Author Topic: Water/Mash questions re: Kolsch  (Read 1218 times)

Offline madscientist

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Water/Mash questions re: Kolsch
« on: March 03, 2014, 11:02:37 AM »
Hello once again,

I am looking to brew a Kolsch for my latest venture - A style I have really come to love.  I've done several All grain batches and seem to have finally dialed in my process, and I have all the necessary temp control in place for a beer like this. 

I've been reading a lot of resources and it would seem that it'd be in my best interest to shoot for a mash pH of 5.4 for this beer.  The question is what is the best way to do that?  With a grist of 93% Pils Malt and 7% Wheat malt, i should have a mash pH of roughly 5.8.  Would acid malt be the appropriate way to go, or is there a better way to treat my water to achieve my target pH? 

Once again, your help is appreciated.

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Re: Water/Mash questions re: Kolsch
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 11:09:58 AM »
Using lactic or phosphoric acid is much easier and more precise.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Water/Mash questions re: Kolsch
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 11:18:33 AM »
+88%!
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: Water/Mash questions re: Kolsch
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2014, 11:54:37 AM »
I also agree.

I would recommend using Bru'n water to get the amount of 88% Lactic to use, and then confirm with a pH meter if you have one.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Water/Mash questions re: Kolsch
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2014, 11:57:12 AM »
Based on the scenario, I assume that you are using low-alkalinity water like RO for the mashing. An all pale malt mash would typically end with its pH around 5.7 to 5.8 unless the water was hardened or acidified. That pH does create a potential for tannin extraction.

Given the style, I would target a pH of 5.2 to 5.3. Some form of acidification is needed. Acid malt can work, but liquid acids are more likely to be accurate.
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Offline madscientist

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Re: Water/Mash questions re: Kolsch
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2014, 01:14:00 PM »
I also agree.

I would recommend using Bru'n water to get the amount of 88% Lactic to use, and then confirm with a pH meter if you have one.

Great thank you!  Where do I find Bru'n water?
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: Water/Mash questions re: Kolsch
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2014, 01:16:20 PM »
I also agree.

I would recommend using Bru'n water to get the amount of 88% Lactic to use, and then confirm with a pH meter if you have one.

Great thank you!  Where do I find Bru'n water?  I'm assuming 88% Lactic is something I can get at a homebrew store or online?

https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

88% Lactic Acid is the concentration that I have always seen in the Homebrew store. I think my last purchase was 3 bucks for 4oz.

Oh, and make sure to thank Martin for making the spreadsheet we all can use to make tasty beer!
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Offline madscientist

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Re: Water/Mash questions re: Kolsch
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2014, 01:30:17 PM »
Thanks!

Edit:  It took a while to decipher my water report and why they weren't reporting magnesium, but I was able to estimate it and it seems to work.  Some lactic acid and CaCl2 will get me to a pH right in the sweet spot. 
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 07:01:16 AM by madscientist »
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Offline madscientist

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Re: Water/Mash questions re: Kolsch
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2014, 05:13:50 PM »
Ok bumping this one more time because of a few questions with my water report that came up.  I thought I had everything good to go, but need some clarification.

This is what I have for my water report:

Alkalinity, total: 30.1 mg/L
Ca: 13.9 mg/L
Hardness, Carbonate: 64.1 mg/L
NO3: 1.16 mg/L
Na: 29.1 mg/L
SO4: 25.8 mg/L
Cl: 52.8 mg/L

Since they give me the hardness, that should contain the total calcium and magnesium.  I was reading on braukaiser that generally 70% of this hardness comes from calcium.  So 30% (or 19.2 mg/L) should be the magnesium content.  That would mean 44.8 would be calcium.  But since calcium is listed already (13.9), do I add the 44.8 to 13.9, or is should I subtract the 13.9 from the 64.1 to get 50.2 for the magnesium?  Ultimately I am wondering what numbers I need to put in a water calculator. 

Thanks again
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Water/Mash questions re: Kolsch
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2014, 07:03:56 PM »
Since they give me the hardness, that should contain the total calcium and magnesium.  I was reading on braukaiser that generally 70% of this hardness comes from calcium.  So 30% (or 19.2 mg/L) should be the magnesium content.  That would mean 44.8 would be calcium.  But since calcium is listed already (13.9), do I add the 44.8 to 13.9, or is should I subtract the 13.9 from the 64.1 to get 50.2 for the magnesium?  Ultimately I am wondering what numbers I need to put in a water calculator. 

Unfortunately, that generalization isn't worth much. The amount of calcium or magnesium CANNOT be generalized since it is totally dependent upon the minerals the water contacted on its way to your tap. A 70/30 split between Ca and Mg may be correct in some waters, but more than likely, its not.

If the hardness and calcium values from the water report are correct, then the magnesium content is more like 7 ppm.

It's sad to see misinformation like that on the web...but it does exist.
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Offline madscientist

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Re: Water/Mash questions re: Kolsch
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2014, 07:45:13 PM »
Since they give me the hardness, that should contain the total calcium and magnesium.  I was reading on braukaiser that generally 70% of this hardness comes from calcium.  So 30% (or 19.2 mg/L) should be the magnesium content.  That would mean 44.8 would be calcium.  But since calcium is listed already (13.9), do I add the 44.8 to 13.9, or is should I subtract the 13.9 from the 64.1 to get 50.2 for the magnesium?  Ultimately I am wondering what numbers I need to put in a water calculator. 

Unfortunately, that generalization isn't worth much. The amount of calcium or magnesium CANNOT be generalized since it is totally dependent upon the minerals the water contacted on its way to your tap. A 70/30 split between Ca and Mg may be correct in some waters, but more than likely, its not.

If the hardness and calcium values from the water report are correct, then the magnesium content is more like 7 ppm.

It's sad to see misinformation like that on the web...but it does exist.

Hey thanks for the response.  I was a bit skeptical of this and thats why I wanted to ask here whilst continuing my research.  This forum has provided some great advice over the past few years.  I did manage to work it out and got exactly what you said.  Mg is about 7.2.  Also found out that I have "moderately hard" water.  A little gypsum and CaCl2 and some lactic acid and my water should be good to go both in mineral content and pH. 

And thanks for the awesome program... putting all the CORRECT numbers in Bru'n water makes it much easier to work with :-)
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 07:47:50 PM by madscientist »
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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Water/Mash questions re: Kolsch
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2014, 08:21:39 PM »
It's sad to see misinformation like that on the web...but it does exist.
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Offline ccfoo242

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Re: Water/Mash questions re: Kolsch
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2014, 07:35:06 AM »

It's sad to see misinformation like that on the web...but it does exist.
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Especially from braukaiser! Shame on him. ;-)


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Re: Water/Mash questions re: Kolsch
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2014, 10:59:40 AM »
Since they give me the hardness, that should contain the total calcium and magnesium.  I was reading on braukaiser that generally 70% of this hardness comes from calcium.  So 30% (or 19.2 mg/L) should be the magnesium content.  That would mean 44.8 would be calcium.  But since calcium is listed already (13.9), do I add the 44.8 to 13.9, or is should I subtract the 13.9 from the 64.1 to get 50.2 for the magnesium?  Ultimately I am wondering what numbers I need to put in a water calculator. 

Unfortunately, that generalization isn't worth much. The amount of calcium or magnesium CANNOT be generalized since it is totally dependent upon the minerals the water contacted on its way to your tap. A 70/30 split between Ca and Mg may be correct in some waters, but more than likely, its not.

If the hardness and calcium values from the water report are correct, then the magnesium content is more like 7 ppm.

It's sad to see misinformation like that on the web...but it does exist.

Hey thanks for the response.  I was a bit skeptical of this and thats why I wanted to ask here whilst continuing my research.  This forum has provided some great advice over the past few years.  I did manage to work it out and got exactly what you said.  Mg is about 7.2.  Also found out that I have "moderately hard" water.  A little gypsum and CaCl2 and some lactic acid and my water should be good to go both in mineral content and pH. 

And thanks for the awesome program... putting all the CORRECT numbers in Bru'n water makes it much easier to work with :-)

and if you are using RO water - it doesn't usually take much lactic acid to move the ph meter into your target...ive found weighing the liquid on calibrated scale vs trying to hit a specific ml is much easier better accuracy.
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Offline johnf

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Re: Water/Mash questions re: Kolsch
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2014, 12:24:29 PM »
Since they give me the hardness, that should contain the total calcium and magnesium.  I was reading on braukaiser that generally 70% of this hardness comes from calcium.  So 30% (or 19.2 mg/L) should be the magnesium content.  That would mean 44.8 would be calcium.  But since calcium is listed already (13.9), do I add the 44.8 to 13.9, or is should I subtract the 13.9 from the 64.1 to get 50.2 for the magnesium?  Ultimately I am wondering what numbers I need to put in a water calculator. 

Unfortunately, that generalization isn't worth much. The amount of calcium or magnesium CANNOT be generalized since it is totally dependent upon the minerals the water contacted on its way to your tap. A 70/30 split between Ca and Mg may be correct in some waters, but more than likely, its not.

If the hardness and calcium values from the water report are correct, then the magnesium content is more like 7 ppm.

It's sad to see misinformation like that on the web...but it does exist.

I don't believe there is any misinformation on  Kai's website regarding this.

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=At_home_water_testing

The number comes from fitting observed data which is obviously something anyone modeling mash pH in a spreadsheet is comfortable with.