Author Topic: Pils-friendly Water chemistry  (Read 2340 times)

Offline roguejim

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Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2010, 09:23:48 PM »
Thanks again.

The few times that I've added gypsum to an IPA, it's been directly into the boil kettle.  I guess in the case of the pils ,SO4 goes into the mash tun...

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2010, 09:25:47 PM »
With your water, I'd be adding calcium to the mash every time.  I know I would, because my calcium levels are as low as yours.  Which calcium salt I add depends on the recipe, but I go up to at least 50 ppm in the mash just to aid conversion. :)
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Offline denny

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Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2010, 08:28:59 AM »
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline bluesman

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Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2010, 09:46:23 AM »
Here's a thread of interest.

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=1812.0

...and a small power point that might help.

www.jedflight.com/jrhb/water.ppt
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Offline 1vertical

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Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2010, 07:20:56 AM »
I somehow feel like a  water chemistry challenged entity that lives in a high mountain desert.

I posted my water report under that heading recently and would like to understand how to better
modify this water (thanks tom for the input over there) But you fellas all are going on about how to
modify your water with so many ppm of this salt or that salt and I gotta ask do you all have
a water chem lab in your kitchen?  How in the world are these exacting levels of minerals determined
and or implemented to change your water chem?  I was following some of Kai's literature and gleaned
the method to ad the chalk under carbonation to some water to dissolve it....but the additions that are
mentioned in this thread leave me in the dust..... ???

I mean, I can get 10 gallons of RO water....then add some of my water back to the mix, but to understand
what the resulting chemistry of that mix will be is highly challenging to my understanding of what I have actually arrived at
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 07:23:37 AM by 1vertical »
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2010, 07:37:55 AM »
I mean, I can get 10 gallons of RO water....then add some of my water back to the mix, but to understand what the resulting chemistry of that mix will be is highly challenging to my understanding of what I have actually arrived at

When combining two different waters, just do a weighted average for each ion. (That isn't technically correct, but it's certainly close enough for our purposes.) If you're diluting with distilled/RO water it's really easy: just multiply each concentration by the fraction that's tap water.

So, for example, if your HCO3 is 337 and you mix the water 50-50 with RO, the resulting water will be 337*.5 ~ 168 ppm HCO3. If you use 2 parts RO, 1 part tap, it'll be 337*.333 ~ 112, etc.

Your biggest problem will probably be sulfate. For anything other than a very hoppy beer, you'll need to dilute at least 3:1 just to get that under control.

This may help, depending on where the difficulty lies: http://seanterrill.com/2009/08/08/water-water-everywhere/ It's a decent starting point, at least.
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Offline 1vertical

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Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2010, 07:43:33 AM »
a10t2 thanx, now I have a glimmer that did help!

Yeah, my sulfate is 335 ppm and to get that gone is tough

Edit: once I got it running, that nomograph software is Kewl.... thanx again
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 08:40:01 AM by 1vertical »
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Offline 1vertical

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Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2010, 09:29:18 AM »
Well not a pilsner but at SRM11 hydrometer tube sample tasted NICE going into secondary.
I think the color is spot on.
Here is a shot of the F.G. this did not get down to a very low gravity for US-05 yeast but it
made it to 5.5% abv.  Just a nice drinkable beer methinks. Similar to Shiner Bock


Interesting that when i tasted the brewing water after the additions, it tasted salty to me. Now none of that
is apparent after the yeast chewed on it....thanks Sean
« Last Edit: November 10, 2010, 09:38:27 AM by 1vertical »
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Offline richardt

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Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2010, 10:43:30 AM »
Nice pic.  Just curious--the beer seems a little dark (SRM's higher than I'd expect for a Pils)--was that your goal?  Bluesman's earlier link to another thread mentioned keeping the kettle flame lower and limiting the boil off to 10-15% to prevent darkening of the wort.

Offline 1vertical

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Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2010, 10:50:10 AM »
Nice pic.  Just curious--the beer seems a little dark (SRM's higher than I'd expect for a Pils)--was that your goal?  Bluesman's earlier link to another thread mentioned keeping the kettle flame lower and limiting the boil off to 10-15% to prevent darkening of the wort.

I state it is not a pils...sorry I'm partially off topic by virtue of that, but on topic by virtue of the water chemistry. To answer your question, about my goal, my target was SRM 11.  My other target was to make water suitable for the color of the beer I was trying to brew.
Which is back on topic...that if you have the correct water chemistry for the color of beer you are brewing, your beer
should be better. So in this instance it was amber- friendly water chemistry.  As my water manipulation progresses, I shall indeed try to make some pils friendly water since my well water is not good for that type of beer.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2010, 10:55:47 AM by 1vertical »
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Offline 1vertical

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Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2010, 10:52:43 PM »
Well I gotta add that now I am tasting a glass of this beer and ZOWIE...is it
even better than one of this color brewed with my well water sans modification.

This beer is nicely balanced and smooth and clean on the palate  it may be some
darker than srm 11 but I want to sit it beside a Negra Modelo and do a side by side
taste comparison. It resulted in a beer that is in that venue...thanks again for pointing
me to palmers nomograph.
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2010, 07:42:23 AM »
Obviously this is an old thread that I didn’t participate in but I noticed a few points that I want to comment on.

Calcium is neither needed nor does it aid conversion in any significant way. This is a common misconception among home brewers. All calcium does is that it stabilizes a-amylase, which is already fairly stable at commonly used mash temps. Just to illustrate this point further, the congress mash, which is used to determine the malt’s extract potential, is done with distilled water.

When brewing a German beer, go easy with the salt additions. In my Pilsner and Helles beers I shoot for 70 pmm Ca or less. Even in a Pils I’d still make sure that there is some Chloride along with the sulfate.

Just mineral additions to the water will not get you the mash pH you want in a Pils which is why you have to add about 2-3% acid malt to the grist.

If the beer lacks crispness it is more likely that it has an excessive amount of residual fermentable sugars left. This is a result of fermentation and cannot be corrected with mashing. I suggest you do a fast ferment test and make sure the actual batch does ferment to or very close to the FFT attenuation. I found that getting the last few % of attenuation out of a batch takes some time and sometimes even some help by adding fresh yeast. But if I don’t pay attention to that and start cold conditioning too early I’ll end up with a beer that is not as crisp as I want it. Right now I’m brewing a Helles and after having it racked to the secondary keg with some yeast the beer is sitting at ~22 C until it reaches the attenuation I’m shooting for.

1vertical, good to see that the beer turned out great for you. I generally do taste my water after treatment and would not be happy if the water tastes salty. But I also have never bumped the sulfate all the way into the 300s. I’ll be brewing an English beer soon and maybe I should try to burtonize my water.

To answer your question about the determining the mineral additions, I use a scale that has a resolution of 0.01g and a range between 0 and 100g that is perfect for weighing salts. You can get them on Ebay. Just look for jewelry scales.

Kai


Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2010, 11:27:25 AM »
Calcium is neither needed nor does it aid conversion in any significant way. This is a common misconception among home brewers. All calcium does is that it stabilizes a-amylase, which is already fairly stable at commonly used mash temps. Just to illustrate this point further, the congress mash, which is used to determine the malt’s extract potential, is done with distilled water.
That's interesting Kai, I haven't heard that.  Do you have any additional references?  Your illustration with the congress mash is great, but that is evidence that additional calcium is not needed.  The barley will already have some, and presumably enough for self-conversion since crystal malts can be made.  But if a mash was done after the calcium had been chelated or using mutant amylase unable to bind calcium, that would be convincing that calcium is not needed at all.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Kaiser

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Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2010, 12:04:11 PM »
Tom,

You make a good point that I overlooked. I’ll have to rephrase the statement to “no additional calcium is needed”, as you pointed out. But I was getting at the common home brewer wisdom that calcium needs to be added to the mash in order to help conversion. Whatever comes with the grain may or may not help but we won’t change that anyway. I think I read somewhere that the calcium content of grain is minimal, though. But it may be enough to provide stabilization for all the a-amylase molecules and anything more that is added to the mash won’t have an additional effect.

Here is data from a mash series that I ran with different mash water calcium levels:
http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Effects_of_mash_parameters_on_fermentability_and_efficiency_in_single_infusion_mashing#Calcium

Kai


Offline Kaiser

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Re: Pils-friendly Water chemistry
« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2010, 12:33:37 PM »
I dug up a paper that touches on that: http://www.jbc.org/content/264/32/19392.full.pdf (The Calcium Requirement for Stability and Enzymatic Activity of Two. Isoforms of Barley Aleurone a-Amylase)

Figure 3 shows the amylase activity over the Ca concentration given as pCa. There is a saturation below pCa = 4. If I have this correctly pCa = -log10([Ca2+]) which means pCa=4 is a molar concentration of 0.0001 Mol/l. This is about 4.0 mg/l Ca.

The unknown here is the concentration on amylase and how much amylase will we have in the mash. But there is a good chance that all the Ca that is needed is not much and it is already available in the malt. After all the amylase also functions in the malt but it doesn’t really need the heat stabilization aspect of Ca.

Kai