Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: mabrungard on February 18, 2011, 02:09:38 PM

Title: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on February 18, 2011, 02:09:38 PM
I have just published my advanced brewing water software, Bru'n Water.  This is the first program that I know of that includes the contribution of grain acidity and water alkalinity to allow the brewer to better predict and tailor their mash pH.  We know that tailoring brewing water based on the beer color does not work well.  This program moves beyond that limitation.  Mash pH is a strong factor in creating cleaner flavor, proper body, and desired fermentation and attenuation performance.

The program includes all the typical mineral calculators and goes on to provide acid calculators, dilution tools, extensively researched water profiles, and a comprehensive water knowledge section.  I think you will find that it is quite a useful tool for analyzing your water and truly figuring out how to make it fit your current beer's mashing requirements.  

The mash pH prediction equation in the program has been proven to come within 0.2 pH units.  With continued observations and reports from the brewing community, I expect that the prediction capability may be refined to as little as 0.1 pH unit.  

I have set up a web site to further explain and illustrate the program and serve as a downloading point for interested brewers.  Please visit the following site:

https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Enjoy!
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Hokerer on February 18, 2011, 02:47:33 PM
That looks real nice and wonderfully informative.  Looks like it'll be the last straw in getting me up off my lazy butt and sending for a report on my water.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 18, 2011, 02:56:28 PM
Just saw this on the HBD.  Will have to read the web page and download the speadsheet.

I have been looking for pickling lime, but it appears to be seasonal here in Michigan for some reason.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on February 18, 2011, 03:04:03 PM
I am very much looking forward to playing with this calculator, Martin. Thanks for your hard work!
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: denny on February 18, 2011, 03:54:32 PM
I've been beta testing this for Martin.  I've gotta say, not to diss anyone else, this is the absolute best water calculator I've used.  My beers have improved greatly since I started using it.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: dak0415 on February 18, 2011, 04:12:35 PM
Kudos Martin, we all appreciate the effort.  I've been playing with it and noticed that - once the 'Net Water Alkailinity' (following RA) goes negative (by adding Gypsum, for instance) , no amount of Lactic Acid as a water adjustment will change the Mash PH, while even a small amount of acidulated malt will reduce the mash PH.
How can that be?
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Mark G on February 18, 2011, 04:18:46 PM
Wow, very well done Martin. This looks amazing. I'm looking forward to giving it a run.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Kaiser on February 18, 2011, 04:48:34 PM
Thanks Martin, this looks very impressive.

Did you base the color to acidity correlation on my work, or did you run additional titration experiments.

I have to play with this a little. While I have been working on something similar, I kept getting inconsistent results between the prediction and the actual mash pH and was never happy enough with the results to publish an updated version.

Kai
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on February 18, 2011, 04:55:44 PM
Kudos Martin, we all appreciate the effort.  I've been playing with it and noticed that - once the 'Net Water Alkailinity' (following RA) goes negative (by adding Gypsum, for instance) , no amount of Lactic Acid as a water adjustment will change the Mash PH, while even a small amount of acidulated malt will reduce the mash PH.
How can that be?

I put that in there purposely since the phosphate buffers will not let the mash pH drop below about 5 under normal circumstances.  By normal, I mean no external acid additions to the mash.  
This pH response was confirmed through experiments that Kai ran last month.  No matter how much calcium or magnesium hardness you add to the mash water, the mash pH will not drop below roughly 5.  This is a good thing since a mash pH of less than 5.2 (room-temp measurement) does not produce a very inviting beer in my opinion.  The body is thinner and the beer is noticably tart.  

I incorporated this response in the mash pH calculation by limiting the minimum RA value used in the pH estimate to zero.  Negative RA values are assumed to be zero RA.  (The acid malt is on the other side of the equation in the malt acidity.  Its not affected by the zero RA limit.  I'll be adding a note that acid additions to the water that produce a negative RA would not be properly accounted in this program.  Unlike adding Ca or MG, acid in the mash can drop the pH below 5.)

So, you did find an interesting quirk, but in practice it should not be an issue to most brewers.  I welcome any suggestions that we should include the ability to model pH below 5, but I haven't found the need at this time.

Kai, the malt acidity was based on your work and you are credited on the instruction sheet of the program.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: bluesman on February 18, 2011, 05:26:45 PM
Martin...this is absolutely fantastic work.

I commend you for your efforts. I will be using this software in the  near future. I'll be sure to make a donation.

Thanks alot!  :)
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: alikocho on February 18, 2011, 08:22:32 PM
This looks truly stupendous. Given what I learnt from you earlier in the week about my water report I expect to spend quite a bit of time playing with this one.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: jaybeerman on February 18, 2011, 08:56:27 PM
Martin, I know you've been working on this for quite some time, it must feel good to finally put it out there.  Thanks and cheers, j
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: hamiltont on February 18, 2011, 09:23:43 PM
It will be greatly appreciated by many, including me.  Thanks Martin!  Cheers!!!
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: tschmidlin on February 18, 2011, 11:13:21 PM
Thanks Martin, I can't wait to dig into it!  :)
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: richardt on February 19, 2011, 01:18:03 AM
Outstanding.  I can't wait to try it out on my next brew day.  Thanks for sharing your expertise with the rest of us.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on February 19, 2011, 02:11:30 AM
Martin,

I had a chance to play around with Bru'n Water after work tonight.  Great work!  I have a question though: is it possible to have a particular mineral salt addition only apply to the mash volume?  The reason I ask is because according to Bru'n Water, I only need to add .5g NaHCO3 to my mash to achieve a pH of 5.3 (for the beer I plan on brewing this weekend).  I don't need (or want) to add any NaHCO3 to the kettle for my flavor additions, however.  The way the calculator seems to work now is that when you change the water volume from mash volume to pre-boil kettle volume, the salt additions change proportionally along with it.  I hope I'm articulating my question well enough!
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on February 19, 2011, 02:58:33 AM
Looking good. Thank you Martin.
Any chance to have it in the Open Office / Libre Office format?
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on February 19, 2011, 02:11:27 PM
Bru'n Water works in Open Office on my computer.  It doesn't look quite as nice since the formating gets a little screwy, but it works fine.  Try it out.  Anyone can get Open Office on their computer since its freeware.  That is one of the reasons I was OK with using Excel as the programing basis.  Enjoy.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: jibblett on February 20, 2011, 12:22:02 AM
yeah, works fine in NeoOffice on Mac, too. 
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Kaiser on February 20, 2011, 04:16:19 AM
Kai, the malt acidity was based on your work and you are credited on the instruction sheet of the program.  Thanks!

Thanks, I noticed that later.

You mentioned that the results are prooven to be within 0.2 pH units of the actual mash pH. How did you perform this proof?

Kai
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on February 20, 2011, 02:34:00 PM
Used Bru'n Water to formulate my mash/kettle additions for an American Amber yesterday.  Here are my observations...

Based on the grain bill I plugged into the calculator, Bru'n Water calculated that I needed to add .8g NaHCO3 to hit a mash pH of 5.3  At the end of my 60 minute mash, I tested the pH using a colorpHast strip.  The strip read 5.1-5.2.  Assuming that colorpHast strips read a little low (between .1-.3, from what I've been able to gather from others' experiences), then my pH was pretty much within the desired range (but only if I accept that my colorpHast strips read low).

My mash conversion was excellent.  I hit my target O.G. (1.056) and brewhouse efficiency.

I added 2g CaCO3, .7g CaCl, and 4.5 MgSO4 to the kettle (pre-boil) to create the following profile: 55 Ca, 21 Mg, 18 Na, 41 Cl, 93 SO4, 77 CaCO3.  After chilling my wort, I had phenomenal cold break.  Honestly, it may have been the most I've ever seen in my fermenter.

So, my initial impression is that I like how this calculator takes specific grain bills into account because it seems to make a difference.  Using a Palmer-style RA calculation based solely on SRM, I would have had to add considerably more mash salts to hit my target pH.  Over the past few weeks, I've been a little skeptical of some of these new water chemistry calculators (see this thread (http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=5915.0)).  Having observed some impressive results using Bru'n Water, I think the subject is worth exploring further.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: denny on February 20, 2011, 02:59:11 PM
You mentioned that the results are prooven to be within 0.2 pH units of the actual mash pH. How did you perform this proof?

Kai

At least partially through the results of myself and other beta testers.  I found that I was within .1 of the predictions.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Kaiser on February 20, 2011, 03:00:36 PM
Having observed some impressive results using Bru'n Water, I'm beginning to develop a healthy skepticism of the RA:SRM calculators.

Matt, check out my recent post to your thread.

I think that both SRM and a grain bill based approaches yield about the same precision when it comes to predicting mash pH. This is because both tools use a correlation that exists between grist color and malt acidity. Neither of these tools use actually measured malt acidity and this is where their limitation is. It's just easier to enter the correct "percentage of roasted malt color" into the grist based calculator.

They work best when the majority of the color is coming from specialty malts since the color of those shows a stronger correlation to their acidity than the color of base malts. When I try to predict the mash pH of a Dunkel, where most of the color comes from the Munich malt or example, the SRM and grist based calculations will be fairly imprecise because the pH established by the munich malt cannot easily predicted from the munich malts' color.

You'll also run into trouble if you use pale base malts that have a lower than expected pH. The Rahr that I was using for some experiments is one example.

Unless we have good pH numbers for the base malts and/or even acidity numbers for the specialty malts, any grist based mash predictor cannot provide a substantial improvement over an SRM based scheme if they are both based on the same data set. This is why I never rushed getting out a water calculation spreadsheet that can do grist based mash pH prediction. It just didn't offer enough improvement.

Now, I don't exactly know what the EZ water cacluator does and how it implemented my SRM->pH formula. There is a good chance that it doesn't do it quite right and that the imprecision is from a bug in the tool itself.

Many may think that I'm trying to rain on Matin's parade here. His water calculator looks really nice, intuitive and powerful and it is a great addition to a home brewers arsenal of tools and I would have loved to be included in beta testing. In addition to that don't forget the extensive information about water. But since the pH predictor is largely based on the concepts and data I provided I know where the limitations are and, on occasion, I'm still trying to troubleshoot cases where the prediction was further off than expected.

Cheers,
Kai
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on February 20, 2011, 03:07:57 PM
Having observed some impressive results using Bru'n Water, I'm beginning to develop a healthy skepticism of the RA:SRM calculators.

Matt, check out my recent post to your thread.

Just saw it and responded with a similar sentiment to what you just posted here.

I also tempered the sentence you quoted above a bit (you might even say I "buffered" my quote -- a little Sunday morning pH humor).   ;)
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 20, 2011, 03:17:55 PM
I've been beta testing this for Martin.  I've gotta say, not to diss anyone else, this is the absolute best water calculator I've used.  My beers have improved greatly since I started using it.
Denny,
Just curious as to the imrovements that you have been seeing.  Is it in some of the beers you are brewing, or in all.  Peeking at your water report in the "Post your water report" thread, you might see improvements for darker beers or light beers, as your water might be good for Amber beers (just a guess).  I have been reading Martins instructions on the spread sheet, and will try it the next time I brew. 



Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Kaiser on February 20, 2011, 03:26:06 PM
At least partially through the results of myself and other beta testers.  I found that I was within .1 of the predictions.

Technically that is not a proof but I get the idea. In the end it's how beer quality is improved that matters. When John came out with his spreadsheet and a more basic SRM -> pH predictor it made a big improvement in people's beers because it raised awareness for the correlation that exists between mash pH, RA and beer color. Now we have a much better understanding how mash pH is affected and can do better predictions even in some of the more extreme cases that weren't well covered by early approaches.

Kai
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: denny on February 20, 2011, 04:36:18 PM
Denny,
Just curious as to the imrovements that you have been seeing.  Is it in some of the beers you are brewing, or in all.  Peeking at your water report in the "Post your water report" thread, you might see improvements for darker beers or light beers, as your water might be good for Amber beers (just a guess).  I have been reading Martins instructions on the spread sheet, and will try it the next time I brew. 

My light bees have always been hit or miss, both on flavor and clarity.  Using Martin's program, I made the clearest, best tasting batches of pils I've ever made.  And a maibock.  Nothing changed in my procedure or ingredients other than using his spreadsheet, so I attribute the difference to that.  I've got an American brown made using the sheet in the fermenter now, and I'll know about flavor on that one in another week or so.  But like you say, I'm pretty much right on for mid color beers.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: denny on February 20, 2011, 04:37:48 PM
Technically that is not a proof but I get the idea. In the end it's how beer quality is improved that matters.

Yeah, I agree that it's just data points and not really proof.  But based on how close I've come to predictions and how well the beer is turning out, I'll take it!
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on February 20, 2011, 05:14:01 PM
I just discovered that Bru'n Water takes into account the bicarbonate content of the starting water in estimating the relative pH shift due to adding acid malt.  That's pretty useful, considering that the more bicarbonates in the starting water, the greater the buffering power of the mash.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Kaiser on February 20, 2011, 05:22:32 PM
I just discovered that Bru'n Water takes into account the bicarbonate content of the starting water in estimating the relative pH shift due to adding acid malt.  That's pretty useful, considering that the more bicarbonates in the starting water, the greater the buffering power of the mash.

This is actually not the case. The bicarbonate content of the water has no significant impact on the buffer capacity of the mash since at mash pH the carbonate system is not providing a strong buffer. I do have experiments that show that.

Kai
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on February 20, 2011, 05:41:57 PM
I just discovered that Bru'n Water takes into account the bicarbonate content of the starting water in estimating the relative pH shift due to adding acid malt.  That's pretty useful, considering that the more bicarbonates in the starting water, the greater the buffering power of the mash.

This is actually not the case. The bicarbonate content of the water has no significant impact on the buffer capacity of the mash since at mash pH the carbonate system is not providing a strong buffer. I do have experiments that show that.

Kai

So would you suggest using Weyermann's published ROT that 1% acid malt will reduce mash pH by .1?
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: tschmidlin on February 20, 2011, 06:50:05 PM
It looks great Martin!

I think it would be great if you added a "Desired Water Profile" called Custom, which links to an area of the spreadsheet where you can come up with your own desired water profile and then use the mash adjustment calculator to dial it in.

A couple of formatting things that aren't really important:
I've noticed that the conditional formatting in Water Adjustment cell H12 (Finished Water Profile of Bicarbonate) seems to be off.

Some of the columns aren't wide enough to display all of the cells properly on my machine.  Specifically cell A20 in Water Report Input, cells B14, D3, D14, H3, H14, and H23 in Water Adjustment, and cell 4G in Mash Acidification.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: jaybeerman on February 20, 2011, 08:11:29 PM
It looks great Martin!

I think it would be great if you added a "Desired Water Profile" called Custom, which links to an area of the spreadsheet where you can come up with your own desired water profile and then use the mash adjustment calculator to dial it in.

+1
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on February 20, 2011, 11:09:55 PM
It looks great Martin!

I think it would be great if you added a "Desired Water Profile" called Custom, which links to an area of the spreadsheet where you can come up with your own desired water profile and then use the mash adjustment calculator to dial it in.

A couple of formatting things that aren't really important:
I've noticed that the conditional formatting in Water Adjustment cell H12 (Finished Water Profile of Bicarbonate) seems to be off.

Some of the columns aren't wide enough to display all of the cells properly on my machine.  Specifically cell A20 in Water Report Input, cells B14, D3, D14, H3, H14, and H23 in Water Adjustment, and cell 4G in Mash Acidification.

Tom, I have also found that the text in some cells can sometimes not display fully.  It seems to be an Excel font issue.  If you have not adjusted the display zoom on that sheet to maximize your magnification of the work area, I have found this can cause this text problem.  Try increasing the zoom setting on any sheet of the program that has screwy text layout in any cell. The Instructions for the program recommend this, but since you are not the first person to mention this, I'll highlight this need better in the instructions and on the download page.  

If the Zoom adjustment does not do the job, please send me a message directly (also in the Instructions) and I'll bump out those offending columns to better fit the text for most users.  

Regarding the Conditional Formatting for the Bicarbonate cell for the Finished water, it is not an oversight.  I'm hoping that you hovered your cursor over that cell to see the pop-up comments regarding that cell.  I do note that there is not an "Ideal Bicarbonate" concentration since this is a key variable in setting your mash pH performance.  So depending on your grist, the bicarbonate content may need to be adjusted up or down from what ever the water profile said it was supposed to be in order to produce your desired pH.  I don't want the Brewer to see this cell turn green and think that they are done.  By the way, be sure to hover your cursor over the various cells throughout the entire program that show a little red triangle in the upper right corner of the cell.  That information can be particularly helpful.

Regarding Custom Water Profile input, the instructions do alert the user that the water profile information is located down the Water Adjustment sheet (scroll down the sheet) and the cells for any of the water profiles can be customized to the user's preference.  I knew that my definition of a good pale ale profile (or others) might not meet another brewer's definition, so that latitude was designed in.  

Keep the comments coming!  I'll keep improving it.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on February 20, 2011, 11:51:48 PM
This is actually not the case. The bicarbonate content of the water has no significant impact on the buffer capacity of the mash since at mash pH the carbonate system is not providing a strong buffer. I do have experiments that show that.

Kai

Kai has a good point there, but that is not a significant concern here.  The bicarbonate content does however have a strong affect on the pH of the mash.  In fact the entire Residual Alkalinity concept is strictly based on that fact.  The buffer capacity of the mash is highly complicated by the strong influence of the phosphate buffer system, but for the overall effect on mash pH, the bicarbonate content has a very strong correlation.  

Kai's other point regarding the quandry that he uncovered regarding Rahr malt and its apparently elevated acidity is something that may be difficult to resolve.  It appears that this maltster has possibly sprayed their malt with an acid solution prior to drying in much the way that Acid Malt is prepared.  Another possible explanation is that this maltster uses a steeping water that has very low alkalinity or has been acidified to help enhance this acidic character of the finished malt. There could be other causes, but the fact is that this particular malt produces a roughly 0.2 unit drop in pH compared to other typical 2-row pale malts.  Good work by Kai in finding this.

There are plenty of good reasons to do this.  Since most brewers suffer with water supplies that have too much alkalinity and the brewer may not know how to adjust for that, the mash pH may not always fall into the most desirable range (5.3 to 5.5 @ room-temp measure).  In this case, the extract and fermentability of the grist would suffer.  So for Rahr to "help" the typical brewer out and add a little acidity to their malt is sort of a win-win.  The brewer sees better performance and extract and this maltster's malt seems to be the reason.  

The problem is when a brewer that does know what they're doing with their water or that uses an already low-alkalinity water source (this includes RO and DI), then the mash pH may fall too low.  Many of you may have noted my recommendation that mash pH should really stay above about 5.3 to avoid producing a possibly thinner or tarter beer than desired.  This malt may create a problem in this case.  

As I mention above, this Rahr malt has an Acid Malt character.  It appears that it may be neccesary to model it in Bru'n Water as an Acid Malt.  Kai, did your analyses indicate how much acidity per kilogram the Rahr malt contributes?  

Possibly I need to add a special malt category for this malt?  The best solution to all of this would be for all maltsters to test their malt acidity and publish the result as they do for Lovibond, EBC, Lintner, Extract, etc.  Then programs like Bru'n Water or similar could dispense with correlating malt color and malt type to acidity and use that value directly.  Maybe that day will come.  I'll make it a point to start asking maltsters and I'll introduce this concept directly to them so that they are on board too.  

Fellow Brewers, we will improve the technology of mashing with a more work and understanding.  I'd say that you have just set off a quest that we homebrewers need to press for, malt acidity data for all malting products.  
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: tschmidlin on February 21, 2011, 12:03:40 AM
The Instructions for the program recommend this, but since you are not the first person to mention this, I'll highlight this need better in the instructions and on the download page.  
What are "instructions"? :)  I just started using it, it's very intuitive I think.  You're right though, adjusting the zoom fixed the word wrap problem.

Regarding Custom Water Profile input, the instructions do alert the user that the water profile information is located down the Water Adjustment sheet (scroll down the sheet) and the cells for any of the water profiles can be customized to the user's preference.  I knew that my definition of a good pale ale profile (or others) might not meet another brewer's definition, so that latitude was designed in.  
I get that, but I don't want to have to take away what you've got, I just want to add some profiles and customize it a bit.  So if, for example, I wanted to add Denver water, or San Francisco water, or whatever, then I don't have to delete anything.  Consider it something for the wish list. :)
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on February 21, 2011, 12:16:00 AM

I get that, but I don't want to have to take away what you've got, I just want to add some profiles and customize it a bit.  So if, for example, I wanted to add Denver water, or San Francisco water, or whatever, then I don't have to delete anything.  Consider it something for the wish list. :)

Great idea, I'll put in some CUSTOM titled rows at the bottom of the list so that the user can add their own profiles.  By the way, note that the water profile input calculates the Cation and Anion totals for the input profiles so that the brewer will know if they are entering a balanced water profile.  (the cation and anion totals should match when a balanced profile is input).

Thanks, Tom
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on February 21, 2011, 12:40:21 AM
This is actually not the case. The bicarbonate content of the water has no significant impact on the buffer capacity of the mash since at mash pH the carbonate system is not providing a strong buffer. I do have experiments that show that.

Kai

Kai has a good point there, but that is not a significant concern here.  The bicarbonate content does however have a strong affect on the pH of the mash.  In fact the entire Residual Alkalinity concept is strictly based on that fact.  The buffer capacity of the mash is highly complicated by the strong influence of the phosphate buffer system, but for the overall effect on mash pH, the bicarbonate content has a very strong correlation.    

Thanks for that, Martin.  So would I be correct in assuming that depending on the bicarbonate content of the starting water, the amount of acid malt required to shift the pH downward could vary significantly?  For example, if the bicarbonate content of the starting water is around 25 ppm, would it take less acid malt to reduce the mash pH than if the starting water had a bicarbonate content of closer to 100 ppm?  The reason I ask is because Weyermann states that every 1% acid malt in a given grain bill will result in a -.1 pH shift.  But Bru'n Water estimates that it would take far less acid malt to achieve that shift (possibly due to my relatively soft water (~25 ppm bicarbonate)?).
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Kaiser on February 21, 2011, 01:05:28 AM
The buffer capacity of the mash is something that I have been paying a lot if attention to recently. Buffer capacity is the amount of acid or base needed to change the pH in a unit of the substance. I have been using the unit mEq/(pH*kg) for this. And I found that this can vary quite a lot which makes mash pH prediction difficult.

I have evaluated the effect of alkalinity on the buffer capacity of the mash and have not found a positive correlation. Try it youself. It takes the about the same amount of LA to reduce mash pH by 0.1 in a mash
made with RO water compared to a mash made with 250 ppm RA water. The only difference is that both mashes will have different pH values.

From a 1% acid malt addition I have seen pH chanes ranging from 0.15 to 0.7 with 0.1 being most common. There seems to be something elsr hat controls the mash buffer capacity.

Kai
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Kaiser on February 21, 2011, 01:37:18 AM
My light bees have always been hit or miss, both on flavor and clarity.  Using Martin's program, I made the clearest, best tasting batches of pils I've ever made.  And a maibock.  Nothing changed in my procedure or ingredients other than using his spreadsheet, so I attribute the difference to that.  I've got an American brown made using the sheet in the fermenter now, and I'll know about flavor on that one in another week or so.  But like you say, I'm pretty much right on for mid color beers.

Denny,

Have you been using other water calculators before? What changes to your recipe did Bru'n Water tell you to make that you didn't make before?

Kai
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: tschmidlin on February 21, 2011, 05:21:18 AM
Regarding the Conditional Formatting for the Bicarbonate cell for the Finished water, it is not an oversight.  I'm hoping that you hovered your cursor over that cell to see the pop-up comments regarding that cell.  I do note that there is not an "Ideal Bicarbonate" concentration since this is a key variable in setting your mash pH performance.  So depending on your grist, the bicarbonate content may need to be adjusted up or down from what ever the water profile said it was supposed to be in order to produce your desired pH.
Thanks Martin, this makes perfect sense.  I'll try to be more diligent about reading all of the stuff you have in there. :)

Great idea, I'll put in some CUSTOM titled rows at the bottom of the list so that the user can add their own profiles. 
Great :)
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: hamiltont on February 21, 2011, 07:00:44 PM

Kai's other point regarding the quandry that he uncovered regarding Rahr malt and its apparently elevated acidity is something that may be difficult to resolve.  It appears that this maltster has possibly sprayed their malt with an acid solution prior to drying in much the way that Acid Malt is prepared.  Another possible explanation is that this maltster uses a steeping water that has very low alkalinity or has been acidified to help enhance this acidic character of the finished malt. There could be other causes, but the fact is that this particular malt produces a roughly 0.2 unit drop in pH compared to other typical 2-row pale malts.  Good work by Kai in finding this.

This is interesting. I have found by trial & error mostly that when using RAHR 2-Row Malt, if I cut the brew water additions in half (based of Palmer's spreadsheet) I ended up with a better beer. Go figure....  Cheers!!!
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: denny on February 21, 2011, 07:30:23 PM
Denny,

Have you been using other water calculators before? What changes to your recipe did Bru'n Water tell you to make that you didn't make before?

Kai

I've used yours, Palmer's, and EZ water to some extent.  Truthfully, I found that yours was beyond the capacity of my tiny brain to grok.  EZ water just didn't "feel" right to me, and Palmer's always seemed to recommend more treatment than I felt comfortable with.  None of this is to discount the possibility of user error on my part.  I find Martin's to be more intuitive to use, and I really like the results I'm getting.  Of course, I've only used it for maybe 5 batches, so I don't have a really wide range of styles that I've experimented with.  For instance, I have yet to use it with Rahr pale malt, and based on what you've discovered it sounds like it could be interesting!  My next brew will be an IPA with a Rahr pale base.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on February 21, 2011, 07:36:19 PM
My next brew is a Bell's Oberon clone with ~50% Rahr 2-row.  According to Martin's calculator, the mash pH -- without any adjustment -- should be about 5.5.  Assuming that Kai's Rahr 2-row acidity data isn't anomalous, my pH should be around 5.3-5.4.  I'll post my results if anyone is interested.

edit: Incidentally, I used Rahr 2-row for the base (~75% of the grain bill) in the AAA I brewed this past weekend.  I adjusted my mash pH pursuant to the calculation generated by Bru'n Water and my colorpHast strip read 5.1-5.2 at the end of the mash.  I just recently began questioning whether my colorpHast strips are reading low, which is something I hadn't suspected until others started to voice their experiences with them.  If Kai's Rahr data is correct, then my strips might just be reading accurately, since I was shooting for a pH of 5.3-5.4.

Also, I wonder if Rahr 6-row possesses acidification qualities similar to the 2-row.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Kaiser on February 21, 2011, 08:36:09 PM
Truthfully, I found that yours was beyond the capacity of my tiny brain to grok.

The “basic” page was designed to be simple. You must have been peeking at the “advanced” page or even the “calculations” page :)

I appreciate the feedback, though, and am already working on an updated version that should make it more intuitive while keeping the flexibility that I want to get from this tool.

Kai
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on February 21, 2011, 09:30:27 PM
Its apparent that I should point out to folks that all the observed results to date have shown that the predicted pH is about 0.1 to 0.2 units higher than observed.  Of course, all brewers should perform their pH measurement at room temperature. 

For that reason, I recommend that brewers aim a tenth or two above the typical "optimum" pH of about 5.4 when using the Mash Acidification tool.  It sure looks like I should alter the prediction equation to dial that error margin finer. 

By the way, as hamiltont found the quantity of mashing water has a direct affect on the mashing pH since it is the source for alkalinity to balance mash acidity.  Thinning out the mash with a water that has alkalinity should move the pH up and conversely reducing the water amount will decrease the pH.

Thanks for the feedback.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: richardt on February 21, 2011, 10:39:21 PM
Perhaps a feature could be added to incorporate mashing and lautering/sparging methods (e.g., single, double, triple infusions and no-sparge, single sparge, double sparge).  Not everyone does equal infusions (strike and sparge amts being the same)--often out of ignorance, MLT limitations, or a desire to utilize a different mashing method.  But then you'd be bridging the gap towards a BeerSmith type of program.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: nateo on February 26, 2011, 07:35:40 PM
Wow! I'm really pleased with the mash pH estimator. Hit 5.3 right off the bat. Thanks for much for making this available for us!

As noted above, any formula has room for improvement, but this thing is as close to perfect as I need.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on February 27, 2011, 12:40:17 AM
I'm pleased to hear that the pH prediction was good.  The beta test team found that the pH more typically over estimated the pH by about 0.1 to 0.2 units (the predicted pH was higher than measured).  I intend to change the formula to indicate about 0.1 unit lower when the next version is issued.  That should be a little more accurate.  In the mean time, users should tend to aim a little (say 0.1 unit) higher than their desired pH.   

For those that measure their mash pH, I can always use your pH measurements along with the grist and water conditions you used for the brew.  Send your filled out program file to me at mabrungard@hotmail.com

Thanks!
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: nateo on February 28, 2011, 03:41:00 AM
Martin: I had a grist of only pale malt @ 2 SRM, FWIW. I also use the EMD ChloropHast strips, and I'm extrapolating based on Kai's experiments with their systemic errors, so I'm not sure my data is as reliable as I'd want it to be if I were making formulae.

 I would love it if in future releases you could have a metric volume option for the mash and batch total. I like using your spreadsheet, but I hate using gallons.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: denny on February 28, 2011, 05:16:16 PM
For those that measure their mash pH, I can always use your pH measurements along with the grist and water conditions you used for the brew.  Send your filled out program file to me at mabrungard@hotmail.com

Thanks!

I did a 95% Rahr pale malt brew yesterday to see if I could send you some data about it.  Unfortunately, my pH meter refused to calibrate correctly.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: narvin on February 28, 2011, 06:37:10 PM

I incorporated this response in the mash pH calculation by limiting the minimum RA value used in the pH estimate to zero.  Negative RA values are assumed to be zero RA.  (The acid malt is on the other side of the equation in the malt acidity.  Its not affected by the zero RA limit.  I'll be adding a note that acid additions to the water that produce a negative RA would not be properly accounted in this program.  Unlike adding Ca or MG, acid in the mash can drop the pH below 5.)


After putting in the grist for a Pilsner, I'm unable to adjust the mash pH below 5.6 with mineral or acid adjustments (although acid malt does lower the pH).  Is this also a side effect of limiting water RA to 0 or greater?  This seems it could cause inaccurate predictions for people who use water with a negative RA on lighter beers.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on February 28, 2011, 08:07:13 PM
Good point on the inability to drop the predicted mash pH below 5.6 due to the program limiting RA to positive values. 

We know that the mash buffering systems will tend to keep the mash pH above 5 unless an acid is added to the mash.  I'll change the equation so that negative RA values are allowed (up to a point) and the brewer can estimate lower mash pH values.  I would still strongly recommend that brewers avoid aiming for mash pH's below about 5.4 since the beer quality tends to starting dropping (in my opinion). 
 
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: narvin on March 01, 2011, 04:55:28 PM
Good point on the inability to drop the predicted mash pH below 5.6 due to the program limiting RA to positive values.  

We know that the mash buffering systems will tend to keep the mash pH above 5 unless an acid is added to the mash.  I'll change the equation so that negative RA values are allowed (up to a point) and the brewer can estimate lower mash pH values.  I would still strongly recommend that brewers avoid aiming for mash pH's below about 5.4 since the beer quality tends to starting dropping (in my opinion).  
 

Cool... thanks Martin.  Looks nice.  Now I have 3 calculators to use and compare :)
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mconant on March 08, 2011, 06:44:44 AM
Fantastic program.  I've learned more about water analysis with this spreadsheet than I have with hours of reading.  Very practical! 

Excuse me now I have more brewing to do...

Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: gandelf on March 09, 2011, 11:38:47 PM
Thanks Martin, another tool to fiddle with and I'm not even close to
being done with my Hop Rocket yet. Jolly Good.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on March 14, 2011, 12:20:23 AM
Version 1.5 of Bru'n Water has been uploaded and is ready for downloading. 

Enhancements include:
 

Enjoy
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: euge on March 15, 2011, 06:21:22 AM
Version 1.5 of Bru'n Water has been uploaded and is ready for downloading. 

Enhancements include:
 
  • Revised Mash pH algorithm
    Mash and Sparge Additions Totals
    Sparging Water Recommendations
    User Customizable Water Profile fields
    Advice for Water Report Troubleshooting
    Water Report Units Convertor
    More Notes throughout
    Enhanced Instructions
    Additional Water Knowledge

Enjoy

Thanks! First-time for me with the spreadsheet. I'll give it a whirl. My pH was within range last batch.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: dcbc on March 19, 2011, 03:23:45 AM
Thanks, Martin!  Did you adjust to allow a little negative RA?  I have a bohemian pilsner on deck and that feature would come in handy. Thanks again!
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: bluesman on March 19, 2011, 03:42:55 AM
Thanks Martin!

Your efforts and contribution to the brewing community are setting a standard of excellence.

I'll be upgrading to the latest and greatest.  ;)
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Kirk on March 20, 2011, 08:22:18 PM
Martin, I just used the program yesterday and wow, I'm sold.  Thanks a bunch.  I will contribute a dime or two to your site so that my conscience is clear. :)
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on March 21, 2011, 07:23:43 PM
Martin, I have two questions about v1.5:

1) When you say that chalk is only soluble up to about 50 Mg/L, what does this translate to in grams/gallon?

2) How does one edit the "user custom" water profiles?  I try to enter values for the various mineral salts and I get a popup saying that the cells are protected.

Thanks for your hard work. I've found this calculator to be very accurate.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on March 21, 2011, 09:07:59 PM
It sounds like you're trying to adjust the information in Row 4.  That is not where you make the changes.

The water profile list is way down the Water Adjustment sheet.  The rows that were added for Users are at the bottom of that table (like Row 100).  The whole table can be adjusted as the user sees fit, including the water profiles that are already loaded in there. 

I've also added a ion balance calculation so that if the user decides they want to change things a bit, they will know if their change is appropriate.

Enjoy
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on March 23, 2011, 04:36:08 PM
Thanks for that, Martin. I wasn't even aware of the table below with all the water profile info.   :-[

However, even after entering a custom water profile below, the fields in row 4 still show up as #/NA. What am I doing wrong?
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on March 23, 2011, 07:01:18 PM
Oops, I'll have to post a fix for that.  I forgot to extend the named range in the table.  Sorry!
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on March 23, 2011, 08:37:46 PM
Oops, I'll have to post a fix for that.  I forgot to extend the named range in the table.  Sorry!

No worries. I'm just glad it wasn't me being a numbskull! :D
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on March 25, 2011, 12:59:40 AM
Version 1.6 has been uploaded and it corrects the inability to enter User Customizable water profiles and also improves the mash pH algorithm. 
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on March 25, 2011, 04:18:49 PM
OK, I screwed the pooch with v. 1.6.  The sparge water check box was protected and the pH equation did not match up with version 1.5 which was known to be a good predictor in the normal mashing pH range.  Its fixed too.  Version 1.7 is uploaded.  Sorry for the run-around!
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: gandelf on March 29, 2011, 12:51:07 PM
I'm currently working on my second recipe profile and would like to extend my appreciation
for your robust development of Bru'n Water; jolly good calculator. I do have a question with
my Oatmeal Stout thou. The water profile cells are green, but for some reason (numb skull?)
I can't achieve a mash pH of 5.4 AND an SRM needed of 37.5. When I acidify the mash to
a pH of 5.4 the SRM needed is 20.2 and if the SRM needed is 37.5, the pH is 6.3. What am
I missing? Thanks
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on March 29, 2011, 03:53:45 PM
I should probably remove the SRM estimate from the Water Adjustment sheet since its just a holdover from the bad old days when water adjustments were based on the beer SRM.  That has been completely superceded by the Mash Acidification calculation.  You will see a note to that effect if you hover the cursor over the SRM Needed heading on the Water Adjustment sheet.

I do see your confusion regarding the program indicating that the Target and Actual Adjustment cells for bicarbonate are going green and yet the pH is not in a proper range.  If you hover over the bicarbonate cell in the Finished Water row, you will see the message that there is not an Ideal bicarbonate level and that cell will not turn green.  I have to say that I need to adjust the Target and Actual Adjustment cells for the bicarbonate to also not turn green since its misleading. 

The desired bicarbonate content in the mash water SHOULD NOT be based on the starting water profile, but SHOULD be based on the results of the mash acidification analysis.  Leaving those cells in their normal yellow color should help avoid misleading the brewer into thinking that they have adjusted their bicarbonate properly. 

In fact, the Target bicarbonate content is the "first cut" at the proper bicarbonate content for the mash water.  The Brewer should try and adjust their initial bicarbonate content to that level.  The Mash Acidifcation analysis will then determine if that level of bicarbonate is apprpriate, then the Brewer will need to revist the bicarbonate content or hardness to dial in the desired mash pH.   

So, based on this very valid comment, the SRM information will be dropped and the green cell indicators for bicarbonate will be dropped in future versions.  That should help avoid this confusion on a very critical aspect of Bru'n Water.

Thanks for the comment.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: tygo on March 29, 2011, 04:26:34 PM
So, based on this very valid comment, the SRM information will be dropped and the green cell indicators for bicarbonate will be dropped in future versions.  That should help avoid this confusion on a very critical aspect of Bru'n Water.

It's not critical but it is nice to have the SRM calculation from a check perspective to ensure that you've input grist weights and volumes correctly into the spreadsheet (provided you're using the same formula I guess). 

I was playing around with it last night and noticed that the SRM per the spreadsheet didn't match up with what Beersmith was telling me.  And that's because I typed 39 lbs of base malt instead of 29 lbs like it should have been.

Just something to consider.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on March 29, 2011, 04:45:17 PM
So, based on this very valid comment, the SRM information will be dropped and the green cell indicators for bicarbonate will be dropped in future versions.  That should help avoid this confusion on a very critical aspect of Bru'n Water.

It's not critical but it is nice to have the SRM calculation from a check perspective to ensure that you've input grist weights and volumes correctly into the spreadsheet (provided you're using the same formula I guess). 

I was playing around with it last night and noticed that the SRM per the spreadsheet didn't match up with what Beersmith was telling me.  And that's because I typed 39 lbs of base malt instead of 29 lbs like it should have been.

Just something to consider.

+1 I find the SRM feature helpful for the reasons stated by Tygo.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on March 29, 2011, 06:21:04 PM
The SRM calc on the Mash Acidification sheet is going to stay.  Although its not integral to the grain acidity calculation, I agree that having that backup calculation for beer color is a good double check that the Brewer entered the grain bill in correctly.

Its the SRM Needed column on the Water Adjustment sheet that I'm going to take out.  That value was an estimate anyhow and I don't want users getting confused by it in the future.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on April 04, 2011, 02:16:07 PM
Version 1.8 has been uploaded.  I've incorporated the changes discussed above and have also included a handy Summary sheet so that you can see all the recommended changes in one place and have something you can print out and take into the brewery. 

It keeps getting better.  Thanks to all of you that support Bru'n Water.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on April 04, 2011, 05:37:08 PM
We found an error on the Sparge Acidification sheet that was created when the water volume was changed from liters to gallons.  The corrected file is now on the download site.  If you downloaded version 1.8 prior to 1:28 eastern time on 4/4/11, you will need to visit the site and download the corrected version. 
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: gandelf on April 06, 2011, 11:59:44 AM
Thanks for the updates Martin. Would you have a recommendation for
importing the entire workbook/spreadsheet data from a previous version
of Bru'n Water, to the current version? If memory serves me? I thought
"get external data" is used for that?
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: nateo on April 17, 2011, 12:45:32 AM
Did I miss something, or has this been addressed already?

One thing I've noticed (and liked) on Kai's spreadsheet is that he has subsections for "water treatment by slaked lime" and "water treatment by boiling." I can't seem to find the same sections on Bru'n water v1.9.

I'll be moving to an area with very high bicarbonate and that info would probably be useful.

I know I could just use Kai's spreadsheet for that, but Bru'n water is my favorite and I'd rather just use one resource.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on April 25, 2011, 09:46:40 PM
Version 1.10 has been uploaded.  The only real changes are improvements to the Instructions, Water Knowledge, and pop-up notes in the program. 

But for Metric brewers, there is now a SI version available. 

Enjoy!
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: gandelf on April 30, 2011, 07:19:39 PM
Martin, would it be possible to have the dilution percentage info included/displayed
in the adjustment summary?
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on April 30, 2011, 07:24:36 PM
I'm brewing a APA right now.  pH was within 0.1 units as usual.  I brew with RO, so I have to add a little lime to keep the pH from dropping too low.   

You're right, the dilution percentage should be on that sheet.  Thanks for the heads up.  It will be in the next update.

Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: joe6pack on May 11, 2011, 05:00:43 PM
Martin - Thanks for the great software.  I'm exploring it now, I imputed my water report from Ward Labs last night.  When I opened it this morning, on the Sparge Water Acidification Calculator sheet, all the Outputs fields show Err:509.  The Water Adjustment sheet also has Err:509 in all the Desired Water Profile fields and in most of the Water fields below it. I repeated the steps, saved and reopened the file, and it happened again.  Is there something wrong with my copy of OpenOffice Calc?

Win7
OpenOffice 3.3

Thanks!
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on May 11, 2011, 07:35:50 PM
That's an odd error.  You might try downloading Bru'n Water again and re-entering your water information.  Maybe something got erased on your original sheet.  The bad thing about Open Office is that nothing is protected so the whole sheet can be F'ed-up in a hurry. 

I just found a better spreadsheet alternative called LibreOffice.  There is now a link to that download site on the Bru'n Water site.  When I open Bru'n Water in LibreOffice, it looks much more like it supposed to look like in Excel.  I think LibreOffice is probably a better way to go. 
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: brewme_slc on May 11, 2011, 09:42:24 PM
Martin, let me first say what a wonderfully helpful calculator this is.  Unfortunately, I cannot seem to get past the Ion balance test.  Per your instructions, I tried adjusting the Ca level to closer match my water report in hopes it gets the ion levels within tolerance.  Currently, I am showing 5.65 Cations and 50 Anions, a ratio of .11. 

I used the "reported total alkalinity" calculator to determine the bicarb. and est. CO3 concentration.  Calculator said 125.7 HCO3 and .2 CO3.

Can someone tell me what I'm doing wrong?  Below is what my water report says (Salt Lake City, UT):

Fluoride: 876
Nitrate: .3
Nitrite: 0
Calcium: 71.34
Magnesium: 132.2
Potassium: .2
Sodium: 24.54
Iron: 0
Sulfate: 35.6
Chloride: 38.6

PH: 7.6
Alkalinity as CaCO3: 103.4
Hardness as CoCO3: 142.4

Is it possible that the following minerals are causing the ion count to be off?  These are on my report, but not in the calculator:

Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Nickel,and  Selenium

I really would appreciate any help!

Cheers,

Eric
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: brewme_slc on May 11, 2011, 10:05:22 PM
Another question...I changed the type of acid and the acid strength percentage (from Lactic/88% to citric/100%) and on the Adjustment Summary it still shows Lactic Acid and 88% strength. 

Shouldn't those fields change when I change them on the Sparge Acidification tab?
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on May 12, 2011, 12:47:31 AM
Martin, let me first say what a wonderfully helpful calculator this is.  Unfortunately, I cannot seem to get past the Ion balance test.  Per your instructions, I tried adjusting the Ca level to closer match my water report in hopes it gets the ion levels within tolerance.  Currently, I am showing 5.65 Cations and 50 Anions, a ratio of .11.  

I used the "reported total alkalinity" calculator to determine the bicarb. and est. CO3 concentration.  Calculator said 125.7 HCO3 and .2 CO3.

Can someone tell me what I'm doing wrong?  Below is what my water report says (Salt Lake City, UT):

Fluoride: 876
Nitrate: .3
Nitrite: 0
Calcium: 71.34
Magnesium: 132.2
Potassium: .2
Sodium: 24.54
Iron: 0
Sulfate: 35.6
Chloride: 38.6

PH: 7.6
Alkalinity as CaCO3: 103.4
Hardness as CoCO3: 142.4

Is it possible that the following minerals are causing the ion count to be off?  These are on my report, but not in the calculator:

Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Nickel,and  Selenium

I really would appreciate any help!

Cheers,

Eric


It appears you are misreading the concentrations.  If I'm not mistaken, that water would be poisonous if the fluoride concentration was that high.  In addition, that level of magnesium would mean that your water would make an instant laxative.  

Be sure that the units are in parts per million (ppm) or they may also be listed as mg/L.  You would need to divide the concentration number by 1000 if the ions are reported as parts per billion (ppb) or ug/L.  That u is actually a mu symbol and it means micrograms intead of the mg (milligrams).  You need to look closer at the reporting units and probably divide some of those values by 1000.   So if the report said 200 ppb (or 200 ug/L), that would convert to 0.2 ppm for input into the Water Report Input sheet.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on May 12, 2011, 12:51:10 AM
Another question...I changed the type of acid and the acid strength percentage (from Lactic/88% to citric/100%) and on the Adjustment Summary it still shows Lactic Acid and 88% strength. 

Shouldn't those fields change when I change them on the Sparge Acidification tab?

The acid name is taken from the Water Adjustment sheet.  But considering that almost every brewer is more likely to use acid for their sparge water, it appears that I should be looking up the acid name on the Sparge Acidification sheet instead.  That will be in the next revision. 

Thanks for the heads up.

Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on May 12, 2011, 03:10:07 AM
I just found a better spreadsheet alternative called LibreOffice.  There is now a link to that download site on the Bru'n Water site.  When I open Bru'n Water in LibreOffice, it looks much more like it supposed to look like in Excel.  I think LibreOffice is probably a better way to go. 
Liber Office is a fork from Open Office.
It works pretty good.
After Oracle acquired Open Office future of Open Office is unknown.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: gordonstrong on May 12, 2011, 03:14:02 AM
LibreOffice is indeed a fork of OpenOffice, but it's supposed to have better compatibility with Office 2007.

Haven't decided which is likely to be better in the long run, but I like them both better than what happened to Skype.  My first thought: oh, great, now my telephone will crash.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on May 12, 2011, 03:24:24 AM
Haven't decided which is likely to be better in the long run, but I like them both better than what happened to Skype.  My first thought: oh, great, now my telephone will crash.
Using Windows Mobil?  ;)
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: joe6pack on May 12, 2011, 05:25:27 AM
Martin - Installed LibreOffice, does look a little better, but got the same response as OpenOffice -when I open the existing file, I'd get all these Err:509 fields.  Then I opened a new file, inputed my water info, and saved it as a .xls instead of a .ods, closed and reopened it, and it works great.  I have a few other files that were originally Excel files, saved in the .ods format, no problem with them.  Oh well.
Now I can't wait to brew so I can try Bru'n Water out!  Thanks.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: brewme_slc on May 12, 2011, 02:25:16 PM
Martin, let me first say what a wonderfully helpful calculator this is.  Unfortunately, I cannot seem to get past the Ion balance test.  Per your instructions, I tried adjusting the Ca level to closer match my water report in hopes it gets the ion levels within tolerance.  Currently, I am showing 5.65 Cations and 50 Anions, a ratio of .11.  

I used the "reported total alkalinity" calculator to determine the bicarb. and est. CO3 concentration.  Calculator said 125.7 HCO3 and .2 CO3.

Can someone tell me what I'm doing wrong?  Below is what my water report says (Salt Lake City, UT):

Fluoride: 876
Nitrate: .3
Nitrite: 0
Calcium: 71.34
Magnesium: 132.2
Potassium: .2
Sodium: 24.54
Iron: 0
Sulfate: 35.6
Chloride: 38.6

PH: 7.6
Alkalinity as CaCO3: 103.4
Hardness as CoCO3: 142.4

Is it possible that the following minerals are causing the ion count to be off?  These are on my report, but not in the calculator:

Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Nickel,and  Selenium

I really would appreciate any help!

Cheers,

Eric


It appears you are misreading the concentrations.  If I'm not mistaken, that water would be poisonous if the fluoride concentration was that high.  In addition, that level of magnesium would mean that your water would make an instant laxative.  

Be sure that the units are in parts per million (ppm) or they may also be listed as mg/L.  You would need to divide the concentration number by 1000 if the ions are reported as parts per billion (ppb) or ug/L.  That u is actually a mu symbol and it means micrograms instead of the mg (milligrams).  You need to look closer at the reporting units and probably divide some of those values by 1000.   So if the report said 200 ppb (or 200 ug/L), that would convert to 0.2 ppm for input into the Water Report Input sheet.

The report shows most figures as ur-ppm.  Does that mean I should divide by 100?  Dividing by 1000 doesn't seem right (everything rounds to zero).
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on May 12, 2011, 03:41:15 PM
I've experienced the same Er::509 issue when I save the .xls file as an .ods file (using open office). It works fine when I save it in its native .xls format.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on May 12, 2011, 05:00:22 PM

The report shows most figures as ur-ppm.  Does that mean I should divide by 100?  Dividing by 1000 doesn't seem right (everything rounds to zero).

The only concentrations that need to be converted are those that are reported in parts per billion (ppb).  If the report says everything is in ppm, then don't convert the values. 

Based on the high concentrations, there has to be some of the data that is mis-entered or mis-reported.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on May 30, 2011, 07:14:57 PM
Martin:

Is there any chance the estimated pH on the mash acidification sheet could include hundredths too?  The reason I ask is because when adding salts in g/gal on the water adjustment sheet, there can be quite a significant rate range between a pH of, say, 5.3 and 5.4 on the mash acidification sheet (forgive me if I'm not articulating this well).  E.g., for one of my recipes, adding Ca(OH)2 at a rate of .15 g/gal will yield an estimated pH of 5.3.  But to hit an estimated pH of 5.4, Bru'n Water tells me to more than double that addition rate.  It would be helpful to be able to see just how various rate points in between affect the estimated pH.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: nateo on June 02, 2011, 03:03:27 AM
Martin:

Is there any chance the estimated pH on the mash acidification sheet could include hundredths too?  The reason I ask is because when adding salts in g/gal on the water adjustment sheet, there can be quite a significant rate range between a pH of, say, 5.3 and 5.4 on the mash acidification sheet (forgive me if I'm not articulating this well).  E.g., for one of my recipes, adding Ca(OH)2 at a rate of .15 g/gal will yield an estimated pH of 5.3.  But to hit an estimated pH of 5.4, Bru'n Water tells me to more than double that addition rate.  It would be helpful to be able to see just how various rate points in between affect the estimated pH.

I think the issue is the significant digits (maybe I'm wrong). If the calculation formula is based on one decimal place, you can't accurately estimate to two decimals. The formula, as is, is making a guess. It's a pretty good guess, from my experience, but still just a guess. The spreadsheet is like a map, you still have to use your experience to drive to your destination. It won't drive the car for you.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on June 02, 2011, 02:08:41 PM
I see Matt's point in wanting to see that the changes he makes to either water or mash are having an effect.  But as Nate points out, its difficult to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.  We just don't have the accuracy with the methodology to predict to the hundreths.  There are too many variables.  I wouldn't want to imply that its possible to achieve that sort of accuracy by showing pH predictions with hundreths shown.  Right now, it appears that Bru'n Water can only predict to the tenth or two tenths of a pH unit accuracy. 

   
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: gandelf on June 08, 2011, 01:23:45 PM
I see Matt's point in wanting to see that the changes he makes to either water or mash are having an effect.  But as Nate points out, its difficult to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.  We just don't have the accuracy with the methodology to predict to the hundreths.  There are too many variables.  I wouldn't want to imply that its possible to achieve that sort of accuracy by showing pH predictions with hundreths shown.  Right now, it appears that Bru'n Water can only predict to the tenth or two tenths of a pH unit accuracy.  
  
FWIW, I have increased my target pH accuracy by first adding an appropriate amount of acid to achieve my target pH, then add more acid until the pH changes to the next lower point, then divide the difference in half. That puts my target pH in the middle of the acid quantity range, versus the lowest amount. Since I have started doing this, my mash pH has not been off by more than 0.1 pH and typically within .05 pH. I have also calibrated my Milwaukee SM102 meter before each brew to check this.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: gandelf on June 30, 2011, 04:16:41 PM
Martin, would it be possible to include a dilution qty/strike liquor qty and dilution qty/sparge liquor qty
on the Water Adjustment and Adjustment Summary sheets? Thanks for your work.
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on November 20, 2011, 12:54:50 PM
Resurrecting this thread to ask a question about how melanoidin malt should be classified on the Bru'n Water mash acidification sheet.

According to the Weyermann spec sheet for melanoidin, this malt is "highly acidic."  The spec sheet doesn't indicate the pH of the malt and I haven't done any of my own testing.  Does anyone have any data on how melanoidin malt affects mash pH?  How should melanoidin be classified on Bru'n Water's mash acidification sheet?
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: mabrungard on November 20, 2011, 02:59:24 PM
Resurrecting this thread to ask a question about how melanoidin malt should be classified on the Bru'n Water mash acidification sheet.

The Crystal Malt selection on the Mash Acidification sheet is the most 'acidic' of the normal malts.  If you hover your cursor over the Grain Type header on the Mash Acidification sheet, you'll see that Melanoidin Malt is called out as a Crystal Malt. 

Grain summary: 

Any grain with a color rating of over 200L is a Roasted Malt
Any stewed or otherwise processed, non-Base malt is a Crystal Malt
Any Pilsner, Lager, 2-row, 6-row, Pale, Munich, Vienna, Mild, Wheat, Oat, or flaked grain is a Base Malt.

Enjoy..
Title: Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on November 20, 2011, 04:55:29 PM
Resurrecting this thread to ask a question about how melanoidin malt should be classified on the Bru'n Water mash acidification sheet.

The Crystal Malt selection on the Mash Acidification sheet is the most 'acidic' of the normal malts.  If you hover your cursor over the Grain Type header on the Mash Acidification sheet, you'll see that Melanoidin Malt is called out as a Crystal Malt. 

Grain summary: 

Any grain with a color rating of over 200L is a Roasted Malt
Any stewed or otherwise processed, non-Base malt is a Crystal Malt
Any Pilsner, Lager, 2-row, 6-row, Pale, Munich, Vienna, Mild, Wheat, Oat, or flaked grain is a Base Malt.

Enjoy..

Great, thanks!