Author Topic: What water volume do you figure treatments / Bru'n water questions?  (Read 858 times)

Offline swlusk

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I'm always refining my process and was thinking about my water adjustment. When you are figuring water adjustments, which volume do you figure for? I usually use the full mash and water amount I'm planning on using but should I instead be using pre or post boil amount? Fermenter amount?

Thanks,
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 08:40:51 AM by swlusk »
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Re: What water volume do you figure treatments for?
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2014, 07:01:51 AM »
Use whichever volume the addition is going to affect. If you're adding something for mash pH adjustment, use the mash volume and add it in the mash. If it's for flavor adjustment, use the post-boil volume and add it in the kettle.
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Offline swlusk

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Re: What water volume do you figure treatments for?
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2014, 07:44:21 AM »
Use whichever volume the addition is going to affect. If you're adding something for mash pH adjustment, use the mash volume and add it in the mash. If it's for flavor adjustment, use the post-boil volume and add it in the kettle.
That makes sense. I typically use the style ranges from the "Water Book" to figure my additions. I guess my next question should be, once I have built my water to the levels I want, Does boil off and/or shrinkage affect the concentrations of the minerals I just added?
« Last Edit: April 11, 2014, 08:21:41 AM by swlusk »
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Re: What water volume do you figure treatments for?
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2014, 08:55:59 AM »
Does boil off and/or shrinkage affect the concentrations of the minerals I just added?

Yes. Just like with anything else in solution, it's only the water that evaporates, and the concentration of the solute will go up.
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Offline swlusk

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Re: What water volume do you figure treatments for?
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2014, 05:40:27 PM »
Does boil off and/or shrinkage affect the concentrations of the minerals I just added?

Yes. Just like with anything else in solution, it's only the water that evaporates, and the concentration of the solute will go up.
I currently use brewers friend for my water calculations. On the recipe I'm building now, I'm doing an addition to get the mash PH right and a flavor addition to the kettle to adjust for the style I'm brewing. I don't worry about equipment loss or grain absorption changing the concentration of mineral additions, but should I be deducting my boil off amount from the calculations? Brewers friend doesn't have a place to do this so I imagine I would deduct it from the sparge amount.
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Re: What water volume do you figure treatments for?
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2014, 05:49:11 PM »
I use Bru'nWater - it allows you to enter your   1/ Total mash volume, including grain absorption and dead space
as well as   2/ Your final post boil volume.

I don't use Brewer's Friend for water, but you'd need to be able to enter your final volume somewhere, to get the right concentration of salts for your batch.
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Offline swlusk

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Re: What water volume do you figure treatments for?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2014, 08:26:47 AM »
I use Bru'nWater - it allows you to enter your   1/ Total mash volume, including grain absorption and dead space
as well as   2/ Your final post boil volume.

I don't use Brewer's Friend for water, but you'd need to be able to enter your final volume somewhere, to get the right concentration of salts for your batch.

Well, I downloaded Martin's spreadsheet and it is indeed detailed. Took me awhile to wrap my brain around it but I do like it! I still have some questions. The batch I'm working on now for a classic ESB I'm using the style guideline ranges from the "Water Book" as my target for the style. With my water profile (spring water dil. 50% with dist.) in order to get a predicted 5.4 mash PH I have to add a certain amount of Sulfate and Calcium chloride. The spreadsheet has me adding the same amount to both the mash and sparge water @ grams per/gal. Adding this amount to get my PH right puts my overall water adjustment a bit too high for my style, if I reduce the amount to the proper levels for the style, then my predicted PH for the mash goes to the high end of the range at around 5.6 where I'm shooting for 5.4
Is there a way to set up the spreadsheet to add more of the addition to the mash and less to the sparge or kettle?  This way I can get my mash PH right and still hit the style ranges as well.

Thanks for the help! ;D
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 08:43:45 AM by swlusk »
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: What water volume do you figure treatments / Bru'n water questions?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2014, 10:24:58 AM »
Using the mineral additions to reduce pH is not a good way to approach water adjustments. You are correct that limiting the total mineral content of the brewing water is often desirable for beer flavor. That helps avoid creating a minerally water that hides other malt flavors that you want to exhibit.

This is not to say that you would not add a lot of minerals for brewing some styles. Its just that for most brewing, less mineral content can produce a nicer beer flavor.

In the case above, reducing the mineral additions to produce only the mineralization you want in your beer and then adding an acid to produce the pH and alkalinity conditions you need for brewing is more likely to produce better beer. Don't be afraid of using acid in brewing. It is a standard component of most great brewer's tool kit.
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Offline swlusk

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Using the mineral additions to reduce pH is not a good way to approach water adjustments. You are correct that limiting the total mineral content of the brewing water is often desirable for beer flavor. That helps avoid creating a minerally water that hides other malt flavors that you want to exhibit.

This is not to say that you would not add a lot of minerals for brewing some styles. Its just that for most brewing, less mineral content can produce a nicer beer flavor.

In the case above, reducing the mineral additions to produce only the mineralization you want in your beer and then adding an acid to produce the pH and alkalinity conditions you need for brewing is more likely to produce better beer. Don't be afraid of using acid in brewing. It is a standard component of most great brewer's tool kit.


I know when I'm using acid to adjust alkalinity and PH I have to be mindful of amounts and flavor thresholds but is there a difference between using acid malt as opposed to just using lactic acid? or is phosphoric better?
« Last Edit: May 03, 2014, 10:12:45 AM by swlusk »
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Online morticaixavier

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Using the mineral additions to reduce pH is not a good way to approach water adjustments. You are correct that limiting the total mineral content of the brewing water is often desirable for beer flavor. That helps avoid creating a minerally water that hides other malt flavors that you want to exhibit.

This is not to say that you would not add a lot of minerals for brewing some styles. Its just that for most brewing, less mineral content can produce a nicer beer flavor.

In the case above, reducing the mineral additions to produce only the mineralization you want in your beer and then adding an acid to produce the pH and alkalinity conditions you need for brewing is more likely to produce better beer. Don't be afraid of using acid in brewing. It is a standard component of most great brewer's tool kit.


I know when I'm using acid to adjust alkalinity and PH I have to be mindful of amounts and flavor thresholds but is there a difference between using acid malt as opposed to just using lactic acid? or is phosphoric better?

using lactic instead of acid malt is more precise, other than that there is no difference. I have not used phosphoric but you can use less of it and it is more neutral flavor wise so there is less concern of exceeding the flavor thresdhold.

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Re: What water volume do you figure treatments / Bru'n water questions?
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2014, 12:15:51 PM »
What is the flavor threshold.?For five gallon batch, I rarely use more than 2ml in my mash.
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Re: What water volume do you figure treatments / Bru'n water questions?
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2014, 12:24:01 PM »
This from Kai :


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


EDIT -  I was off on my units. In this thread from Martin, he says that 5ml in 5 gallons is probably safe, but 10 ml is pushing it, flavor wise. I think I just used ~ 3ml in a Pils.

 https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=14882.msg189011#msg189011
« Last Edit: May 03, 2014, 12:59:16 PM by HoosierBrew »
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