Author Topic: Water Chemistry question  (Read 868 times)

Offline deadpoetic0077

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Water Chemistry question
« on: November 30, 2016, 08:33:14 PM »
Im working with Bru'n Water for the first time for this next brew. I will be using distilled/ RO water for my water since my municipal is not great for brewing.

When I am looking at the addition spread for balanced brown, It looks as though my bicarbonate levels are way off but everything else is within 6 ppm. Bicarbonate levels show target at 74 but what I end up with is 19. Now the dialogue box says bicarbonate levels don't matter so long as you are in your PH range. Does the bicarbonate level affect anything else? I thought bicarbonate levels can change how hard the water is and therefore change the flavor.

If I do need to get it closer, what  are my options for bumping that back up by itself?
« Last Edit: November 30, 2016, 08:43:10 PM by deadpoetic0077 »

Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: Water Chemistry question
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2016, 08:47:57 PM »
Also, is the Epsom salt you can get at drug stores the right kind to use in these additions? Or do those typically have other additives that I should steer clear of?

Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Water Chemistry question
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2016, 09:36:43 PM »
Drug/Grocery store Epsom salt is all you need for MgSO4, just be sure to buy fragrant free.  Whichever you choose, RO or Distilled water, stick to it.  If you are happy with distilled now, don't change up your water later on.  It is best to get to "know" your water and keep it consistent.  Your bicarbonate levels should be fine as long as it doesn't throw a warning.  Which you may be trying to get the pH to low in your brown profile.  Roasted/Darker beers are tastier, imo, in the 5.4-5.6.  However my PITCHBLACK beers get 5.6-5.7  So if you are using acids to drop the pH to 5.2 that may be your issue.  If not, then I say screenshot/copy&paste your Adjusted Summary on here and smarter guys than me will help you out.

Martin will eventually be on here to help you out if you get really stuck.  He is always helpful.  Just be sure to really read through the introduction and getting familiar with Bru'n Water you may find the answer to your problems there.  It is an AMAZING tool - Thanks btw Martin.
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Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: Water Chemistry question
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2016, 09:58:48 PM »
Drug/Grocery store Epsom salt is all you need for MgSO4, just be sure to buy fragrant free.  Whichever you choose, RO or Distilled water, stick to it.  If you are happy with distilled now, don't change up your water later on.  It is best to get to "know" your water and keep it consistent.  Your bicarbonate levels should be fine as long as it doesn't throw a warning.  Which you may be trying to get the pH to low in your brown profile.  Roasted/Darker beers are tastier, imo, in the 5.4-5.6.  However my PITCHBLACK beers get 5.6-5.7  So if you are using acids to drop the pH to 5.2 that may be your issue.  If not, then I say screenshot/copy&paste your Adjusted Summary on here and smarter guys than me will help you out.

Martin will eventually be on here to help you out if you get really stuck.  He is always helpful.  Just be sure to really read through the introduction and getting familiar with Bru'n Water you may find the answer to your problems there.  It is an AMAZING tool - Thanks btw Martin.

I am using acid to get the PH lower. It seemed a bit too high without adding the acid. It was in the orange without adding the acid on there at 5.69. Without it the bicarb levels were at 69 out of a recommended 90.

Also My grocery store's distilled water says at the bottom reverse osmosis so im not sure which to use XD reccommendations?

And I have read through a bunch of the Brun water info today but since its my first time I just figured I missed something.

Thanks for your help. Looks like I should just take out the lactic acid in this part and let it go at 5.69. The tip says that it will usually settle to close to 5.4 anyways.

Thanks!

Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: Water Chemistry question
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2016, 09:38:26 PM »
one other thing. Should I assume PH of the distilled/ RO water to be 7? Brun Water recommends using 8 if unsure.

Offline yso191

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Re: Water Chemistry question
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2016, 10:02:32 PM »
My RO water came back from Ward labs at 6.5 pH
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Offline toby

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Re: Water Chemistry question
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2016, 10:04:00 PM »
one other thing. Should I assume PH of the distilled/ RO water to be 7? Brun Water recommends using 8 if unsure.

No. RO water will typically be below 7. Distilled will theoretically be at 7, but taking a measurement will always help.

Offline narcout

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Re: Water Chemistry question
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2016, 10:32:15 PM »
I don't think you need to worry about adding bicarbonate if your projected mash pH is already over target.

Play around with the spreadsheet, but if you are using RO or distilled water, I don't think it's going to matter what you enter as the pH of the source water.  It's going to have virtually no buffering capacity anyway.
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Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: Water Chemistry question
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2016, 11:58:40 PM »
Thanks for the responses guys! I appreciate it.

Anyone have any idea about the distilled water from my local grocery store? (Publix) it says it's RO water. Should I treat this as RO or distilled? O_o


Offline bayareabrewer

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Re: Water Chemistry question
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2016, 12:02:13 AM »
ro is ro imo.

Offline narcout

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Re: Water Chemistry question
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2016, 12:25:31 AM »
RO water generally has a bit more mineral content than distilled (which has virtually none). 

I don't use RO, but my understanding is that the mineral content varies from machine to machine.  Some people here use an inexpensive TDS (total dissolved solids) meter to double check.

(Publix)

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water Chemistry question
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2016, 02:47:14 AM »
RO or distilled water will have a pH of less than 7 due RO CO2 defusing in, and forming carbonic acid.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2016, 12:23:32 AM by hopfenundmalz »
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Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Water Chemistry question
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2016, 07:53:03 PM »
ro is ro imo.

Not all water is created equal...  its far from just H2O. 

My high school chemistry teacher said once, "The only pure water you will find anywhere in the world is in fire, just don't try and grab any."  It was not a completely accurate statement, but there is a point in there somewhere.  He was kind of an a$$hole too if you couldn't tell...
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Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: Water Chemistry question
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2016, 02:45:06 PM »
one more question. I don't have a PH meter at this time, but I will be using distilled or/ RO water for my next brew and adding salts/ acid. Ive use bru'n water to calculate what I should add, but should I be worried that I cant test the PH of the mash? Or should I just go for it and hope for the best?

Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: Water Chemistry question
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2016, 03:03:04 PM »
one more question. I don't have a PH meter at this time, but I will be using distilled or/ RO water for my next brew and adding salts/ acid. Ive use bru'n water to calculate what I should add, but should I be worried that I cant test the PH of the mash? Or should I just go for it and hope for the best?

Go for it, I don't have a pH meter, and have been treating my tap water using Bru'n Water.  The beer has turned out pretty well.  The way I look at it is, by the time you're actually checking the pH, it's too late to do anything about it, you're really just validating (or otherwise) the Bru'n Water estimate.
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