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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > EZ Water Calculator 3.0
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:06 PM   #341
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Hi all,
Just got my water report, but it lists the Sodium results as "PENDING". Not sure what to do... Is there a typical (close enough) sodium number that I can plug into the EZ water calculator? Should I ignore and leave at zero? Here are the rest of my numbers:

Calcium 47 mg/L
Magnesium 16 mg/L
Sodium ???
Chloride 148 mg/L
Sulfate 49 mg/L
Alkalinity 85 mg/L

HELP???
that's easy. Go here: http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-ch...er-calculator/

enter your values but leave sodium empty. Now hit update calculations and show the report in the source water section. Look at the ion balance and increase sodium until the ion balance is close to 0. you'll have to keep hitting the update button. I got a sodium level of about 75. That's pretty high.

Kai
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:21 PM   #342
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I got a sodium level of about 75. That's pretty high.

Kai
Hah, that's nothin'! My tap water source sodium is 286! And yes, I use RO water and adjust it, as all the other values are huge as well.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:32 PM   #343
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I find that the pH vs meq/kg is VERY linear in the typical mash pH range. In that pH range, a large part of the water alkalinity has been exhausted. So it shouldn't be a factor. I suppose Kai was speaking about a wider range of pH.
This is actually quite noticeable at normal mash pH. You can experiment with that here: http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-ch...er-calculator/

Enter 100 ppm as CaCO3 for alkalinity
In the Grist Info section choose Beer Color
Enter 10 lb as grist weigt
click Calculate.

Then look at effective water residual alkalinity in the Mash Report section. At a mash pH of 5.7 only 80% of the water's alkalinity are effective

you can lower the mash pH by increasing the beer color. At a mash pH of 5.4 88% of the water's alkalinity are effective.

Now start with distilled water and add 2.4 g lye. In 4 gal that also gives you 100 ppm alkalinity. But at a mash pH of 5.7 100% of that alkalinity is effective. The calculator shows 99% but that's because of some of its internal algorithms.

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Old 02-19-2013, 09:28 AM   #344
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Thanks for the advice. I plan on getting the grains next weekend and testing soon after so I'll put the results in here out of interest.
Some five months later and I am ready to share my findings. This process has been great and one that I have learned a great deal from.

Basically I took a bunch of my most commonly used grains and did single grain type mini-mash tests. 100g of lightly crushed grain were mixed in schott bottles with 250ml of 70C brewing water, bringing the temp to approx 67C. I placed the bottles in a water bath that kept it a constant 67C. I waited around 30 mins and then took samples from each. Let the samples cool to room temp and then took pH readings on a good quality (accurate and calibrated) pH meter. Some of the more interesting results:

Pils malt: EZ Water lists it at 5.75. I recorded: Bestmaltz Pils 5.64, Bests Boh Pils 5.59, Dingeman Pils 5.72.

Maris Otter: EZ Water lists it at 5.77. I recorded: Simpson Maris Otter 5.52.

There are plenty of other variations in other grains but these are the most important for me as I brew a lot of pale beers with my super soft water.

The end result: All mash pHs have been +/- 0.1 of the EZ Water calc with the new figures placed in it. I started using acid malt to drop the pH, but now I have graduated to using 88% lactic acid (calculated on EZ Water). The last brew I did EZ water calculated 5.43 after acidification and I measured 5.42. Couldnt be happier! I highly recommend this to anyone looking to fine tune their mash pH.

It also means I am making all the salt additions in the kettle (except for a little Gypsum in the mash) which I have found does great things for the taste. I am also looking a lot now at the final beer pH, and finding that with good mash acidification and sparge water acidification I am ending up with beers in the 4.0 - 4.4 range which seems to be the accepted industry range.

As always, it is a work in progress...but thanks EZ Water!
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:33 PM   #345
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Some five months later and I am ready to share my findings. This process has been great and one that I have learned a great deal from.

Basically I took a bunch of my most commonly used grains and did single grain type mini-mash tests. 100g of lightly crushed grain were mixed in schott bottles with 250ml of 70C brewing water, bringing the temp to approx 67C. I placed the bottles in a water bath that kept it a constant 67C. I waited around 30 mins and then took samples from each. Let the samples cool to room temp and then took pH readings on a good quality (accurate and calibrated) pH meter. Some of the more interesting results:

Pils malt: EZ Water lists it at 5.75. I recorded: Bestmaltz Pils 5.64, Bests Boh Pils 5.59, Dingeman Pils 5.72.

Maris Otter: EZ Water lists it at 5.77. I recorded: Simpson Maris Otter 5.52.

There are plenty of other variations in other grains but these are the most important for me as I brew a lot of pale beers with my super soft water.

The end result: All mash pHs have been +/- 0.1 of the EZ Water calc with the new figures placed in it. I started using acid malt to drop the pH, but now I have graduated to using 88% lactic acid (calculated on EZ Water). The last brew I did EZ water calculated 5.43 after acidification and I measured 5.42. Couldnt be happier! I highly recommend this to anyone looking to fine tune their mash pH.

It also means I am making all the salt additions in the kettle (except for a little Gypsum in the mash) which I have found does great things for the taste. I am also looking a lot now at the final beer pH, and finding that with good mash acidification and sparge water acidification I am ending up with beers in the 4.0 - 4.4 range which seems to be the accepted industry range.

As always, it is a work in progress...but thanks EZ Water!
I modify the base grain pH in distilled water also based on 100g test mashes on my common base malts. The 2 that I've been using the most lately are [Crisp] Maris Otter & Castle Pilsner, both about 5.55. I've tested Rahr 2-Row and found it is also in the 5.6 range like EZ water makes note of. These are great base malts for brewing with RO water because a little specialty malt and brewing salts (CaCl2/CaSO4) bring the mash pH to the 5.4-5.45 range with RO water.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:38 PM   #346
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DUB and GSmith, Thanks for the input! Very valuable info there. I might incorporate some of it in the next version if that's ok with you two.

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Old 02-20-2013, 12:11 AM   #347
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Thanks for sharing GUB,

When you say lightly crushed malt, is this how you usually crush the malt when you use it? You also mashed with 2.5 l/kg. I think the pH values TH are using coming from my work and I mashed them with 4 l/kg. It may matter a little.

Kai

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Old 02-20-2013, 09:50 AM   #348
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Thanks for sharing GUB,

When you say lightly crushed malt, is this how you usually crush the malt when you use it? You also mashed with 2.5 l/kg. I think the pH values TH are using coming from my work and I mashed them with 4 l/kg. It may matter a little.

Kai
Kai - I lighlty crushed the malt in a mortar and pestle of all things. The advice I received from this forum is that the consistency of the crush was not overly important. Someone even recommended using a coffee grinder. In other words, it was not the same consistency that I use in my brews.

As for the l/kg ratio I personally don't see a huge difference (non-scientific, in other words), as if I change my mash volume in EZwater3 from 38L to 50L (approx 2.5l/kg to 4.0l/kg) and keep my grain numbers/vol the same, the pH only rises 0.02. This says to me that water volume plays no part (well, no a significant difference). I could be understating this, happy to hear otherwise.

And for what it is worth, the example I gave in my "results" was the pale beer that was only 0.01 out (between EZ and actual)...I used the 2.5l/kg mini mash test as the basis of the mash pH calculation and actually mashed at around 4.1L/kg (12.5kg/50L water) and the results were near identical. In the future when I get a chance I could easily do a side by side in the lab.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:53 AM   #349
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DUB and GSmith, Thanks for the input! Very valuable info there. I might incorporate some of it in the next version if that's ok with you two.
Of course, but be warned - This is still amatuer hour!
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:50 PM   #350
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Kai - I lighlty crushed the malt in a mortar and pestle of all things. The advice I received from this forum is that the consistency of the crush was not overly important. Someone even recommended using a coffee grinder. In other words, it was not the same consistency that I use in my brews.

As for the l/kg ratio I personally don't see a huge difference (non-scientific, in other words), as if I change my mash volume in EZwater3 from 38L to 50L (approx 2.5l/kg to 4.0l/kg) and keep my grain numbers/vol the same, the pH only rises 0.02. This says to me that water volume plays no part (well, no a significant difference). I could be understating this, happy to hear otherwise.

And for what it is worth, the example I gave in my "results" was the pale beer that was only 0.01 out (between EZ and actual)...I used the 2.5l/kg mini mash test as the basis of the mash pH calculation and actually mashed at around 4.1L/kg (12.5kg/50L water) and the results were near identical. In the future when I get a chance I could easily do a side by side in the lab.
I've modified EZ water to scale the mash to a total of 100g and report the test water needed in mL (based on the actual planned water volume/weight ratio; typically 1.5 qt/lb). The grain is ground fine in a coffee grinder and mashed for 10-15 min in mason jars at 150F-160F (pic below). The crush isn't the same but the data has correlated well to actual mashes measured at 10-15 min.

One of these mashes can be done while heating the mash water to determine if any acid will be required for brewing a beer you have no experience with.

I have individual base grain pH in distilled water for:
Crisp Maris Otter
Rahr American 2-Row
Weyermann Pilsner
Castle Pilsner
Global Malt Dark Munich (10-14L)

If there are interest in those, I'd prefer to check them all one again and post the results. The pH meter is a Hanna 98128, 2 point calibration prior to testing room temperature samples and calibration verification after the readings.

test-mash_pic-1.jpg
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