Author Topic: Adding minerals to reverse osmosis water for a strong stout  (Read 3442 times)

Offline wamille

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Adding minerals to reverse osmosis water for a strong stout
« on: January 04, 2011, 08:56:59 PM »
Does anyone know where I might be able to find a website to help me determine what minerals (and proper amounts per 5 gallon batch) I would need to make a stout with a Dublin water profile?  I'm going to make a huge 30lb high-gravity stout and want to see how it tastes with the Dublin water mineral content.  Any help would be appreciated.

Offline skyler

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Re: Adding minerals to reverse osmosis water for a strong stout
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2011, 12:15:11 AM »
Rule of thumb that I go by is a tablespoon of chalk in the mash tun for a stout or porter with RO water.

Offline jeffy

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Re: Adding minerals to reverse osmosis water for a strong stout
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2011, 05:29:40 AM »
Do a quick search for "brewing water profiles" on the net.  I found this one just now:
http://www.beersmith.com/Water/Waters.htm
If you use brewing software there is probably a calculator on it to determine the amounts of each salt you should add to achieve the profile of the target region.  I use this in Promash all the time.  It breaks down the salts into their respective chemical compounds and lists them in a chart of the "important" ion additions.  It's pretty cool, especially if you've had your own brewing water tested.
Be aware, though, that sometimes the brewing water profiles historically reported can be misleading.  For instance in Noonan's book Scotch Ale it says that Edinburgh water is completely different depending on the depth of the well.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
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BJCP judge since 1995

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Adding minerals to reverse osmosis water for a strong stout
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2011, 07:31:27 AM »
As Jeff mentioned, the water profiles listed in various places in print and the web can be incorrect and do not always provide a balance in ionic charges.  The Dublin profile listed on that Beersmith site is a case in point.  Either the bicarbonate needs to be increased to 300 ppm or the calcium needs to be reduced to 85 ppm in order for the ions to balance. 

Regarding recommendations for using historical water profiles.  Brewers should recognize that even back in history, the brewers did do things that altered their brewing water to make it more suitable for brewing.  That included boiling to decarbonate, acid rests, and adding soured beer or wort (saurergut) to the mash. 

I have just finished a research project that evaluated the need for high alkalinity or residual alkalinity in brewing brown and black beers.  Of particular note is that the brewing water alkalinity does not need to be as high as suggested by those historical brewing profiles from dark beer producers such as Dublin, Munich, Edinburgh.  That is in line with the statement above that those old brewers did alter their water. 

Some of you may recall that I proposed a relationship between beer color and residual alkalinity some months ago (RA = SRM x 4.5).  I proposed that equation in response to some other color vs RA relationships that had been published in some software and nomographs that vastly overpredicted the need for alkalinity in dark beers.  Many seasoned BJCP judges had noted that those beers were presenting a 'soda water' taste perception and it was probably from the over application of alkalinity in those beers.  Well I can now state that not only were those previous RA/SRM relationships incorrect, my formula is too aggressive too.  You don't need that much alkalinity when brewing dark beers. 

Unfortunately, the non-linearity between beer color and alkalinity requirements make it impossible to propose a single equation or nomograph to correlate color and RA.  The excellent research by Kai Troester is the basis of that finding and interested brewers should take the time to understand the way acidity varies in classes of malts such as crystal malts, roast malts, base malts, and acid malt. 

So to provide a recommendation to this brewer's original question, I offer the following recommendation for a Dublin water that would contain enough alkalinity to buffer the mash pH into an appropriate range while mimicing the original Dublin profile. 

Ca 85 ppm
Mg 4 ppm
Na 12 ppm
SO4 55 ppm
Cl 19 ppm
HCO3 200 ppm

That profile can be achieved by adding 0.25g of gypsum, 0.2g of epsom salt, 0.2g baking soda, 0.2g CaCl2, and 0.4g of pickling lime per gallon of mash water.  Note that chalk is not used since it cannot easily be dissolved in either water or the mash and will not contribute its intended alkalinity to the mash.  At atmospheric pressure, chalk can only provide up to 55 ppm of HCO3 to water and any attempt to over dose the water with chalk will just add to the sediment at the bottom of the mash tun. 
Martin B
Carmel, IN

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Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

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Offline wamille

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Re: Adding minerals to reverse osmosis water for a strong stout
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2011, 07:06:47 PM »
mabrungard,

Thanks for the info.  I'm living in South Korea, so some of the minerals/products might be difficult to find.  Regarding the CaCl2, what is the product that would satisfy the requirement?  For example, other minerals can be found in products like epsom salts, baking soda, and gypsum.  Also, I'm not sure where I might find pickling lime as I'm not familiar with it.  Is it something you can buy at an average grocery store?  Our base commissary might have it possibly?

V/r,
Bill

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Adding minerals to reverse osmosis water for a strong stout
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2011, 10:43:34 PM »
Damprid is primarily calcium chloride, but I don't know if that is available in South Korea.  :-\

Here is a link to the msds - the problem beyond availability is that the concentration varies from 60%-100%, and there may be NaCl and KCl from 1%-5%.  Anything else isn't listed under "hazardous components".
http://www.damprid.com/downloads/2010MSDS_FG01K.pdf
Tom Schmidlin

Offline jeffy

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Re: Adding minerals to reverse osmosis water for a strong stout
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2011, 05:14:35 AM »
If you can't find Damprid you may be able to get calcium
chloride at a swimming pool supply store.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline hopvine

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Re: Adding minerals to reverse osmosis water for a strong stout
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2011, 05:37:57 AM »
The only tool you need:
http://www.ezwatercalculator.com/

Just balance out all of the mineral additions so that you hit the correct mash pH and mineral levels.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Adding minerals to reverse osmosis water for a strong stout
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2011, 07:49:31 AM »
I'm very leery of using any minerals or chemicals that aren't intended for human consumption.  Even though the DampRid folks don't list anything hazardous on the product's MSDS, that does not mean that there are not minute toxins or hazards in the substance.  The EPA definition of "hazardous" is not quite what a normal person would exclude since that product is not intended for human consumption.  Lead is not hazardous, but I'm pretty sure that most brewers would not want to consume any. 

A product called Pickle Crisp is calcium chloride and is available were canning supplies are sold.  It is intended for human consumption.  The same is true for Pickling Lime.  Pickling Lime is also known as Slaked Lime or calcium hydroxide.  One pickling lime brand is Mrs. Wages. 

Bill may need to have a care package sent from the states if there are no vendors around carrying these items.  The base commissary might actually carry canning supplies, so that is worth a look.  Calcium chloride is carried by every good homebrew shop that I've been in, so I'm hoping that a local shop might have it or it could be mail ordered.   

EZwater is OK and usable.  It will do a fine job in calculating concentrations from mineral additions.
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

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Offline hokerer

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Re: Adding minerals to reverse osmosis water for a strong stout
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2011, 07:51:09 AM »
Also, I'm not sure where I might find pickling lime as I'm not familiar with it.  Is it something you can buy at an average grocery store?  Our base commissary might have it possibly?

Availability of pickling lime was being discussed in the "Palmer Spreadsheet Error" thread.  I've found it in our regular grocery stores.  Ours has it in the same aisle as the sugar/flour/salt.  It's right next to the salt and in roughly the same size canister - light green label and $3.79 for a pound.
Joe

Offline gmwren

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Re: Adding minerals to reverse osmosis water for a strong stout
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2011, 08:24:01 AM »
The base commissary might actually carry canning supplies, so that is worth a look.
For grins I went to the DeCA website (Defense Commissary Agency), selected the Yongsan and Osan Air Base Commissaries and searched for canning supplies. They carry Mrs. Wages Pickling Lime in the 16Oz size. Even if it is not currently on the shelf, it appears to be on the master list which makes it easy for them to re-order.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Adding minerals to reverse osmosis water for a strong stout
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2011, 02:27:41 PM »
I'm very leery of using any minerals or chemicals that aren't intended for human consumption.

I totally agree, I wouldn't put damprid in my beer.

I hadn't heard about pickle crisp, thanks Martin.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline wamille

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Re: Adding minerals to reverse osmosis water for a strong stout
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2011, 03:26:55 PM »
Thanks all for the help.  I'll check out the Yongsan Commissary after work today.  Wow, did one of you guys work in Korea before or is the commissary website that good???  Or are you just one heckuva investigator... if so, maybe you can find me the website where AAFES (Army Air Force Exchange Service) determines what beers they stock and how I can get us some Sierra Nevada, Russian River, Bells, Founders, Green Flash, etc beers here vice the big US macros, pedestrian macro European beers, and the pawltry US micros (Leinenkuegels, Sam Adams).

Offline gmwren

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Re: Adding minerals to reverse osmosis water for a strong stout
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2011, 04:01:09 PM »
Spent a year flying Hooks out of the Hump in the "Land of Morning Calm". The DeCA site is better than it used to be, but still sucks. We used to road trip to Yongsan because it had the best Class VI store for alcohol. Not sayin' much is it? Good luck with your Class VI woes as all the good stuff was stolen and can be found on the black market (with the AAFES price sticker still on it.)

Offline wamille

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Re: Adding minerals to reverse osmosis water for a strong stout
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2011, 05:49:38 PM »
gmwren,

I worked at the Hump... an aerial exploitation unit down there in the mid 90's.  They actually sold good beer back then at Humphrey's and Yongsan.  They did away with the Class VI stores though... they're all just shoppettes now (at least here in Seoul).  When were you here?