Author Topic: Mash Water Chemistry for a RIS  (Read 963 times)

Offline nicosan1

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Mash Water Chemistry for a RIS
« on: October 20, 2016, 02:52:14 PM »
I live in LA and am looking at brewing an Imperial Stout. 

This is the basic water profile here, any suggestions on what I should add

93 mg/l caCO3 - Total Alkalanity
113 mg/l HCO3 - (BiCarbonate)
36 mg/l Calcium
133  mg/l  total Hardness as caCO3
7.5 ph
47 mg/l Phosphate
71 mg/l Sodium
78 mg/l sulfate
80 mg/l chloride

Any suggestions on what I should do for an RIS?  I could go with filtered water and additions or should I go with Distilled water and build everything? 

Thank you for the advice. 

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Mash Water Chemistry for a RIS
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2016, 03:03:20 PM »
I live in LA and am looking at brewing an Imperial Stout. 

This is the basic water profile here, any suggestions on what I should add

93 mg/l caCO3 - Total Alkalanity
113 mg/l HCO3 - (BiCarbonate)
36 mg/l Calcium
133  mg/l  total Hardness as caCO3
7.5 ph
47 mg/l Phosphate
71 mg/l Sodium
78 mg/l sulfate
80 mg/l chloride

Any suggestions on what I should do for an RIS?  I could go with filtered water and additions or should I go with Distilled water and build everything? 

Thank you for the advice. 



I'd run those numbers through Brunwater and see where that leaves your pH given your grist - it's pretty favorable water for dark beers. If you can bump your mash pH up to even 5.5, you'll make a really nice beer.
Jon H.

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Mash Water Chemistry for a RIS
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2016, 04:24:25 PM »
Yeah, the water looks pretty good, i think for a stout. You may need to add a bit of baking soda/pickling lime into the mash to get your pH up a bit depending on the amount of acidic roasted grains you are using. My last RIS settled in at 5.6 pH and it is very smooth in the roast department with nice chocolate notes.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Mash Water Chemistry for a RIS
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2016, 04:31:28 PM »
Yeah, the water looks pretty good, i think for a stout. You may need to add a bit of baking soda/pickling lime into the mash to get your pH up a bit depending on the amount of acidic roasted grains you are using. My last RIS settled in at 5.6 pH and it is very smooth in the roast department with nice chocolate notes.



Yeah, I normally recommend 5.6 for stouts, too. But my understanding (Martin may shoot me down) is that the mg/l = ppm. If that's true, bumping up to 5.6pH with 71ppm Na could push him up too far on his Na.
Jon H.

Offline nicosan1

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Re: Mash Water Chemistry for a RIS
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2016, 04:56:02 PM »
This is my recipe, doing about 2.5 gallons. 

11 lbs maris otter
.75 lbs roasted barley
.5 lb Special B
.25 lb Caramunich
.5 lb american chocolate
.5 lb british chocolate

.75 oz magnum at 60m
2 oz of EKG at 5 min

2 packs of London Ale w/ starter.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Mash Water Chemistry for a RIS
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2016, 05:02:29 PM »
70 ppm Na should be OK for a stout. I'm surprised with the low Ca value. I wouldn't add any more Cl to the water, but for a big malty RIS, having more sulfate would be OK. The sulfate will help dry the finish out and that is helpful when brewing a high gravity beer. Burton Ale is a big malty beer that was brewed in Burton on Trent and it was highly regarded and it was also reputed to be a forerunner to RIS.

Adding a bit more gypsum to bring the sulfate into the 100 to 150 ppm range could be OK. I would target 100 ppm to begin with and try out a touch more gypsum in your glass of that beer to see if it helps or not.
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Offline nicosan1

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Re: Mash Water Chemistry for a RIS
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2016, 05:08:06 PM »
The Sodium, Sulfate and Chloride look high after entering in to BrunWater, the expected PH without any additions would be 5.58 according to that too. Should I dilute back with say a 1/4 distilled water and add back say a gram of baking soda?

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Mash Water Chemistry for a RIS
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2016, 05:11:56 PM »
The Sodium, Sulfate and Chloride look high after entering in to BrunWater, the expected PH without any additions would be 5.58 according to that too. Should I dilute back with say a 1/4 distilled water and add back say a gram of baking soda?


No!  5.58pH would make a fantastic stout. Perfect water for it.
Jon H.

Offline nicosan1

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Re: Mash Water Chemistry for a RIS
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2016, 05:15:03 PM »
The Sodium, Sulfate and Chloride look high after entering in to BrunWater, the expected PH without any additions would be 5.58 according to that too. Should I dilute back with say a 1/4 distilled water and add back say a gram of baking soda?


No!  5.58pH would make a fantastic stout. Perfect water for it.
  Thanks for the advice, so I will just go with filtering my water, and using for this, no additions to the mash.  Thanks!

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Mash Water Chemistry for a RIS
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2016, 07:44:38 PM »
What is up with that Phosphate level? No Magnesium?
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Offline nicosan1

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Re: Mash Water Chemistry for a RIS
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2016, 07:05:49 AM »
What is up with that Phosphate level? No Magnesium?
Magnesium at 11, Phosphate at 47 mg/l aka ppm

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Mash Water Chemistry for a RIS
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2016, 07:18:33 AM »
What is up with that Phosphate level? No Magnesium?
Magnesium at 11, Phosphate at 47 mg/l aka ppm
Yeah, I know that is equivalent to ppm. 47 ppm seems very high. Martin, do you have any knowledge about that?
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Mash Water Chemistry for a RIS
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2016, 10:34:23 AM »
47 PPM is quite uncommon. Are you sure the units are correct?
Martin B
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Offline nicosan1

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Re: Mash Water Chemistry for a RIS
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2016, 01:21:43 PM »
Actually its 47 Micrograms per liter according to the LA Water Quality report, so that would be about .047 mg/l.  I misread that.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Mash Water Chemistry for a RIS
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2016, 06:56:32 PM »
Actually its 47 Micrograms per liter according to the LA Water Quality report, so that would be about .047 mg/l.  I misread that.
Thanks for double checking. That is in a good range.
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