Author Topic: Batch Sparge and Tannins  (Read 1008 times)

Offline dunngood

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Batch Sparge and Tannins
« on: March 11, 2014, 02:46:56 PM »
I recently brewed a Helles Lager that I have brewed many times before with good results. Now this one has a really paper dry finish. I think it is a astringency problem.
Now I find out the RO water I am using is not RO. It is much worse that my own water. It has a ph of over 8 and high levels of Sodium and Bicarbonate just like water using a water softener.
So my question is even though I batch sparge can water like this pull out tannins? I don't think I over sparge and my sparge water temp is 165F.

Offline denny

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Re: Batch Sparge and Tannins
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2014, 02:50:38 PM »
I recently brewed a Helles Lager that I have brewed many times before with good results. Now this one has a really paper dry finish. I think it is a astringency problem.
Now I find out the RO water I am using is not RO. It is much worse that my own water. It has a ph of over 8 and high levels of Sodium and Bicarbonate just like water using a water softener.
So my question is even though I batch sparge can water like this pull out tannins? I don't think I over sparge and my sparge water temp is 165F.

I think it's entirely possible with water like that.  With less extreme water, tannin extraction with batch sparging isn't usually a problem.  Although I haven't personally tested it, I've heard reports of batch spargers with really bad water having pH issues during the sparge.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Batch Sparge and Tannins
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2014, 02:53:17 PM »
How did you find out about the water?

what other water treatments are you using and what is the analysis of the base water?

Have you calibrated your thermometer recently?
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Offline dunngood

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Re: Batch Sparge and Tannins
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2014, 03:32:19 PM »
I have to run off to a beer meeting but here is a post I did.
I can not use my well water to brew with so I buy what was advertised as RO water at a fill your bottle station at a big store. Here is the Ad.
Our systems provide four levels of filtration: sediment filters, carbon filters, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light. The quality of the water is terrific and it is more environmentally friendly and cheaper than buying bottled water.

Here is the test sent in to Ward Labs
pH 8.1
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 353
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.59
Cations / Anions, me/L 6.2 / 6.3
Sodium, Na 141
Potassium, K < 1
Calcium, Ca 1
Magnesium, Mg < 1
Total Hardness, CaCO3 3
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.1 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 6
Chloride, Cl 58
Carbonate, CO3 6
Bicarbonate, HCO3 244
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 211
Total Phosphorus, P 0.63
Total Iron, Fe < 0.01
"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit
This is softned water not RO water. Ray Ward

I would not water my plants with that much Sodium and that much Bicarbonate will buffer most acid or salt adjustments. With all the filtering and back flushing involved with RO water are those little fill stations really RO?

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Batch Sparge and Tannins
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2014, 03:49:49 PM »
wow! crappy RO water. I'd report it to the company that owns the machine. Or at last to the store the machine sits outside of.
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Offline Steve in TX

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Batch Sparge and Tannins
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2014, 03:58:35 PM »
Makes me skeptical of the machine I use now.

Edit - get the local news station involved
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 04:00:56 PM by Steve in TX »

Online HoosierBrew

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Re: Batch Sparge and Tannins
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2014, 04:09:00 PM »
I've always wondered, too. I guess I've been lucky so far. My pH tests regularly pretty spot on to what Bru'nWater predicts - that's why I test it. Aside from that, I get good yeast performance and clear beers regularly, so I feel confident in my RO - thus far. But it is a concern.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Batch Sparge and Tannins
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2014, 05:25:23 PM »
The machine I get RO from tested at 12 ppm TDS and all of the brewing ions were <1 ppm from a ward lab test.

Tell them their RO is not as advertised. Find a new store to buy RO from.

Here is my RO water from a store machine, then my tap water.

There are 2 reports here.  Store bought RO water, and then my towns water.  Samples were last December-ish.

I use the RO for brewing and add different salts to get the profile I want.

RO Water, Milford Michigan tap Water
pH 6.3, 7.8
TDS 12, 630
Cond. mmho/cm 0.02, 1.05
Cations/anions me/L <.1/<.1, 11,10.8

Na <1, 58
K <1, 3
Ca <1, 114
Mg <1, 33
Harness CaCO3 <1, 423
Nitrate <0.1 (Safe), 0.3 (Safe)
SO4 <1, 16
Cl <1, 132
CO3 <1, <1
HCO3 <1, 364
Total Alkalinity CaCO3 <1, 298
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Online mabrungard

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Re: Batch Sparge and Tannins
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2014, 05:31:25 PM »
For Sure! Water with elevated alkalinity is almost guaranteed to pull tannins and silicates out of the grist. A simple acidification of that water would solve the alkalinity, but the high sodium won't be solved by anything but RO treatment. Looks like you need to find another machine.  As I've recommended before, anyone using a commercial RO machine or their own, should have a TDS meter with them to check that the RO water really has very low TDS. If it doesn't, something is wrong. TDS meters are cheap and reliable...much less expensive than a screwed up batch of beer.
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Offline wsoublo

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Re: Batch Sparge and Tannins
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2014, 05:34:25 PM »
That water report is very interesting.

First, the level of K/Ca/Mg seem to point that the water's been treated, but then there's the abnormally large Na and HCO3 concentrations and a substantial amount of residual Cl ion.  It seems like the water's getting treated.  Then, someone comes along and adds table salt and baking soda to the water.

Interesting none the less.  Thanks for sharing.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 05:41:42 PM by wsoublo »

Online HoosierBrew

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Re: Batch Sparge and Tannins
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2014, 05:41:18 PM »
OK, gotta get a TDS meter. As said, I've had good luck with RO and good pH, but I don't trust that it will stay that way, with no way of monitoring my RO. I priced a few on Amazon and they are surprisingly cheap. Thanks Martin !
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Offline dunngood

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Re: Batch Sparge and Tannins
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2014, 06:41:12 PM »
Thanks for the answer about the tannin and ph problem. I just wanted to put it out there about the RO problem. It still make me mad.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Batch Sparge and Tannins
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2014, 06:57:19 PM »
That water report is very interesting.

First, the level of K/Ca/Mg seem to point that the water's been treated, but then there's the abnormally large Na and HCO3 concentrations and a substantial amount of residual Cl ion.  It seems like the water's getting treated.  Then, someone comes along and adds table salt and baking soda to the water.

Interesting none the less.  Thanks for sharing.
Water softeners remove Ca and Mg, those ions are exchanged with NA, so the low Ca and Mg with high Na says water softener. Water softeners don't reduce the HCO3 or Cl.

This caught my eye when I read it.
"This water is softened not RO. Ray Ward."
Dr. Ray Ward is the Ward in Ward Labs.

Edit from another discussion. Before and after ion levels.
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=9988.msg122797#msg122797
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 07:13:38 PM by hopfenundmalz »
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Offline dixonmike20

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Re: Batch Sparge and Tannins
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2014, 12:47:26 PM »
This is very useful info and makes me question my own water. Now I have some investigating to do. And, that "RO" retailer has some explaining to do.


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