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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: mattc on December 29, 2010, 06:58:09 PM

Title: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: mattc on December 29, 2010, 06:58:09 PM
 was combining and crush all of my grain for this recipe into a 5 gallon bucket. I normally then add all of my water salts to the crushed grain. The problem this time is my digital scale is broken. I usually measure all of my salts in grams. So i decided to use my backup scale which measures grams,but in 10's. (cheap plastic food scale). I started to weigh and add the salts to the crushed grain until realized I was reading the scale wrong. When I though I was adding 3 grams I was actually adding 30!  >:( >:( >:(    . So after pouting for a bit I figured I'd ask the board. What would you do?

water report:
 (http://i56.tinypic.com/280ryc8.jpg)

My actual salt additions are as follow:

30g of calc carbonate should have been 3g
10g of gypsum should have been 1g
10g of calcium chloride should have been 1g
15g of Epsom salts should have been 1.5g
and I almost made it to the baking soda before I realized the big F***ing mistake I was making. I was using the EZ water adjustment sheet. By my estimation My mash will now have:

908 ppm of calcium
77 ppm of magnesium
270ppm of chloride
611 of sulfates
768 is my residual alk (RA)

I have not added mash water to this grain bill yet. Should it be dumped and should I start over again with another 13lbs of grain? Or,should I just brew it and waste all that time and and a nice new yeast starter if its bad, maybe taking it as an experiment?

Please advise guys...Please!!!

recipe:

BeerSmith Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
Recipe: foreign extra stout
Style: Oatmeal Stout
TYPE: All Grain


Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 6.50 gal
Boil Size: 8.31 gal
Estimated OG: 1.062 SG
Estimated Color: 34.7 SRM
Estimated IBU: 29.6 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
11 lbs 12.0 ozPale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 84.58 %
1 lbs 1.1 oz Oats, Flaked (Briess) (1.4 SRM) Grain 7.71 %
8.6 oz Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM) Grain 3.86 %
8.6 oz Roasted Barley (Crisp) (695.0 SRM) Grain 3.86 %
36.00 gm Centennial [8.70 %] (60 min) Hops 29.6 IBU
1 Pkgs London Ale (Wyeast Labs #1028)
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: denny on December 29, 2010, 07:00:08 PM
Well, since your option is to dump the grain, I think I'd go ahead and brew.  It may turn out OK, and you can always dump it later if it doesn't.
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: tygo on December 29, 2010, 07:01:30 PM
If it were me and I had the extra grain I would probably start over.  Like you said, that's a lot of time and effort.  Plus the hops and yeast.

If I didn't have the extra grain though I'd probably brew it up and see what happens.
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: narvin on December 29, 2010, 07:23:44 PM
I would personally not brew with that water.  I doubt it will taste right, although I don't think the Magnesium is quite high enough to act as a laxative.  That could at least be a fun joke to play on people you don't like.
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: euge on December 29, 2010, 07:29:55 PM
Since the damage is done and it's a dark beer why not give it a shot? Or you can divide up the grain by 10 and add it to subsequent batches. Not sure if you'd get an even distribution of the minerals though, but it might lessen the ouch factor.

Conversely, if it really concerns you- as in very uncomfortable with the situation you might as well start over.
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: mabrungard on December 29, 2010, 07:37:27 PM
The money is already spent.  I'd brew with it.  The chalk won't be a big deal since it won't dissolve.  The magnesium is a concern, but I'm not sure that its at a level that would induce a laxative effect.  

If you have pH monitor capability and acid, I would have that at the ready to see if that could help.  Unfortunately, the chalk will dissolve and consume the acid and you may not get any benefit from the acid.  

Its a shame you weren't adding minerals to your mash water and not the grains.  I've never done it the way you are.  Water is cheap and a mistake is no big deal (unless you have to run out and buy more water).  

I might back off the bittering level a little since the water additions may make the beer a little harsh.  The other thing you should remember is that you can always brew another batch that could be blended with this one to even out some faults.  
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: bluesman on December 29, 2010, 07:46:13 PM
How big is your mash tun?

How about doubling the batch size to cut your salts in half?
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: jeffy on December 29, 2010, 07:51:55 PM
How big is your mash tun?

How about doubling the batch size to cut your salts in half?

That's brilliant!
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: bluesman on December 29, 2010, 07:53:26 PM
How big is your mash tun?

How about doubling the batch size to cut your salts in half?

That's brilliant!

 :-[

Gee thanks!  8)
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: mattc on December 29, 2010, 08:12:04 PM
my tun is a 10 gal igloo cooler. I will not add salts to milled grain anymore. Lesson learned for sure. The 11 1/4 lbs of base malt is the thing that bothers me the most. I did buy it in bulk so the cost is minimal at least, the rest of the bill i had on hand.
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: mattc on December 29, 2010, 08:13:06 PM
..by the way my PH meter is non functional...which is why I am using the spreadsheet. I was trying to get in the ballpark sort of....
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: bluesman on December 29, 2010, 08:20:27 PM
How big is your boil kettle?
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: EHall on December 29, 2010, 08:21:04 PM
strain the grain with cold water... then start over?
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: Hokerer on December 29, 2010, 08:24:31 PM
strain the grain with cold water... then start over?

suspect you'd end up washing away lots of the goodies along with the salts
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: mattc on December 29, 2010, 08:25:02 PM
How big is your boil kettle?

15 gallons. Rinsing with cold water is an option. I would just be afraid of rinsing away all of the "malt flour" that has been milled. What say ye?? Would / Could that be a concern?
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: mattc on December 29, 2010, 08:26:20 PM
whoops sorry , hokerer ;D
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: Kit B on December 29, 2010, 08:28:46 PM
Brew it up...Your magnesium level is still lower than my tap water.

But, if you mix thouroughly & cut that up into like six equal portions for later brew sessions, I think you'll be happier with the results.
Just don't use that crazy scale, for your dividing into 6 portions.
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: bluesman on December 29, 2010, 08:41:21 PM
Mash by maxing out your tun in equal volumes between the mash and the sparge. Then top off your BK with water and extract to a prescribed OG. Increase hopping rate accordingly.
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: mattc on December 29, 2010, 09:07:20 PM
Now you got me thinking.....If I use distilled water and did a no-sparge ( adding all strike water at once), I would have:

Mash in with 9.8 gallons. I estimate minerals at this point:
 
CA = 459
MG = 38
NA = 0
Cl = 140
Sulfate = 308
RA = 398

That is alot more tolerable.
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: mattc on December 29, 2010, 09:11:39 PM
...ummm I think you just said that bluesman...sorry I should read before posting..
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: bassriverbrewer on December 29, 2010, 09:43:09 PM
I'd try using the distilled water it might cost a little more but will reduce the mineral load
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: gmac on January 01, 2011, 05:21:35 PM
So, what did you do?
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: richardt on January 01, 2011, 07:45:10 PM
Its a shame you weren't adding minerals to your mash water and not the grains.  I've never done it the way you are.  Water is cheap and a mistake is no big deal (unless you have to run out and buy more water).  

However, given chalk's poor solubility in hot water, you'd want to add the chalk addition directly to the mash (grains + mash water addition). 

I've done it both ways (adding brew salts to the liquor and adding brew salts to the mash).  I've noticed that, if I add the salts to the liquor, then there's considerable precipitate (which I presume to be chalk) at the bottom of the HLT and it doesn't get into the mash until the very end of the sparge.  At that point, it would be too late for it to perform its role as a mash buffer and pH adjuster.  Since then, I've gone the route of adding my brew salts to the mash.
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: malzig on January 01, 2011, 07:55:15 PM
Its a shame you weren't adding minerals to your mash water and not the grains.  I've never done it the way you are.  Water is cheap and a mistake is no big deal (unless you have to run out and buy more water).  
However, given chalk's poor solubility in hot water, you'd want to add the chalk addition directly to the mash (grains + mash water addition)
Right, but that poor solubility would have worked in his favor, this time.
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: tubercle on January 01, 2011, 08:26:36 PM
Tubercle don't dump nothing till is has been tasted.
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: mattc on January 01, 2011, 11:55:49 PM
I did end up dumping it without brewing it. I figure I am not gonna put all that time and effort into a beer that more than likely will turn out pretty bad or undrinkable. I just cant see brewing a beer I am not going to be happy with when I know it from the get-go.

as far as adding the salts, I believe if you do add them to the HLT, they will be lost because they wont dissolve in straight up water. If you add them to then tun itself, you can be sure that they WILL dissolve in the mash where they need to be. i take it a step further and add them directly to the crushed malt. I think that way the PH will be close from the beginning. JMO
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: tubercle on January 02, 2011, 12:07:57 AM
I just cant see brewing a beer I am not going to be happy with when I know it from the get-go.

 Chicken $h^t.

 Are you NostraDumbAss or something predicting the future and all of that?


Edit: Tubercle might be a little harsh here. But, how do you know. Might have invented a new "style". Or, are you one of those that only succumb to already established "styles"?
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: Kaiser on January 02, 2011, 01:00:59 AM
I see mattc's point. For me brewing time is a pretty valuable thing to and if I would know that the beer is likely ruined I would not brew it either.

It's like finding that your malt got wet and moldy. Would you brew with that on the off chance that it comes out fine?

Kai
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: tubercle on January 02, 2011, 01:19:42 AM
I see mattc's point. For me brewing time is a pretty valuable thing to and if I would know that the beer is likely ruined I would not brew it either.

It's like finding that your malt got wet and moldy. Would you brew with that on the off chance that it comes out fine?

Kai

 Valuable is right. In this case sunk time.

 Wouldn't brew with with wet and moldy grain but if the water was off, so what. Apparently perfection in brewing can only be obtained by having everything to the 0.00000000001  level of accuracy.


 Damn, live a little. Try a new sex position occasionally :(

 EDIT:

 OK, these comments are probably uncalled for but buy another bucket. Brew something else while this one is working. Just saying...
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: mabrungard on January 02, 2011, 02:04:25 AM
Matt,

Most of the salts will dissolve in the mashing water prior to adding the grain.  Of course the chalk isn't going to dissolve, but if the water is mixed and the chalk is in suspension, its just as good as adding directly to the mash.  Sorry to hear that you dumped your grain.
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: Kaiser on January 02, 2011, 04:34:19 AM
Tubercle, if the time to brew that experimental batch was there, sure brewing it would have been interesting.

But as far as I recall the salts were off by 10x and not just 2x.

I checked and there isn't too much hops in this recipe which limits that addidional expense. The yeast could have been reused. It does leave mostly the brewing time as the added cost. 

Kai
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: tomsawyer on January 02, 2011, 01:33:10 PM
I'm in the camp of those who think you did the right thing.  To me the chloride and chalk would make it taste like alka seltzer.  You'd probably also need to adjust the pH drastically with acid to even get a decent mash.
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: bluesman on January 02, 2011, 03:21:57 PM
If not for anything else you probably won't do that again. It's difficult to throw away money but it could've been even worse if the beer turned out bad. I think you made the right choice. My time is worth alot and wasted time is something you can never get back. Good Luck on the next batch.
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: gmac on January 02, 2011, 05:49:57 PM
My guess is no matter what it tasted like you'd be so critical in your judgement that you wouldn't have enjoyed it anyway.  Just knowing it wasn't what you wanted probably would have impacted your perception of the beer. 
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: davidw on January 03, 2011, 04:31:05 PM
I did something similar to this once, forgot to bypass the H2O softener prior to brewing an American Brown ale. I didn't realize it until the end of the brewing session. My efficiency was much lower than expected which puzzled me at the time. Went ahead and pitched the yeast, fermented and kegged. While the beer was obviously different than prior batches of the same recipe, thinner and interestingly enough not as roasty as expected, it was still drinkable and did not have any undesireable attributes. One would assume that for an ABA extremely soft water would be a bad thing. Go figure.
Title: Re: Would you dump a grain bill if... water chemistry was off...WAY off
Post by: mattc on January 08, 2011, 06:41:27 AM
I think I made the correct decision as well. I not even sure if the mash would have converted or not. I tend to think not as well as it could have with out all of the chalk. I think the toll of the yeast would have left it cloying also....