Author Topic: Water adjustment with extract  (Read 760 times)

Offline SoPHiSTo

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Water adjustment with extract
« on: January 18, 2011, 10:28:56 AM »
So I'm lucky enough to live in Longmont, CO where we have almost distilled water coming from our tap.  I'm getting ready to make an extract batch of Alt.  I have been doing AG for 6 months now and I'm getting comfortable with water adjustment doing AG.  My question is how important is water adjustment when doing extract?  Like I said Longmont's water is virtually void of most minerals:

Ca = 8 ppm
Mg = 1.2 ppm
Na = 12 ppm
SO4 = 5 ppm
Cl = 2 ppm
HCO3 = 24 ppm

I'd like to know what you guys recommend for making this Alt, just leave it be or add some alkalinity/calcium to the water??

 
Joel
Longmont, CO
Twitter - @SoPHiSTo

Offline tomsawyer

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1681
    • View Profile
Re: Water adjustment with extract
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2011, 10:30:14 AM »
I'd say the minerals needed were in their mash.  I suppose you could possibly adjust for flavor, but with an alt its generally kind of balanced anyway so I don't know that it'd be necessary.  Plus you don't know what you are starting with.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline redbeerman

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1713
  • On the banks of the mighty Susquehanna
    • View Profile
Re: Water adjustment with extract
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2011, 10:36:06 AM »
If it tastes good enough to drink, it will be fine for an extract brew.
CH3CH2OH - Without it, life itself would be impossible.

[441, 112.1deg] AR

Jim

Offline SoPHiSTo

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Re: Water adjustment with extract
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2011, 10:37:58 AM »
If it tastes good enough to drink, it will be fine for an extract brew.

I understand that, just trying to make it true to style.
Joel
Longmont, CO
Twitter - @SoPHiSTo

Offline tomsawyer

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1681
    • View Profile
Re: Water adjustment with extract
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2011, 11:52:59 AM »
I'm guessing since these beers are brown and hoppy, that they were developed to suit a water with a moderate level of alkalinity and some sulfate.  Theres debate over what constitutes a traditional brewing water, since for quite some time brewers in these areas have treated their water in various ways.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline mabrungard

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1094
    • View Profile
    • Bru'n Water
Re: Water adjustment with extract
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2011, 11:55:04 AM »
There are probably enough minerals in the extract to suffice for the yeast, but there is one aspect that an extract brewer might consider, Flavor ions.

The main thing would be if you wanted to accentuate maltiness or hoppiness in the finished beer.  An extract brewer may add either gypsum or calcium chloride, but not both at the same time.  

I show that for a starting water with little ionic content, adding up to about 3/4 gram of calcium chloride per gallon of kettle water would be about the limit if maltiness is the goal.  

Adding up to 2 grams of gypsum per gallon of kettle water would be about the limit if accentuating hoppiness is the goal.  I would keep it under 1 gram/gallon if you weren't too interested in hopping it up that much.  

The added calcium from either of these minerals will be beneficial to the yeast since the starting water is low.

Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

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

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook for occasional discussions on brewing water and Bru'n Water

Offline tomsawyer

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1681
    • View Profile
Re: Water adjustment with extract
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2011, 12:00:36 PM »
What about the contribution of the extract though?  Surely there was calcium and possibly chloride and sulfate in there during the mash process?  Anyone ever determined the average salt content of DME?
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline mabrungard

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1094
    • View Profile
    • Bru'n Water
Re: Water adjustment with extract
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2011, 12:52:15 PM »
I would expect that the maltster did not do anything to their water to change chloride or sulfate levels.  Why would they and how would they know what a brewer would want to make with that extract. 

There isn't a strong reason that I can think of for the Maltster to add calcium to the mash other than it might be a cheap way for them to achieve their preferred mash pH without other treatment or acid.  I don't think they would necessarily add calcium to provide a brewer that uses distilled water enough calcium content in their finished wort for good yeast performance. 

Too many variables and I would have to believe that they would be looking to avoid paying to add something else to their product that doesn't aid all brewers.
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

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

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook for occasional discussions on brewing water and Bru'n Water

Offline tomsawyer

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1681
    • View Profile
Re: Water adjustment with extract
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2011, 01:02:35 PM »
I wasn't suggesting that they might dose the extract, simply that their mashes need the same salts as ours.  I would think they would adjust the same way we do, with calcium salts and possibly a little acid.  When they go that extra step and dry the extract, their salts all would remain in the product.  It'd depend on what ratio of water/grain they use, my guess is they go low to save on the subsequent cost of water removal.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline hokerer

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2634
  • Manassas, VA
    • View Profile
Re: Water adjustment with extract
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2011, 02:10:04 PM »
I wasn't suggesting that they might dose the extract, simply that their mashes need the same salts as ours.  I would think they would adjust the same way we do, with calcium salts and possibly a little acid.  When they go that extra step and dry the extract, their salts all would remain in the product.  It'd depend on what ratio of water/grain they use, my guess is they go low to save on the subsequent cost of water removal.

I think what Martin's saying is that adding gypsum or calcium chloride has nothing to do with "salts the mash needs".  Those two are more about accentuating maltiness or hoppiness and a maltster would have no reason to add those.
Joe

Offline tomsawyer

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1681
    • View Profile
Re: Water adjustment with extract
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2011, 02:17:10 PM »
I think what Martin's saying is that adding gypsum or calcium chloride has nothing to do with "salts the mash needs".  Those two are more about accentuating maltiness or hoppiness and a maltster would have no reason to add those.

They have to add something to adjust pH.  Are they just adding HCl?  If so then there would be residual Cl.  Their mash also needs calcium so there would be a reason to add CaSO4 and/or CaCl2.  You can't add calcium ion by itself.  For all I know their tap water has sufficient elements but they are still going to come through to the extract.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline hokerer

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2634
  • Manassas, VA
    • View Profile
Re: Water adjustment with extract
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2011, 02:22:46 PM »
I think what Martin's saying is that adding gypsum or calcium chloride has nothing to do with "salts the mash needs".  Those two are more about accentuating maltiness or hoppiness and a maltster would have no reason to add those.

They have to add something to adjust pH.  Are they just adding HCl?  If so then there would be residual Cl.  Their mash also needs calcium so there would be a reason to add CaSO4 and/or CaCl2.  You can't add calcium ion by itself.  For all I know their tap water has sufficient elements but they are still going to come through to the extract.

Yes, those elements might very well be present.  But, accentuating maltiness or hoppiness is all about the chloride to sulfate ratio.  While those elements might be there, the maltster has no reason to adjust that ratio to accentuate one or the other (nor would they as the same extract might be used for malty and/or hoppy brews).  Adjusting that ratio by adding chloride or sulfate would be left up to the brewer.
Joe

Offline tomsawyer

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1681
    • View Profile
Re: Water adjustment with extract
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2011, 02:27:14 PM »
Without knowing whats in the extract, how do you decide what to add?  Assume there's none?  Just add a modest amount?  i'd go with the latter, but I'm surprised no one has read what the salt content is on a common product like Briess DME.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline Kaiser

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1797
  • Imperial Brewing Geek
    • View Profile
    • braukaiser.com
Re: Water adjustment with extract
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2011, 03:16:53 PM »
They have to add something to adjust pH.  Are they just adding HCl?  If so then there would be residual Cl.  Their mash also needs calcium so there would be a reason to add CaSO4 and/or CaCl2.  You can't add calcium ion by itself.  For all I know their tap water has sufficient elements but they are still going to come through to the extract.

They may also precipitate alkalinity from the water using slaked lime. In this case the calcium content would also suffer.

I think adding gypsum to "burtonize" the water would be fine if the style calls for it. But for any style that doesn't need water with very high mineral content I doubt you can do much to fine tune the water profile unless you know the water the extract manufacturer used or you experiment with various salt amounts.

Kai