Author Topic: Bru'n water PH using German Melanoiden  (Read 2428 times)

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Bru'n water PH using German Melanoiden
« on: October 14, 2014, 08:42:27 PM »
i still have an unexplained lower than target PH when using german melanoiden at 10oz or 6% of grain bill.

brunwater says my PH should be 5.33 at it comes out at 5.15. i have to add some baking soda to get ph in to the 5.3 range.  never have this problem until using melanoiden malt in the brew - which i really like but trying like heck to figure out what the deal is. i list it as crystal in the mash acidification table.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 08:48:54 PM by wort-h.o.g. »
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Offline chumley

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Re: Bru'n water PH using German Melanoiden
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2014, 03:43:51 AM »
My thought is that Melanoidin is simply Munich malt on steroids, and Munich malt was developed to provide some acidity to counteract the carbonate water of Munich.  I read this about Munich malt many years ago....maybe Noonan's Brewing Lager Beer?  At any rate, my experience is that Munich malt indeed does provide significantly more acidity than pilsner malt. So I am not surprised by your results.

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Re: Bru'n water PH using German Melanoiden
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2014, 04:23:57 AM »
My thought is that Melanoidin is simply Munich malt on steroids, and Munich malt was developed to provide some acidity to counteract the carbonate water of Munich.  I read this about Munich malt many years ago....maybe Noonan's Brewing Lager Beer?  At any rate, my experience is that Munich malt indeed does provide significantly more acidity than pilsner malt. So I am not surprised by your results.
I was thinking something similar. Melanoidin/Aromatic malt is like extra dark Munich rather than a crystal malt. I use Kai's water calculator on Brewer's Friend and it handles Aromatic as a "Roasted Malt". I'm not sure how this compares to Brunwater, or what the calculation is behind the scenes. I do use Castle Aromatic in a lot of my maltier beers, and my pH is always in the ballpark I'm shooting for.
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Re: Bru'n water PH using German Melanoiden
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2014, 01:22:02 PM »
My thought is that Melanoidin is simply Munich malt on steroids, and Munich malt was developed to provide some acidity to counteract the carbonate water of Munich.  I read this about Munich malt many years ago....maybe Noonan's Brewing Lager Beer?  At any rate, my experience is that Munich malt indeed does provide significantly more acidity than pilsner malt. So I am not surprised by your results.
I was thinking something similar. Melanoidin/Aromatic malt is like extra dark Munich rather than a crystal malt. I use Kai's water calculator on Brewer's Friend and it handles Aromatic as a "Roasted Malt". I'm not sure how this compares to Brunwater, or what the calculation is behind the scenes. I do use Castle Aromatic in a lot of my maltier beers, and my pH is always in the ballpark I'm shooting for.
that seems like a possibility. i did go in and change it to roast malt, however that doesnt change the PH significantly- and doesn't account for the variance in projected vs actual PH. Its as if its somewhere in between a roast and acid malt in terms of acidity and impact on PH.

wonder if there's any value in just mashing some melanoiden on its own and seeing what the PH is?
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 01:46:21 PM by wort-h.o.g. »
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Bru'n water PH using German Melanoiden
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2014, 09:41:55 PM »
My thought is that Melanoidin is simply Munich malt on steroids, and Munich malt was developed to provide some acidity to counteract the carbonate water of Munich.  I read this about Munich malt many years ago....maybe Noonan's Brewing Lager Beer?  At any rate, my experience is that Munich malt indeed does provide significantly more acidity than pilsner malt. So I am not surprised by your results.
I was thinking something similar. Melanoidin/Aromatic malt is like extra dark Munich rather than a crystal malt. I use Kai's water calculator on Brewer's Friend and it handles Aromatic as a "Roasted Malt". I'm not sure how this compares to Brunwater, or what the calculation is behind the scenes. I do use Castle Aromatic in a lot of my maltier beers, and my pH is always in the ballpark I'm shooting for.
that seems like a possibility. i did go in and change it to roast malt, however that doesnt change the PH significantly- and doesn't account for the variance in projected vs actual PH. Its as if its somewhere in between a roast and acid malt in terms of acidity and impact on PH.

wonder if there's any value in just mashing some melanoiden on its own and seeing what the PH is?
Doing a mini mash would tell a lot.

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Re: Bru'n water PH using German Melanoiden
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2014, 09:57:47 PM »
Just playing devil's advocate here - unless you used a lot of melanoidan malt (I use ~ .5 lb when I do), I have a hard time seeing it dropping your pH that much more than what Bru'nwater would predict. I don't know if you use strips to verify, but the paper ones are junk, though the colorpHast ones are better. Honestly, I trust Bru'nwater more than strips, though I do compare with colorpHast strips and the two are consistently on the same page.

One more dumb question - water volumes and grist ( with accurate lovibond #s) are entered in the software correctly I assume ?  I ask because every now and then I start entering salts in the software before realizing I didn't enter all of my info correctly.

Just trying to rule out all the variables.
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Re: Bru'n water PH using German Melanoiden
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2014, 10:31:20 PM »
Just playing devil's advocate here - unless you used a lot of melanoidan malt (I use ~ .5 lb when I do), I have a hard time seeing it dropping your pH that much more than what Bru'nwater would predict. I don't know if you use strips to verify, but the paper ones are junk, though the colorpHast ones are better. Honestly, I trust Bru'nwater more than strips, though I do compare with colorpHast strips and the two are consistently on the same page.

One more dumb question - water volumes and grist ( with accurate lovibond #s) are entered in the software correctly I assume ?  I ask because every now and then I start entering salts in the software before realizing I didn't enter all of my info correctly.

Just trying to rule out all the variables.

fair questions. yes all variables are entered as they should be and i do have two Ph meters that are calibrated. i dont see how melanoiden would do that either-and that what has me confused.  im doing another batch this weekend and hope to isolate what my issue might be. bru'nwater has always been great for me and trying to rule out anything i can to narrow down what happened.  I WILL FIND IT!!! (even if its stupid human error  ???)
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 10:40:32 PM by wort-h.o.g. »
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Bru'n water PH using German Melanoiden
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2014, 10:58:01 PM »
Just playing devil's advocate here - unless you used a lot of melanoidan malt (I use ~ .5 lb when I do), I have a hard time seeing it dropping your pH that much more than what Bru'nwater would predict. I don't know if you use strips to verify, but the paper ones are junk, though the colorpHast ones are better. Honestly, I trust Bru'nwater more than strips, though I do compare with colorpHast strips and the two are consistently on the same page.

One more dumb question - water volumes and grist ( with accurate lovibond #s) are entered in the software correctly I assume ?  I ask because every now and then I start entering salts in the software before realizing I didn't enter all of my info correctly.

Just trying to rule out all the variables.

fair questions. yes all variables are entered as they should be and i do have two Ph meters that are calibrated. i dont see how melanoiden would do that either-and that what has me confused.  im doing another batch this weekend and hope to isolate what my issue might be. bru'nwater has always been great for me and trying to rule out anything i can to narrow down what happened.  I WILL FIND IT!!! (even if its stupid human error  ???)

Cool, just trying to make sense of it. Like I say, I'm not immune to overlooking something either. One other thing I thought of too - LHBS error, assuming you bought your grains this time and didn't use existing supplies at your house. Last year I brewed an Arrogant bastard-type beer, one of the clones brewed by Mike McDole on BN. It uses ~ 90% 2row, 10% Special B. Anybody who has used half that amount of Special B knows how intense and distinct that malt is. My beer was not only not near the color of AB, but had nowhere near the Special B character. I think my LHBS maybe had a small amount of Special B and made the difference up in C80 or C90, or maybe even gave me all C80 or 90. It was a good beer, but not what I thought I bought. A mistake or 'educated substitution' could definitely throw things off.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 11:35:28 AM by HoosierBrew »
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Re: Bru'n water PH using German Melanoiden
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2014, 01:14:03 AM »
Can you post your water profile and the recipe?

Have you tried Kai's spreadsheet? A lot of Martin's work was based on experiments done by Kai, and yet I often get different results from the two.

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« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 01:15:45 AM by narvin »
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Re: Bru'n water PH using German Melanoiden
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2014, 01:32:36 AM »

Can you post your water profile and the recipe?

Have you tried Kai's spreadsheet? A lot of Martin's work was based on experiments done by Kai, and yet I often get different results from the two.

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Water is my RO system. Reads 12 TDS and ph of 6.2.beginning to think my water may be closer to distilled then the RO water profile default in brunwater.

Recipe was 11lb floor malted Maris, 1 lb cara Munich 45, 10 oz melanoiden. Mashed in at 1.65 qts/lb


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Re: Bru'n water PH using German Melanoiden
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2014, 01:54:26 AM »
I've wondered the same for my RO.  TDS at 18.  I am having trouble replicating the Lake Michigan treated water mineral profile without overshooting on either sulfate or Chloride when getting Calcium into the right range for an American pale ale.  Trying to make the same water as the guys in my club - we are brewing a single hop trial with everything else being equal, except for a single hop by each guy with each guy using a different hop at the same IBU'S....
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Re: Bru'n water PH using German Melanoiden
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2014, 05:15:01 AM »
If you're experimenting, try crushing the Melanoidin malt separately. Dough in without the Melanoidin, check the pH, then add the Melanoidin and recheck pH. Run calculations through Brunwater (and maybe Brewer's Friend, too) for the same recipe both with and without the Melanoidin. It would be very interesting to see how each one compares.

One other thought - are you using a specific base malt in these recipes that may be different than what you typically use? For example, if these are lagers, then maybe you're using a lot more Pils or Munich than you would typically use in other brews.
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Re: Bru'n water PH using German Melanoiden
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2014, 11:22:23 AM »
If you're experimenting, try crushing the Melanoidin malt separately. Dough in without the Melanoidin, check the pH, then add the Melanoidin and recheck pH. Run calculations through Brunwater (and maybe Brewer's Friend, too) for the same recipe both with and without the Melanoidin. It would be very interesting to see how each one compares.

One other thought - are you using a specific base malt in these recipes that may be different than what you typically use? For example, if these are lagers, then maybe you're using a lot more Pils or Munich than you would typically use in other brews.

nothing new other than melanoiden. maybe they slipped me acid malt on mistake. that would certainly drop my PH down to the 5.0-.5.1 range
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Bru'n water PH using German Melanoiden
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2014, 01:31:45 PM »
This is an interesting finding and it is possible. There is no telling if the assumption that Bru'n Water uses (malt acidity is generally proportional to color rating) ALWAYS holds true. I can say that appears to be true for the vast majority of base and crystal malts, so that should be reassuring. But I don't know that Melanoidin malt conforms with that assumption.

As pointed out above, I would expect that with the typically low percentage of Melanoidin malt in a grist would mean that it shouldn't have a lot of effect on the overall wort pH. If there was a large shift in the wort pH, I would be more inclined to look at the base malt. Do recall that we have observed that some base malts tend to be more acidic than their color rating implies. Rahr malts tend to show this response and I've recommended that you trick the program into duplicating that higher acidity by adding about 3L to the reported Rahr base malt acidity.

A similar issue with malt acidity was brought to my attention by a British brewer several months ago. He reported that Crisp Amber malt did not perform as expected with Bru'n Water. The maltster lists their amber malt as a Roast malt. In that brewer's observations, he found that the mash pH prediction was off when the Amber malt was assumed to be a Crystal malt, but was almost perfect when set to Roast malt in Bru'n Water. With a color rating of only about 30L, this certainly doesn't seem to be a Roast malt. But the maltster's categorization and the apparent acidity suggest that it is. For Bru'n Water users, you have probably noted that I have suggested that Roasted malts are those types that have a color rating of over 180L. It appears that I am wrong again! So we have another case where malt color may not be the best indicator for acidity.

We will keep working at it! 
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Bru'n water PH using German Melanoiden
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2014, 02:38:39 PM »
This is an interesting finding and it is possible. There is no telling if the assumption that Bru'n Water uses (malt acidity is generally proportional to color rating) ALWAYS holds true. I can say that appears to be true for the vast majority of base and crystal malts, so that should be reassuring. But I don't know that Melanoidin malt conforms with that assumption.

As pointed out above, I would expect that with the typically low percentage of Melanoidin malt in a grist would mean that it shouldn't have a lot of effect on the overall wort pH. If there was a large shift in the wort pH, I would be more inclined to look at the base malt. Do recall that we have observed that some base malts tend to be more acidic than their color rating implies. Rahr malts tend to show this response and I've recommended that you trick the program into duplicating that higher acidity by adding about 3L to the reported Rahr base malt acidity.

A similar issue with malt acidity was brought to my attention by a British brewer several months ago. He reported that Crisp Amber malt did not perform as expected with Bru'n Water. The maltster lists their amber malt as a Roast malt. In that brewer's observations, he found that the mash pH prediction was off when the Amber malt was assumed to be a Crystal malt, but was almost perfect when set to Roast malt in Bru'n Water. With a color rating of only about 30L, this certainly doesn't seem to be a Roast malt. But the maltster's categorization and the apparent acidity suggest that it is. For Bru'n Water users, you have probably noted that I have suggested that Roasted malts are those types that have a color rating of over 180L. It appears that I am wrong again! So we have another case where malt color may not be the best indicator for acidity.

We will keep working at it!

thanks so much for the info. i did switch from regular maris otter to Warminster Floor Malted Maris Otter, and that's about 88% of the grist. im targeting around 5.25-5.3, so when it was getting 5.08-5.16 i wondered what happened.

I did originally list melanoiden as crystal, and since changed it to roast malt. bru'n water projects 5.3.

the only other thing i can think off as partial contributor is my RO water not quite aligning with the RO defaults. perhaps  with TDS of 12-13, PH 6.2 that there's not much of any buffering capacity and my water is more similar to distilled. not sure but just a thought.

edit: i just pulled this info from the manufacturers website on floor malted maris otter:
                                         Extract           Colour
                                      As Is    Dry    450g    515ml
Maris Otter Premium Pale Ale 300    309     5.3       4.5

so changing the melanoiden to roast, and changing the maris otter color from 3.5 to 5, and changing water profile from RO to distilled moves the projected PH to PH 5.27. my actual on one of the batches came in at PH 5.16, variance .11. interesting - might be on to something with these changes and theories.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 03:00:07 PM by wort-h.o.g. »
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