Author Topic: Palmer's Spreadsheet - Kettle addition  (Read 4944 times)

Offline hophead73

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Palmer's Spreadsheet - Kettle addition
« on: August 16, 2012, 06:07:32 PM »
I was just listening to Brew Strong and have been trying to work out the correct water profile for my Sierra Celebration Ale Clone.

I get that for the initial mash you only put the mash water volume into the spreadsheet (for me 3gallons) and then calculate the appropriate salt additions to reach my desired water profile.

Palmer states on Brew Strong that you have to then do a separate addition that will be added to the kettle for the sparge water that will top off your kettle to your pre-boil volume. But he never goes into detail about this addition.

So say I get 2 gallons of wort from my sparge. I would then need 4.25 gallons to reach my pre-boil volume from sparging. Would you then just take the spreadsheet and put 4.25 gallons and adjust the salts to reach the same water profile that I calculated for the mash?

Offline nateo

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Re: Palmer's Spreadsheet - Kettle addition
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012, 06:13:36 PM »
Please don't use Palmer's spreadsheet for any reason, under any circumstance.

Here's Martin's way better one: https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Here's Kai's way better one: http://braukaiser.com/documents/Kaiser_water_calculator_US_units.xls
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Palmer's Spreadsheet - Kettle addition
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2012, 06:36:00 PM »
Palmer states on Brew Strong that you have to then do a separate addition that will be added to the kettle for the sparge water that will top off your kettle to your pre-boil volume. But he never goes into detail about this addition.

Generally, what you want to do is use mash additions to adjust alkalinity in order to hit a target mash pH, then add any additional flavor ions (chloride or sulfate, basically) in the kettle. If you can add what you want in the mash while still keeping the mash pH in range, there's no need for a kettle addition.

Please don't use Palmer's spreadsheet for any reason, under any circumstance.

That's a bit much, don't you think? It will certainly get your mash pH in range, with the caveat that it recommends adding far too much alkalinity for very dark beers.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Palmer's Spreadsheet - Kettle addition
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2012, 06:40:00 PM »
That's a bit much, don't you think? It will certainly get your mash pH in range, with the caveat that it recommends adding far too much alkalinity for very dark beers.

From my experience, it gets the mash pH in range if the mash pH would've been in range without adjustments. So it works great if you don't actually need it, but its predictive power is poor if you actually need to adjust your mash pH.
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Offline hophead73

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Re: Palmer's Spreadsheet - Kettle addition
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 07:17:27 PM »
So using Kaiser's spreadsheet (Bru'N spreadsheet doesn't seem to be working) I get close to the same amount of salts as if I were to use Palmer's and do a 3 gallon mash and then do another calculation for 4.5 gallons of sparge water.

So it seems like they are both right in the salt additions.
My question then is when to add the 2nd addition. Kaiser says to add it to the sparge, but won't some of the salts not dissolve without the mash or boil? So couldn't you just add the 2nd addition to the boil kettle instead?

Offline nateo

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Re: Palmer's Spreadsheet - Kettle addition
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2012, 07:23:27 PM »
Adding Ca or Mg salts to the main mash will affect the pH, though slightly. Chalk has to be added to an acidic environment (like the mash) to dissolve, but chalk is a poor choice for raising alkalinity if you have access to pickling lime. So if you don't want to alter the mash pH, you can add Ca/Mg salts to the sparge or the boil. If you add chalk to the kettle I'd worry about driving your kettle pH too high.

Which salts are you adding, how much are you adding, and why are you adding them?
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Offline tubercle

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Re: Palmer's Spreadsheet - Kettle addition
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2012, 07:27:19 PM »
Mashing is mashing, sparging is rinsing. Wrap your head around that.
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Offline hophead73

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Re: Palmer's Spreadsheet - Kettle addition
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2012, 07:34:15 PM »
Mashing is mashing, sparging is rinsing. Wrap your head around that.

Yeah I know that. But Palmer says there is no need to add the salts to your sparge water since they don't have time to dissolve into the sparge water. So wouldn't it make more sense to add this addition the kettle instead?

Offline tubercle

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Re: Palmer's Spreadsheet - Kettle addition
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2012, 07:42:20 PM »
Mashing is mashing, sparging is rinsing. Wrap your head around that.

Yeah I know that. But Palmer says there is no need to add the salts to your sparge water since they don't have time to dissolve into the sparge water. So wouldn't it make more sense to add this addition the kettle instead?

 Not trying to be an a$$..but think about it. I know there exist all kind of spreadsheets created by "experts"...but what makes the best sense to you? The best answers are not the one ones given to you but the ones you come up with yourself. Don't think outside the box, throw away the box.


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« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 07:51:02 PM by tubercle »
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Offline hophead73

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Re: Palmer's Spreadsheet - Kettle addition
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2012, 07:50:20 PM »
Adding Ca or Mg salts to the main mash will affect the pH, though slightly. Chalk has to be added to an acidic environment (like the mash) to dissolve, but chalk is a poor choice for raising alkalinity if you have access to pickling lime. So if you don't want to alter the mash pH, you can add Ca/Mg salts to the sparge or the boil. If you add chalk to the kettle I'd worry about driving your kettle pH too high.

Which salts are you adding, how much are you adding, and why are you adding them?

Here is my water report:
Calcium: 13.0
Magnesium: 3.0
Sodium: 23.0
Sulfate: 9.0
Chloride: 25.0
CaCO3:   45.0

Going off of research I would like to reach a water profile for my IPA of about:
Target SRM: 13
Calcium: 90
Magnesium: 12
Sodium: 35
Sulfate: 160
Chloride: 25
CaCO3: 130

I have 9lbs of grain with mash thickness 1.3qt/lb
7.42gallons total = 2.88gallons for mash / 4.54 gallons for batch sparge

Gypsum: 5g
Epsom: 3g
Baking Soda: 1g
Chalk: 4g
« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 09:15:39 PM by hophead73 »

Offline Kaiser

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Re: Palmer's Spreadsheet - Kettle addition
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2012, 08:32:08 PM »
What color are you aiming for? Do you really need to raise the pH with chalk and baking soda?

You can also add all the salts to the mash. That will raise your mash pH a bit but you won't raise it during the sparge or in the boil kettle.

Kai

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Palmer's Spreadsheet - Kettle addition
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2012, 05:45:05 AM »

Gypsum: 5g
Epsom: 3g
Baking Soda: 1g
Chalk: 4g

While I find that a little alkalinity can be needed in a big beer with a nice dose of crystal malts, that 130 ppm alkalinity may be excessive in my experience. 

Another consideration is the use of chalk.  I'm getting plenty of data from Bru'n Water users that says: Chalk doesn't work AT ALL within the time frame its needed during the mash.  Chalk takes a while to dissolve and then it takes more time to react.  So unless a user is creating a predissolved and CO2-reacted chalk solution, don't even think about using chalk in brewing. 

Another thing is that alkalinity is never added to sparging water.  So the issue of adding either baking soda or chalk should not come up for sparging water.  Unfortunately, there are too many water resources on the web that don't know or relate this information.

I'm sorry to hear the hophead73 is having difficulty in getting Bru'n Water to run on his machine.  That seems to be more of a possibility on machines the run non-standard operating systems or software.  So it appears that you won't have the opportunity to use Bru'n Water, but you can still get a better understanding of brewing water chemistry from the Bru'n Water site.
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: Palmer's Spreadsheet - Kettle addition
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2012, 10:02:51 AM »
I am going to preface this statement by saying I am not a scientist, and don't have a complete understanding of water chemistry. Bru'n Water is awesome, and it is where I got almost all of my water knowledge.

I start with almost Pilsen soft water. I make as few changes as possible to my water.

I add Chalk (I haven't had the problem you have noticed Martin, but I also only use the strips) only to my very dark beers, if my pH is too low; and then it is usually 1/2 tsp or less, confirmed by pH strips.
3-5g of gypsum goes into the kettle if I am doing a very hoppy beer.
3-5g of CaCl goes into the kettle if I am doing a malty beer.
1/2 tsp of 88% Lactic Acid goes into the sparge water. (I think this might be a superstitious thing, but it works for me, haven't done side-by-side though.)

Done.

In the future, I am going to move to pickling lime for my pH adjustments, and get a pH meter. Right now though, I make the fewest adjustments to my water as possible. I did one beer where I added 3-4 different salts, and it was an abject failure. My pH ended up wonky, and the beer ended up tasting kind of muddy. Simplicity is your friend.

Also, completely off-topic, but I would add some of that "sparge water" as a mash-out step in order to even out your runoff volumes. It will help some with efficiency.
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Offline Pi

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Re: Palmer's Spreadsheet - Kettle addition
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2012, 10:33:28 AM »
"Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers" by John Palmer was supposed to come out back in April. Anyone know about this?
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Offline mmitchem

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Re: Palmer's Spreadsheet - Kettle addition
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2012, 10:42:05 AM »
"Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers" by John Palmer was supposed to come out back in April. Anyone know about this?
Palmer said that they just need to learn more, in order to make a better book at one point...
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