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Old 04-07-2013, 06:20 PM   #601
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Wow, this thread and all the resultant comments have been a facsinating head trip for me. I'm trying to get a grip on this subject. Can anyone suggest some basic references for beginning to understand this complicated subject? Then perhaps the content of this thread will be easier for me. I live in a rural area with very clean tasting tap water that tastes better than many bottled waters I've tasted. So far in my brewing(I'm very inexperienced), I've done a hefeweizen and a stout(both AG)with my home water using only the often mention 5.2 additive. Both beers took second place in a local competition with bcjp rules. Basically, I've been using the "relax, don't worry..." concept so far with a few lucky results(or maybe the results weren't lucky. Maybe most of the beers were just bad, including mine!) I guess what I'm asking is if there is a path you all could suggest for my learning the rudiments of water chemistry so I can understand the contents of a thread like this? This is a naive sounding question to most of you, but we all have to start somewhere. Thanks.

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Old 04-07-2013, 07:07 PM   #602
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...
Check. I'll definitely be using RO for this next batch, and I have all the other supplies necessary to do the adjustments (including a pH meter and calibration solutions). I probably should brew the same recipe I've already done before to make this a more scientific test, but where's the fun in that?....
I just wanted to let the participants of this thread know that switching to RO water + salt and lactic acid additions has had an incredibly positive effect on my beer! The astringent and faintly soapy tones are finally gone and the hops bitterness and character are coming through better, too.

FWIW, I add the following to every gallon of RO water:

0.6g CaCl2; 0.6g CaSO4; 0.2g MgSO4; 0.15mL 88% Lactic Acid

I mash and dunk-sparge (sort of a quasi-BIAB process) with the same water. When I get around to making a stout I might dial back the lactic acid some (using my trusty Milwaukee MW-101 pH meter to confirm) but so far, so good.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:00 PM   #603
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Default How much 88% lactic acid?

Anyone have suggestion on how much lactic acid to add to RO/DI (not using sauermalz)?

RO/DI water is zero TDS with 7.82 pH (temp corrected with Hanna meter that I use for saltwater reef - gotta love crossover tools from other hobbies). Plan is to makeup 10g of water using 2 tsp calcium choride and whatever the lactic suggestion is to get me real close to where I need to be for baseline. Searched the forum and thread but didn't find what I was looking for although I'm sure it is lurking somewhere. WAG is a couple ml but curious to hear what other input is.

TIA!

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Old 04-21-2013, 04:01 PM   #604
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Ok, so how the heck did I miss the suggestion right above my post? doh!

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Old 04-22-2013, 06:14 PM   #605
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Just completed batch #60 since my enlightenment (read that, discovering this forum and this thread!). The numbers are dialing in very nicely. The Strong Blond had a mash pH, pre-boil pH, post-boil pH and OG at 5.44, 5.25, 5.15 and 1.070, respectively. Exactly where I wanted them. Similarly, the stout is 5.55 and 5.24 (don't have post boil data yet).

The most interesting thing I've learned in the last two weeks is that my water is not pH 7, or anywhere near it, out of the tap. I runs between 5.2 and 5.9. This likely explains why the EZWaterCalc always predicted much higher mash pH than I was getting. I now check the pH of the strike and sparge water and set to pH 5.4 - 5.8. This is easily accomplished by the addtion of 1 to 1.5 gm NaHCO3 per 5 gallons of water. Controlling the water pH from the get so seems to set the stage for everything to go right downstream.

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Old 04-23-2013, 09:19 PM   #606
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NanoMan
Just completed batch #60 since my enlightenment (read that, discovering this forum and this thread!). The numbers are dialing in very nicely. The Strong Blond had a mash pH, pre-boil pH, post-boil pH and OG at 5.44, 5.25, 5.15 and 1.070, respectively. Exactly where I wanted them. Similarly, the stout is 5.55 and 5.24 (don't have post boil data yet).

The most interesting thing I've learned in the last two weeks is that my water is not pH 7, or anywhere near it, out of the tap. I runs between 5.2 and 5.9. This likely explains why the EZWaterCalc always predicted much higher mash pH than I was getting. I now check the pH of the strike and sparge water and set to pH 5.4 - 5.8. This is easily accomplished by the addtion of 1 to 1.5 gm NaHCO3 per 5 gallons of water. Controlling the water pH from the get so seems to set the stage for everything to go right downstream.
I'm glad you wrote this... I've been using distilled water for my last three batches and had a hard time getting the ph to be inline with the recommendation here. Instead of going with aciduated malt, I've had to add a small amount of baking soda. Just an 1/8th tspn (.6 g) for 10 gal treated water. I'm using ph papers (I know I need a digital meter), waited for it to cool to room temp, and had mash readings of 4.6 before baking soda and 5.1 after. I'm wondering if this is to be expected (maybe carbonic acid??) or am I just a victim of ph paper inaccuracy??
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:28 PM   #607
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I'm glad you wrote this... I've been using distilled water for my last three batches and had a hard time getting the ph to be inline with the recommendation here. Instead of going with aciduated malt, I've had to add a small amount of baking soda. Just an 1/8th tspn (.6 g) for 10 gal treated water. I'm using ph papers (I know I need a digital meter), waited for it to cool to room temp, and had mash readings of 4.6 before baking soda and 5.1 after. I'm wondering if this is to be expected (maybe carbonic acid??) or am I just a victim of ph paper inaccuracy??
Your observations may be accurate, but it depends on the grist. However, you should know the pH papers are notoriously inaccurate. The plastic strips are better, but there is that pH shift that you have to correct for.

That amount of baking soda is relatively small, so its probably fine. Do try to find a freshly calibrated pH meter to better assess what that pH is doing. Another option is to input your mashing and grist information into Bru'n Water to see what it predicts. Maybe that grist you mention above is quite acidic?
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:44 AM   #608
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Any suggestions on storage of ro/di water prior to brewing? Since it usually takes many hours to accumulate enough water to brew, my thoughts were to make it in either a plastic water barrel or possibly a stainless steel drum the night before then pump the quantity I need over to the HLT to make salt/acid additions. My concern is there is a lot of conflicting info on the Internet on what containers are safe for long-term DI water storage because of DI water potentially consuming metals or plastics, and with little info on what "long term" means. Any suggestions on how other brewers are dealing with this or are most people just buying it on-demand before brew day?

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Old 04-24-2013, 01:15 PM   #609
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Any suggestions on storage of ro/di water prior to brewing? Since it usually takes many hours to accumulate enough water to brew, my thoughts were to make it in either a plastic water barrel or possibly a stainless steel drum the night before then pump the quantity I need over to the HLT to make salt/acid additions. My concern is there is a lot of conflicting info on the Internet on what containers are safe for long-term DI water storage because of DI water potentially consuming metals or plastics, and with little info on what "long term" means. Any suggestions on how other brewers are dealing with this or are most people just buying it on-demand before brew day?
The main purpose of my RODI system is for my saltwater fish tanks and in that hobby the gray food grade Brute trash cans are mostly considered safe. I have been using a 50'ish gallon one to store my RODI water for 5+ years with no issues that I am aware of. TDS readings are always zero using a Hanna meter. Just used RODI water for a brew for the first time this past weekend so my experience with it in regards to beer brewing is limited at this time. I know there are several other options that should work too so hopefully others will chime in too.
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:27 PM   #610
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Ah, that's good to know. I kept a saltwater reef for a while and know that reef people are pretty paranoid about their water quality, so if they don't have a problem with a big rubbermaid trash can, then I feel pretty good about storing it in at least a plastic water barrel for an extra day. Thanks for the info.

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