Author Topic: Palmer Spreadsheet Error  (Read 8381 times)

Online Kaiser

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Re: Palmer Spreadsheet Error
« Reply #30 on: December 15, 2010, 10:41:02 PM »
Kai - I've tried using your spreadsheet and it's just not intuitive to me.  I just tried it again as a matter of fact to see if I could figure out the water treatment for my next brew.  Where I run into an issue is I don't want to define each salt addition as ppm.  That doesn't mean much to me.  I want to enter the grams of salts and see what the ppm will be in my given volume and then tweak the additions to get to where I need to be.  Maybe I'm missing something in the functionality and if so I'd be happy to stand corrected.

I take your point. I decided to have the user enter salts as ppm of the water because this makes the salt additions independent of water volume. I like to think in volume and/or weight independent terms. Just like discussing a grist by referring to the percentages of malts used rather than assuming that we all brew 5 gal batches and refer to the weights of the malts.

But I see how many brewers just want to think in grams of salt added since this is what they end up weighing out and what they'll remember from brew to brew. I may make the unit for the salts configurable in the future so salts can be entered as mg/l, gram and maybe even mg/kg. The latter is mg per kg grist.

Kai

Offline blatz

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Re: Palmer Spreadsheet Error
« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2010, 08:00:45 AM »

But I see how many brewers just want to think in grams of salt added since this is what they end up weighing out and what they'll remember from brew to brew. I may make the unit for the salts configurable in the future so salts can be entered as mg/l, gram and maybe even mg/kg. The latter is mg per kg grist.

Kai - here's a +1 that this would be more helpful for most people - as said, I don't think in ppms, I think in how much do I need to weigh out.  Sure, I can make the calculations, but you know what I mean.
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Offline akr71

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Re: Palmer Spreadsheet Error
« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2010, 08:03:23 AM »
I use the EZ water spreadsheet because it's, well, easy.... 

Kai - I've tried using your spreadsheet and it's just not intuitive to me.

I use both Kai's and the EZ water spreadsheet.  While I agree the Kai's may not be the most intuitive, it has helped me understand water chemistry far better.  I've tried Palmer's, but I found I was just fumbling around plugging numbers in at random until I started to get where I thought my water should be.  Kai's articles and using the his spreadsheet has helped illuminate how the different ions interact - its still pretty confusing to me, but at least I don't feel I'm fumbling in the dark anymore.

The last few batches, I've focused soley on getting my mash pH down (my water is high in bicarbonates and sulphates and low on calcium and magnesium).  The EZ water spreadsheet gives me abit of extra confidence that the pH will be where it is supposed to be and my efficiency has jumped from the high 70's to the mid 80's because of it.

After reading this thread, I'll continue to focus only on the mash pH and if I want to adjust the chloride/sulphate ratio, I'll do it in the kettle.
Andy

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Offline kramerog

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Re: Palmer Spreadsheet Error
« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2010, 08:58:04 AM »
The "corrected" equation assumes that the chalk and baking soda fully dissolve.  However, Kai points out earlier that the chalk does not fully dissolve and thus the original factor of 158.4 rather than 322 might not be wrong as an empiricism.  However, it is unclear why the discrepancy for the baking soda factor.  Baking soda dissolves well; the solubility of baking soda is 100 g/l at 20 C vs. .015 g/l for chalk at 25 C per wikipedia.

The discrepancy for the baking soda factor is me! Just a miscalculation. 
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Offline richardt

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Re: Palmer Spreadsheet Error
« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2010, 08:59:43 AM »
...The last few batches, I've focused soley on getting my mash pH down (my water is high in bicarbonates and sulphates and low on calcium and magnesium)...

Sounds like my water profile (Jacksonville, FL).  May I ask how you do your salt additions?

Offline kramerog

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Re: Palmer Spreadsheet Error
« Reply #35 on: December 16, 2010, 09:12:41 AM »
My take home is to not to use chalk for raising alkalinity if baking soda will work acceptably, e.g., does not raise sodium excessively.  My reasoning is that the calculation for the contribution to alkalinity from chalk is a crude empiricism that does not take into account a specific users chalk source,equipment, and procedures that could lead to different amounts of chalk being dissolved over the length of the mash.
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Offline akr71

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Re: Palmer Spreadsheet Error
« Reply #36 on: December 16, 2010, 10:33:10 AM »

Sounds like my water profile (Jacksonville, FL).  May I ask how you do your salt additions?

I add a good dose of calcium chloride to bring the Ca above 50 ppm (usually around 2 grams for 3 gallons mash water) and touch of epsom salts to get the magnesium around 10 (1 gram for 3 gallons mash water).  This leaves me with roughly balanced chloride : sulphate ratio.  I use lactic acid to get the mash pH down the rest of the way (2 ml for last weekend's brew - no roasted malts in that one).

The EZ Water Calculator helps me estimate the pH ( http://www.ezwatercalculator.com/ ).  Kai's articles and spreadsheet help me understand how my additions interact.
Andy

Amherst, NS - Canada

Offline richardt

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Re: Palmer Spreadsheet Error
« Reply #37 on: December 16, 2010, 10:38:44 AM »
Thanks.  I'll keep that in mind if I ever go back to using the local water (which I may do as a side-by-side experiment along with RO water built up with salt additions to yield the same water profile).  Right now, though, there's something "intangible" about my local water.  It just plain tastes terrible.

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Palmer Spreadsheet Error
« Reply #38 on: December 18, 2010, 10:15:42 AM »
Great discussion.
Thank you all.

I am using EZ water Calculator.
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Offline johnf

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Re: Palmer Spreadsheet Error
« Reply #39 on: December 18, 2010, 01:54:46 PM »
My take home is to not to use chalk for raising alkalinity if baking soda will work acceptably, e.g., does not raise sodium excessively.  My reasoning is that the calculation for the contribution to alkalinity from chalk is a crude empiricism that does not take into account a specific users chalk source,equipment, and procedures that could lead to different amounts of chalk being dissolved over the length of the mash.

The problem with chalk is that it appears as though you can't predict the alkalinity it will contribute to the mash. It is notable that you can't predict the mash pH very well regardless.

If you use a pH meter at dough-in, using chalk to raise the pH if needed works just fine as you are doing it empirically and you aren't adding any unwanted sodium. If you rely on predicting things (you don't have a pH meter), then baking soda will be more predictable subject to the caveat about too much sodium.

If you aren't worried about working with it, potassium hydroxide would add a predictable amount of alkalinity and no sodium. I use it in mead making and use gloves and eye protection to mix a solution of known strength (whatever it is that the SPHBC folks recommend) and then gloves only when working with the solution. Never broke it out for a mash as:

1. I rarely measure a mash pH that is lower than I want, and I typically start with modestly negative RA and
2. When I do the amount of chalk required to raise it is uniformly pretty small.

Offline hike20

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Re: Palmer Spreadsheet Error
« Reply #40 on: December 18, 2010, 05:15:17 PM »
Kai,
I also use the 2.0 version of the ezwatercalculator because I just couldn't get my head around your spreadsheet. Have you looked at the version 2.0? He supposedly based it off of your data and not using Palmer's method.

I'm curious if it's predicting pH reasonably close. I'll get a pH meter as soon as I can afford it, but have to make do with estimates until then.

Offline johnf

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Re: Palmer Spreadsheet Error
« Reply #41 on: December 18, 2010, 06:15:05 PM »
Kai,
I also use the 2.0 version of the ezwatercalculator because I just couldn't get my head around your spreadsheet. Have you looked at the version 2.0? He supposedly based it off of your data and not using Palmer's method.

I'm curious if it's predicting pH reasonably close. I'll get a pH meter as soon as I can afford it, but have to make do with estimates until then.


It's not just Kai's data, it's his model. I believe the goal was consistency with Kai's spreadsheet so assuming the implementation is correct, it is.

I found Kai's spreadsheet easy enough to use, but I'm somewhat proficient in Excel. Are you familiar with the formula auditing tools in Excel? You can trace dependents and precedents for each cells which can give a graphical representation of what the inputs are and where they go. They are on the formula ribbon in 2007. I forget how to get to them in 2003, I always had them on my toolbar.

Online Kaiser

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Re: Palmer Spreadsheet Error
« Reply #42 on: December 18, 2010, 08:50:53 PM »
I also use the 2.0 version of the ezwatercalculator because I just couldn't get my head around your spreadsheet. Have you looked at the version 2.0? He supposedly based it off of your data and not using Palmer's method.

It's possible that the spreadsheet fits more with my brewing than with others. While I'm interested in improving the usability of the tool I'm more interested in working on the science behind it and let others figure out how to make something that is well suited for the majority of the brewers. I was also more interested in providing a spreadsheet that can handle GH&KH water tests, water treatment with lime and the use of dissolved chalk. But I'm glad that my model has found some acceptance and I'll have to check it out.

However, it's just a model that uses the convenient but less accurate relation between SRM and mash pH. Ideally we would want malsters to supply us with congress mash pH for base and specialty malts. For specialty malts titration results would be useful too.

I don't brew too many different beers to be able to practically validate the results oft my SRM to pH model and I haven't gotten much feedback either. Either it works very well, or which is more likely, there is enough wiggle-room that the imprecision doesn't matter much.

John, I have to check out the formula audit tool. This sounds really neat.

Kai

Offline johnf

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Re: Palmer Spreadsheet Error
« Reply #43 on: December 18, 2010, 09:09:56 PM »

I don't brew too many different beers to be able to practically validate the results oft my SRM to pH model and I haven't gotten much feedback either. Either it works very well, or which is more likely, there is enough wiggle-room that the imprecision doesn't matter much.


I've been thinking about recording actual pH and spreadsheet inputs for all of my beers and publishing the info. I brew outside so I will only brew opportunistically for the next couple of months. I think if we could find a dozen brewers with pH meters who would record and publish this info it would be pretty easy to demonstrate to other brewers how much confidence they should have in models or where the models are weak.

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Re: Palmer Spreadsheet Error
« Reply #44 on: December 19, 2010, 08:38:20 AM »
Another alternative to chalk would be the use of calcium hydroxide. Also known as pickling lime it is more soluble and also raises the pH while adding calcium to the mash. I haven't investigated it's behavior in the mash yet.

Kai