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Old 12-29-2010, 10:06 AM   #1
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Default 2 different water calculators=different amt of mineral additions, why?

using Bonnie Blue Brew water calculator for adjusting my water nets these results:

Salt................Total.......Mash......Boil
Calcium Chloride..3...........1.8........1.2
Gypsum............0.75_____0.45____0.3
Epsom__________2______1.2_____0.8
Soda___________1______0.6_____0.4
Chalk 0 0 0

Results:

Ca: 59
SO4: 90
Mg: 11
Na: 35
Cl: 83
Alk: 61
RA: 13
SRM Range: 6 - 11
Chloride/Sulfate: 0.924 - Balanced

Punching the mash additions from Bonnie Blue into "EZ Water Calculator" I get the same results but the program automatically calculates how much to add to the boil. The additions to the boil are different but the results are the same. Why the difference in boil additions, and how can they come out the same?

Salt................Total.......Mash......Boil
Calcium Chloride....4.5.......1.8.......2.7
Gypsum.............1.15_____0.45____0.7
Epsom__________1.4______1.2_____1.8
Soda___________1.5______0.6_____0.9
Chalk 0 0 0

Results:

Ca: 59
SO4: 90
Mg: 11
Na: 35
Cl: 83
Alk: 61
RA: 13
SRM Range: 6 - 11
Chloride/Sulfate: 0.92 - Balanced

The only difference is The EZ Water Calculator asks for the grain bill and the amount of sparge water

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Old 12-29-2010, 03:15 PM   #2
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both sets of "results" are for the mash liquor and in both cases you are making the same additions to the mash liquor.

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Old 12-29-2010, 03:23 PM   #3
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both sets of "results" are for the mash liquor and in both cases you are making the same additions to the mash liquor.

I know, but why would the programs calculate different additions to the boil?

Is it because EZ Water calculator takes into account the grain bill?
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Old 12-29-2010, 03:36 PM   #4
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Is there 150% as much sparge liquor as mash liquor? If so the second calculator is asking you you to add salts to the boil such that if they were added to the sparge liquor the sparge liquor would be identical to the mash liquor.

Since the first calculator does not know how much sparge liquor there is I can't guess how it is come up with 2/3. You would have to reverse engineer the tool or ask the author.

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Old 12-29-2010, 04:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by remilard View Post
Is there 150% as much sparge liquor as mash liquor? If so the second calculator is asking you you to add salts to the boil such that if they were added to the sparge liquor the sparge liquor would be identical to the mash liquor.

Since the first calculator does not know how much sparge liquor there is I can't guess how it is come up with 2/3. You would have to reverse engineer the tool or ask the author.
See that's what I think. The first one doesn't know my grain bill so how can it calculate how much water will be absorbed and how malty my brew is.
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Old 01-01-2011, 03:02 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jetmac View Post
I know, but why would the programs calculate different additions to the boil?

Is it because EZ Water calculator takes into account the grain bill?
I believe the EZ is assuming that the water that is held back by the grain is also holding back the salt additions and that they are not rinsed away by the sparge.
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:59 AM   #7
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FWIW, the "Bonnie Blue Brew water calculator" was written as an exercise for me to learn various brewing calculations. It was also a play ground for some mathematical "games." The formulas it uses are all from Palmer, so that may explain some difference between it and others. Also, it takes a different approach from most calculators (well, at the time at least) in that it tries to guess the correct amount of salts. That was the mathematical game - how to find a close answer to an unsolvable problem through "educated" guessing.

FWIW, I don't use the calculator and haven't touched it in quit a while. I now use a very simple water treatment approach (1 tsp CaCL per 5 gallons of water) and a pH meter. Find some posts by ajdelange, he explains it quite well.

There are a few different versions of the calculator. The latest one is at:
http://www.bonniebluebrew.com/brewcalc/water-nacl-choose.php

Also, I've been a BIAB-er for a long time, so I never used the boil number. I can dig up how I calculate dit, but it looks like I just took the ratio of boil volume versus mash volume.

I can get you the source, if you care. I remember the code being particularly ugly.

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Last edited by bakins; 01-03-2011 at 04:03 AM. Reason: Added the BIAB info.
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Old 01-03-2011, 08:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by bakins View Post
FWIW, the "Bonnie Blue Brew water calculator" was written as an exercise for me to learn various brewing calculations. It was also a play ground for some mathematical "games." The formulas it uses are all from Palmer, so that may explain some difference between it and others. Also, it takes a different approach from most calculators (well, at the time at least) in that it tries to guess the correct amount of salts. That was the mathematical game - how to find a close answer to an unsolvable problem through "educated" guessing.

FWIW, I don't use the calculator and haven't touched it in quit a while. I now use a very simple water treatment approach (1 tsp CaCL per 5 gallons of water) and a pH meter. Find some posts by ajdelange, he explains it quite well.

There are a few different versions of the calculator. The latest one is at:
http://www.bonniebluebrew.com/brewcalc/water-nacl-choose.php

Also, I've been a BIAB-er for a long time, so I never used the boil number. I can dig up how I calculate dit, but it looks like I just took the ratio of boil volume versus mash volume.

I can get you the source, if you care. I remember the code being particularly ugly.
FWIW I used the "EZ Water Calculator" and guessed myself when choosing the salts to add but I wasn't quite happy with the overall final results. I then used the Bonnie Blue Brew calculator and plugged the mash additions it suggested into the EZ calculator. The EZ Water Calculator then automatically added the amt of salts to add to the boil and I liked the results. What is wierd is, the final numbers of Ph, Alkalinity and all that were nearly the exact same numbers, but the Bonnie Blue Brew had me adding less salts to the boil.
It's all too much for me to deal with as far as figuring it all out and I haven't tasted the beer yet so my plan is to use the BBB calculator to get the initial numbers and use the final numbers from the EZ calculator unless I dont like the actual results.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:27 PM   #9
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That was the mathematical game - how to find a close answer to an unsolvable problem through "educated" guessing.
Sounds like "simulated annealing". I used to use that approach and it works very well - extremely robust but it takes forever. I now use the Solver in Excel. It also seems robust and clearly is much faster than annealing (but then the machines are now much, much faster than they were in the days I did annealing).
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
Sounds like "simulated annealing". I used to use that approach and it works very well - extremely robust but it takes forever. I now use the Solver in Excel. It also seems robust and clearly is much faster than annealing (but then the machines are now much, much faster than they were in the days I did annealing).
Yes, that's the phrase I couldn't think of. The calculator I did can do several million guesses in under a minute. I suck at "desktop productivity software" and can write code to solve problems for me in less time.
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