Author Topic: Water adjustment question - Update!!!  (Read 1378 times)

Offline rgonzalez_me

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Water adjustment question - Update!!!
« on: November 24, 2015, 02:09:24 AM »
Guys/Gals,

I've been brewing with distilled water and minor adjustments with great success. The quality of my beer improved greatly. In the past my beer consistently scored 30+ as it was so I guess this is the difference between good beer and great beer. Anyway...

For my last batch I gave Accumash a try and the beer came out fenomenal. My mash PH was a constant 5.45 and my efficiency skyrocketed. The beer tastes wonderful.

But this time I wanted to give the water spreadsheets a chance. Going for the easiest one I will try EZ Water this time.

My question is: (just to make sure am doing everything right)

1) I entered my grain bill and distilled water as source and played with the minerals to achieve a profile close to the Chimay profile. (I'll be brewing a dark-tripel) , once I get the closest to that profile then I tinker with more minerals, grains or acids to achieve PH?

2) How accurate would that estimated PH be?


(This is a small batch, hence the small amount of water)
Starting Water (ppm):         
Ca:   0      
Mg:   0      
Na:   0      
Cl:   0      
SO4:   0      
HCO3:   0      
         
Mash / Sparge Vol (gal):   4.1   /   1.35
RO or distilled %:   0%   /   0%
         
Total Grain (lb):   9.2      
         
Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:         
CaSO4:   0   /   0
CaCl2:   1.75   /   0
MgSO4:   1   /   0
NaHCO3:   0.5   /   0
CaCO3:   3   /   0
Lactic Acid (ml):   1      
Sauermalz (oz):   0      
         
Mash Water / Total water (ppm):         
Ca:   108   /   81
Mg:   6   /   5
Na:   9   /   7
Cl:   54   /   41
SO4:   25   /   19
Cl to SO4 Ratio:   2.17   /   2.17
         
Alkalinity (CaCO3):   39      
RA:   -42      
Estimated pH:   5.56      
(room temp)         
« Last Edit: November 29, 2015, 10:27:34 PM by rgonzalez_me »
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Water adjustment question
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2015, 04:18:03 AM »
I use Brunwater, but the answer to both is yes.  I have found that most beers are spot on as to predicted pH at each stage, as long as your water volumes and grain entries are accurate.  Some guys are starting to experiment with kettle pH adjustments and finished beer adjustments with some successes.
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Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: Water adjustment question
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2015, 04:21:56 AM »
I find EZ water quite accurate, and well it's easy as can be to use. I also use Bru'n water at times and it has more to offer but to do what I need, EZ water gets it done. I don't use RO or Distilled water and add back additions, I just use my filtered tap water so my ph estimations usually come within .1 plus or minus so if EZ estimates 5.4 I might hit 5.3 or 5.5 as an example. Close enough for me and that is probably not the fault of EZ water but more so variations in my tap water from batch to batch, I can only input what WARD Labs indicated as my water profile.

As far as additions, I don't play around with them much. I focus on mash ph and for malty beers I use Cal Chloride to 50 ppm Calcium and for hoppy beers I am still experiementing but usually do the same but with adding Gypsum. Others can probably chime in with better advice for certain styles. BTW...what is Accumash?
« Last Edit: November 24, 2015, 04:23:31 AM by PORTERHAUS »

Offline rgonzalez_me

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Re: Water adjustment question
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2015, 12:05:13 PM »
What about my RA value? What does it mean that is negative?


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Offline rgonzalez_me

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Re: Water adjustment question
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2015, 12:14:27 PM »

I find EZ water quite accurate, and well it's easy as can be to use. I also use Bru'n water at times and it has more to offer but to do what I need, EZ water gets it done. I don't use RO or Distilled water and add back additions, I just use my filtered tap water so my ph estimations usually come within .1 plus or minus so if EZ estimates 5.4 I might hit 5.3 or 5.5 as an example. Close enough for me and that is probably not the fault of EZ water but more so variations in my tap water from batch to batch, I can only input what WARD Labs indicated as my water profile.

As far as additions, I don't play around with them much. I focus on mash ph and for malty beers I use Cal Chloride to 50 ppm Calcium and for hoppy beers I am still experiementing but usually do the same but with adding Gypsum. Others can probably chime in with better advice for certain styles. BTW...what is Accumash?

Hey man thanks... Accumash is a pre-made mix of minerals based on generalized beer characteristics. I got it from northern brewer and will definitely use it again but not this batch.


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“Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer”  -Henry Lawson

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Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: Water adjustment question
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2015, 05:21:09 PM »
What about my RA value? What does it mean that is negative?


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This just means you have nuetralized the Alkalinity in your water to the point of it going negative. This would be the case for a light beer. Alkalinity is the buffer that keeps your ph high in the mash or harder to lower. So the more of it the more resistance to the change in ph...lower number easier to manipulate your ph. That of course is a short explanation and only the way I understand it. Darker beers do well with Alkalinity because dark grains are more acidic. Light beers need to not have that alkalinity. It would meep the mash ph high and cause flavor problems to the beer as well as other problems overall.

Offline rgonzalez_me

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Re: Water adjustment question - Additional Question Added
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2015, 04:13:20 AM »
So after reading all this...if I am using 100% distilled water, should I care about RA?

I am using EZ Water and BrunWater side by side. The results are not a 100% similar but within a reasonable ballpark.

I was able to obtain different RAs resulting both in good PH range. One RA was negative and the other one was positive.

I guess it all depends on the type of beer that am brewing. So lets say, If I am brewing a Belgian Dark, should I go with the positive RA adjustments and will get better results? Would the negative RA adjustments be just as good?

In the good words of Eddie Vedder: "I don't know what this means. I don't know what any of this means."  :-\
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water adjustment question - Additional Questions Added
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2015, 08:02:27 AM »
RA is not that important. The mash pH is important.
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Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: Water adjustment question - Additional Question Added
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2015, 10:48:37 AM »
So after reading all this...if I am using 100% distilled water, should I care about RA?

I am using EZ Water and BrunWater side by side. The results are not a 100% similar but within a reasonable ballpark.

I was able to obtain different RAs resulting both in good PH range. One RA was negative and the other one was positive.

I guess it all depends on the type of beer that am brewing. So lets say, If I am brewing a Belgian Dark, should I go with the positive RA adjustments and will get better results? Would the negative RA adjustments be just as good?

In the good words of Eddie Vedder: "I don't know what this means. I don't know what any of this means."  :-\

No, you don't have to worry about RA. As mentioned above it's the mash ph that you are targeting. Sorry if I lead you down a road of more questions than answers, just trying to help. Although it's not important, it's something to understand of the process. Water chemistry doesn't have to to be overwhelming but it does take a while to wrap your head around it.

Offline rgonzalez_me

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Re: Water adjustment question - Additional Questions Added
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2015, 11:17:11 AM »
So I will totally disregard it and just build a profile that works for my PH and what Flavor am looking for then.


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Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: Water adjustment question - Additional Questions Added
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2015, 12:48:05 PM »
So I will totally disregard it and just build a profile that works for my PH and what Flavor am looking for then.
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Correct. Focus on targeting your mash ph. That is the foundation and most everything falss into place from there. After that you can play with additions to "flavor" certain beer styles. Sometimes those additions may be part of what you do to get your ph in range sometimes not. In my brewing I rely mostly on acidification for mash ph adjustment. I use Lactic acid. Certain beers I may add additions to the mash or to the boil or sometimes both. There is a lot of experimenting you can do but yes mash ph first and go from there.

Offline rgonzalez_me

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Re: Water adjustment question - Update!!!
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2015, 10:34:45 PM »
I thought I should update for other people's future reference.

So I disregarded the RA like you guys said and just focused on PH. I finally went with this profile:

Starting Water: Distilled      
            
Mash / Sparge Vol (gal):   3.46   /   1.89
RO or distilled %:   0%   /   0%
         
Total Grain (lb):   9.2      
         
Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:         
CaSO4:   0   /   0
CaCl2:   4.5   /   0
MgSO4:   3   /   0
NaHCO3:   2   /   0
CaCO3:   0   /   0
Lactic Acid (ml):   0      
Sauermalz (oz):   0      
         
Mash Water / Total water (ppm):         
Ca:   94   /   61
Mg:   21   /   14
Na:   42   /   27
Cl:   166   /   107
SO4:   89   /   58
Cl to SO4 Ratio:   1.86   /   1.86
         
Alkalinity (CaCO3):   91      
RA:   11      
Estimated pH:   5.59      
(room temp)         


My PH was 5.4ish which is very good all throughout the mash.
My estimated OG was 1.097 and my actual was 1.085 (it suffered a little and should have to revise my notes to find the possible culprit but all in all it was decent I guess).

Fermentation started pretty quick and it is bubbling away.
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Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: Water adjustment question - Update!!!
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2015, 01:26:27 PM »
Hope it turns out great for you. The loss in effeciency happens with big beers, just does.

Offline rgonzalez_me

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Re: Water adjustment question - Update!!!
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2015, 01:01:44 AM »
I took a sample and it was almost fully attenuated to FG. The taste was extremely Belgian-y even for a green beer. It looks like it will be killer.


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Keg #1: DD Pilsner
Keg #2: Sauvin-Mango-Hibiscus Ale
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Primary: Paters Bier - Saison du Vin
Bottled: Chocolate-mocha peanut butter stout