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Messages - mmitchem

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Ingredients / Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« on: May 29, 2012, 09:02:36 PM »
I could even use something like 1.2g of gypsum, 1.2g CaCl2 and 2.5g Chalk to get a little more towards that room temp pH of 5.6, or mash pH of 5.3-5.4

Y'all know what I mean

Ingredients / Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« on: May 29, 2012, 08:55:49 PM »
In my case I think that I would be better off using Distilled Water...even with alot of crystal malts, the pH gets pretty high with the RA in my water (303ppm)...
For instance I am brewing a Doppelbock this weekend doing a big triple decoction. Here is my recipe I have come up with after reading the Classic Styles Series for a 6 gallon batch...

OG 1.078
IBU 25ish
SRM 24ish

14lbs Munich I (7SRM)
2lbs Bohemian Pilsner (1.7SRM)
8oz Caramunich I (39SRM)
8oz Caramunich II (57SRM)
2.25 Mittelfruh @ 60mins (4.1%AA)
.35oz Mittelfruh @ 30mins (4.1%AA)

120 Boil


Using distilled water for a 6.15 gallon mash (1.4 quarts/lb)

I am making the following mash additions:

2.5g Gypsum
2.5g Calcium Chloride
1.8g Chalk

That gives me 85ppm Calcium, 59ppm Sulfate, 51ppm Chloride, 106 Bicarbonate, RA of 27 annnnnnnd a mash pH of 5.4. That puts me in the ballpark because I am not using heaps of crystal malt that lower the pH of the mash.

Sound about right?????

All Grain Brewing / Re: Terra Alba, kinda like gypsum?
« on: May 25, 2012, 04:53:34 PM »
I think you might a little confused on what Gypsum actually is. Gypsum is nothing more that CaSO4 (Calcium Sulfate). When you add gypsum to beer, you are only adding calcium and sulfate. No sulfur. Don't worry, we will help ya out - nobody outs Baby in the corner! ;)

Ingredients / Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« on: May 24, 2012, 04:39:08 PM »
Yes indeed. That is the good word right there. Now I think of the acidifation that my grist will have on the water rather than the SRM of the beer I am brewing. head sins no more :)
I think Bru'n Water will be used in the future to help get my water where it needs to be. Thank you all for helping make sense of this apsect of brewing. I was in my LHBS yesterday picking up some gypsum and CaCl2 and one of my friends asked me, "Why are you adding all that stuff to your beer man?" I think I can answer him correctly now and maybe shine a little light on brewing water for him.

Ingredients / Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« on: May 24, 2012, 04:34:30 AM »
Wait wait wait, I think I have stared at this thing enough to see the light...
In a mash, roasted malt doesnt contribute to the acidity nearly as much as when you have crystal malt thrown into the recipe. The mash doesnt get too low when you use them, so you don't have to load your water down with chalk to get the bicarbonate. And in turn RA that you would need to help buffer that big pH drop is not needed.
The bottom line is that you add bicarbonate to raise your RA in order to counteract the big pH drop that crystal malts will have on your mash. It is not about color, it is about the grist you use to and balancing the pH to keep it in the 5.2-5.5 optimal range.
Of course, this is independent of your sulfate to chloride ratio which drives the flavor of your beer (hoppy vs malty), I think I have a firm grip on that.

...Is this the key that I have been missing???? :)

Ingredients / Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« on: May 24, 2012, 02:04:53 AM »
I hear ya there, that is a good tip for keeping the pH from dropping too low. The problem with this is that the pH remains too high when the additions are made to balance out the additions. Yeah, I am thinking Martin might need to weigh in on this one. We say you Mr. Brungard?

Ingredients / Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« on: May 23, 2012, 06:49:46 PM »
I don't think that'd work in this case. If you did that you would have nothing in their to acidify things, and probably end up with a pH of 5.7 or so, which is a bit high. That would also leave your calcium level deficient, and I don't think adding more gypsum and caCl2 to compensate would be ideal for this style.

+1...I always understood the roasted grains had a higher acidity, helping acidify the mash.

Ingredients / Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« on: May 23, 2012, 05:23:47 PM »
If I were making the beer I would use the method I described above and be willing to bet that it would produce a darn good beer and not worry about RA.

I heard that my friend! I bet it would too. I must admit I have only recently become more interested in water, though i have made a few beers that have scored in the 40's without making any adjustments to water or worried about RA or ratios...
Let's see what Martin says about that as well. You have been a tremendous help in wrapping my head around this. Maybe Martin will get us the rest of the way (without a doubt, he is the man that can do it). Thanks so much!

Ingredients / Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« on: May 23, 2012, 04:45:50 PM »
I did all that and came up with very similar numbers. Now here is I get tripped up. If I bump up my Chalk to get the appropriate RA (which is appropriate for color, from what I understand), then the alkalinity is too high, shooting the pH up to around 5.8.
Does RA really play a pivotal role in the whole thing? Even with distilled i cannot reach a suitable mash pH along with a suitable RA with the numbers suggested. The dilemma :)

Ingredients / Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« on: May 23, 2012, 04:08:06 PM »
Okay, I am going to go try it and see what I come up with...thanks a bunch!

Ingredients / Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« on: May 23, 2012, 03:22:24 PM »
Let's take a simple Dry Stout:

7lb Maris Otter (4 SRM)
2lb Flaked Barley
1lb Roasted Barley (500 SRM?)

Starting with distilled water. Show me the way :)

Ingredients / Water Has My Head Spinning...
« on: May 23, 2012, 02:45:16 PM »
I have been paying particular attention to my water lately as it seems to be the next big step in my quest for the best beer I can brew. There seem to be conflicting views on water...from what I can tell, and that may be way off ;)
I have been primarily comparing Bru'n Water and John Palmers RA spreadsheet to compare results of mineral additions. But here is where my confusion comes in. I heard John Palmer say on a Brewstrong podcast that if you get your RA in the ballpark of where you want it, then your mash pH should take care of itself in getting in good brewing range (5.2 to 5.5). This really doesnt take into play your grainbill or anything like that. However when I look at my water profile and mash acidification on Bru'n Water, the pH is pretty high (6.1). I also remember John saying that if you get your RA right, and your sulfate to chloride ratio where it needs to be, you are 99% of the way there. Seems simple balancing only these 3 things...
For dark beers, John calls for a relatively high RA (like 250), while Bru'n Water has a relatively low number for black beers. The higher the RA, the less acidification takes head hurts...
All of this has my head spinning and I feel like either one is better than the other or I am missing a vital piece of the puzzle. Anyone want to weigh in on this? Thanks in advance!

Ingredients / Re: Post your water report
« on: May 23, 2012, 01:07:34 PM »
Hard to say what all it passes through under the earth. I do know that there are ways to mitigate it though. I am a little mad at myself for putting water off the radar for so long. Ughhhh, if I would have known All part of the growth as a brewer I suppose. One obstacle at a time :)

Ingredients / Re: Post your water report
« on: May 23, 2012, 03:21:35 AM »
My RA is rather high. Along with the sodium. I go half and hald distilled and add a combination of chalk, calcium chloride and gypsum until i get the RA where I want it for light beers as well as getting the sulfate to chloride ratio where it needs to be for the beer I am brewing (malty vs. hoppy). Also hit it with some lactic acid as well if needs be. Not the greatest water, but it can make some good dark beers with minimal adjustment :)
Also, no softener. Just well water through a big blue charcoal filter in the corner lol.

Beer Recipes / Re: U.K. stout
« on: May 23, 2012, 03:15:21 AM »
Is there a particular commercial example of what you are trying to brew? Guiness? Sam Smith's? That would help out with the recipe for sure :)

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