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Old 10-05-2011, 12:45 AM   #1
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Default Help with water and scaled mash

I'm at the point where I want to hone in on my water chemistry. I have a new Hanna phep 5 and am jonesing to try it out. I am looking to refine a recipe for a session pale ale that I really like. I'll start with my water profile:
Ca 32
Mg 8
Na 16.3
Cl 30
SO4 60.3
Alkalinity as CaCO3 27 (~33 as HCO3)
Ph 7.8
Non-carbonate hardness as 81 and total hardness at 108

Recipe is as follows:
16 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 78.3 %
2 lbs 8.0 oz Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 2 10.9 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) 6.5%
1 lbs Carafoam (2.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.3 %

OG 1.048

The recipe is first wort hopped and all other hops are 20 mins to flameout.

Tomorrow I plan to do a scaled down mash.

I have read the Water Primer sticky and am a little unsure how I should proceed. I like the bitterness of this beer, so I'm assuming the sulfates in my water are of the appropriate levels. I'd love some feedback.



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Old 10-05-2011, 05:44 AM   #2
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Since you like the bitterness of the beer and seem to generally like what you are brewing, the question is what are you trying to accomplish? I'd plug your numbers into EZwater or one of the other programs and see what it shows. Then do some adjustments based upon your goals and see what happens.



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Old 10-05-2011, 06:12 AM   #3
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I would start with RO(Reversed Osmosis) water and make your adjustments from scratch.
RO water may be expensive and hard to find. Otherwise just run your current water source trough activated carbon and don't risk any adjustments on insufficent data.

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Old 10-05-2011, 11:39 AM   #4
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I do like it but then again I've never tried any water or ph adjustments. I'm kinda curious what people think of my water and if they do anything different with it. The goal of this beer is to really showcase the hop aroma and flavor that come from the hop burst additions.

Revrin - I Am currently filtering the water through a charcoal filter. I'm not sure if you mean insufficient data regarding the water analysis, my goal, or the recipe?

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Old 10-05-2011, 06:09 PM   #5
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I thinking that I should try the baseline water from the primer. I'll dilute 2:1 to get the sulfate and chloride below 20 mg/L. Make baseline water and add 1 tsp CaSO4 and 1 tsp CaCl2 per 5 gallons of water used. I think i should make the scaled mash without sauermalz addition to get an idea of where my ph is. I suppose it should be made with diluted water, but does it need to be treated with calcium and gypsum?

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Old 10-06-2011, 03:17 AM   #6
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Well I made the scaled mash and got a ph 5.66 at 65F. I decided to try it with my unaltered tap water as a baseline. I will also brew with this water on Friday but will possibly lower my ph with sauermalz. Does this test seem valid? Now im wondering if 2% sauermaltz would be appropriate?

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Old 10-06-2011, 02:06 PM   #7
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That water looks fine. The calcium is a little low and should be supplemented to bring it up to the 50 to 60 ppm range. The sulfate content is not ridiculous, so adding the calcium via a gypsum addition will be suitable, especially since the brewer wants a hoppy beer. Since the alkalinity is relatively low, it may be possible that acid malt may not be needed. Plug the info into Bru'n Water for an idea of how the water and grain are going to 'play together'. Adding the gypsum will also help depress the mash pH. If the indication from the program is in the 5.4 to 5.5 range, it will be fine.

It does not appear that RO or distilled water dilution is necessary for this brew, but may be warranted if a lighter or more delicate style is brewed. If a more malt focused perception is desired, then the dilution is probably needed.

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Old 10-06-2011, 06:25 PM   #8
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Hmm, I plugged my info into Bru'n Water and it gives me a pH of 5.2 with existing water. If I adjust the water with 0.5g of gypsum the Ca goes up to 63 and Sulfate up to 134, however, the pH stays at 5.2. Also, it indicates that my Ion Balance is 1.12, unbalanced. I wonder if I did something incorrectly?

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Old 10-06-2011, 09:42 PM   #9
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Hmm...I see that the report does produce an imbalance in the cations and anions. It is off more than desirable. But without better data (another test result), you pretty much have to go with it.

I see that you're from Columbus. Which Columbus? There are probably only about 50 in the US. If there are water utilities in the vicinity, possibly you could compare your results to their results and come to a conclusion where the error may lie. Clearly there is an error in the results shown above.

The mash pH should tend to drop from adding gypsum or CaCl. That indicated pH is already pretty low and should be avoided if possible. That water report indicates fairly low alkalinity, so the excessive pH drop is not a surprise. Another option to control the pH drop is to suppliment the calcium with chalk instead of gypsum. Chalk is tricky though. If you're using chalk without dissolving it into the water with CO2, then just add twice as much chalk as Bru'n Water indicates to add. That chalk only goes into the mash, not the sparge water.

The options are wide, so there are many ways to achieve an acceptable and desirable mash performance.

PS: The other option to the poor water profile results is to switch to EZ Water. Then you wouldn't know that there was anything wrong with the report. Ignorance is bliss!

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Old 10-06-2011, 10:09 PM   #10
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I'm in Columbus Ohio. The mash pH calculated by Bru'n Water is much lower than the actual test mash I did. Im gonna trust that my test mash ph of 5.66 is accurate and assume my #'s from the city water dept are wrong and are skewing the calculated results. Ill send a sample to Ward Labs next week and see what I get.



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