Author Topic: 1st time water adjustment question  (Read 1089 times)

Offline cempt1

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1st time water adjustment question
« on: January 17, 2016, 10:52:18 PM »
I am brewing an oatmeal stout and want to try to do so using 100 percent RO water.  I have entered the grist into bru'nwater and played around with adjustments using the black and balanced profile.  Before I pull the trigger and brew, I wanted to make sure I was on the right track.

Grist is 8 lb British 2 row
1 lb flaked oats
12 Oz victory malt
8 Oz English dark crystal
8 Oz black patent
6 Oz chocolate malt
6 Oz pale chocolate malt

In Bru'nwater I have added .15 gm/gal gypsum, .20 g/gal calcium chloride and .48 g/galas baking soda  (not adding this to sparge water but adding that part of the addition to the kettle).  This gets me an estimated mash pH of 5.47.  I just purchased a milwaukee 101 meter to confirm that.  The program also has me adding .04 ml/gal of lactic acid to my sparge water which seems very hard to measure. Am I on track? 

Edit:  I used the SRM values from beersmith for the grains when entering into bru'nwater.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2016, 10:54:33 PM by cempt1 »

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: 1st time water adjustment question
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2016, 10:55:42 PM »
I wouldn't add any lactic. Actually you'll like the beer even better if you raise pH with some more baking soda up to 5.55-5.6 pH. Much softer, rounded roast character.
Jon H.

Offline cempt1

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Re: 1st time water adjustment question
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2016, 11:02:34 PM »
I wouldn't add any lactic. Actually you'll like the beer even better if you raise pH with some more baking soda up to 5.55-5.6 pH. Much softer, rounded roast character.
When I added more baking soda the cell turns red. Is that still ok?  .65 g/gal puts me at 5.56.

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: 1st time water adjustment question
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2016, 11:04:40 PM »
I wouldn't add any lactic. Actually you'll like the beer even better if you raise pH with some more baking soda up to 5.55-5.6 pH. Much softer, rounded roast character.
When I added more baking soda the cell turns red. Is that still ok?  .65 g/gal puts me at 5.56.

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Which cell is it - the one for pH I assume?  If so, it's ok. The software is designed to keep you under 5.5pH normally. 5.6 works really well for stout and porter.
Jon H.

Offline cempt1

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Re: 1st time water adjustment question
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2016, 11:17:00 PM »
I wouldn't add any lactic. Actually you'll like the beer even better if you raise pH with some more baking soda up to 5.55-5.6 pH. Much softer, rounded roast character.
When I added more baking soda the cell turns red. Is that still ok?  .65 g/gal puts me at 5.56.

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Which cell is it - the one for pH I assume?  If so, it's ok. The software is designed to keep you under 5.5pH normally. 5.6 works really well for stout and porter.
It's the cell where you add the amount per gallon of each mineral.  The pH turned orange when it got above 5.5 like you said.

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: 1st time water adjustment question
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2016, 11:20:48 PM »
So the red one is for the baking soda addition?  Are you sure you entered your water volumes and grist lovibonds and amounts accurately? Just wanted to be sure. If so, you should be fine.
Jon H.

Offline cempt1

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Re: 1st time water adjustment question
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2016, 12:31:20 AM »
So the red one is for the baking soda addition?  Are you sure you entered your water volumes and grist lovibonds and amounts accurately? Just wanted to be sure. If so, you should be fine.
Ahhh!  I hadn't adjusted the water volumes.  Now I am at 5.56 and everything is good.  Thanks!

I should still add the addition not going into the sparge (of baking soda) to the kettle correct?

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: 1st time water adjustment question
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2016, 12:38:13 AM »
So the red one is for the baking soda addition?  Are you sure you entered your water volumes and grist lovibonds and amounts accurately? Just wanted to be sure. If so, you should be fine.
Ahhh!  I hadn't adjusted the water volumes.  Now I am at 5.56 and everything is good.  Thanks!

I should still add the addition not going into the sparge (of baking soda) to the kettle correct?

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I add baking soda to the mash, to get the mash into the 5.6 range.


Edit - Be sure to add those volumes and lovibonds into Brunwater really accurately.  Software is only as accurate as the inputs. Done right, it's pretty accurate software.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 12:39:57 AM by HoosierBrew »
Jon H.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: 1st time water adjustment question
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2016, 02:42:06 AM »
So the red one is for the baking soda addition?  Are you sure you entered your water volumes and grist lovibonds and amounts accurately? Just wanted to be sure. If so, you should be fine.
Ahhh!  I hadn't adjusted the water volumes.  Now I am at 5.56 and everything is good.  Thanks!

I should still add the addition not going into the sparge (of baking soda) to the kettle correct?

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk




I add baking soda to the mash, to get the mash into the 5.6 range.


Edit - Be sure to add those volumes and lovibonds into Brunwater really accurately.  Software is only as accurate as the inputs. Done right, it's pretty accurate software.

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Offline brewinhard

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Re: 1st time water adjustment question
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2016, 10:48:37 PM »
So the red one is for the baking soda addition?  Are you sure you entered your water volumes and grist lovibonds and amounts accurately? Just wanted to be sure. If so, you should be fine.
Ahhh!  I hadn't adjusted the water volumes.  Now I am at 5.56 and everything is good.  Thanks!

I should still add the addition not going into the sparge (of baking soda) to the kettle correct?

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk




I add baking soda to the mash, to get the mash into the 5.6 range.


Edit - Be sure to add those volumes and lovibonds into Brunwater really accurately.  Software is only as accurate as the inputs. Done right, it's pretty accurate software.

And accurate water and mineral measurements when prepping for the brew day is also a must to hit your numbers. I don't even follow lovibond measurements on brewing softwares any more as I feel they are not always accurate and up to date. I usually look at the company where I am getting the grains from for the best and most accurate information on lovibonds for this.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: 1st time water adjustment question
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2016, 11:33:47 PM »
I don't even follow lovibond measurements on brewing softwares any more as I feel they are not always accurate and up to date. I usually look at the company where I am getting the grains from for the best and most accurate information on lovibonds for this.



Same here. I like my software well enough but I enter my own lovibonds, too. I don't trust the default L for a given malt when there are multiple maltsters and variation within.
Jon H.

Offline cempt1

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Re: 1st time water adjustment question
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2016, 01:45:50 AM »
I brewed this beer yesterday. I had all my salts and baking soda weighed out and strike water heating. Just before I doughed in, I weighed my grains and had 2.25 pounds more than I had planned for.  I remember I got an extra pounds of 2 row but had no idea on the other 1.25#.  I added a quart of water and an extra .5 gal of baking soda to the mash water.  Once I mixed it all, I had a pH of 5.8.  I let it run 45 min the thought of adding some lactic acid to get it back down.  I added 1.4 ml acid mixed and rechecked pH.  I was at 5.4 so I let it go an extra 15 min beyond 60 min.  Over that time the pH sample raised to 5.47.

I know I need to be more specific in knowing my ingredients to properly predict pH.  Lesson learned.

What would have happened had I left it at 5.8?  Any other problem solving ideas I could have done?  This was also my first time using a pH meter.

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Offline heavydeadlifts

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Re: 1st time water adjustment question
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2016, 01:55:06 AM »
Why not just build the water profile that will give you the amount of calcium and sulfate to chloride ratio that you want and just adjust with lactic acid from the start? That is what I do and it saves me the headache you are going through
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Offline cempt1

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Re: 1st time water adjustment question
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2016, 02:39:36 AM »
Why not just build the water profile that will give you the amount of calcium and sulfate to chloride ratio that you want and just adjust with lactic acid from the start? That is what I do and it saves me the headache you are going through
I did.  Unfortunately, I got my grains crushed and mixed 2 months ago and must have messed up when ordering.

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Offline mabrungard

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Re: 1st time water adjustment question
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2016, 03:33:10 PM »
The teeny amount of acid that was recommended for the sparging water is an artifact. It's essentially zero and you should treat it as such. There is no need to acidify sparging water that already has low alkalinity (like RO does).

It sounds like it was hectic on brew day with a lot of unanticipated changes. You did what you had to to make it better, but nailing those things down will make your life less hectic. That pH excursion to 5.8 should not have mattered too much, but its good that you brought it down to a more reasonable value.

As you already found, you could not have just added lactic acid and calcium salts to obtain a desirable mash pH with that grist. There was too much acidic grains in there and a bit of alkalinity was necessary for your RO mashing water. There really isn't a better way to better dark beers.
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