Author Topic: Water additions for red ale  (Read 5300 times)

Offline hulkavitch

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Water additions for red ale
« on: August 22, 2012, 11:23:26 AM »
I am preparing to brew a red ale next weekend and i am having some difficulty with my water calculations. I typically use RO water and add minerals.  My RO water has an estimated RA of 0. Mg .34, Na 1.1, Ca 1.9, SO4 1.2, Cl 1.3.

Srm of the beer is to be 16.4. For this beer i would like a target RA around 10-15.

I am trying to raise my calcium and mag levels to appropriate mash levels but when i do i throws my estimated RA into the 30 range.  Also my calculted mash pH is outside of where it should be.

Should i just add chalk to get my calcium to 50 and not worry about the rest?

Will I get enough mag from the grains in the mash or do i need to add epsom?

Recipe:

Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Water additions for red ale
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2012, 11:29:55 AM »
I dont add Mg to any of my water except my IPA in which case I do it just because I want more sulfate than Im willing to get by gypsum alone.

Chalk should not needed. Add calcium chloride and gypsum to get to 50 ppm of calcium and check your pH from there, Im guessing youll be in range. The mash process is magical.

As for how much, if you want malty/ add more calcium chloride then gypsum, if you want balanced add equal, if you want hoppy add more gypsum.
Jason
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Offline hoser

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Re: Water additions for red ale
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2012, 11:48:27 AM »
Red ale as in Irish Red, or Red ale as in American amber?  2 very different water profiles, IMHO.  If it was an Irish ale I would lean towards a higher chloride ratio vs gypsum (if any at all). Whereas for an American amber I would lean towards a higher sulfate vs. chloride ratio.

Offline richardt

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Re: Water additions for red ale
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2012, 01:34:46 PM »
Use Martin's "amber malty" profile for an irish red ale.  You can add gypsum to the finished beer to make it more balanced or to accentuate the hop character, if desired. 

Use Martin's "amber balanced" or "amber bitter" if you're really going for a West-Coast style Red Ale with lots of hop flavor and aroma. 
Using RO water + brew salts, you'll find that:
CaCl2 will be the majority of what you'll use, split equally between mash and sparge additions.
Much smaller additions of Gypsum and Epsom Salt split equally between mash and sparge additions.
And just a touch of Chalk in the mash.

Get the Ca above 50 ppm, and keep the SO4 and Cl levels around 50 (with attention to their ratios).

Offline hulkavitch

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Water additions for red ale
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2012, 02:56:11 PM »
It is an irish red. Where can i find Martin's malty profile

Offline richardt

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Re: Water additions for red ale
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2012, 10:52:32 AM »

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Water additions for red ale
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2012, 12:01:54 PM »
[...]Martin's malty profile[...]

This is a truley wonderful phrase. maybe just a song title but might also make it as an album title.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Water additions for red ale
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2012, 06:08:03 PM »
You guys crack me up!
Martin B
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Offline hulkavitch

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Water additions for red ale
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2012, 05:31:52 PM »
Martin's amber malty profile is for beers with an RA of -13. My calculations put the RA for a red as between 10-15. Am i reading this wrong?

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Water additions for red ale
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2012, 05:43:07 PM »
Martin's amber malty profile is for beers with an RA of -13. My calculations put the RA for a red as between 10-15. Am i reading this wrong?

Beers don't have a RA.  The RA of the water used in the mashing will vary depending upon the needs of the grist.  Don't fall into the color trap.  You don't set RA based on beer color.

The color mentioned in those water profiles is intended to get you looking at the approximate alkalinity and hardness values that MIGHT be appropriate for a beer of that color.  The brewer then goes on to fine-tune the bicarbonate content to meet the needs of the mash grist.
Martin B
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Offline mmitchem

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Re: Water additions for red ale
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2012, 06:01:19 PM »
Martin and the crew have recently gave me the crash course in water treatment. So I feel ya on getting too wrapped up in brewing based by color.
When you are thinking about the color of the beer, you should really be thinking the crystal and roasted grains in the grist, as they will lower you mash pH. The more dark grains, the more drastic the lowering of mash pH. You have to play a balancing act between adding enough salts to buffer the pH changes from dark grains. Enter chalk. It will help to balance out the mash pH and you are aiming for the 5.2-5.5 range optimally.
Michael P Mitchem
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Offline hulkavitch

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Water additions for red ale
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2012, 03:48:21 PM »
Gotcha. Taking a closer look at the spreadsheet  the SRM on this beer actually moves it into the brown malty profile.

Offline hulkavitch

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Water additions for red ale
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2012, 07:06:23 PM »
Thanks Martin for Bru'nwater info and spreadsheet. I am going to have to decrease my grain bills because with the water additions my efficiency raised from 62 to 72%

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Water additions for red ale
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2012, 07:39:01 AM »
Thanks Martin for Bru'nwater info and spreadsheet. I am going to have to decrease my grain bills because with the water additions my efficiency raised from 62 to 72%

I don't think that water adjustments alone could make that sort of improvement.  The original water would have to be way off for that to be feasible.  I'm betting that other improvements to the brewing process like runoff time or grain crush.  Glad to hear about the improvement though.
Martin B
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Offline hulkavitch

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Water additions for red ale
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2012, 12:01:25 PM »
Well before this mash i was just using mostly chalk to increase my calcium with ro water. I didnt know it wasnt soluble