Author Topic: Could someone please check my water adjustments?  (Read 1727 times)

Offline brushvalleybrewer

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Could someone please check my water adjustments?
« on: August 07, 2010, 08:59:36 AM »
This will be the first time I am going to try adjusting my water, so I would appreciate it if some kind soul could sanity check my plan.

I am going to brew Jamil's English IPA from Brewing Classic Styles. It is an 11 SRM beer with a BU:GU ratio of 50:62 using 14 lb 2 oz of grain with a 7 gallon boil volume. I am going to batch sparge with 4.82 gallons in the mash and 3.5 gallon for the sparge.

Here is my water report.

pH 7.6
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est 172
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.29
Cations / Anions, me/L 2.9 / 2.6

Sodium, Na 1 ppm
Potassium, K < 1
Calcium, Ca 51
Magnesium, Mg 3
Total Hardness, CaCO3 140
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.3 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 3
Chloride, Cl 3
Carbonate, CO3 < 1
Bicarbonate, HCO3 144
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 118

Both http://www.ezwatercalculator.com/EZ-water-calculator.htm and http://nomograph.babbrewers.com/ say this water has an RA of about 80, which is best for an SRM 12 to 17 beer.

If I add 4 grams of Gypsum to the mash, the RA will be 44, which is best for an SRM 9 to 14 beer. SRM 11 is very close to the middle of that range.

With as little Chloride as my water has, the added sulfate will produce a very bitter beer. To balance it out a bit, I will add 1.8 grams of canning salt to the mash.

During the boil, I will add another 2.9 grams of Gypsum and another 1.3 grams of canning salt.

Does that sound right?
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Could someone please check my water adjustments?
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2010, 11:14:44 AM »
To a quick look I would say you have too much additions.
What I mean to say is that 7 grams of gypsum per 5 gal batch when your water is almost there is just too much.
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Offline euge

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Re: Could someone please check my water adjustments?
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2010, 12:20:35 PM »
Your sulfate-chloride ratio is 1:1, which is perfect for "balance" even though it is 3ppm. But, you've run into the RA-SRM problem (as I call it) with your existing water and need to lower your SRM for the recipe. Why not get some calcium chloride to go along with your calcium sulfate instead of the sodium chloride?

Personally, I prefer to practice "dilution" to tackle RA issues instead of salt additions. However, with my water my beer will never be "balanced" if I don't add some calcium chloride. And it doesn't take much. Maybe 0.25-0.5 gram to the boil. And it does make a difference even in those small amounts.

Adding salts to the mash to drop the RA is another approach and maybe a bit more convenient for some. Might help me! Will have to try this sometime instead of collecting 12 gallons of nearly pure water! However, I craft my own recipes based on my local water, not anyone else's award winners (even JZ's) lol. ;)

Good luck
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Offline joeysmokedporter

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Re: Could someone please check my water adjustments?
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2010, 02:43:00 PM »
I don't think you need your boil additions, and I agree with the comment to replace "canning salt" with calcium choride.
R. Lorber
Westminster, MD

Offline brushvalleybrewer

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Re: Could someone please check my water adjustments?
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2010, 04:31:45 PM »
Thanks guys. It took a bit of slack-jawed staring to figure out what you were saying. :-[

I added the salt to get the Chloride and the Gypsum to get the Calcium.

I ended up with a lot of Gypsum.

I could reduce the Gypsum and get the same amount of Calcium and Chloride if I got it from… wait for it… Calcium Chloride. Honestly, I didn’t know that was even a thing until just now. :o

Does this sound better?

2.25 g Gypsum and 1.25 g Calcium Chloride in the mash (nothing in the boil)?

RA is 46 (still SRM 9-14) and Cl:SO4 of 0.5.

What is Calcium Chloride anyway? Does it have another name?
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Offline richardt

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Re: Could someone please check my water adjustments?
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2010, 07:14:29 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium_chloride  It is actually a pretty interesting read--it has lots of applications.

It's quite likely you've consumed processed foods containing calcium chloride.  I use a lot more of it than I use gypsum or calcium carbonate (chalk).  Buy it cheap online (amazon or eBay) or at your LHBS.  Given the lack of a mess and the convenience during measuring, I prefer the pelletized/granular versions rather than the powderized forms of calcium chloride. 

A lot of the older homebrewing books and recipes say "use 1/4 tsp of chalk" or "1/2 tsp of gypsum."  Ignore those blanket recommendations.  They may have worked for the author, but it is unlikely that you have the same water profile.
 
Instead, first figure out what your water profile is.  Or build your desired water profile starting with a known water profile (e.g., reverse osmosis) and adding the necessary salt(s) to get the proper characteristics for the beer style you're trying to make. 

You want the key parameters to be within ideal ranges:  pH, residual alkalinity, Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Bicarbonate, Sulfate, and Chloride.  Use the water calculators (resources are discussed in depth elsewhere on the forum) to determine how to best do this.

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Could someone please check my water adjustments?
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2010, 08:00:35 PM »
2.25 g Gypsum and 1.25 g Calcium Chloride in the mash (nothing in the boil)?

RA is 46 (still SRM 9-14) and Cl:SO4 of 0.5.
Looks much better.

There is 3 parts you tube video how to use EzWaterCalculator.
That might help you.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1n7-RjEJEM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKT6EE7ong0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yn0GwU7TqNE

Happy Brewing. 8)
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On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer