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Water profile: Can someone just tell me what to do?

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Water chemistry boggles my mind. I have been trying to build mash and sparge water from RO water. The RO water from my local water store has a pH of 6.5 and typically has 30 ppm of god only know what. I have been using an online spreadsheet to try to calculate salt additions but I don’t feel good about the results. My mash pH comes in a little high at 5.6. Since I am trying to extract a highly fermentable wort, I am shooting for 5.4. I have not been treating my sparge water and the sparge is fine reaching 5.7 by the end. I fly sparge.  However, my boil pH is high at 5.5. I have been lowering the mash pH to target and the boil pH to 5.1 with acid. I am getting excellent extraction efficiency but the final product seems to be a little harsh, from the hops I think. This weekend I am brewing a Saison. I have a full line of salts and an accurate balance. Could someone recommend mash and sparge water salt additions for this grain bill and hop profile: 59% Begian Pils-2L, 9.82% Vienna-3.5L, 9.82% Munich-10L, 4.91% flaked wheat-1.6L, 2.15% Special B-180L, 2.15% Special Roast-50L, and 12.27% dextrose. I expect a SRM of 8.7. Hops will be 3 oz. of Kent Goldings – 60 minutes, 2 oz. of Styrian Goldings – 15 minutes and 2 oz. – Styrian Goldings at flame out for an expected IBU of 32.5 (Tinseth’s method). I expect an original gravity of 1.057.  This is a 12 gallon batch and I will use 4 gallons of mash water up to 15 gallons of sparge water. Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

download Martin brungard's sheet (google bru'n water) -its very straightforward, easy to use and Martin is one of the most informative contributors on brewing water, IMO.


--- Quote from: blatz on December 14, 2012, 04:46:07 PM ---download Martin brungard's sheet (google bru'n water) -its very straightforward, easy to use and Martin is one of the most informative contributors on brewing water, IMO.

--- End quote ---


As far as I understand, put more calcium in your mash. And for sure treat your sparge water with some acid (Lactic or Sulfuric). But I really don't know what I am talking about, I just use bru'n water.

Americans obsess over brewing water. I don't think it's really all that important, in the grand scheme of things. Use a light touch. Only add stuff if you have a specific reason to do so. All things being equal, I've had the best results just by using the least-mineralized water I can. Make sure you hit your target pH though (use acid if you need to), because that can make a big difference.

Read the water knowledge section in Bru'nwater. Read it again. It has good information that will sink in. It worked for me.

As far as what you should do, you need to know your origin (the water analysis) before starting the journey (adjustments). The grist determines the route you take.

You could send your RO to Ward Labs for analysis. I did, and the results are in the 3rd post in this thread (first number in each entry, tap water is the second). I think you could say the levels are all low (3 ppm?)and go with it.

The pH of the water is not important, the mash pH is. Martin's spread sheet should help you hit the target pH. It is a little hard to do it for you, as you did not include the batch size, or more directly the weights for the grist.


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