mL of 88% lactic acid to hit 5.2. (I don't have "real-world" pH to report for this thought experiment). Based on past experience, I've found that the BW Model does better for my usual system.

If it's a HUGE worry, you're probably best switching to Bru'N Water, which really is excellent and has a ton of detail. That said, although I've played with Bru'N Water, I've stuck with BS3 for pH calculations: 1) it is one less software tool and one less step for me to worry about; 2) I don't care about pH *that* much (maybe I'll change my mind later); and 3) I've figured out my system to the point where I feel pretty comfortable in its behavior and my results.

I've also just noticed that MPH 4.2 has been created as a standalone spreadsheet, but I haven't played with that at all.'

Also, I ran across this post with a head-to-head comparison: https://www.brewginner.com/beersmith-vs-bru-n-water/ (https://www.brewginner.com/beersmith-vs-bru-n-water/)
Title: Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: denny on December 19, 2021, 10:15:04 am
Bru'n Water has been the most accurate for me.
BeerSmith is always way off, almost double the acid amount.
I spent better part of a year trying to get BeerSmith to work to no avail.
Gave up and use Bru'm Water exclusively.
Agree some have software issues under certain conditions.

That has been my experience also.
Title: Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: Richard on December 19, 2021, 10:24:57 am
I used to use Bru'nWater exclusively. Not only did it give better pH and acid predictions than BeerSmith 2, it can take into account campden and CaOH. Now with the BW model in BeerSmith3 I use that most of the time. I used Bru'nWater to come up with a profile of my tap water with campden added and use that as the base water in BeerSmith3.  I like having everything in one place in BeerSmith. The only time I use Bru'nWater anymore is if I decide I need to add some CaOH, but that is rare.
Title: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: BrewBama on December 19, 2021, 11:44:33 am
After reading Brewing Better Beer, I adopted a different perspective to pH. I quit using any software to plan pH altogether.

I only mash malts/grains that require it. I do not mash malts that don’t require it. (Dark Crystal and Roast malts.) They screw with pH. I hold Dark Crystal and Roast malts to Mash Out (15 minutes)/Sparge (15 minutes). (For a total 30 min hot steep)

I adjust mash pH with 1 tsp CaCl, or 1 tsp Gypsum, or a combo of the two to equal 1 tsp total.  I add this tsp direct to MLT on top of grain. (~50 ppm Ca in 5 gal mash volume). I use calcium sulfate in English styles, calcium chloride in German, Czech, and Belgian styles, and a mix of the two in American styles. Mash pH has been within tolerance every time I mash so I quit measuring after ~10 batches.

I add any other salt additions to the boil (which are very minimal) — targeting post boil volume concentration — using BeerSmith.
Title: Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: denny on December 19, 2021, 12:06:45 pm
After reading Brewing Better Beer, I adopted a different perspective to pH. I quit using any software to plan pH altogether.

I only mash malts/grains that require it. I do not mash malts that don’t require it. (Dark Crystal and Roast malts.) They screw with pH. I hold Dark Crystal and Roast malts to Mash Out (15 minutes)/Sparge (15 minutes). (For a total 30 min hot steep)

I adjust mash pH with 1 tsp CaCl, or 1 tsp Gypsum, or a combo of the two to equal 1 tsp total.  I add this tsp direct to MLT on top of grain. (~50 ppm Ca in 5 gal mash volume). I use calcium sulfate in English styles, calcium chloride in German, Czech, and Belgian styles, and a mix of the two in American styles. Mash pH has been within tolerance every time I mash so I quit measuring after ~10 batches.

I add any other salt additions to the boil (which are very minimal) — targeting post boil volume concentration — using BeerSmith.

If you get the results you like, then that's a great approach.  For me, I found that adding those grains late changed the character of the beer in ways I didn't care for.
Title: Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: BrewBama on December 19, 2021, 12:15:21 pm
Absolutely. It goes without saying I like the results …but if I didn’t I wouldn’t brew that way.
Title: Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: denny on December 19, 2021, 01:16:14 pm
Absolutely. It goes without saying I like the results …but if I didn’t I wouldn’t brew that way.

Likewise!
Title: Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: lupulus on December 19, 2021, 01:50:20 pm
After reading Brewing Better Beer, I adopted a different perspective to pH. I quit using any software to plan pH altogether.

I only mash malts/grains that require it. I do not mash malts that don’t require it. (Dark Crystal and Roast malts.) They screw with pH. I hold Dark Crystal and Roast malts to Mash Out (15 minutes)/Sparge (15 minutes). (For a total 30 min hot steep)

I adjust mash pH with 1 tsp CaCl, or 1 tsp Gypsum, or a combo of the two to equal 1 tsp total.  I add this tsp direct to MLT on top of grain. (~50 ppm Ca in 5 gal mash volume). I use calcium sulfate in English styles, calcium chloride in German, Czech, and Belgian styles, and a mix of the two in American styles. Mash pH has been within tolerance every time I mash so I quit measuring after ~10 batches.

I add any other salt additions to the boil (which are very minimal) — targeting post boil volume concentration — using BeerSmith.
No value judgement in the below.

If your mash pH is 5.4 and you add the dark grains later, your final mash pH will be significantly lower, let's say 5.0.
5.0 is 2.5 times the hydronium concentration of 5.4 pH.

This alters boil chemistry, and most likely final beer, significantly vs the brewer that adjusts to 5.4 with dark grains included.

This chemical alteration is independent of the flavor impact of the dark grains before vs. end of mash.

G Strong never discussed whether his beer was better (according to him) because of dark grains didn't oxidize or the pH effect or a combination of both

Again, no value judgement here. Just an observation.





Sent from my SM-G981U1 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: tommymorris on December 19, 2021, 03:08:31 pm
I use Bru’n Water to design my water and estimate the Lactic acid addition needed for each recipe. I don’t measure PH anymore. I trust it’s in the ballpark. My beer tastes good, efficiency is consistent and good, and the beer is clear.  That’s good enough for me to keep skipping PH measurement.

I used to measure, but I finally decided my meter sucks and I would rather spend my money on something else rather than replace it. The readings were never consistent even on the same batch.

PS. Did BeerSmith license the PH calculation from Martin Brungard?
Title: Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: chinaski on December 19, 2021, 03:52:32 pm
After reading Brewing Better Beer, I adopted a different perspective to pH. I quit using any software to plan pH altogether.

I only mash malts/grains that require it. I do not mash malts that don’t require it. (Dark Crystal and Roast malts.) They screw with pH. I hold Dark Crystal and Roast malts to Mash Out (15 minutes)/Sparge (15 minutes). (For a total 30 min hot steep)

I adjust mash pH with 1 tsp CaCl, or 1 tsp Gypsum, or a combo of the two to equal 1 tsp total.  I add this tsp direct to MLT on top of grain. (~50 ppm Ca in 5 gal mash volume). I use calcium sulfate in English styles, calcium chloride in German, Czech, and Belgian styles, and a mix of the two in American styles. Mash pH has been within tolerance every time I mash so I quit measuring after ~10 batches.

I add any other salt additions to the boil (which are very minimal) — targeting post boil volume concentration — using BeerSmith.
For my (very soft) water I need to adjust mash pH without darker grains to hit the recommended pH; sometimes I do it sometimes I don't.  So I put those darker grains in the mash tun.
Title: Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: Richard on December 19, 2021, 03:59:01 pm
The Gordon Strong method has 3 parts: 1) Start with RO or very soft water and adjust your brewing water to a pH of 5.5, 2) Add calcium chloride and calcium sulfate in the desired ratios to get enough calcium with the chloride/sulfate ratio you want, and 3) hold dark grains out until the end of the mash. BrewBama - do you do step 1? You only talked about steps 2 and 3.
Title: Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: BrewBama on December 19, 2021, 05:48:51 pm
Yes… but I use distilled water. Adjusting it takes very little phosphoric acid because there’s nothing to buffer the change.
Title: Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: Jackbflyin on December 20, 2021, 11:35:03 am
Just to follow up-  The actual mash pH was 5.2 which was the middle of the estimates.
Title: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: BrewBama on March 16, 2022, 05:34:31 am

If your mash pH is 5.4 and you add the dark grains later, your final mash pH will be significantly lower, let's say 5.0.
5.0 is 2.5 times the hydronium concentration of 5.4 pH.

This alters boil chemistry, and most likely final beer, significantly vs the brewer that adjusts to 5.4 with dark grains included.

This chemical alteration is independent of the flavor impact of the dark grains before vs. end of mash.

Just for giggles on my last batch I took pH readings (again).

Grist was 78.6% Golden Promise, 11.9% Golden Naked Oats in the main mash, and 4.8% Double Roasted Crystal held to 30 min mash out/hot steep. Granted not the roastiest of grists but it was what I brewed that day.

The pH from a sample in the BK, prior to boil, cooled to 68°F: 5.4

This is why I quit taking mash pH readings. These theoretical huge pH drops from late additions of roasted malts just don’t happen in my world. Maybe it’s the qty I use or other ingredients like the distilled or RO water, the Brewtan B, or processes like YOS deaeration, mash cap, underlet, HERMS, etc. I dunno but it just works.

I will take some readings from something roastier like a Stout or Porter but I’ve done it before and found little drop (like .1) so, to tell you the truth, here’s where I’ve landed: “Once you understand your water profile and water treatments, you likely won’t worry about mash pH at all.” — G Strong.


If you get the results you like, then that's a great approach.  For me, I found that adding those grains late changed the character of the beer in ways I didn't care for.

While I certainly do not doubt that we each have our preferences on how and why we do the things we do, no offense intended but…. to be fair this wouldn’t be the first time you’ve not given a fair assessment of a process without first denying it’s validity.

Well, after all the times I've told S. Cerevisiae that I've tried it and didn't \care for the results, I decided it was time to give his procedure a fair trial.  Here's what happened....http://www.experimentalbrew.com/blogs/denny/old-dognew-tricks

In that post it says, “I have always told him that I've tried that and didn't care for the results. But I decided that it was time to ditch the old fogey attitude and actually give his method a try.”

So, I question you when you say “adding those grains late changed the character of the beer in ways I didn't care for”. If you have tried it — great.  Maybe my taste buds aren’t properly calibrated ‘cause I really enjoy the results.

I do know five years later Mark wrote in his 09/17/2020 blog post on the Experimental Brew website: “It was like the floodgates of acceptance opened after Denny Conn gave it a shot and wrote about his experience.”

“My conclusions pissed off a lot of people who thought that the more work you do, the better beer you make. Tough. Until YOU do the experiments for yourself, you really don't know. So, get your brew on and find out!” — Denny Conn. 

A year ago, after some frustrating beers that followed all the conventional wisdom, I followed your advice and ‘got my brew on’ by applying the techniques in Brewing Better Beer. I believe they not only work but eliminate a bunch of hassles like a box full of brewing salts, spreadsheets, gram scales, pH meters, etc.  Cheaper, easier, better beer than I ever brewed before (concede: my opinion).

I personally couldn’t be happier with the results but I can understand if someone tries it and decides not to employ the technique(s). …but before throwing a wet blanket on something at least “…ditch the old fogey attitude and actually give his method a try.”  — Denny Conn

If anyone wants Pickling Lime, Epsom Salt, Kmeta, and bottle of Lactic Acid you can have mine. I haven’t used them in over a year. I’ve repurposed the Sea Salt and Baking Soda and want to hang on to the pH test solutions to calibrate my pH meter to test my tomato plant soil.  I have a stir plate around here somewhere, too.
Title: Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: denny on March 16, 2022, 07:50:53 am
Believe me, I have tried the late addition method often enough to have found a difference and establish my preference. My purpose is not to influence anyone but to point out that there is not unanimous consent on the effects and to encourage people to find out for themselves as I did.
Title: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: BrewBama on March 16, 2022, 07:54:31 am
Believe me, I have tried the late addition method often enough to have found a difference and establish my preference. My purpose is not to influence anyone but to point out that there is not unanimous consent on the effects and to encourage people to find out for themselves as I did.
We are in complete agreement about trying things for yourself. The results can be surprising.

However, like or not my friend, you are an influencer thru your books, your website, your podcast, your forum posts, your endorsements, etc.

Cheers!
Title: Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: denny on March 16, 2022, 08:22:31 am
Believe me, I have tried the late addition method often enough to have found a difference and establish my preference. My purpose is not to influence anyone but to point out that there is not unanimous consent on the effects and to encourage people to find out for themselves as I did.
We are in complete agreement about trying things for yourself. The results can be surprising.

However, like or not my friend, you are an influencer thru your books, your website, your podcast, your forum posts, your endorsements, etc.

Cheers!

Unfortunately I realize that is true. It's exactly the reason I stress not to blindly trust me, but to try things for yourself and decide what works for you.
Title: Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: Megary on March 16, 2022, 08:38:32 am
My only hangup with the late addition method is that there needs to be an asterisk because not all brewing waters are created equal.  With my home well water, the dark grains in the full mash act as my necessary pH adjustment.  if I were to hold these dark grains to the end, I would then need to add acid to the mash for pH purposes.  To me, that seems indefensible.  Or am I wrong?  Did they hold the dark grains out in Dublin?  (just kidding)

However, I've never tried the late addition so there's another asterisk.  :)
Title: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
Post by: BrewBama on March 16, 2022, 08:42:58 am
I agree. I should ensure I say this works with RO and distilled. It is clear in BBB G Strong uses RO.

He also makes it clear, and Martin has highlighted in other posts, that a small addition of a weak acid and 50 ppm Ca is used in the mash.