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Old 12-21-2011, 11:20 PM   #211
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You're using the wrong calculator. Bru'n Water has table salt in it because I like to use it on occassion in limited quantity.
thanks. thats helpful I will check it out
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:27 PM   #212
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So I did a Boddingtons Clone using the RO water. The ingredients were:

46.2 4.50 lbs. English Pale 2-row Malt 1.038
15.4 1.00 lbs. Toasted Malt(2-row) America 1.033
7.7 0.50 lbs. Brown Sugar Generic 1.046
7.7 0.50 lbs. Cara-Pils Dextrine Malt 1.033
7.7 0.50 lbs. Crystal 60L America 1.034
7.7 0.50 lbs. Flaked Oats America 1.033
7.7 0.50 lbs. Flaked Wheat America 1.034

I made the recommended adjustments to my water for an English style ale and added 1 tsp gypsum and 1 tsp calcium chloride (per 5 gal treated) plus the sauermalz - 2 % of the total weight of the other grains. I took a mash reading using the cheap strips and was at 4.7. I know this is low (if I am shooting for 5.2). My efficiency was low as expected based on the low PH. So my questions are:

Is a PH of 4.7 low because of the style I am shooting for and therefor on track?

Should I have added additional gypsum to hit 5.2?

Should I add less sauermalz next time?

Can this PH of 4.7 help me establish a baseline for future water additions?

Thank you.

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Old 01-05-2012, 03:53 PM   #213
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In the same way that a brewer should not add alkalinity until they are reasonably sure they will need it, acid malt or acid should be reserved and at the ready until proven necessary. This mash did not need the acid malt.

I see that there is a decent amount of crystal malt in the grist and that adds a quantity of acid to the grist on its own. Maybe that's the reason that the pH fell further than wanted.

A target mash pH of 5.2 is only desirable if you are measuring that pH at mash temperature. We typically discuss mash pH at room temperature measurement. In this case, that 5.2 mash temperature pH would likely be somewhere around 5.4 to 5.5 at room temperature. I can vouch that a 5.2 room temperature mash pH produces a somewhat tart and overly acidic finished beer. Still drinkable, just not as enjoyable. Aim for a 5.4 to 5.5 room temperature mash pH in the future. Do recognize that pH strips tend to report pH about 0.3 units lower than if measured properly with a pH meter. The 4.7 pH reading may indicate that this beer will finish a bit tart.

While I appreciate the simplicity of the Water Primer's recommendations, you might consider trying out Bru'n Water to better assess when and if you need to add acidity or alkalinity to your mashes in the future.

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Old 01-05-2012, 04:12 PM   #214
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A target mash pH of 5.2 is only desirable if you are measuring that pH at mash temperature. We typically discuss mash pH at room temperature measurement. In this case, that 5.2 mash temperature pH would likely be somewhere around 5.4 to 5.5 at room temperature. I can vouch that a 5.2 room temperature mash pH produces a somewhat tart and overly acidic finished beer. Still drinkable, just not as enjoyable. Aim for a 5.4 to 5.5 room temperature mash pH in the future. Do recognize that pH strips tend to report pH about 0.3 units lower than if measured properly with a pH meter. The 4.7 pH reading may indicate that this beer will finish a bit tart.
Thank you for the explanation. I do not yet have the knowledge about the various affects of grain on the PH. That is why I was using the primer and the guidance within. So I may be okay since at mash temp I was at 4.7. In theory I was likely at 5.3ish (+.6 between temp change and error factor of strips).
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:33 PM   #215
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Originally Posted by J8D View Post
So I did a Boddingtons Clone using the RO water. The ingredients were:

46.2 4.50 lbs. English Pale 2-row Malt 1.038
15.4 1.00 lbs. Toasted Malt(2-row) America 1.033
7.7 0.50 lbs. Brown Sugar Generic 1.046
7.7 0.50 lbs. Cara-Pils Dextrine Malt 1.033
7.7 0.50 lbs. Crystal 60L America 1.034
7.7 0.50 lbs. Flaked Oats America 1.033
7.7 0.50 lbs. Flaked Wheat America 1.034

I made the recommended adjustments to my water for an English style ale and added 1 tsp gypsum and 1 tsp calcium chloride (per 5 gal treated) plus the sauermalz - 2 % of the total weight of the other grains. I took a mash reading using the cheap strips and was at 4.7. I know this is low (if I am shooting for 5.2). My efficiency was low as expected based on the low PH. So my questions are:

Is a PH of 4.7 low because of the style I am shooting for and therefor on track?
No, that's too low but a reading taken with strips is pretty much useless. They usually read 0.3 low but have been reported to read less than that.

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Should I have added additional gypsum to hit 5.2?
No. Additional calcium will lower pH.

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Should I add less sauermalz next time?
Definitely. If you read 4.7 with strips the actual pH was probably close to 5 which is too low.

Remember that the Primer is supposed to be exactly that - something to get you started. The hope is that you will obtain a pH meter and take mash pH measurements basing you treatment on what those readings tell you. 2% - 3% works in most, but not all cases because there is great variability in malt acidity, recipes etc. As the odds of having mash pH too high are greater than having it too low the largest number of brewers can be served by adding some acid. But it can go the other way. Following the Primer or doing anything else that doesn't involve pH measurement is a bit of a crap shoot.

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Originally Posted by J8D View Post
Can this PH of 4.7 help me establish a baseline for future water additions?
No. Given that it is from strips it's worthless. Now if you read 5.3 on a meter you can say "Ah - that's a bit low. I'd prefer to be at 5.4." and knock off 1 % of the sauermalz based on that.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:49 PM   #216
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Thank you all. I will add a PH meter to my list of crap I get yelled at for buying to brew beer that my wife drinks as much of as I do. More question likely to follow.

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Old 01-09-2012, 10:57 PM   #217
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I think I can say with mathematical certitude that there is a correlation between RA and SRM but that it is so weak (Pearson's r is small) that there is little justification for using color to determine a "required" RA. John Palmer, who came up with the idea, says the same thing but no one seems to want to acknowledge this.
Has John Palmer reversed his position on this? Has he stated this anywhere in print? I don't think his water ep's of Brew Strong corrected this.
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Old 01-13-2012, 04:51 AM   #218
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John posted to another forum as long as perhaps a year and a half ago that the SRM/RA thing is "a hand wave at best" which really says the same thing as "Pearson's r is small".

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Old 01-18-2012, 03:10 PM   #219
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I've been a religious user of TH's EZ Water Spreadsheet for several years. I stumbled on this thread because I was having a heck of a time trying to get the calculated mash pH correct for a hefeweizen without using an insane amount of salts.

Now that I've read all 22 pages, my (water adjustment) world has turned upside down and my head is spinning. And I'm still not confident I know how to treat the water for my hefeweizen.

If I'm following correctly, I would use 100% DI/RO (10 gallons) and treat it with 3.3g calcium chloride anhydride. This is based on the recommendation of 1 tsp calcium chloride dihydrate per 5 gallons (5g per teaspoon) halve that amount for soft water beers, and 2/3 the amount for anhydride.

I would then add up to 3% sauermalz based on a pH reading at mash time (I will have colorpHast strips, but not a meter available) to get into the 5.3 range.

Any feedback on this? My understanding is that I need not be concerned about the low levels of other minerals?

Ideally I would like to use my tap water and make adjustments from there, but I don't yet grasp what I'm trying to adjust to, or what negative impacts my adjustments might have.

My water profile:
Ca - 35
Mg - 11
Na - 28
Cl - 50
SO4 - 87
HCO3 - 34

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Old 01-18-2012, 03:25 PM   #220
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You have the basic concept right but do not rely on pH strips as indicators of pH. Your goal is mash pH in the proper range and your biggest adversary in meeting that goal is variability in materials (malts). That is why no spreadsheet or primer can guarantee you an optimum mash pH.

Looking at your water profile I'm guessing that you could make a good wheat beer with it were it not for the high sulfate level. So I'd cut it 5:1 and then go with the tsp of calcium chloride. We are not really at the level here where whether it's the dihydrate or anhydride makes much difference and no one really seems to know what's in the calcium chloride sold by the LHBSs. So just 5 grams or a tsp per 5 gal should serve.

In looking back over my brewing notes I found that Weizens had more variability in mash pH than anything else I brew and I blame that on malt/wheat variation so this is a style where a pH meter is really important if you want to control mash pH. OTOH wheat beer seems to be pretty tolerant of variation. You probably could make it with your water without any adjustment at all if you went light on the hops.

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