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Old 01-10-2014, 06:34 PM   #11
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Good advice, thank you very much for the input. I very much look forward to my next brew!

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Old 01-10-2014, 07:31 PM   #12
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Gypsum dissolves better in cold water, so it's usually best to add it to your strike water before heating. I always do it at the same time that I add the campden.

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Old 01-10-2014, 08:24 PM   #13
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I did, but I notice that the sparge acidification tab comes before water adjustment, so it does not take into account the 50% dilution with RO water. Is there a reason for that?
I assume you are using the free version of Bru'n Water. The information on the Water Acidification sheet does not know about your dilution and its effect on alkalinity. The supporters version does allow you to dial in dilution with RO or distilled water and the alkalinity is automatically revised. But you will have to do that revised alkalinity calculation yourself when using the free version.

I am assuming you are either brewing a very large batch or you are using low strength phosphoric acid. That just seemed like a lot of acid for a 5 gal batch, but its OK if using the 10% stuff.
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:34 PM   #14
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I assume you are using the free version of Bru'n Water. The information on the Water Acidification sheet does not know about your dilution and its effect on alkalinity. The supporters version does allow you to dial in dilution with RO or distilled water and the alkalinity is automatically revised. But you will have to do that revised alkalinity calculation yourself when using the free version.



I am assuming you are either brewing a very large batch or you are using low strength phosphoric acid. That just seemed like a lot of acid for a 5 gal batch, but its OK if using the 10% stuff.

Yes, the free version, I'm just getting my feet wet into the water chemistry world.

And also yes, phosphoric acid (10%)
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:34 PM   #15
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Gypsum dissolves better in cold water, so it's usually best to add it to your strike water before heating. I always do it at the same time that I add the campden.

Thanks for the tip
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:06 PM   #16
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So I brewed a pale ale this morning. I didn't have easy access to RO water last night so I used distilled water. Diluted my tap water 50/50 for the 5 gallons of strike water, and 3.5 gallons straight distilled for the batch sparge.

Used 5grams of gypsum and 30ml phosphoric acid in the strike water, nothing in the sparge water

Measured the pH 15 min into the mash and got 5.17 at room temp. Measured again 30 min into mash and got 5.15.

I was expecting 5.4 pH. However, I estimated the 30mL of acid to be two table spoons and so that measurement was not very exact. I need to get a syringe or something to make better acid measurements.

Anyway, how will the lower pH affect the beer?

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Old 01-19-2014, 03:54 AM   #17
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Confused why the liquid acid went into the strike water, and not in steps into the mash? For both liquid acid and alkaline (pickling lime or baking soda) additions, I add a portion, stir, check mash pH and add more in required. That way I don't overshoot. I can't confirm right now, but 30 ml of phosphoric seems excessive with the large amount of gypsum. Double check your mash and sparge volumes in the spreadsheet, including the mash adjustment tab.

The low pH might affect your hop utilization a bit. Nothing you can do at this stage. You are just a bit low from the optimum range.

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Old 01-19-2014, 02:07 PM   #18
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Confused why the liquid acid went into the strike water, and not in steps into the mash? For both liquid acid and alkaline (pickling lime or baking soda) additions, I add a portion, stir, check mash pH and add more in required. That way I don't overshoot. I can't confirm right now, but 30 ml of phosphoric seems excessive with the large amount of gypsum. Double check your mash and sparge volumes in the spreadsheet, including the mash adjustment tab.

The low pH might affect your hop utilization a bit. Nothing you can do at this stage. You are just a bit low from the optimum range.

Well, I had never made water adjustments before, had never used a ph meter before, so I was trying to make the steps simple as possible for the first time. Plus I was mashing in a cooler outside in 33* weather, so I didn't want to have the lid open longer than necessary.

Next time I intend to use better measurements and your suggested methodology. If hop utilization is my only worry, I should still be in much better shape than before I treated my water.

Does/how does pH affect efficiency? My efficiency dropped about 10 percentage points with this brew. I get my grain crushed by the LHBS so that always seems to vary a bit, but this was lower than normal.

Thanks for the insight.
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Old 01-19-2014, 02:54 PM   #19
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Wobrien, sorry wasn't trying to be snarky.

I just ran your numbers, best I could, including a 50% dilution of 5 gallons of mash water volume with distilled. Added in 1 gram/gallon & 6 ml/gallon 10% phosphoric and got the same prediction. I have some process suggestions.

1. Consider a small test mash. I have been doing 1 gallon sized batches on the stove to trial new hops as well as refine my salt additions. It is also more convenient to work out your pH procedures on smaller batches where the apparent risk is less. I also use these as starters for the "real" batch.
2. Outside the mineral additions in the strike water (save the pickling lime or baking soda for dough in), I reserve the liquid acid to make adjustments and try to achieve my target in 2 additions, rather than one shot. There is a lot going on in the mash that no spreadsheet can predict with absolute accuracy. This will also require you to be much more precise in your additions... I check at dough in, and at 5 minutes. This gives me an idea of what is going on. If I have calculated I need 10 ml, I will add half, stir like mad, sample, and determine if I need to add more.
3. Remember that mash pH is a range so hitting your absolute pH isn't terribly critical, so you can relax a bit. That said - temperature as well as pH plays a key role in conversion. If you mashed outdoors in such cold - I am betting your mash cooled a bit. Lower temperatures will require extended mash times. That *may* have affected your efficiency - but check the crush as well. Also - how your sparge can make a huge difference - and you can seek advice to optimize that process.
4. Calibrate/check your thermometer and your pH meter. In such cold weather - it is possible that you may have calibrated or measured too cold.

Keep at it - it can be a bit daunting at first, but the stress goes away with preparation, planning and experience. You should see the results in the finished beer getting better.

And for goodness sake! Stay warm!

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Old 01-19-2014, 03:11 PM   #20
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Wobrien, sorry wasn't trying to be snarky.
No worries, I didn't even take it that way anyway

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I check at dough in, and at 5 minutes. This gives me an idea of what is going on. If I have calculated I need 10 ml, I will add half, stir like mad, sample, and determine if I need to add more.
I pulled a sample, then put it in the freezer to cool it as quickly as possible to room temp, the tested it. Took about ten minutes per sample. I worry that if there's an issue with the pH, I'd be halfway through the mash by the time I took my second sample...

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3. Remember that mash pH is a range so hitting your absolute pH isn't terribly critical, so you can relax a bit. That said - temperature as well as pH plays a key role in conversion. If you mashed outdoors in such cold - I am betting your mash cooled a bit. Lower temperatures will require extended mash times. That *may* have affected your efficiency - but check the crush as well. Also - how your sparge can make a huge difference - and you can seek advice to optimize that process.
I mashed in at 150 and after 75 min I was at 148. I wrap the cooler with a sleeping bag and it holds the temp pretty well

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4. Calibrate/check your thermometer and your pH meter. In such cold weather - it is possible that you may have calibrated or measured too cold.
I used a Hanna pHep5 with the temp probe. I calibrated before both samples as well. I did the ph testing inside the house.

Sorry for the basic questions, I promise they'll get more difficult with my next few batches, haha.
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