Author Topic: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference  (Read 1086 times)

Offline Jackbflyin

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Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
« on: December 18, 2021, 11:30:00 am »
I created a vanilla Porter and each of the three software. However bru’n water gave 4.98 pH when BrewFather and BeerSmith gave 5.44.  Normally I use bru’n water for deciding how to treat my RO water but in this case I think it’s off. Any explanations why the difference?
input 2 row-base malt, caramel 40L-crystal malt, chocolate- roast, black patent-roast, munich light- base, roasted barley-roast.

Vanilla Porter-recipe
Water target- Brown Balanced. Ca50/Mg10/Na27/S70/C55/B90
RO water
Fermentables (12 lb 12 oz)
9 lb - Mash - Pale Malt 2-Row 2 °L (70.6%)
1 lb 8 oz - Mash - Caramel Malt 40L 40 °L (11...
1 lb - Chocolate 350 °L (7.8%)
12 oz - Mash - Black (Patent) Malt 369.7 °L (...
4 oz - Mash - Munich 7.9 °L (2%)
4 oz - Mash - Roasted Barley 300 °L (2%)
Hops (1.85 oz)
60 min - 0.25 oz - Chinook - 13% (11 IBU)
30 min - 0.6 oz - Tettnang (Tettnang Tettnage...
15 min - 0.5 oz - Perle - 8.2% (7 IBU)
5 min - 0.5 oz - Goldings, East Kent - 5% (2...
Miscellaneous
Mash - 0.18 g - Baking Soda (NaHCO3)
Mash - .96 g - Calcium Chloride (CaCl2)
Mash - 0.86 g - Canning Salt (NaCl)
Mash - 1.06g - Chalk (CaCO3)
Mash - 1.68 g - Epsom Salt (MgSO4)
Mash - .96 g - Gypsum (CaSO4)
Sparge - 0.96 g - Calcium Chloride (CaCl2)
Sparge - 0.86 g - Canning Salt (NaCl)
Sparge - 1.68 g - Epsom Salt (MgSO4)
Sparge - .96 g - Gypsum (CaSO4)
10 min - Boil - 0.1 oz - Irish Moss
10 min - Boil - 0.5 tsp - Yeast Nutrients
Yeast
1 pkg - Fermentis Safale American US-05

Offline lupulus

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Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2021, 12:56:47 pm »
Why don't you buy a pH meter if you are worried?
There are lots of assumptions for malt pH contributions in software.
Software is helpful to get you in the ballpark.

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Offline Jackbflyin

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Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2021, 03:26:56 pm »
Yes, I have a pH meter and will check and adjust my mash pH as needed on brew-day. It will be interesting tomorrow to see how the actual numbers read.  Bru'n Water has been very close to actual experienced data for me and the other programs have been in the ballpark too.  It's just not even close in pH to the other two programs in planning for this batch/style. I'm just curious if anyone else has had a similar experience and pinpointed the disconnect. Thanks for the input!

Offline jjflash

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Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2021, 08:29:37 am »
Bru'n Water has been the most accurate for me.
BeerSmith is always way off, almost double the acid amount.
I spent better part of a year trying to get BeerSmith to work to no avail.
Gave up and use Bru'm Water exclusively.
Agree some have software issues under certain conditions.
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Online Andy Farke

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Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2021, 09:54:15 am »
FWIW, BeerSmith's default pH model of "MPH 3" tends to be off (recommending double the optimal lactic acid additions, as noted elsewhere in this thread). If you switch to "BW" (which is supposed to be based on the Bru'N Water model), you will get (in my experience) far more representative results.

As an example, I built a grist of 10 lb. 2-row, 1 lb crystal 60, and 0.5 lb. crystal 120, with my (high carbonate load) tap water as the water. For the BW Model, BeerSmith calculated a mash pH of 6.03 for the BW model and recommended 7.6 mL of 88% lactic acid to get to a pH of 5.2. BeerSmith calculated a mash pH of 5.73 for the MPH 3 model, but recommended 11.7 mL of 88% lactic acid to hit 5.2. (I don't have "real-world" pH to report for this thought experiment). Based on past experience, I've found that the BW Model does better for my usual system.

If it's a HUGE worry, you're probably best switching to Bru'N Water, which really is excellent and has a ton of detail. That said, although I've played with Bru'N Water, I've stuck with BS3 for pH calculations: 1) it is one less software tool and one less step for me to worry about; 2) I don't care about pH *that* much (maybe I'll change my mind later); and 3) I've figured out my system to the point where I feel pretty comfortable in its behavior and my results.

I've also just noticed that MPH 4.2 has been created as a standalone spreadsheet, but I haven't played with that at all.'

Also, I ran across this post with a head-to-head comparison: https://www.brewginner.com/beersmith-vs-bru-n-water/
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Offline denny

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Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2021, 10:15:04 am »
Bru'n Water has been the most accurate for me.
BeerSmith is always way off, almost double the acid amount.
I spent better part of a year trying to get BeerSmith to work to no avail.
Gave up and use Bru'm Water exclusively.
Agree some have software issues under certain conditions.

That has been my experience also.
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Offline Richard

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Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2021, 10:24:57 am »
I used to use Bru'nWater exclusively. Not only did it give better pH and acid predictions than BeerSmith 2, it can take into account campden and CaOH. Now with the BW model in BeerSmith3 I use that most of the time. I used Bru'nWater to come up with a profile of my tap water with campden added and use that as the base water in BeerSmith3.  I like having everything in one place in BeerSmith. The only time I use Bru'nWater anymore is if I decide I need to add some CaOH, but that is rare.
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Offline BrewBama

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Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2021, 11:44:33 am »
After reading Brewing Better Beer, I adopted a different perspective to pH. I quit using any software to plan pH altogether.

I only mash malts/grains that require it. I do not mash malts that don’t require it. (Dark Crystal and Roast malts.) They screw with pH. I hold Dark Crystal and Roast malts to Mash Out (15 minutes)/Sparge (15 minutes). (For a total 30 min hot steep)

I adjust mash pH with 1 tsp CaCl, or 1 tsp Gypsum, or a combo of the two to equal 1 tsp total.  I add this tsp direct to MLT on top of grain. (~50 ppm Ca in 5 gal mash volume). I use calcium sulfate in English styles, calcium chloride in German, Czech, and Belgian styles, and a mix of the two in American styles. Mash pH has been within tolerance every time I mash so I quit measuring after ~10 batches.

I add any other salt additions to the boil (which are very minimal) — targeting post boil volume concentration — using BeerSmith.

Offline denny

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Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2021, 12:06:45 pm »
After reading Brewing Better Beer, I adopted a different perspective to pH. I quit using any software to plan pH altogether.

I only mash malts/grains that require it. I do not mash malts that don’t require it. (Dark Crystal and Roast malts.) They screw with pH. I hold Dark Crystal and Roast malts to Mash Out (15 minutes)/Sparge (15 minutes). (For a total 30 min hot steep)

I adjust mash pH with 1 tsp CaCl, or 1 tsp Gypsum, or a combo of the two to equal 1 tsp total.  I add this tsp direct to MLT on top of grain. (~50 ppm Ca in 5 gal mash volume). I use calcium sulfate in English styles, calcium chloride in German, Czech, and Belgian styles, and a mix of the two in American styles. Mash pH has been within tolerance every time I mash so I quit measuring after ~10 batches.

I add any other salt additions to the boil (which are very minimal) — targeting post boil volume concentration — using BeerSmith.

If you get the results you like, then that's a great approach.  For me, I found that adding those grains late changed the character of the beer in ways I didn't care for.
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2021, 12:15:21 pm »
Absolutely. It goes without saying I like the results …but if I didn’t I wouldn’t brew that way.

Offline denny

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Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2021, 01:16:14 pm »
Absolutely. It goes without saying I like the results …but if I didn’t I wouldn’t brew that way.

Likewise!
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Offline lupulus

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Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2021, 01:50:20 pm »
After reading Brewing Better Beer, I adopted a different perspective to pH. I quit using any software to plan pH altogether.

I only mash malts/grains that require it. I do not mash malts that don’t require it. (Dark Crystal and Roast malts.) They screw with pH. I hold Dark Crystal and Roast malts to Mash Out (15 minutes)/Sparge (15 minutes). (For a total 30 min hot steep)

I adjust mash pH with 1 tsp CaCl, or 1 tsp Gypsum, or a combo of the two to equal 1 tsp total.  I add this tsp direct to MLT on top of grain. (~50 ppm Ca in 5 gal mash volume). I use calcium sulfate in English styles, calcium chloride in German, Czech, and Belgian styles, and a mix of the two in American styles. Mash pH has been within tolerance every time I mash so I quit measuring after ~10 batches.

I add any other salt additions to the boil (which are very minimal) — targeting post boil volume concentration — using BeerSmith.
No value judgement in the below.

If your mash pH is 5.4 and you add the dark grains later, your final mash pH will be significantly lower, let's say 5.0.
5.0 is 2.5 times the hydronium concentration of 5.4 pH.

This alters boil chemistry, and most likely final beer, significantly vs the brewer that adjusts to 5.4 with dark grains included.

This chemical alteration is independent of the flavor impact of the dark grains before vs. end of mash.

G Strong never discussed whether his beer was better (according to him) because of dark grains didn't oxidize or the pH effect or a combination of both

Again, no value judgement here. Just an observation.





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Online tommymorris

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Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2021, 03:08:31 pm »
I use Bru’n Water to design my water and estimate the Lactic acid addition needed for each recipe. I don’t measure PH anymore. I trust it’s in the ballpark. My beer tastes good, efficiency is consistent and good, and the beer is clear.  That’s good enough for me to keep skipping PH measurement.

I used to measure, but I finally decided my meter sucks and I would rather spend my money on something else rather than replace it. The readings were never consistent even on the same batch.

PS. Did BeerSmith license the PH calculation from Martin Brungard?

Offline chinaski

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Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2021, 03:52:32 pm »
After reading Brewing Better Beer, I adopted a different perspective to pH. I quit using any software to plan pH altogether.

I only mash malts/grains that require it. I do not mash malts that don’t require it. (Dark Crystal and Roast malts.) They screw with pH. I hold Dark Crystal and Roast malts to Mash Out (15 minutes)/Sparge (15 minutes). (For a total 30 min hot steep)

I adjust mash pH with 1 tsp CaCl, or 1 tsp Gypsum, or a combo of the two to equal 1 tsp total.  I add this tsp direct to MLT on top of grain. (~50 ppm Ca in 5 gal mash volume). I use calcium sulfate in English styles, calcium chloride in German, Czech, and Belgian styles, and a mix of the two in American styles. Mash pH has been within tolerance every time I mash so I quit measuring after ~10 batches.

I add any other salt additions to the boil (which are very minimal) — targeting post boil volume concentration — using BeerSmith.
For my (very soft) water I need to adjust mash pH without darker grains to hit the recommended pH; sometimes I do it sometimes I don't.  So I put those darker grains in the mash tun.

Offline Richard

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Re: Bru'N Water vs BrewFather and BeerSmith3 pH difference
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2021, 03:59:01 pm »
The Gordon Strong method has 3 parts: 1) Start with RO or very soft water and adjust your brewing water to a pH of 5.5, 2) Add calcium chloride and calcium sulfate in the desired ratios to get enough calcium with the chloride/sulfate ratio you want, and 3) hold dark grains out until the end of the mash. BrewBama - do you do step 1? You only talked about steps 2 and 3.
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