Author Topic: H2O chemistry- 1st attempt with Bru’n water vs old process with spring H2O-weird  (Read 364 times)

Offline trapae

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For the last decade I have been brewing with arrowhead Springwater without adding any minerals etc. Not really checking PH except with little strips making sure I’m somewhere between five and six and doing no adjustments.
With this process I’ve been pretty happy with my brews without any noticeable problems.  But I finally decided to embark on water chemistry and got Martin’s program and started playing around.   I decided to start with distilled water and build up from there.  I brewed my IPA that I have brewed many times trying the following:

Water adjustment:  Set to distilled water at dilution 100%. I used yellow dry profile and got close with overall finished profile of:
calcium=52, magnesium=9, sodium=5, Sulfate=102, chloride=50, bicarbonate=NA, PH was supposed to be 5.41 but ended up being 5.73.

The beer turned out fine/good, but there’s something missing. Can’t put my finger on it. Kind of blah compared to the many times I’ve brewed it before. My wife and good friend who have had this beer before agree.

So I decided to send a sample of arrowhead Springwater to ward labs and get the results which are as follows.
Ca=56, Mg=9, Na=11, Sulfate=5, Cl=2, HCO3=200, Ph=8.3

This just doesn’t make sense to me.  Seems like the arrowhead brew should be more blunted/blah by looking at the numbers......
Any ideas/comments?
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Let's assume for the sake of the argument that Bru'nwater's analysis is correct :)
It calculates a pH of 5.41 but you end up with 5.73. That's a HUGE difference with pH being a logarithmic scale. In my opinion, that final high pH is exactly the reason why you get a suboptimal flavor. So my assumption is that something went wrong in your process. We would need more details to find out what that was.
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Offline Robert

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+1
(Just did my first batch w/ RO & Bru'n Water.  Predicted pH was 5.40, I got 5.32.  Given margin of error of +/-0.05 in pH meter, that's within reason in my opinion.   Bru'n Water makes assumptions about malt acidity based on color, malts vary by manufacturer and batch, so can't be 100% accurate, I assume, but shouldn't be off by ~0.30?!)
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 01:39:02 PM by Robert »
Rob
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Offline Bob357

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When using Bru'n Water make sure to enable macros. Also, I get the best results using Martin's Pale Ale profile for APAs and IPAs.
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Bob357
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Offline Robert

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When using Bru'n Water make sure to enable macros. Also, I get the best results using Martin's Pale Ale profile for APAs and IPAs.
If running on Excel Android app, macros are not supported.  But still seems pretty close.
Rob
Akron, Ohio

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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If you have some phosphoric acid, a few drops in a pint of beer might drop the pH and make it pop. If the pH is too high the beer will taste “muddy” in my experience.
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Offline trapae

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 So you think the pH might’ve been the reason for the less than stellar taste? I sent a beer sample to Dana at Oregon labs and the pH of the final beer was 4.39. Not sure what final pH ranges are supposed to be.

 I thought my mash pH was too off as well even though I thought I did everything right in the program. But it was my first time. I started a thread about it below for anyone who wants more detail and is willing to help. I might just go back to using the Spring water.

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=30491.0
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Offline Robert

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Beer pH is normal (4.0-4.5 is the range) but that's a result of fermentation.  Because of mechanisms I'm not qualified to explicate, MASHES above 5.5 invariably result in beer with dull, muddy malt flavors.
Rob
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Ales can be on the low end of the pH range. I have played with some beers that have been low for the style, that tasted too sharp, some Baking soda or Pickling Lime in a pint would reduce the sharp finish and bring out the smoother malt character I desired for that beer. Then I adjusted the keg, and it worked.
Jeff Rankert
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BJCP National
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!