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Old 08-14-2012, 01:29 AM   #1
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Default Learning the ropes/Show me what I'm doing wrong

My first beer attempting to use anything but tap water is probably going to happen next weekend. Most likely Biermunchers Oktoberfast.

I'm using the EZ water calculator and just want to make sure I'm doing it right, the entire water supply I'll be using will be Deionized.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f63/bier...-ale-ag-39021/

8.50 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM
5.00 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)
4.00 lb Munich Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM)
2.00 lb Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM)
2.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM)
1.00 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM)
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM)

So, accordingly to the EZ water calc, I should be adding 10 grams of Cal Chloride, and 5 grams of epson salt. This gives me an appropriate PH in the mash, as well as bringing my Chloride/Sulfate ration above 1.3, which "may enhance maltiness" which I'm assuming = good for the style.


2 questions:

Am I doing this right? lol.

And, the sparge water addition, I get conflicting info about wether or not to add it to the HLT or to the boil.... opinions would be great.

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Old 08-14-2012, 01:34 AM   #2
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I'm not a fan of adding epsom salts. You don't need the magnesium, and I like adding gypsum if I need sulfate. You may not even need any sulfate though, for an Oktoberfest.

Can you post the numbers you get from EZ spreadsheet? Like how many ppm Ca, Cl, S04 specifically?

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Old 08-14-2012, 01:58 AM   #3
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Hope this works... Hmmm... came out kinda small. if I need to enlarge let me know

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Old 08-14-2012, 02:18 AM   #4
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That's hard to see, alright!

First, get rid of the epsom salt totally. Then get the chloride to under 100. You don't need "sparge additions" so uncheck those boxes.

You want calcium more or less at 50 ppm, chloride is fine pretty low (whatever it takes to get your Ca to 50 ppm) and you don't need to add any sulfate. Then let's see what you get.

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Old 08-14-2012, 02:39 AM   #5
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An Oktoberfest benefits from being made with low mineral content water with the exception of some calcium chloride. Ten grams (assuming 5 gal) is a bit much. Half that or a bit less (4 grams) will probably give a more pleasing result. These beers are usually made with one of the noble hops varieties in which case you want as little sulfate as possible. Thus don't use gypsum or epsom salts. You will probably need a small percentage of acidulated malt (sauermalz) or lactic acid to get the pH down to where you want it. Start with 2%. It is best to check the actual mash pH realized with a properly calibrated pH meter. Adjust the sauermalz level according to what the pH meter reads (you can add more if it is too high; if it is too low use less the next time you brew this).

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Old 08-14-2012, 04:08 AM   #6
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My wonderful and beautiful girlfriend has commandeered the computer for the evening for her studies. I appreciate the replies and will look that them tomorrow afternoon

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Old 08-14-2012, 01:33 PM   #7
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The spreadsheet breaks out the concentration of the mash water and then combines the concentration of the mash + sparge water. That's a little misleading because it has you thinking about kettle concentrations instead of the water used for brewing. You don't need the sparge additions, but it's also simple to plan all your brewing water concentrations to be the same as if you had a source with that water available.

I've had success with brewing water (mash & sparge the same) with calcium as low as 36 ppm, resulting chloride is 64 ppm - it's my go-to water plan for anything with Nobel hops. That's 0.5 grams of CaCl2 per 1 gallons of water, easy to scale to actual water volumes.

I've noticed that the EZ water spreadsheet can predict a little higher then measured mash pH (15 min into mash). Not always, and there's too many grains to assign them a single pH in distilled water value so prediction is meant for rough planning and actual measurements can help with fine-tuning. If you're predicting 5.4, I'd skip any acid addition the first time. You could also scale your mash down to a very small amount and do a test, measure the pH and use that data to for the actual mash. If the test mash pH is different from the expected value on the spreadsheet, you can type over the pH of the base malt and play with that number until the predicted pH matches your measurement. Then adjust the acid to plan for the actual mash. Just remember that you overwrote the pH of the base malt when using the spreadsheet in the future for a different beer and go back to the original version.

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Old 08-14-2012, 02:56 PM   #8
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I should have clarified, this is for an 11 gallon batch.

Thank you for your patience in helping me learn this stuff.

First, why no sparge additions? I thought sparging with pure soft water was bad?

Secondly, both Yooper and ajdelange referenced water addition to beer style and ingredients. Is this from personal experience or is there a reference I can pull from so I don't continually bother you per style?

Lastly, I'm pretty lucky to have 3 large supply shops in the area, MoreBeer, HopTech, and Brewmasters (Not brewmasterswarehouse). Neither seemingly stock sauermalz. Does it go by a different name? I'm assuming it's a grain?

I entered in all suggestions, and end up with this:

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Old 08-14-2012, 03:15 PM   #9
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The sparge is just washing out the remaining sugars, conversion should be complete. All that matters with the sparge is to prevent a high pH in the mash tun and to keep the temperature <170F, your RO water with no alkalinity is perfect. Salts are sometimes skipped for the sparge water (diluting concentrations from the mash water) or just added to the boil kettle anyway. The grain is already saturated with mash water so all sparge water added to the mash tun should come out of the mash tun.

This primer has stylistic guidelines for water additions:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/bre...primer-198460/

You could convert these to concentrations to see what these levels using the EZ water spreadsheet.

Weyermann Acidulated malt.

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Old 08-14-2012, 03:17 PM   #10
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It's likely they'll have Weyerman acidulated malt (which is sauermalz....sauermalz being the German name for acidulated/sour malt).

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