Author Topic: Brun Water question  (Read 2563 times)

Offline redzim

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Brun Water question
« on: March 21, 2013, 07:04:10 AM »
Recently started using Brun Water to acidify my sparge water with lactic acid. When I'm doing a brew where I'm building water from scratch, based on distilled water, do I enter the Water Alkalinity on Tab #2, Cell B4, as zero, since distilled water plus gypsum & CaCl2 has zero alkalinity, according to Tab #3, Cell L12? 

And then when I enter a zero alkalinity into Tab #2, it tells me to use zero lactic acid in the sparge water. I guess I should believe this, but am having trouble figuring out why...  won't the distilled water still have a pH of around 7, and I'd like it to get down to 5.5?

thanks
red

Offline erockrph

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Re: Brun Water question
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2013, 07:39:10 AM »
Distilled water has roughly a neutral pH, but it also has zero buffering capacity. That means that it doesn't take much to swing the pH quickly in either direction. It also means that it has minimal effect on the pH of what it is being added to. The ions already present in the mash should easily overcome the addition of distilled water (depending on the water adjustments and grist).

If you had another solution with the same pH, but a high concentration of a buffering agent, then it would have a significant effect on the pH. Not all pH=7 solutions are created equal.
Eric B.

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Offline Kaiser

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Re: Brun Water question
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2013, 08:46:49 AM »
red, you are correct. Distilled water actually has a non-zero alkalinity. It’s the amount of acid needed to drop its pH from 7 to 4.3, which is a common titration end point for alkalinity measurement. Check out this calculator: http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-chemistry-and-brewing-water-calculator/ Simply leave the default values for the source water empty and play with the pH. When you update the calculation and then look at the detailed report in the source water section (click “show report” and then click “even more detail”) to show the alkalinity  you will see how the alkalinity changes if only the pH of the water changes.

distilled water with a pH of 7, for example, has an alkalinity of 2.5 ppm as CaCO3

But erockrph is also correct that for the purpose of brewing water adjustments you can assume the alkalinity of distilled water to be 0.

If I use that calculator to determine the amount of lactic acid needed to drop the pH from 7 to 5.4 I get 0.01 ml for 4 gal of water. You can’t even measure that precisely.

Kai

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Brun Water question
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2013, 09:24:57 AM »
You don't have to acidify low alkalinity water for sparging use. In addition, it would only take a drop or two to cause its pH to plunge.  pH is NOT what matters for sparging water or tap water, its the ending alkalinity of the treated water.  In the case of starting with distilled water, then you don't need to perform any acidification for sparging use.

For those using the free version of Bru'n Water; yes, you need to enter the appropriate water alkalinity on the Sparge Acidification sheet in order to have the program figure out your sparging water acid addition.  If using RO or distilled water, then the alkalinity would be near zero.  The users of the supporters version of Bru'n Water already know that the alkalinity of the water from the Input page is already copied onto the sparge acidification page and there are also drop down selections for using RO or Distilled water dilutions.  Its worth the upgrade.   
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Offline wort-h.o.g.

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Re: Brun Water question
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2013, 10:00:24 AM »
You don't have to acidify low alkalinity water for sparging use. In addition, it would only take a drop or two to cause its pH to plunge.  pH is NOT what matters for sparging water or tap water, its the ending alkalinity of the treated water.  In the case of starting with distilled water, then you don't need to perform any acidification for sparging use.

For those using the free version of Bru'n Water; yes, you need to enter the appropriate water alkalinity on the Sparge Acidification sheet in order to have the program figure out your sparging water acid addition.  If using RO or distilled water, then the alkalinity would be near zero.  The users of the supporters version of Bru'n Water already know that the alkalinity of the water from the Input page is already copied onto the sparge acidification page and there are also drop down selections for using RO or Distilled water dilutions.  Its worth the upgrade.   

+1 being worth the upgrade. and all the comments are dead on from my experience. when i switched to distilled, it basically eliminated my need for lactic acid in the mash..whatever my mash ph calculated at after plugging in the grains and my salts, my runoff was exactly that.  unless i was trying to get the PH a point or 2 lower for a lighter beer, no lactic acid is needed. as far as sparge water is concerned, you will likely never need anything other than the brewing salts - so trust bru'n water..it wont steer you wrong.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Brun Water question
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2013, 10:04:19 AM »
+1 to the upgrade. Has helped me get to the next level. Takes out the guesswork I always had with water.
Jon H.

Offline Kaiser

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Re: Brun Water question
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2013, 10:12:57 AM »
Or just go with the Brewer's Friend water calculator and you get all that and more for free. No need to type the same thing in two places.

Kai

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Brun Water question
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2013, 12:25:27 PM »
Having your records on your own computer is a plus.  Having to log in or input an access number might be less appealing. ;-)
Martin B
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Offline denny

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Re: Brun Water question
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2013, 01:55:08 PM »
I don't want to turn this into a "which is better" discussion, but I will say that in my case not having to use internet to access a program is a big plus.  Anything that's online only is a deal breaker for me.
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Offline mmitchem

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Re: Brun Water question
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2013, 02:29:33 PM »
I think that both formats are great. I like to be able to have a local copy for use in my brewery. I never have to worry about loss of connection to the internet. Having an online calculator is awesome too, because sometimes I am at work and want to develop a water profile on a computer, so that is pretty cool.

I guess it really is what you prefer - a local copy or a 'cloud' copy...At the end of the day, either one will get you in the zone.
Michael P Mitchem
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Brun Water question
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2013, 03:28:59 PM »
While the residual alkalinity of water is the driver, I just wanted to note that the pH of distilled water is not 7, it is acidic (often around 5.8) because of absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. 
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Offline wort-h.o.g.

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Re: Brun Water question
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2013, 04:13:56 PM »
While the residual alkalinity of water is the driver, I just wanted to note that the pH of distilled water is not 7, it is acidic (often around 5.8) because of absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

I have to say I have never gotten a ph of 5.8 for distilled water. More often it is closer to 7... Ranging 6.5-7.0.

Offline yso191

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Re: Brun Water question
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2013, 05:24:00 PM »
Somehow I missed that there was an upgrade path for Brun Water.  So I just upgraded.  I look forward to exploring.
Steve

Offline kramerog

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Re: Brun Water question
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2013, 06:39:17 PM »
A pH of 5.8  is what you should get if the distilled water is in equilibrium with the CO2 in the atmosphere (according to the internet, which is about what I remember).  YMMV.
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Offline redzim

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Re: Brun Water question
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2013, 04:42:38 AM »
Thanks for all the answers, it's making sense now. 

Special thanks to Kai and Martin. What both of you have done to help us ignoramuses (ignorami?) with water chemistry is fantastic.

-red