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Old 09-27-2009, 02:49 AM   #1
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Default 1st water adjustment - please check my numbers

I'm set to brew tomorrow and would like to adjust my water to match the beer. I'd appreciate someone(s) checking my numbers, at least generally, to make sure I'm not overdoing things. Here is my current water profile:

Calcium - 11.5 ppm
Magnesium - 2.5 ppm
Bicarbonate - 34 ppm
Sodium - 50 ppm
Chloride - 110 ppm
Sulfate - 9 ppm

I'm going to brew a Scottish Ale, SRM ~15. I'd like to get my residual alkalinity up some and bring the sulfate up as well since currently my SO4:Cl is way too skewed (though for this beer maybe not too big a problem)

I'm doing a 5.5 gallon batch with a partial mash (~1 gallon mash).

Messing around with some of the software/spreadsheets out there, I've come up with the following additions:

Chalk - 0.5 g in mash; 2 g in boil
Gypsum - 0.5 g in mash; 2 g in boil
Baking Soda - 0.5 g in mash; 2 g in boil

Does this look like "normal" amounts? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 09-27-2009, 06:39 PM   #2
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Looks ok. Not sure the effect of splitting some in the mash and some in the boil.

I personally just started building my water or amending it as needed.

What calculators are you using?

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Old 09-27-2009, 07:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by BargainFittings View Post
Looks ok. Not sure the effect of splitting some in the mash and some in the boil.

I personally just started building my water or amending it as needed.

What calculators are you using?
I'm using one of the spreadsheets posted here on HBT - EZ Water Adjustment

If I put everything in the mash, my mash residual hardness will not be correct. Likewise if I don't put any in the mash. The idea, I think, is to split it proportionally so that the mash and the final beer will have the appropriate chemistry.
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:53 PM   #4
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Ended up not brewing this weekend - other things took longer than expected. So, if anyone else has any advice/suggestions, I'm all ears!

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Old 09-28-2009, 12:12 AM   #5
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I would go with .5g of epsom salt too to get the magnesium and sulfate up a bit more. Since most of your fermentables are coming from extract (that already has ions), you might not need the boil additions at all.

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Old 09-28-2009, 12:46 AM   #6
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Since most of your fermentables are coming from extract (that already has ions), you might not need the boil additions at all.
I read something about that, but wasn't sure how to factor it in. You say may not need - how would I know?
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:51 AM   #7
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What's the recipe? What is your water to grain ratio for the partial mash?

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Old 09-28-2009, 02:00 AM   #8
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What's the recipe? What is your water to grain ratio for the partial mash?
I generally mash at 1.25 quarts per pound

my grain bill is:
1 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (16.56%)
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt 40L (16.56%)
7.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt 120L (7.28%)
7.0 oz Honey Malt (7.28%)
7.0 oz Munich Malt (7.28%)
1.9 oz Chocolate Malt (1.99%)
2 lbs 9.6 oz Extra Light Dry Extract (43.05%)
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Old 09-28-2009, 02:17 AM   #9
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I never quite figured out what the best assumption is to be made on the ions in extract. I know that if I were making malt extract, I'd probably shoot for calcium/magnesium levels at the minimum to make wort efficiently and keep everything else low and balanced. But... who knows what the heck they do.

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Old 09-28-2009, 03:11 AM   #10
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First, you should put just your grain bill into promash/beertools/whatever and figure out what the expected SRM of that beer would be (i.e. if you didn't add the DME). That will tell you the SRM of the mash, and what RA to shoot for. Add salts to your mash to get the proper RA for that color, not the final beer color.

With regards to your Cl:SO4 ratio, you can probably assume that the company that makes the DME uses a balanced ratio and you can shoot for balancing out the ratio for the water that you're adding. I'd probably add a mix of gypsum/epsom to the boil kettle for balancing the Cl:SO4 ratio since your water is really skewed towards chloride. It's up to you what you want the final ratio to be.

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