Author Topic: First Attempt At Water Chemistry w/ RO  (Read 434 times)

Offline thebigbaker

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First Attempt At Water Chemistry w/ RO
« on: November 23, 2013, 11:37:06 AM »
Hi everyone.  Making my first leap into water chemistry after reading the new "Water" book and Martin's Bru'n Water site.  I'm still waiting for the results of my water report for my home source (Centennial, CO), so I'm going to use RO water for a 3 gal batch of an IPA.  Using Bru'n Water spreadsheet (which is great, expect a donation for the upgraded version soon Martin!) here's what I've come up with:

3 gallon batch w/ 3 gallon mash water and 2 gallon sparge water for total of 4 gal wort.

Add to RO Water (gram/gal):
Gypsum - 1.7
Epsom - .30
Baking Soda - .35
CaCl2 - .3

I get:
Ca - 127
Mg - 8
Na - 33
SO4 - 283
Cl - 42
Bicarbonate - 83
Est. Mash PH - 5.4
RA - (27)
SO4/CL Ratio - 6.69 (I really didn't pay much attention to this, just was trying to get close to "pale ale" profile #'s)

Since this is my fist time messing w/ water chemistry, I want to make sure I'm not over doing anything or not enough of something.  Can't thank you enough for any input!

Jeremy Baker

"An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You should never see an Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order sign, just Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience." - Mitch Hedberg

Offline mabrungard

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Re: First Attempt At Water Chemistry w/ RO
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2013, 02:42:15 PM »
That looks fine to me. The sodium is still nice and low, so the baking soda addition doesn't really affect the flavor. Since you are using the free version of Bru'n Water, it over estimates the sodium contribution to the overall wort in the kettle since it doesn't account for the dilution of the sparging water (which doesn't get any baking soda). The supporter's version does properly account for the final sodium content. 

The bit of baking soda in this water is typical since you are adding a bunch of Ca and Mg which drive the water's residual alkalinity down.  The baking soda helps moderate that.  Be aware that in less mineralized waters, you will probably be adding a bit of acid in pale beers.

John Palmer and I visited a brewery here in Indy last week. They use RO for all their beers with NO mineral additions. Not surprisingly, they were a little bland...but OK. Since they weren't using acid either, the mash pH's for the paler beers were a little high. We could pick up a little tannin in some beers, but not excessive. Interestingly, the brewer did have a pH meter and used it in the hot wort. He didn't know that you need to add about 0.3 units to that hot pH reading to correlate it to a room-temperature reading. So he thought he was good with a 5.4 pH, but it was actually something like 5.7.

He actually no longer has that meter since the high temperature wort broke the bulb. Just another sign-post on the road to helping everyone else to care for their meters!
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

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Offline thebigbaker

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Re: First Attempt At Water Chemistry w/ RO
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2013, 04:24:32 PM »
Thanks Martin!  I ordered my Milwaukee MW101 pH meter yesterday (actually just got noticed it shipped today) and any mash pH tests I do I plan to do at room temp. 

Depending on my water report, I may just end up using my home water for stouts and porters.  I've read about and had many people warn me that local water where I'm at can change seasonally.  So I may just start using Bru'n Water and RO water for all my brews!

Just donated and looking forward to using the upgraded version.  Thanks!
Jeremy Baker

"An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You should never see an Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order sign, just Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience." - Mitch Hedberg

Offline yso191

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Re: First Attempt At Water Chemistry w/ RO
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2013, 04:49:49 PM »
Thanks Martin!  I ordered my Milwaukee MW101 pH meter yesterday (actually just got noticed it shipped today) and any mash pH tests I do I plan to do at room temp. 

Depending on my water report, I may just end up using my home water for stouts and porters.  I've read about and had many people warn me that local water where I'm at can change seasonally.  So I may just start using Bru'n Water and RO water for all my brews!

Just donated and looking forward to using the upgraded version.  Thanks!

That is what I do and it works perfectly.
Steve

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: First Attempt At Water Chemistry w/ RO
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2013, 06:40:41 PM »
So I may just start using Bru'n Water and RO water for all my brews.
[/quote]

+1.  That's what I do for all my beers, and the consistency is spot-on. It reminds me of my first all-grain batch - afterward I wondered what all the fuss was over. It's really good software.
Jon H.