Author Topic: EZ Water Calc 2.0 question  (Read 4011 times)

Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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EZ Water Calc 2.0 question
« on: February 12, 2011, 07:35:28 AM »
Does chocolate malt count as a roasted malt for the purposes of inputing an amount of roasted malt in the "Recipe Info" section of EZ Calc 2.0?  I know it's not as roasted as roasted barley.  Does it have a similar effect on pH in similar proportions as roasted barley though?
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 07:57:15 AM by Pawtucket Patriot »
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Offline mrcceo

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Re: EZ Water Calc 2.0 question
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2011, 09:37:44 AM »
Since carafa is 300-340L I would consider it a roasted malt for the purpose of buffering.  Since these calculators are not exact I always add 2/3 to 3/4 of the recommended salts and then dial it in after the initial pH reading.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 09:44:14 AM by mrcceo »

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Re: EZ Water Calc 2.0 question
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2011, 10:04:36 AM »
Does chocolate malt count as a roasted malt for the purposes of inputing an amount of roasted malt in the "Recipe Info" section of EZ Calc 2.0?  I know it's not as roasted as roasted barley.  Does it have a similar effect on pH in similar proportions as roasted barley though?

It's the color, not necessarily the roasting, that matters.
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: EZ Water Calc 2.0 question
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2011, 10:07:03 AM »
Does chocolate malt count as a roasted malt for the purposes of inputing an amount of roasted malt in the "Recipe Info" section of EZ Calc 2.0?  I know it's not as roasted as roasted barley.  Does it have a similar effect on pH in similar proportions as roasted barley though?

It's the color, not necessarily the roasting, that matters.

Ok, that makes sense.  So a 450L chocolate malt would probably qualify as a roasted malt for the purposes of the EZ Calc.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: EZ Water Calc 2.0 question
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2011, 06:34:00 PM »
Any malts kilned to a color of about 200 or higher SRM should probably be considered a roast malt.  The acidity contribution for any roasted malt falls in a relatively narrow range with little correlation to color.  Read Kai's information on malt acidity and mash pH for a better confirmation. 

Chocolate malt contributes similar acidity as Roast Barley or Black Malt.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: EZ Water Calc 2.0 question
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2011, 09:52:16 AM »
Does chocolate malt count as a roasted malt for the purposes of inputing an amount of roasted malt in the "Recipe Info" section of EZ Calc 2.0?  I know it's not as roasted as roasted barley.  Does it have a similar effect on pH in similar proportions as roasted barley though?

It's the color, not necessarily the roasting, that matters.

How do you get one without the other?  Are we differentiating between kilning and roasting?

Also, is roast green barley more acidic for a given Lovibond, than roast malt?
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Re: EZ Water Calc 2.0 question
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2011, 10:41:31 AM »
While I appreciate all the research/experiments that went into creating EZ Calc 2.0, I have to say that my measured results don't really square with the estimated pH for most recipes.  I learned how to adjust my mash using CaCO3 to increase and LA88 to lower pH.  The amount of CaCO3 it usually takes to adjust the pH for just about any of my recipes squares more with Palmer's nomograph (in that when I measure my salt additions with the goal of hitting an appropriate RA, the pH is correspondingly correct).  For example, I have fairly soft water (see screenshot below).  In an oatmeal stout recipe I brewed last weekend, I used 6g CaCO3 + 3g NaHCO3 in the mash to achieve a measured pH of 5.3 (measured with colorpHast strips -- concededly not as accurate as a pH meter).  But according to EZ Calc 2.0, I could have achieved the same result with only 2g NaHCO3 (or a very small amount of some combination of CaCO3 and NaHCO3).  I realize that EZ Calc 2.0 has a disclaimer about estimated pH, but it seems like this is a pretty substantial difference from my measured results.  Incidentally, I arrived at my measured results by adding more and more salts to the same recipe over time to find the "sweet spot" with regard to pH.  Is it time to invest in a pH meter?  

« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 10:52:46 AM by Pawtucket Patriot »
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Offline mrcceo

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Re: EZ Water Calc 2.0 question
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2011, 04:28:43 PM »
Pat:
A good pH meter will not only give you more accurate readings it will give you some piece of mind.
If you can afford it, It’s worth the investment! IMO

Offline malzig

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Re: EZ Water Calc 2.0 question
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2011, 05:24:42 PM »
 For example, I have fairly soft water (see screenshot below).  In an oatmeal stout recipe I brewed last weekend, I used 6g CaCO3 + 3g NaHCO3 in the mash to achieve a measured pH of 5.3 (measured with colorpHast strips -- concededly not as accurate as a pH meter).  But according to EZ Calc 2.0, I could have achieved the same result with only 2g NaHCO3 (or a very small amount of some combination of CaCO3 and NaHCO3).
ColorpHast strips read about 0.3 pH units low, so your additions lead to a pH of 5.6.  Perhaps the EZWaterCalculator would have given you an actual pH of 5.3, as predicted.

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Re: EZ Water Calc 2.0 question
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2011, 05:53:32 PM »
 For example, I have fairly soft water (see screenshot below).  In an oatmeal stout recipe I brewed last weekend, I used 6g CaCO3 + 3g NaHCO3 in the mash to achieve a measured pH of 5.3 (measured with colorpHast strips -- concededly not as accurate as a pH meter).  But according to EZ Calc 2.0, I could have achieved the same result with only 2g NaHCO3 (or a very small amount of some combination of CaCO3 and NaHCO3).
ColorpHast strips read about 0.3 pH units low, so your additions lead to a pH of 5.6.  Perhaps the EZWaterCalculator would have given you an actual pH of 5.3, as predicted.

Maybe, but I've read around on the interwebs and it doesn't appear that I'm alone.  There are others who say that colorpHast strips read just as accurately as their pH meter (after presumably doing side by side testing).  I think most importantly, when I calculate my salt additions based on the RA relationship to SRM, I don't notice any off flavors in my finished beers.  And I've noticed a slight efficiency bump also, which leads me to theorize (not implausibly, I think) that there exists a causal relationship between my salt additions and mash pH (which would make sense if I accept that the colorpHast strips are reading accurately).
« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 06:37:00 PM by Pawtucket Patriot »
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Offline johnf

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Re: EZ Water Calc 2.0 question
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2011, 06:43:17 PM »
 For example, I have fairly soft water (see screenshot below).  In an oatmeal stout recipe I brewed last weekend, I used 6g CaCO3 + 3g NaHCO3 in the mash to achieve a measured pH of 5.3 (measured with colorpHast strips -- concededly not as accurate as a pH meter).  But according to EZ Calc 2.0, I could have achieved the same result with only 2g NaHCO3 (or a very small amount of some combination of CaCO3 and NaHCO3).
ColorpHast strips read about 0.3 pH units low, so your additions lead to a pH of 5.6.  Perhaps the EZWaterCalculator would have given you an actual pH of 5.3, as predicted.

Maybe, but I've read around on the interwebs and it doesn't appear that I'm alone.  There are others who say that colorpHast strips read just as accurately as their pH meter (after presumably doing side by side testing).  I think most importantly, when I calculate my salt additions based on the RA relationship to SRM, I don't notice any off flavors in my finished beers.  And I've noticed a slight efficiency bump also, which leads me to theorize (not implausibly, I think) that there exists a causal relationship between my salt additions and mash pH (which would make sense if I accept that the colorpHast strips are reading accurately).

My Colorphast strips read low, it seems like there is at least a very good chance they will.

A local club does a pH meter calibration at a meeting once a year. Many members own a meter and calibrate it once a year.

Given that, it should be stated that the best possible way to measure mash pH is via competent use of a freshly calibrated meter.

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Re: EZ Water Calc 2.0 question
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2011, 07:03:50 PM »
I appreciate the concern about the pH prediction with this program.  Unfortunately, it appears to be missing an important component in the acid and buffer equation.  From my review of the equations in the pH calculation, it doesn't seem to adequately evaluate the buffering capacity of the water.    I would still assume that this program's pH estimation could be better than an estimate based on beer color only.  Maybe it just needs more calibration, but adding the overall water contribution into the mix would seem to be important too.

John, I hope that your clubmates know that an annual pH meter calibration is not sufficient.  I recommend that anyone with a meter have the 4 and 7 buffer solutions on hand so that the meter can be calibrated prior to each session.  In addition, keeping the probe saturated in the potassium chloride solution is a really good idea too.   
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Re: EZ Water Calc 2.0 question
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2011, 07:57:50 PM »
Martin, would you say that harder water has a greater buffering capacity?  And that softer water would have a less robust buffering capacity?  Or is the relationship between water and buffering capacity related to something other than just relative ion concentrations?

I'm not sure if EZ Water Calc 2.0 factors in the buffering capacity of the water (or if it does, to what extent), but if soft water (defined for the purpose of this thread as my water profile in the screenshot above) has less buffering capacity, it would provide some explanation for my measured results, i.e., my soft water does not offer as much buffering resistance to the acidifying darker malts in darker beers, which is why I need to add more salts (CaCO3 and/or NaHCO3) to hit my mash pH.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 08:02:42 PM by Pawtucket Patriot »
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: EZ Water Calc 2.0 question
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2011, 07:00:05 AM »
Hard and soft is not key to water buffering but it is related due to cation/anion pairing.  Alkalinity is the primary component to buffering capacity and carbonate chemistry is typically the primary contributor to the alkalinity in most drinking water.   

Phosphates are another contributor to buffering capacity, but they are typically in very low concentration in drinking water.  But in the mash, phosphates are a major component and they become a significant factor.  I'm just getting started in phosphate chemistry since it is not a significant concern in my field of water supply engineering.  AJ Delange has produced a good paper on the subject, but have lots of cafeinated beverage nearby when reading it.  It is a very tough subject.

Water hardness influences how a mash performs, but high or low hardness doesn't really matter that much.  Alkalinity is actually the thing that brewers need to pay the most attention to.  It is a key to brewing well. 

Terms like Temporary Hardness and Alkalinity are the terms that brewers need to perk up to when reading their water report.  Since these components are typically reported (as CaCO3), they are actually equal to each other: Temp Hardness = Alkalinity when both are reported in (as CaCO3) terms. 

So, think less in terms of hardness and focus on more on alkalinity.
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Offline johnf

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Re: EZ Water Calc 2.0 question
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2011, 10:23:06 AM »


John, I hope that your clubmates know that an annual pH meter calibration is not sufficient.  I recommend that anyone with a meter have the 4 and 7 buffer solutions on hand so that the meter can be calibrated prior to each session.  In addition, keeping the probe saturated in the potassium chloride solution is a really good idea too.   

Well it is a different club than mine and I don't see most of the members ever and the rest once or twice a year. But given the quality of the meters homebrewers own (many cheaper than the Hanna pHep 5 I own) the annual calibration is troubling. I figured I would suggest that when they do it next they first use the meters to measure one of the calibration solutions. I think that would be eye opening.

I calibrate daily (on days I take measurements).