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Old 11-20-2010, 07:13 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by funkswing View Post
There's your problem right there. DOn't use 100% RO water with just a small dose of CaCl2. The mineral profile for your beer is going to be waaaaaay off (not enough minerals) from what it should be (and way off from any beer that is brewed).
A couple of comments on this.

1. Several beers, notably the Bohemian Pilsners are brewed with water that is very soft. "Very" is, of course, subject to interpretation.

2. Malt contains quite a bit of mineral - certainly enough to supply co-factor needs for enzymes if not enough to lower pH into the optimum regions.

3. When measuring a malt's extract a Congress Mash using distilled water is employed. Efficiency is calculated relative to the extract obtained from the Congress Mash. As no efficiency tops 100% it's clear that we cannot obtain in our own brewing efficiency as good as is obtained with distilled water. Conclusion: using very soft water doesn't have much of a detrimental effect on mash efficiency.
4. Most RO systems have rejections in the 90's. Thus if water has a nominal alkalinity of 100, hardness of 100, chloride of 7... the permeate could be expected to have (assuming 98%) alkalinity of 2, hardness of 2, chloride of 0.14 etc.

5. I am finding that the softer the water I brew with the better the beer turns out. I haven't formally gone public with this finding because I want to continue this line of experimentation further and I am a lager lout. IOW I don't brew many ales other than Kölsch and Weizen. It seems to work for them but I really don't know how traditional British ales would be perceived if I cut way back on the sulfate in them.
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:26 PM   #32
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AJ - I like the info, but no one is talking about mash eff. here. And regardless, mash eff. has little to do with the taste of the beer (unless you are at extremes), which is the point of the water chemistry primer: to improve the taste of your beer.

Quote:
I am finding that the softer the water I brew with
This is a relative statement, with the relative part left out. What is "softer"? What is the water profile of said "softer" water? This is also subjective you lager-loving, fool.

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"Very" is, of course, subject to interpretation.
The only interpretation needed is a water profile analysis sheet.
Very soft water still has more mineral than RO water does (but I guess that RO water has a bit of a range of mineral content based on the eff. of the RO process).

I wouldn't brew any beer with 100% RO water. But you could if you dosed it with the right amount of salts/minerals (but this seems unnecessary)
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:04 PM   #33
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The sticky doesn't say "for lager add CaCl2 to the softest water you can get" because I'm not ready to conclude that does make the best lager at this point though it looks as if I might come to that conclusion eventually.

I have been using RO water with a bit of tap water (pretty nominal stuff) and reducing the tap water over time. The beers just seem to be getting smoother and smoother and richer in flavor but I have not done 100% RO water yet. I do add enough CaCl2 to get to about 25 ppm or so whatever the dilution.

What "soft" means here seems to depend on the mood my RO system is in. I'm almost serious but I really think it has to do with temperature. My feed water seldom exhibits TDS above 160 and the permeate usually runs 3-4 but can read as low as 0 (I don't believe it - it's instrument noise/quantization) or as high as 5 i.e. pretty soft.

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Old 12-06-2010, 09:51 PM   #34
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If I take a mash PH reading, and it is too high, ho0w much lactic acid would I need to add in order to get it into range? Is there a formula or equation?

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Old 12-06-2010, 10:33 PM   #35
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If I take a mash PH reading, and it is too high, ho0w much lactic acid would I need to add in order to get it into range? Is there a formula or equation?
Depends on a number of factors and can't be predicted exactly.

With acid malt, 1% of the grist is supposed to reduce pH by a 0.1 and it's reasonably close to that in my brewery.

On the brewing network forum AJ started from there and the fact that the lactic acid content of acid malt is known and calculated that 0.875 ml of 88% lactic acid solution (what hombrew shops carry) should decrease pH by 0.1 approximately for 10 lbs of grain.

Since this is all very approximate, it may be worth measuring out the amount that should give you half of your desired pH shift, wait a few minutes, measure pH and then add part, all or more than all of the other half based on how much shift you got out of the first addition.

On brewday I would rather measure out 4 oz of acid malt than a fractional ml of acid so I just use the malt. Buying the acid is quite a bit cheaper but I am using maybe 10 lbs of acid malt a year and in most cases I can predict when I need it so I am replacing base malt with it anyway (in the case that I measure and then add it, a few ounces in 5 gallons doesn't materially affect the gravity). So, at the end of the day, I don't see the downside of the acid malt.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:14 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
By Ajdelange

For British beers: Add 1 tsp gypsum as well as 1 tsp calcium chloride

For very minerally beers (Export, Burton ale): Double the calcium chloride and the gypsum.
This would be for each 5 gallons treated right? So if I want to treat 10 gallons at once for an english pale I'd add a grand total of 4 tsp calcium chloride and 2 tsp gypsum?
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:40 AM   #37
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Correct

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Old 12-30-2010, 01:17 AM   #38
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So the difference between RO and distilled (for brewing purposes) is just that distilled has fewer minerals?

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Old 12-30-2010, 03:16 AM   #39
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In essence, yes. RO water will contain ions at a level 95-99% lower than the feed water. Distilled or otherwise deionized water will have ion content even less than that - down to 10^-7 moles/L H+ and 10^-7 moles/L OH- for the really pure (18 Meg-ohm) DI water.

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Old 01-09-2011, 01:33 PM   #40
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Was that measured with a meter or strips? What temp?

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