Author Topic: Bru'n water: not sure how to hit water profile for this beer  (Read 900 times)

Offline apples-to-oranges

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Bru'n water: not sure how to hit water profile for this beer
« on: February 21, 2016, 06:58:19 AM »
I'm using Bru'n water 3.4 for a robust porter.  I'm using the Black Full profile and building my water from RO/deionized water.

I can adjust the salt additions to hit my "Mashing Water Profile" spot on, but need to add some alkalinity (NaHCO3 and Ca(OH)2) to get my pH to the proper range.  Since it's not good to add alkalinity to the sparge water (Bru'n water doesn't even allow it), the "Overall Finished Water Profile" ends up being low on sodium and calcium.  I took a screenshot to show what I mean:



Is there any way to compensate for this? Should I try to hit my mash water profile as close as I can and not worry about the overall finished water? Or try to hit the overall finished water, and my mash pH, and not worry about hitting the other values for the mash water profile?

Offline Stevie

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Bru'n water: not sure how to hit water profile for this beer
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2016, 07:07:37 AM »
Don't worry about it.

Offline apples-to-oranges

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Re: Bru'n water: not sure how to hit water profile for this beer
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2016, 07:13:25 AM »
I'm not adding acid to anything; with the roasted malts I actually need to add some base to the mash.  The bases added also manage to balance out the calcium and sodium, but since I don't add these bases to the sparge, then the finished beer is low is calcium and sodium.

So do I mix up the sparge water per Bru'n water, leaving out the NaHCO3 and Ca(OH)2, and then just add those salts into the kettle?  Is there any way to have Bru'n water calculate the amounts for me (since it won't give me values as it says they aren't recommended in the sparge water)? Or should I just take the amounts for the mash water and scale it down linearly to the sparge water volume?

Offline Stevie

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Re: Bru'n water: not sure how to hit water profile for this beer
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2016, 07:16:59 AM »
I misread and corrected my original reply. It's small potatoes and you shouldn't sweat it.

You could ditch the pickling lime and replace it with baking soda alone to see what happens.

Offline apples-to-oranges

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Re: Bru'n water: not sure how to hit water profile for this beer
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2016, 07:20:08 AM »
Ok, I wasn't sure what additions affect the beer flavor, or how much of a change affects the flavor.  In general should I just target the mash profile and then not worry about the finished profile if it's a little off?

I tried using all baking soda, but it put the sodium amount way above target. 

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Bru'n water: not sure how to hit water profile for this beer
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2016, 12:40:45 PM »
I would drop the pickling lime, add baking soda as your base instead to hit your 5.5 pH (don't worry about the Na levels as they will still be low and will actually help round out the roasted malts) and add more CaCl2 or more CaSO4 to increase your Calcium levels a little. Besides that, as long as you hit close to your pH you will be all good.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Bru'n water: not sure how to hit water profile for this beer
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2016, 02:12:04 PM »
I definitely would not worry about a somewhat low calcium level. Calcium is only needed for removing oxalate and speeding yeast flocculation. I've noticed that dark beers tend to clear pretty well anyhow, so speeding flocculation doesn't seem to be critical.

I've focused on only using baking soda in my last several dark beer batches and found that the flavor is improved by the sodium. Of course, its still pretty low Na content, but more than I used to use.

The flavor ions (Mg, Na, SO4, Cl) are what I tend to focus on. The Ca and HCO3 content is far less important and is likely to vary from those published profiles.
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Offline apples-to-oranges

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Re: Bru'n water: not sure how to hit water profile for this beer
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2016, 09:39:43 PM »
Thanks for all the information!