Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: roguejim on October 14, 2010, 02:05:08 AM

Title: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: roguejim on October 14, 2010, 02:05:08 AM
If you wanted to make this water more suitable to a German Pils, what would you do for a 7gal batch?

Na...8
K....<1
Ca...17
Mg...6
Total Hardness...68

NO3-N...1.3
S04-S...<1
Cl...2

C03...<1
HC03...93
Total Alkalinity...77
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 14, 2010, 02:54:41 AM
I would increase the Ca and cut the HCO3.
Maybe use some RO water to drop the HCO3 and some CaCl2 and Gypsum to raise the Ca.

I used RO water and salts to make a profile like this, and it worked really well for a crisp N German Pils.
http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Various_water_recipes#Pilsner_water


Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: a10t2 on October 14, 2010, 03:03:08 AM
I'd dilute 50-50, then add equal parts CaSO4 and CaCl2 to get the calcium back up to 50 ppm. ~0.3 g/gal each should be about right.
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: tschmidlin on October 14, 2010, 05:23:26 AM
I'm going to have to disagree.  For a German pils, that much carbonate is not at all out of line.  I would add calcium sulfate to get you up to 50-150 ppm Ca (depending on how much SO4 you want), but nothing else.  Make that beer first, then decide how you want to tweak the recipe and/or water.  YMMV
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: roguejim on October 14, 2010, 07:13:39 AM
On my judges scoresheet, under Overall Impression:

"Tightly made example.  A bit less sweetness by using a touch of sulfate of chloride may help...I prefer drier examples like Trumer..."

Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: tschmidlin on October 14, 2010, 07:29:56 AM
On my judges scoresheet, under Overall Impression:

"Tightly made example.  A bit less sweetness by using a touch of sulfate of chloride may help...I prefer drier examples like Trumer..."
Pretty sure that should say "or chloride", but adding chloride tends to increase the perception of sweetness - so if you're looking to please this judge then you should add CaSO4 to add to the perception of dryness.

Have you gotten similar feedback from other judges?  And what do you think of it?
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: blatz on October 14, 2010, 01:48:14 PM
I'm going to have to disagree.  For a German pils, that much carbonate is not at all out of line.  I would add calcium sulfate to get you up to 50-150 ppm Ca (depending on how much SO4 you want), but nothing else.  Make that beer first, then decide how you want to tweak the recipe and/or water.  YMMV

+1 to a T.
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: narvin on October 14, 2010, 02:35:50 PM
I agree that you want to add some sulfate and chloride to the water.  With that much bicarbonate, you might also want to add some acid malt (2%-3% of the grist) to bring the pH down.

More info:

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Various_water_recipes
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: denny on October 14, 2010, 03:14:38 PM
Have you gotten similar feedback from other judges?  And what do you think of it?

I know Jim, and he's only gotten feedback from one judge.  I agree with you, Tom, I wouldn't make any big changes based on this single comment.   I advised him to try a couple different things and compare the results based on his own tastes.
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: tschmidlin on October 14, 2010, 07:00:53 PM
I agree with you, Tom
Wait, let me change my answer . . .  ;D
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: Kit B on October 14, 2010, 07:25:54 PM
Add calcium, sulfate & chloride.
You've nearly got a good pilsner water.
Make sure to keep that magnesium down where it is.

Try to keep a nice balance between the sulfate & chloride.
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: roguejim on October 14, 2010, 08:33:21 PM
On my judges scoresheet, under Overall Impression:

"Tightly made example.  A bit less sweetness by using a touch of sulfate of chloride may help...I prefer drier examples like Trumer..."
Pretty sure that should say "or chloride", but adding chloride tends to increase the perception of sweetness - so if you're looking to please this judge then you should add CaSO4 to add to the perception of dryness.

Have you gotten similar feedback from other judges?  And what do you think of it?

Having had a Trumer yesterday, my pils is too sweet, at least for my tastes.
Here is the grain bill that was based on an NHC recipe from the Jamil Show.

Batch Size (Gal):        12.00    Wort Size (Gal):   12.00
Total Grain (Lbs):       19.38
Anticipated OG:          1.048    Plato:             11.80
Anticipated SRM:           3.8
Anticipated IBU:          44.5
Brewhouse Efficiency:       80 %
Wort Boil Time:             60    Minutes

Pre-Boil Amounts
----------------

Evaporation Rate:       2.00    Gallons Per Hour
Pre-Boil Wort Size:   14.00    Gal
Pre-Boil Gravity:      1.041    SG          10.17  Plato


Grain/Extract/Sugar

   %     Amount     Name                          Origin        Potential SRM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 85.2    16.50 lbs. Pilsener                      Belgium        1.037      2
  9.7     1.88 lbs. Munich Malt                   Germany        1.037      8
  5.2     1.00 lbs. Cara-Pils Dextrine Malt                      1.033      2
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: tschmidlin on October 14, 2010, 09:16:21 PM
If it's too sweet, you have a number of options.  Add some CaSO4, based on your water I think it'll be a good thing.  Drop your mash temp, that will help it dry out.  Cut the carapils a bit.

Any of those things will help lower the perception of sweetness, but if you're trying to dial it in I'd change one thing at a time.

Let us know how it goes.
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: roguejim on October 15, 2010, 12:33:27 AM
Thanks.

I'm considering dropping the carapils altogether.

I'm currently mashing at 148F, for 90mins.  Maybe drop the mash temp to 146F?

How much gypsum would you add for a 7gal batch?

I'm not saying I'll be making all of these changes all at once.  Just getting all of my options before me.
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: tschmidlin on October 15, 2010, 03:28:12 AM
I would not go below 148F.  At this point, I'd say cut the carapils to 3%.

For the sulfate, it's your call.  You want the Ca in the mash to be between 50 and 150 ppm.  If you go for the high end of that you're looking at 2.2 grams per gallon of mash water.  That gives you ~325 ppm of SO4 in the mash, but that's not important - if you don't treat your sparge water that number will come back down.

I wouldn't go for it all at once though, I would start with 1 gram per gallon and reduce the carapils and see how it turns out.  But that's me. :)
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: roguejim on October 15, 2010, 04:23:48 AM
Thanks again.

The few times that I've added gypsum to an IPA, it's been directly into the boil kettle.  I guess in the case of the pils ,SO4 goes into the mash tun...
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: tschmidlin on October 15, 2010, 04:25:47 AM
With your water, I'd be adding calcium to the mash every time.  I know I would, because my calcium levels are as low as yours.  Which calcium salt I add depends on the recipe, but I go up to at least 50 ppm in the mash just to aid conversion. :)
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: denny on October 15, 2010, 03:28:59 PM
I agree with you, Tom
Wait, let me change my answer . . .  ;D

OUCH!!
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: bluesman on October 15, 2010, 04:46:23 PM
Here's a thread of interest.

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=1812.0

...and a small power point that might help.

www.jedflight.com/jrhb/water.ppt
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: 1vertical on October 22, 2010, 02:20:56 PM
I somehow feel like a  water chemistry challenged entity that lives in a high mountain desert.

I posted my water report under that heading recently and would like to understand how to better
modify this water (thanks tom for the input over there) But you fellas all are going on about how to
modify your water with so many ppm of this salt or that salt and I gotta ask do you all have
a water chem lab in your kitchen?  How in the world are these exacting levels of minerals determined
and or implemented to change your water chem?  I was following some of Kai's literature and gleaned
the method to ad the chalk under carbonation to some water to dissolve it....but the additions that are
mentioned in this thread leave me in the dust..... ???

I mean, I can get 10 gallons of RO water....then add some of my water back to the mix, but to understand
what the resulting chemistry of that mix will be is highly challenging to my understanding of what I have actually arrived at
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: a10t2 on October 22, 2010, 02:37:55 PM
I mean, I can get 10 gallons of RO water....then add some of my water back to the mix, but to understand what the resulting chemistry of that mix will be is highly challenging to my understanding of what I have actually arrived at

When combining two different waters, just do a weighted average for each ion. (That isn't technically correct, but it's certainly close enough for our purposes.) If you're diluting with distilled/RO water it's really easy: just multiply each concentration by the fraction that's tap water.

So, for example, if your HCO3 is 337 and you mix the water 50-50 with RO, the resulting water will be 337*.5 ~ 168 ppm HCO3. If you use 2 parts RO, 1 part tap, it'll be 337*.333 ~ 112, etc.

Your biggest problem will probably be sulfate. For anything other than a very hoppy beer, you'll need to dilute at least 3:1 just to get that under control.

This may help, depending on where the difficulty lies: http://seanterrill.com/2009/08/08/water-water-everywhere/ It's a decent starting point, at least.
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: 1vertical on October 22, 2010, 02:43:33 PM
a10t2 thanx, now I have a glimmer that did help!

Yeah, my sulfate is 335 ppm and to get that gone is tough

Edit: once I got it running, that nomograph software is Kewl.... thanx again
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: 1vertical on November 10, 2010, 04:29:18 PM
Well not a pilsner but at SRM11 hydrometer tube sample tasted NICE going into secondary.
I think the color is spot on.
Here is a shot of the F.G. this did not get down to a very low gravity for US-05 yeast but it
made it to 5.5% abv.  Just a nice drinkable beer methinks. Similar to Shiner Bock
(http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a87/Vertical1/WaterChem101FG.jpg)

Interesting that when i tasted the brewing water after the additions, it tasted salty to me. Now none of that
is apparent after the yeast chewed on it....thanks Sean
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: richardt on November 10, 2010, 05:43:30 PM
Nice pic.  Just curious--the beer seems a little dark (SRM's higher than I'd expect for a Pils)--was that your goal?  Bluesman's earlier link to another thread mentioned keeping the kettle flame lower and limiting the boil off to 10-15% to prevent darkening of the wort.
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: 1vertical on November 10, 2010, 05:50:10 PM
Nice pic.  Just curious--the beer seems a little dark (SRM's higher than I'd expect for a Pils)--was that your goal?  Bluesman's earlier link to another thread mentioned keeping the kettle flame lower and limiting the boil off to 10-15% to prevent darkening of the wort.

I state it is not a pils...sorry I'm partially off topic by virtue of that, but on topic by virtue of the water chemistry. To answer your question, about my goal, my target was SRM 11.  My other target was to make water suitable for the color of the beer I was trying to brew.
Which is back on topic...that if you have the correct water chemistry for the color of beer you are brewing, your beer
should be better. So in this instance it was amber- friendly water chemistry.  As my water manipulation progresses, I shall indeed try to make some pils friendly water since my well water is not good for that type of beer.
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: 1vertical on November 30, 2010, 05:52:43 AM
Well I gotta add that now I am tasting a glass of this beer and ZOWIE...is it
even better than one of this color brewed with my well water sans modification.

This beer is nicely balanced and smooth and clean on the palate  it may be some
darker than srm 11 but I want to sit it beside a Negra Modelo and do a side by side
taste comparison. It resulted in a beer that is in that venue...thanks again for pointing
me to palmers nomograph.
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: Kaiser on November 30, 2010, 02:42:23 PM
Obviously this is an old thread that I didn’t participate in but I noticed a few points that I want to comment on.

Calcium is neither needed nor does it aid conversion in any significant way. This is a common misconception among home brewers. All calcium does is that it stabilizes a-amylase, which is already fairly stable at commonly used mash temps. Just to illustrate this point further, the congress mash, which is used to determine the malt’s extract potential, is done with distilled water.

When brewing a German beer, go easy with the salt additions. In my Pilsner and Helles beers I shoot for 70 pmm Ca or less. Even in a Pils I’d still make sure that there is some Chloride along with the sulfate.

Just mineral additions to the water will not get you the mash pH you want in a Pils which is why you have to add about 2-3% acid malt to the grist.

If the beer lacks crispness it is more likely that it has an excessive amount of residual fermentable sugars left. This is a result of fermentation and cannot be corrected with mashing. I suggest you do a fast ferment test and make sure the actual batch does ferment to or very close to the FFT attenuation. I found that getting the last few % of attenuation out of a batch takes some time and sometimes even some help by adding fresh yeast. But if I don’t pay attention to that and start cold conditioning too early I’ll end up with a beer that is not as crisp as I want it. Right now I’m brewing a Helles and after having it racked to the secondary keg with some yeast the beer is sitting at ~22 C until it reaches the attenuation I’m shooting for.

1vertical, good to see that the beer turned out great for you. I generally do taste my water after treatment and would not be happy if the water tastes salty. But I also have never bumped the sulfate all the way into the 300s. I’ll be brewing an English beer soon and maybe I should try to burtonize my water.

To answer your question about the determining the mineral additions, I use a scale that has a resolution of 0.01g and a range between 0 and 100g that is perfect for weighing salts. You can get them on Ebay. Just look for jewelry scales.

Kai

Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: tschmidlin on November 30, 2010, 06:27:25 PM
Calcium is neither needed nor does it aid conversion in any significant way. This is a common misconception among home brewers. All calcium does is that it stabilizes a-amylase, which is already fairly stable at commonly used mash temps. Just to illustrate this point further, the congress mash, which is used to determine the malt’s extract potential, is done with distilled water.
That's interesting Kai, I haven't heard that.  Do you have any additional references?  Your illustration with the congress mash is great, but that is evidence that additional calcium is not needed.  The barley will already have some, and presumably enough for self-conversion since crystal malts can be made.  But if a mash was done after the calcium had been chelated or using mutant amylase unable to bind calcium, that would be convincing that calcium is not needed at all.
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: Kaiser on November 30, 2010, 07:04:11 PM
Tom,

You make a good point that I overlooked. I’ll have to rephrase the statement to “no additional calcium is needed”, as you pointed out. But I was getting at the common home brewer wisdom that calcium needs to be added to the mash in order to help conversion. Whatever comes with the grain may or may not help but we won’t change that anyway. I think I read somewhere that the calcium content of grain is minimal, though. But it may be enough to provide stabilization for all the a-amylase molecules and anything more that is added to the mash won’t have an additional effect.

Here is data from a mash series that I ran with different mash water calcium levels:
http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Effects_of_mash_parameters_on_fermentability_and_efficiency_in_single_infusion_mashing#Calcium

Kai

Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: Kaiser on November 30, 2010, 07:33:37 PM
I dug up a paper that touches on that: http://www.jbc.org/content/264/32/19392.full.pdf (The Calcium Requirement for Stability and Enzymatic Activity of Two. Isoforms of Barley Aleurone a-Amylase)

Figure 3 shows the amylase activity over the Ca concentration given as pCa. There is a saturation below pCa = 4. If I have this correctly pCa = -log10([Ca2+]) which means pCa=4 is a molar concentration of 0.0001 Mol/l. This is about 4.0 mg/l Ca.

The unknown here is the concentration on amylase and how much amylase will we have in the mash. But there is a good chance that all the Ca that is needed is not much and it is already available in the malt. After all the amylase also functions in the malt but it doesn’t really need the heat stabilization aspect of Ca.

Kai
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: tschmidlin on November 30, 2010, 07:38:35 PM
I found this paper (http://www.jbc.org/content/264/32/19392.abstract) that determined that calcium is required, but only at a rate of "one atom of Ca2+/molecule of enzyme"   ::)  They also found that the enzymes were "irreversibly inactivated by incubation in low Ca2+"  So plenty should be carried over from the malt, even if there's not that much to start with.  It's interesting though, that they found a 10-fold difference in binding affinity between the different isoforms of the enzyme.

I also found this one (http://www.jmb.or.kr/journal/viewJournal.html?year=2008&vol=18&num=4&page=730) that shows it is much more important for malting (activity on insoluble starch) than mashing (activity on soluble starch), but even then only one of the enzymes showed a significant benefit on insoluble starch from higher levels of calcium, and both were inhibited by very high levels.  For soluble starch, there isn't much difference between either enzyme over the range of calcium concentrations tested.

Here's a nice figure from the paper, panel A is insoluble starch, panel B is soluble starch.  And for anyone reading this who doesn't know, you can convert mM calcium to ppm calcium by multiplying by 40.

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_j-Iuc3I_JMk/TPVQSSOjYII/AAAAAAAAAGY/fXTo-cHVK8w/s512/amylase.jpg)

<edit> I see you found the same paper :)
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: mabrungard on November 30, 2010, 10:23:42 PM
I'll agree with Kai that excess Ca is not needed for conversion and enzme activity.  But, there are reasons to have a moderate Ca concentration in the water.  The primary reason is to provide a medium to precipitate undesirable components from the wort in the mash and the boil. 

Last month, I polled a number of brewers that had indicated that they sometimes suffer from beerstone in their systems.  In all cases, low calcium concentration in their brewing water was confirmed.  Calcium is an important complexing medium for precipitating oxalate from wort.  The same thing applies to other hop and protein complexs that also drop out in the mash and boil. 

I'm not sure that a minimum calcium concentration of 50 ppm is really the "minimum" that we should strive for in our brewing water, but I am in agreement that having a lot more calcium in the brewing water does not appear to be needed. 

Good work by Kai and Tom.  I learned something from them.

Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on November 30, 2010, 11:08:25 PM
I want to have enough calcium in my beer that I do not have to drink milk  ;D  8)

I apologize for this comment up front.

Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: hopfenundmalz on December 01, 2010, 01:44:06 AM
Martin - Any advice as to what I should be targeting for the Ca addition to RO water?  100 to 150 ppm?
Title: Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
Post by: mabrungard on December 01, 2010, 02:01:28 PM
I don't see a need to have a high calcium content in brewing water, except as needed to balance elevated sulfate, chloride, bicarbonate content.  I do not know what the minimum calcium should be, but I know that one of the major American brewers that I have consulted with uses a nearly Pilsen-like calcium content of around 13 ppm.  I'm sure they would have beerstone problems if they didn't have a very active cleaning protocol.  With regard to a minimum that I would use...I suggest that 40 to 50 ppm calcium would be safe and provide adequate calcium for the precipitation reactions. 

With regard to the upper calcium limit, it will depend upon the other ions that you desire in your water.  For instance, Burton water has huge sulfate, chloride, and bicarbonate concentrations that would be difficult to balance if you didn't allow high calcium concentration.  Increasing the magnesium or sodium concentrations to balance the high anion concentrations would quickly produce undesirable flavor in the finished beer.  Many of the water profiles from world brewing centers have calcium concentrations approaching 100 ppm and Burton and Dortmund are over 200 ppm.  Big numbers, but still suitable for brewing.

Another thing that I've recognized for water profiles, the cation content has to increase as the bicarbonate content is increased for darker beer styles (increased RA for darker beer).  Again, you should try to keep the magnesium or sodium content relatively low and increase the calcium content as needed to balance the increased bicarbonate concentration that is needed to buffer the effect of the dark grain acidity.  So, the bottom line is that water for darker styles should have higher calcium content than needed for pale styles.