Author Topic: Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract  (Read 1503 times)

Offline summy

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Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract
« on: October 19, 2010, 04:33:29 PM »
Hey all. Not sure if this should be in this section or not, but here goes. I am an all grain brewer and I haven't done an extract batch in 8 years. I am wanting to brew the Firestone Walker Union Jack recipe from Can You Brew It for "Learn to Homebrew Day", extract version. Haven't actually seen an extract recipe anywhere, but have converted the all grain to extract. During the interview, Jamil states that for water they "use reverse osmosis and add back Gypsum and CaCl to 100ppm". As an extract beer, how do I go about creating that profile? I plan to use 7.5 gallons of distilled water for a full boil. I was on ProBrewer's calculator and plugged in 5.2g of gypsum and 8g of CaCl. The result is: 94ppm Ca, 102ppm SO4, and 91ppm Cl. Am I in the ballpark for what Jamil said. Are there any minerals that are not represented that need to be? I find Jamil's comment to be a bit vague, but then again I know very little to nothing about water chemistry. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2010, 04:44:59 PM »
There will be minerals in the extract leftover from when it was made.  Just because you're using distilled water doesn't mean you'll have low mineral content.  What brand of extract are you using?  There might be some info available on the mineral content of it, I don't know.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline summy

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Re: Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2010, 04:56:56 PM »
It will either be Briess or Munton's.  My LHBS is donating all of the ingredients if we brew at the shop.  I'm pretty sure those are the brands they carry.  All LD Carlson stuff.  I was hoping to use 2 cans of Light LME and 2 lbs of Light DME.  It also has 2 lbs of munich, 1/4 lb caramalt, and 3/4 lb carapils for steeping.
Fementing:
  *Primary -
  *Lagering -

On Tap
 *BPA
 *Denny's BVIP
 *Brunch Stout
 

In Bottles
 *IIPA
 *RyeIPA
 *Black IPA
 *Red IPA
 *White IPA (entered an all-IPA competition)
  *Kolsch

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2010, 08:55:42 PM »
Well, there is no reason to worry about the calcium levels, that is mostly important in the mash and you're not mashing (except for that Munich).

I found this thread about Briess extract on the BN forum.  So you know the ions present in the water, which is great.  They will be concentrated in the extract, but when you add it to the distilled water it will be diluted.  If the average wort they make is 1.068, you can calculate the ions in your brew, it's a simple ratio.  If your SG is 1.065, you just take 65/68 = 0.96, so multiply all of the ion concentrations in that thread by 0.96 to get their concentration in your wort.  Remember, you should only take into account the SG from the extract.

That being said, I find it hard to believe that Briess would mash with only 24 ppm Ca in the mash.  Maybe they do, but maybe they add some Ca to the water so in that case the levels will be off.  But that's what we've got to go on.

So if I were you I would add some CaSO4 to the water you mash the Munich in, and skip the CaCl entirely for this batch.  It's a start anyway.

Hope that helps.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline johnf

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Re: Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2010, 05:43:14 AM »
Well, there is no reason to worry about the calcium levels, that is mostly important in the mash and you're not mashing (except for that Munich).

Calcium also is important to yeast (particularly flocculation) and precipitates oxalate early on reducing beer stone later. I think this latter point is the most important for homebrewers who rarely consider beerstone in their cleaning regimen.

I am actually skeptical that calcium is all that important in the mash as bohemian pilsener mashes, assuming pH is controlled via acid, seem to be every bit as robust as any other mash, at least in my brewery (and presumably bohemian breweries as they can but are not adding calcium).

That said, I tend to think 30 ppm is probably plenty and 50 is very conservatively high.

Offline bluesman

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Re: Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2010, 06:23:33 AM »
You could try contacting Breiss and ask them for a water report. More specifically, what trace minerals they would expect to find in their dried malt products.

http://www.brewingwithbriess.com/about/contact.aspx
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2010, 10:16:14 AM »
Well, there is no reason to worry about the calcium levels, that is mostly important in the mash and you're not mashing (except for that Munich).

Calcium also is important to yeast (particularly flocculation) and precipitates oxalate early on reducing beer stone later. I think this latter point is the most important for homebrewers who rarely consider beerstone in their cleaning regimen.

I am actually skeptical that calcium is all that important in the mash as bohemian pilsener mashes, assuming pH is controlled via acid, seem to be every bit as robust as any other mash, at least in my brewery (and presumably bohemian breweries as they can but are not adding calcium).

That said, I tend to think 30 ppm is probably plenty and 50 is very conservatively high.
Fair enough, calcium is necessary for flocculation.  But you really don't need much at all, so it's not really worth worrying about IMO.  Yeast strain plays a much larger role in my experience.

Re: calcium in mashes, what is your water profile like?  Maybe 50 ppm is higher than it needs to be, or maybe at 50 ppm you convert faster and more confidently without testing for conversion (I haven't checked for conversion in years).
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Kit B

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Re: Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2010, 12:46:49 PM »
Just because you're using distilled water doesn't mean you'll have low mineral content.

Wait...What???
Really???

Do you mean after the addition of the extract, or before the addition?
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Offline johnf

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Re: Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2010, 01:03:23 PM »
Well, there is no reason to worry about the calcium levels, that is mostly important in the mash and you're not mashing (except for that Munich).

Calcium also is important to yeast (particularly flocculation) and precipitates oxalate early on reducing beer stone later. I think this latter point is the most important for homebrewers who rarely consider beerstone in their cleaning regimen.

I am actually skeptical that calcium is all that important in the mash as bohemian pilsener mashes, assuming pH is controlled via acid, seem to be every bit as robust as any other mash, at least in my brewery (and presumably bohemian breweries as they can but are not adding calcium).

That said, I tend to think 30 ppm is probably plenty and 50 is very conservatively high.
Fair enough, calcium is necessary for flocculation.  But you really don't need much at all, so it's not really worth worrying about IMO.  Yeast strain plays a much larger role in my experience.

Re: calcium in mashes, what is your water profile like?  Maybe 50 ppm is higher than it needs to be, or maybe at 50 ppm you convert faster and more confidently without testing for conversion (I haven't checked for conversion in years).

My tap water has 36 ppm calcium, I've brewed beers with as low as 10 ppm. Commercially, several Bohemian beers are brewed successfully with low calcium as well as beers in, say, Portland Oregon.

BTW, here is a link to another forum where a user got a water analysis from Briess. Not pretty.

http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15177&start=0

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2010, 01:10:26 PM »
Just because you're using distilled water doesn't mean you'll have low mineral content.

Wait...What???
Really???

Do you mean after the addition of the extract, or before the addition?
Really, you need to ask?  ;D  After of course. :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2010, 01:26:34 PM »
My tap water has 36 ppm calcium, I've brewed beers with as low as 10 ppm. Commercially, several Bohemian beers are brewed successfully with low calcium as well as beers in, say, Portland Oregon.
My water has 15 ppm Ca and it generally converts fine when I don't add calcium.  But by adding calcium to 50 ppm I'm giving myself one less thing to worry about.  I don't treat my sparge water, so the ppm drops down again in the boil.  I don't think I've ever said you have to hit 50 ppm or it won't convert, but if I did somewhere it's withdrawn  ;)

Amylase requires calcium to work, so having more calcium will help make more of it active, to a point.  But I haven't done the experiments to figure out a curve of ppm Ca+2 to time when converting a mash.  Maybe it's just that 50 ppm is recommended so you can be sure to have finished converting within 60 minutes for most malt types, I don't know the research behind it.

BTW, here is a link to another forum where a user got a water analysis from Briess. Not pretty.

http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15177&start=0
Looks like the same one I linked to above.  :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2010, 04:37:00 PM »
My tap water has 36 ppm calcium, I've brewed beers with as low as 10 ppm. Commercially, several Bohemian beers are brewed successfully with low calcium as well as beers in, say, Portland Oregon.
http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15177&start=0

I have come to the understanding that what the mineral content of the local water is, you really want to know what the brewers are doing to adjust that water.  This is based on many brewery tours.  The RO systems and/or the pallets full of bags of CaCL2 and/or Gypsum are a clue.

Tom might know what they do in the PNW.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2010, 06:48:24 PM »
Tom might know what they do in the PNW.
I know what some say they do :)  I was on a tour once at a brewery nearby, and the tour guide told me that they distill all of their brewing water.   ::)  They surely filter it to remove the chlorine, but there's no way they distill it.  Not even RO, with the water we have (very soft water with low overall mineral content).

I've never taken a formal survey or anything but from random conversations over beers I can say that, like homebrewers, their procedures seem to vary.  Some are much more rigorous about mineral additions, others are not.  A lot depends on the personality of the brewer and when/where they got their training, not to mention the recipe they're brewing.

I'll be at the Washington Brewer's Guild meeting in a few weeks, if I remember I'll ask a bit more in depth and see what people are doing.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2010, 04:58:29 AM »
Water reports from the PNW are almost Pilsen like.  Any information as to what the Pros are doing in the brewhouse to treat the water would be of interest, Tom.
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Offline johnf

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Re: Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2010, 08:49:10 AM »
Water reports from the PNW are almost Pilsen like.  Any information as to what the Pros are doing in the brewhouse to treat the water would be of interest, Tom.


When I lived in Portland 3 years ago, the brewers were not adding minerals in general. Don't know about the newer places but I have heard third hand that Hopworks adds some gypsum to IPAs and that is it.

Widmer adds minerals, that is one of the outliers.

There is nothing you can do to increase ionic content other than to add it so I can say generally that Portland brewers are using low calcium water, certainly with some exceptions.