Author Topic: Bohemian Pils Water/Mashing Questions  (Read 665 times)

Offline SteveWGB

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: Bohemian Pils Water/Mashing Questions
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2020, 06:46:06 PM »
After toying around Bru'n Water, here is what I have:
1.6 grams of Gypsum and Calcium Chloride each, with .5 gram of pickling lime, along with 2.5 ml of lactic acid gives me 41ppm calcium, 25 ppm sulfate, 29 ppm chloride, -49ppm bicarbonate, and a pH of 5.4. Thoughts?

Not bad, not bad at all.  Further discussion is just for "fun" at this point:

It seems odd to have both lactic and pickling lime in the same water regimen.  The lactic reduces pH, while the pickling lime does the opposite, increasing alkalinity or neutralizing part of the acid, only to add a few ppm calcium.  If concerned about calcium level, I'd rather add calcium chloride.  Personal preference.  Just seems weird to use both pickling lime and acid at the same time since they essentially serve to cancel each other out.

Personally I'd cut back on the lactic and aim for a mash pH of 5.6.  However this would be a whole 'nother discussion which no one ever wants to hear about.  You can adjust pH to 5.0-5.1 with more acid after the boil if you wish, that's cool.

This is fun!
I was just trying to hit the numbers, wanted to bump the calcium to 40ish without going over 30 in chloride or sulfate, which is why the lime. I've never used it in the 4 or so beers I've created a water profile for.

Offline Saccharomyces

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 568
Re: Bohemian Pils Water/Mashing Questions
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2020, 07:12:41 PM »
That's not correct.  The degree of acidification afforded by CO2 dissolution is still far too little to provide enough acidification for mashing and a good outcome.  ALL mashes require acid and more is required, even for a pils grist in low alkalinity water.  The lactic acid addition is a welcome and desirable component in Pils brewing. 

I agree that dissolved CO2 does not have much buffering capacity.  I also acknowledged your expertise in this area.  However, my experience was that acid was not needed to produce quality pale lagers when I had a soft water supply.  Could these beers been improved upon? Absolutely! Everything can be improved with enough effort.  However, water is only one variable when making beer, albeit a large one. Sanitation is also a large variable. The sanitation practices I have seen in many home breweries makes me cringe.  Like many things, brewing beer is a synergistic process that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Offline ynotbrusum

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3866
Re: Bohemian Pils Water/Mashing Questions
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2020, 08:04:48 PM »
Consider mashing at around 148 and pulling the decoction at 45 minutes and mashing for 75-90 total time.  The grain should provide sufficient calcium.

I was under the impression that I would need to begin the mash at approximately 120F for a few minutes, then pull the decoction to get to another rest temperature. Are you suggesting I start at 148 and then pull? What temp am I aiming for once I add the decoction back to the mash, or is this to get to mash out temperature?
Thanks!

A rest at that low temp with modern malts can be problematic.

Try 148 and see.  I’m assuming that Denny’s point is regarding the 120 step.  I have had no problems with 148 as a starting point, even lower (Hochkurz step mash starts as low as 143.6). I appreciate that a single infusion is all that is needed, but I frequently mash at 148-152 for a batch sparge even with the best of modern malts.  The OP wanted to know about decoction step mashing.  The 120 is problematic, I agree - there is no need for Ferulic or protein rests and they can be problematic to the flavor and head on a lighter lager such as this. 

To the OP, you can add back the decoction incrementally to hit your second mash step temp, then let the rest of the decoction sit on the side and cool, then add back when it gets to the main mash temp or add it back , if another step is desired.  Lotsa ways to skin the cat, including just a single infusion mash.  Historically this style was decocted, but I only decoct when I want to do something different for a change.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 23368
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Bohemian Pils Water/Mashing Questions
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2020, 08:22:33 PM »
Consider mashing at around 148 and pulling the decoction at 45 minutes and mashing for 75-90 total time.  The grain should provide sufficient calcium.

I was under the impression that I would need to begin the mash at approximately 120F for a few minutes, then pull the decoction to get to another rest temperature. Are you suggesting I start at 148 and then pull? What temp am I aiming for once I add the decoction back to the mash, or is this to get to mash out temperature?
Thanks!

A rest at that low temp with modern malts can be problematic.

Try 148 and see.  I’m assuming that Denny’s point is regarding the 120 step.  I have had no problems with 148 as a starting point, even lower (Hochkurz step mash starts as low as 143.6). I appreciate that a single infusion is all that is needed, but I frequently mash at 148-152 for a batch sparge even with the best of modern malts.  The OP wanted to know about decoction step mashing.  The 120 is problematic, I agree - there is no need for Ferulic or protein rests and they can be problematic to the flavor and head on a lighter lager such as this. 

To the OP, you can add back the decoction incrementally to hit your second mash step temp, then let the rest of the decoction sit on the side and cool, then add back when it gets to the main mash temp or add it back , if another step is desired.  Lotsa ways to skin the cat, including just a single infusion mash.  Historically this style was decocted, but I only decoct when I want to do something different for a change.

Yeah, sorry.  I was referring to 120.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline mabrungard

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2735
  • Water matters!
    • Bru'n Water
Re: Bohemian Pils Water/Mashing Questions
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2020, 01:09:40 AM »

Thank you for responding, and if you don't mind, I would like to get some clarification. Are you suggesting I alter the water to have somewhere between 40-50 ppm calcium, and between 20-30 ppm of both chloride and sulfate while aiming for a mash pH of 5.4?

At least 40 ppm Ca in only the mashing water by adding all the salts for the batch into the mashing water and no salts in the sparging water.  That calculation is not really possible with the free version of Bru'n Water, but is a feature of the supporter's version.  By boosting the salts in the mashing water and diluting with low mineral sparging water, the resulting chloride and sulfate content can be kept low.
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://www.brunwater.com/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Brun-Water-464551136933908/?ref=bookmarks

Offline Cliffs

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 295
Re: Bohemian Pils Water/Mashing Questions
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2020, 05:38:36 PM »
the more I've messed around with water the more I'm finding that for my palette I prefer soft water. My lagers, stouts, porters, really anything that isnt a hoppy style of beer or a saison get the same soft water profile with either acid or baking soda added to get my PH right

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6702
  • Chepachet, RI
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Bohemian Pils Water/Mashing Questions
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2020, 02:37:34 AM »
the more I've messed around with water the more I'm finding that for my palette I prefer soft water. My lagers, stouts, porters, really anything that isnt a hoppy style of beer or a saison get the same soft water profile with either acid or baking soda added to get my PH right
Same here. I have some fairly soft well water to start with, but on almost all my beers I add Gypsum to get sulfate up to 80ish PPM, I add Kosher salt to get chloride in the 70-80 PPM range, and Lactic Acid to get to my target pH. This leaves me with Calcium in the 50ish range and Sodium around 40ppm. I've found that the less I add to my water the more I enjoy my beer. Even on hoppy beers, I only target 125-150ppm of Sulfate.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Online pete b

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3557
  • Barre, Ma
Re: Bohemian Pils Water/Mashing Questions
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2020, 03:23:58 AM »
the more I've messed around with water the more I'm finding that for my palette I prefer soft water. My lagers, stouts, porters, really anything that isnt a hoppy style of beer or a saison get the same soft water profile with either acid or baking soda added to get my PH right
Same here. I have some fairly soft well water to start with, but on almost all my beers I add Gypsum to get sulfate up to 80ish PPM, I add Kosher salt to get chloride in the 70-80 PPM range, and Lactic Acid to get to my target pH. This leaves me with Calcium in the 50ish range and Sodium around 40ppm. I've found that the less I add to my water the more I enjoy my beer. Even on hoppy beers, I only target 125-150ppm of Sulfate.
I feel the same. I have softened well water with a resulting 65 sodium and a  74 chloride. I generally end up adding some gypsum, a bit of baking soda for dark beers and sometimes acid.
Some think the 65 ppm of sodium is high but I think its neutral for some and enhances malt flavor in most beers.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.