Author Topic: Beersmith 3 Water  (Read 1679 times)

Offline Mike-Ale

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Beersmith 3 Water
« on: June 21, 2018, 01:38:43 AM »
Hey all,
I am having a hard time with Beersmith 3.  I added my local water from my most recent water test so that is now one of my water profiles.  Most of it is fine but my salts and lactic acid amounts are completely off from Brun Water and the acid amounts seem extremely large.  For example, I just took and old recipe from Beersmith 2, added it to 3 as a completely new recipe so the salts/lactic acid didn't transfer over and my acid amounts more than tripled while some salts were double and some were half .  The Ph isn't really close at all either. What am I missing as I am sure it is my error?  Is anyone else having issues with this or is it just me?  Thanks.

Offline tommymorris

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Beersmith 3 Water
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2018, 02:14:14 AM »
I had some trouble too.

In BS3, the water tab reports the mash water chemistry. When I imported an old recipe it assumed all my salts were added to the mash (not split between the mash and sparge or mash and boil.) Because of this, the reported water chemistry looked much higher than Bru’n Water reports.  You need to list the sparge water salts as going into the sparge.

Also, Bru’n Water has a setting for type of Calcium Chloride. BS3 assumes dihydrate. You need both softwares to use dihydrate CaCl if you want both to report the same Ca and Cl values.

Regarding pH prediction, I think BeerSmith uses a different pH model (it’s based off different data.) For my brews, BS3 (and BS2) estimates significantly larger Lactic acid amounts than Bru’n Water. I don’t know which is correct. Both tools are made by smart people.

Edit: fixed how to note sparge additions and added bit about dihydrate CaCl. You need both tools to assume the same type CaCl to get the same Ca and CL values.

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« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 03:55:29 AM by tommymorris »

Offline Kevin

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Re: Beersmith 3 Water
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2018, 04:15:57 PM »
The profile you set up using your water test is your base water profile. You select it first then select one of the target profiles for the beer you are making. BS3 then selects the additions you will need to add to your base water so that you can match the target.
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Offline bucknut

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Re: Beersmith 3 Water
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2018, 10:04:32 PM »
My post to Brad on FB " I've always used Bru'n Water for my salt additions, thought I'd compare it to the new BS3 water tool and they're a bit off with the est mash ph, 5.41 for BS and Bru'n Water has it at 5.29? All #'s in recipe match up with each other, which one to I go by?"

His reply " I posted an answer to this on the forum but BNW does not fully account for acid density which causes the differences. The technical paper is here (p 7 has a table) if you want to get geeky, but BeerSmith uses the model recommended in this paper: https://www.dropbox.com/s/vkc2smfhbd1705e/Effect%20of%20Water.pdf?dl=0"

Not sure I fully understand what the paper means, maybe Martin can chime in and explain what Brad is talking about.

Offline BrewBama

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Beersmith 3 Water
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2018, 10:47:05 PM »
I think the mineral portion of BeerSmith 2 offers reasonable recommendations. However, I believe BeerSmith 2’s Lactic Acid addition recommendation to reduce Ph is twice as high as required. Bru’n water recommendation is half that of BeerSmith for the same grist and mineral additions and produces good results. YMMV. 

I like and use BeerSmith 2 for recipe formulation and database. But I use Bru’n water for water adjustments. I add the results of Bru’n water in BeerSmith as part of the recipe.


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« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 07:23:35 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Beersmith 3 Water
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2018, 01:16:47 AM »
His reply " I posted an answer to this on the forum but BNW does not fully account for acid density which causes the differences.

Wa Ha! He apparently doesn't know that Bru'n Water employs a full set of acid density vs strength curves for each liquid acid available in the program. The paper that is cited is over 5 years old. Bru'n Water did have an error in acid densities vs strength at that time. It has long been corrected.

Based on what is being said about the measured results of these two programs, I guess I'll let the results speak for themselves. It appears that BS needs a bit more work.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2018, 01:20:24 AM by mabrungard »
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Offline Big Monk

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Re: Beersmith 3 Water
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2018, 12:38:01 PM »
His reply " I posted an answer to this on the forum but BNW does not fully account for acid density which causes the differences.

Wa Ha! He apparently doesn't know that Bru'n Water employs a full set of acid density vs strength curves for each liquid acid available in the program. The paper that is cited is over 5 years old. Bru'n Water did have an error in acid densities vs strength at that time. It has long been corrected.

Based on what is being said about the measured results of these two programs, I guess I'll let the results speak for themselves. It appears that BS needs a bit more work.

The best brewing water calculation solution is one that takes some of the best aspects of all of them, tweaks it a bit, and then adds some things that the popular ones don’t have. There is no brewing water software out there right now that checks all the right boxes, although BW is the one that comes closest.

Right now my personal sheet uses most of the guts from the MpH sheet by Riffe (the calcs for grain and acid are more streamlined than any others), tweaks the slope term to the BW value of 0.17, adds weighted average of base malt DI pH, Sauergut, antioxiadants, etc. It’s also all in metric as I’ve switched over completely so it’s even more simple from a calculation standpoint.

By far, weighted average of DI pH for base malts makes it more applicable than any others programs. (Wink wink Martin 😎)
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Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: Beersmith 3 Water
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2018, 12:21:25 PM »
I believe BeerSmith 2’s Lactic Acid addition recommendation to reduce Ph is twice as high as required.

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You’re absolutely correct.  The Lactic Acid addition calculated in BS2 is about double what is actually required.  BS2 also did not account for any Acid Malt additions.  I have not yet used the water features in BS3, but I can only assume they have been improved.  But we all know what assume means!  I think I’ll brew my next batch with my eyes wide open, just in case.
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Offline EnkAMania

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Re: Beersmith 3 Water
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2018, 02:25:35 PM »
I believe BeerSmith 2’s Lactic Acid addition recommendation to reduce Ph is twice as high as required.

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You’re absolutely correct.  The Lactic Acid addition calculated in BS2 is about double what is actually required.  BS2 also did not account for any Acid Malt additions.  I have not yet used the water features in BS3, but I can only assume they have been improved.  But we all know what assume means!  I think I’ll brew my next batch with my eyes wide open, just in case.

The lactic is still off in Beersmith 3.  My batch today called for 5.6 ml and Bru'n Water is at 3.7.  Looks like acid malt is now accounted for.
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Offline Wilbur

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Re: Beersmith 3 Water
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2019, 05:32:26 AM »
Doing some research on this, and I thought I'd see if anyone had an update on their experiences. Just trying out the water portion of Beersmith 3, after using Bru n' Water exclusively.

11 lbs Pils
2 lbs Munich
2 lbs Wheat

8.11 Gallons of distilled

1.32 mL Lactic @ 88%

Bru N Water

94 Ca 0 Mg 10 Na SO4 11 Cl 100 pH=5.24

Beersmith 3

81 Ca 0 Mg 10.2 Na SO4 109 79.1 Cl pH=5.31

Dry Stout (Based on beer smith recipe)
2809.3 g Pale
1123.7 g Flaked Barley
561.9 Black Barley (Stout)
3 g CaSO4 3 g CaCl2 0.8 g NaCl 0 mL Lactic (88%) 3 g Baking soda

Bru N Water
59 Ca 0 Mg 10 Na 79 Cl2 pH=5.59

Beersmith 3
51.8 Ca 0 Mg 10.7 57.2 SO4 66.5 Cl2 pH=5.36

I saw some had mentioned having issues when they use baking soda. If I take that out, Beer Smith says I should be good on my pH, but puts me at 4.97. So far I've been skating along trusting Bru n Water and not using a pH meter, but looks like I should invest in one. Anyone else have similar experiences?


Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: Beersmith 3 Water
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2019, 01:14:58 PM »
I can only comment on the BeerSmith software - in that, I use it regularly while using Bru n Water simply to keep BeerSmith honest.  The results are that BeerSmith 3 is still off.  It’s much closer than V2.0, but still off.

So, I have learned to add half the lactic acid than what’s recommended, measure and adjust.  Doing so brings me much closer to recommendations in Bru’n Water.  Bottom line: Trust, But Verifty.
All good things come to those who show patients and perseverance while maintaining a positive and progressive attitude. :-)

Offline Robert

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Re: Beersmith 3 Water
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2019, 01:50:18 PM »
I don't use BeerSmith but I do use Bru'n Water and have tried the Brewers Friend software.   My advice would be to do like KellerBrauer says and trust but verify.  Well not so much trust, more verify.  All of these programs are explicitly intended only to get you in the ballpark; BW says you ought to be within 0.2 pH units, and indeed my actual measured pH is generally approaching 0.2 lower than the prediction (and very occasionally further off) even though I do not rely on generic city water reports but actually test regularly.  Brewers Friend gave acid recommendations that were absurd in some cases and I just don't trust it.  Moreover they all need to rely on certain generic assumptions that simply don't apply universally in the real world; though derived from empirical data they are still generalizations (hence the disclaimer about just getting you in the ballpark.)  The software can be very useful for getting an idea of how a completely new grist might need to be approached.  But with considerable experience under my belt before I ever used software, I usually find I can do all my calculations by hand guided by experience and intuition and get consistent and accurate results,  because I am applying accumulated real world experience.  This is how the algorithms in the software are developed and refined, but you can develop your own in your head, as it were.  Software is a useful tool.  But you need to keep actual records and let them be your guide to learning how the software does or doesn't help you, and how to adjust your use of it. 

Long story short,  yes, get a pH meter.

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Offline kramerog

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Re: Beersmith 3 Water
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2019, 03:59:34 PM »
When I evaluated the mPh software, perhaps this was an earlier version, I found that  the amount of acid to modify the pH of sparge water was the same as the amount to modify wort.  Seeing this absurdity, I've stuck with Bru'n water and have never looked back although I don't check my pH so I don't do any verification. 

Offline Robert

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Re: Beersmith 3 Water
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2019, 04:14:10 PM »
When I evaluated the mPh software, perhaps this was an earlier version, I found that  the amount of acid to modify the pH of sparge water was the same as the amount to modify wort.  Seeing this absurdity, I've stuck with Bru'n water and have never looked back although I don't check my pH so I don't do any verification.
My experience is that Bru'n Water is reliably within the range Martin gives in his disclaimer.  But if you are trying to precisely control pH for stylistic effects, flavor, body, etc. it would be wise to confirm your results and adjust your use of the program.  I always aim high in my Bru'n Water prediction, and so hit my actual target, for example.

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Offline MerlinWerks

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Re: Beersmith 3 Water
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2019, 07:06:19 PM »
FWIW, here are my results over several brews. First column is BS3 prediction, second is BW 4.2 prediction, third is actual pH measured with an Omega PHH-7011 meter, calibrated every brew day. Samples are taken at 20 minutes into the mash and cooled to room temperature. When I have checked, I have never really found a significant difference in pH between 20 minute samples and samples taken later in the mash although I understand that many advocate for later samples.

I build my recipe and water in BS3 and transfer the values to BW to match the same grist, liquor, salts and lactic acid amounts. The ion concentrations between the two programs are almost always within 5 ppm of each other, the only thing that varies is the predicted pH. I start with RO water.

I do full volume BIAB and have found the BW 5.3 pH predictions to be lower than either of the above so I've stuck with 4.2

                BS3     BW     Actual
Celebration   5.41   5.30   5.39

Extra Pale   5.41   5.42   5.38

Helles      5.38   5.31   5.38

Dark Mild   5.39   5.25   5.31

Dunkel      5.37   5.33   5.34

Vienna      5.38   5.36   5.29

Extra Pale   5.41   5.38   5.40

Dark Wheat   5.41   5.29   5.37

Pale Mild   5.36   5.36   5.34

NEPA      5.38   5.27   5.41
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 08:17:36 PM by MerlinWerks »