Author Topic: Need help with water adjustment  (Read 785 times)

Offline Pi

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Need help with water adjustment
« on: July 16, 2015, 07:09:53 PM »
Every year for the past several I like to do an AG Oktoberfest. and every year i seem to fall short on malt character.Although last year i think i got pretty close. This go around I would like to experiment with perhaps tweaking my water. I have obtained a water report from Ward:
pH 7.7
Na 2
K 2
Ca 48
Mg 2
Total Hardness CaCO3 128
SO4 2
Cl 2
Biarbonate 138
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 113

Using Promash to calculate CaCO3 hardness, calcium went up slightly to 51.2, Bicarbs to 135, and pH calculated to 8.3. Does this sound correct?
And to do an Oktoberfest (actually shooting for a Festbier) wanted to adjust to Munich-type water. So I'm adjusting 6gal. mash water by adding:
.6grams Epsom salt
.6grams baking soda and
1.8grams CaCl2
Slightly less amounts to the sparge water.
So, a couple straightforward questions:
1) am I using the correct values in Promash for my water?
2) Is my target water (Munich) appropriate for the style and
3) Given the results from Ward, do you have any suggestions and/or should I even be tinkering with adding salts?
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Need help with water adjustment
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2015, 07:24:50 PM »
You might look up Martin's adjusted Munich profile.

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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Need help with water adjustment
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2015, 07:58:30 PM »

And to do an Oktoberfest (actually shooting for a Festbier) wanted to adjust to Munich-type water.

So, a couple straightforward questions:
1) am I using the correct values in Promash for my water?
2) Is my target water (Munich) appropriate for the style and
3) Given the results from Ward, do you have any suggestions and/or should I even be tinkering with adding salts?

No!! Don't emulate regional water profiles without understanding what those local brewers did to make it work with their brews. In the case of your water, it already has way too much alkalinity in the first place and your treatment will make it worse. Just acidifying the tap water and adding a minor amount of calcium chloride would be a major improvement. Lactic acid is required when brewing German styles to help add the proper nuance to the flavor.

Promash's calculator is only a mineral addition calculator. It has no capability to tell you what the effects of those additions are. For that, you have to employ a brewing water chemistry calculator like Bru'n Water.
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Offline HydraulicSammich

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Re: Need help with water adjustment
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2015, 09:11:53 PM »
Pi,
Download Martin's spreadsheet and plug in your Wards water profile.  It will fit perfectly.  Play with the spreadsheet until you are familiar with it.  It works very well.  You will be surprised how much better your beer will be. 
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Need help with water adjustment
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2015, 09:52:33 PM »
Pi,
Download Martin's spreadsheet and plug in your Wards water profile.  It will fit perfectly.  Play with the spreadsheet until you are familiar with it.  It works very well.  You will be surprised how much better your beer will be. 

+1
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Need help with water adjustment
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2015, 10:23:40 PM »
+2.  My beers have made another leap forward since using the spreadsheet.  Thanks Martin!

Offline Pi

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Re: Need help with water adjustment
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2015, 03:34:59 PM »
Ok, I have been playing around with the spreadsheet all weekend. i am starting to understand the relationship of different mineral additions/subtractions but i dont feel comfortable adjusting my water. Example, when i adjust my water to mimic the water in, Koln Bruin water says my water is way too alkaline. An when i add Lactic acid it throws my water. I'm confused. If German purity laws prohibit any water additions how do they lower the pH to acceptable levels? What am I missing?
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Need help with water adjustment
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2015, 03:44:02 PM »
They can add lactic acid if it is from "Natural" sources, so they have a lactic fermentation going in bio-reactors in some breweries making "Sauergut". Some breweries use acidulated malt, which just has Sauergut sprayed on it.

It turns out they can add gypsum and CaCl2 to the water only. They can also use RO filters.

Source was this talk. Looked at it over the weekend for something else. The water slides make a lot of sense now, saw it at Cincinnati.
http://www.ahaconference.org/wp-content/uploads/presentations/2008/SteveHolle_GermanBrewing.pdf
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Offline Pi

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Re: Need help with water adjustment
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2015, 03:56:09 PM »
So if I use Bruin water as a guide, I should assume the historic brewing profiles on the water adjustment tab is the water in that region BEFORE the brewer has made any adjustments?
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Offline bboy9000

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Re: Need help with water adjustment
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2015, 04:27:16 PM »

So if I use Bruin water as a guide, I should assume the historic brewing profiles on the water adjustment tab is the water in that region BEFORE the brewer has made any adjustments?

I just go by style profile.  For example, "Amber Malty" or "Amber balanced."  The water profile usually comes out similar to the profile of a particular city that is known for a similar style of beer.
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Re: Need help with water adjustment
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2015, 04:36:51 PM »
Ok, I have been playing around with the spreadsheet all weekend. i am starting to understand the relationship of different mineral additions/subtractions but i dont feel comfortable adjusting my water. Example, when i adjust my water to mimic the water in, Koln Bruin water says my water is way too alkaline. An when i add Lactic acid it throws my water. I'm confused. If German purity laws prohibit any water additions how do they lower the pH to acceptable levels? What am I missing?

I'll point out 2 things....don't go for a regional water profile.  Use a color/flavor profile.  And those German laws were about taxes, not beer purity.
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Re: Need help with water adjustment
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2015, 04:37:24 PM »
So if I use Bruin water as a guide, I should assume the historic brewing profiles on the water adjustment tab is the water in that region BEFORE the brewer has made any adjustments?

Yes.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Need help with water adjustment
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2015, 04:44:34 PM »
I just go by style profile.  For example, "Amber Malty" or "Amber balanced." 

+1.  I use these as a starting point and adjust the salts up or down the next time depending on how I felt the beer came out.
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Offline Pi

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Re: Need help with water adjustment
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2015, 05:22:06 PM »
"I see!", said the blind homebrewer.
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