Author Topic: First Time Water Adjustment/Bru'n Water Help  (Read 1174 times)

Offline Joel5000

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First Time Water Adjustment/Bru'n Water Help
« on: February 21, 2015, 10:11:05 PM »
Hello everyone.  I'm finally trying to get a handle on water adjustment (I've been just throwing a couple teaspoons of gypsum in and calling it good). I'm hoping someone with experience can tell me if everything looks okay.  I'm brewing an IPA this weekend with the following grain bill:

13.5 lbs 2-row
12 oz Crystal 40
12 oz Cara Pils.

I'm using the Pale Ale profile in Bru'n Water.  I have pretty good water (Clackamas River Water district, just south of Portland, Oregon.)  I'm going to try posting some screen shots of my water and mash adjustments.












Does everything look alright?  Assuming I entered everything correctly, most of my numbers look good, except Mg is really low, and RA is really, really low.  Does that matter?  Any suggestions?  It also looks like my mash ph should settle in around 5.3 without any acidification.  That should be good.  Do I need to do acidify the sparge water?  I batch sparge the Denny cheap n' easy way.

Basically I just want to make sure that it looks like I did everything right.  Thanks in advance for any comments and suggestions.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2015, 10:19:48 PM by Joel5000 »

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: First Time Water Adjustment/Bru'n Water Help
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2015, 10:35:33 PM »
Magnesium isnt a problem. i will say i will use epsom to get my sulfate up to the levels I want, and not use all gypsum since it adds so much calcium. we've talked about calcium in ales on other threads.  it was pointed out for an ale, the higher levels of calcium may not impact flavor or be detrimental, however it can cause early floc of yeast during fermentation.

other than that, looks like you're on track from first glance.  i'd shoot closer to 5.4PH also-that was suggested to me and it work well with highly hoped pale ale and IPA.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
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Offline mchrispen

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Re: First Time Water Adjustment/Bru'n Water Help
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2015, 10:38:19 PM »
From what I can see - your figures look correct.

You need to decide if you wish to have the sodium and magnesium ions there for flavor. I like them, but many people will tell you they are not necessary. You may wish to take a look at removing the canning salt, and just adjusting the calcium chloride a bit till you hit 5.4 estimated mash pH. That will drive your calcium up a little further but shouldn't hurt anything. Otherwise, the RA being low is a function of the very low alkalinity of the source water and your grist - should be just fine.

I will also warn that while I use the Pale Ale profile, for my house IPAs and APAs I prefer a sulfate level around 230 rather than 300. High levels of sulfate can turn some folks off.

That is really very nice water!

Offline Joel5000

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Re: First Time Water Adjustment/Bru'n Water Help
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2015, 10:49:14 PM »
Wow, thanks for the quick replies guys.  After doing some reading on the forums, I realize how lucky I am to have this water source.  So if I understand correctly, adding more calcium chloride should raise the ph?  Maybe I should back off the gypsum, add a little epsom, and up the calcium chloride a bit.  It might not be a bad idea for me to lower the sulfate a little bit.  The recipe I'm brewing has around 100 calculated IBUs, so could be incredibly bitter with all that sulfate.

I'll play with the spread sheet some more.  Thanks again!


Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: First Time Water Adjustment/Bru'n Water Help
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2015, 10:55:02 PM »

Wow, thanks for the quick replies guys.  After doing some reading on the forums, I realize how lucky I am to have this water source.  So if I understand correctly, adding more calcium chloride should raise the ph?  Maybe I should back off the gypsum, add a little epsom, and up the calcium chloride a bit.  It might not be a bad idea for me to lower the sulfate a little bit.  The recipe I'm brewing has around 100 calculated IBUs, so could be incredibly bitter with all that sulfate.

I'll play with the spread sheet some more.  Thanks again!

No adding calcium chloride will lower PH. Sound like you've got an IPA not a pale ale here. 250-290 sulfate is just fine for that, and I would use Epsom salt to help get you there. You can use baking soda for the PH bump without any worries of sodium getting out of wack.


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Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

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

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline Joel5000

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Re: First Time Water Adjustment/Bru'n Water Help
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2015, 11:05:56 PM »
Made a few adjustments.  Lowered the gypsum and added Epsom.  Coming in right at 5.4 now.  I think I'm set.  Thanks again for all the help.




Offline YooperBrew

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Re: First Time Water Adjustment/Bru'n Water Help
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2015, 12:37:05 AM »
Made a few adjustments.  Lowered the gypsum and added Epsom.  Coming in right at 5.4 now.  I think I'm set.  Thanks again for all the help.



If you take out the calcium chloride (it's not needed), you can have a more appropriate level of calcium as well as a reasonable level of chloride.  That is what I would do.

Offline Joel5000

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Re: First Time Water Adjustment/Bru'n Water Help
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2015, 07:05:33 PM »

If you take out the calcium chloride (it's not needed), you can have a more appropriate level of calcium as well as a reasonable level of chloride.  That is what I would do.

The calcium and chloride are both slightly lower than the amounts called for in the profile.  Do you think the amounts are too high in the profile?  What is the potential drawback of the calcium being that high?

I already brewed yesterday with the additions I listed above, but I will keep the suggestion in mind for the next batch.  Thank you for repyling.  I appreciate all of the suggestions.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: First Time Water Adjustment/Bru'n Water Help
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2015, 07:15:03 PM »

If you take out the calcium chloride (it's not needed), you can have a more appropriate level of calcium as well as a reasonable level of chloride.  That is what I would do.

The calcium and chloride are both slightly lower than the amounts called for in the profile.  Do you think the amounts are too high in the profile?  What is the potential drawback of the calcium being that high?

I already brewed yesterday with the additions I listed above, but I will keep the suggestion in mind for the next batch.  Thank you for repyling.  I appreciate all of the suggestions.

ive just always used amber profile, and adjusted my sulfate up in the 200-250ppm range with gypsum and epsom salt. 100IBU is not something i've ever targeted, so not sure how much sulfate will be best. for my pale ale and IPA my range in IBU is somewhere between 45-80.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2015, 07:29:37 PM by Wort-H.O.G. »
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

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

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline YooperBrew

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Re: First Time Water Adjustment/Bru'n Water Help
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2015, 07:23:01 PM »
With elevated sulfate, sometimes 'too much' calcium can give a minerally flavor to the finished beer.  There is generally never a reason to go over 100 ppm of calcium although at that level it should make a nice clear beer.

If you don't notice any minerally flavor at all, then of course that is fine!

I'm not nearly smart enough to explain this so I went to my favorite source- martin brungard- and grabbed this with a copy and paste from his 'Bru'n Water' facebook page:  (This is 100% Martin's quote and nothing I've written myself):

As pointed out in articles published in The New Brewer and Zymurgy, high calcium content is not always desirable. For ale brewing, 50 ppm Ca is typically adequate to promote adequate flocculation and clearing. But the calcium content can be much lower when brewing lagers. So why do some profiles in Bru'n Water have much more than 50 ppm Ca???
The Pale Ale profile has very high calcium content due to our desire to also have a lot of sulfate in that water. Sulfate is an important component for helping the beer finish dry and allowing the bittering and hops to stand out. That sulfate anion has to be paired with some cation. You generally have the choice of calcium, magnesium, or sodium cations. Since sodium and sulfate don't taste very good together at high concentration, your choices are functionally limited to Ca and Mg. This is a reason that the magnesium content of the Pale Ale profile is somewhat high. Epsom salt (MgSO4) use in the Pale Ale profile enables the brewer to avoid adding too much calcium while still boosting the sulfate content to the high levels that are often desired in a Pale Ale. You just have to be careful to avoid adding too much Mg with the Epsom salt addition since it can have negative taste effects as its concentration in water exceeds 40 ppm Mg.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: First Time Water Adjustment/Bru'n Water Help
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2015, 07:41:09 PM »
Using the pale ale profile, I add enough epsom to hit (but not go over) Martin's recommended Mg level for the profile, then add gypsum until I hit 5.4 pH . Whatever extra amount of gypsum I need to hit my target sulfate level goes in the kettle.
Jon H.