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Old 01-02-2013, 01:17 PM   #1
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Default Matching an IPA Water Profile - Questions

I am getting ready to brew an IPA this weekend, and was planning to try to match the water profile of one of my all-time favorite IPAs. The profile is as follows (in ppm):

Ca - 163
Mg - 8.5
Na - 21
SO4 - 365
Cl - 23.5
HCO3 - 104

At this time, I do not have a pH meter. My city water is awful for brewing, so I use 100% distilled water.

Here are some questions I have:

1) In order to hit the HCO3 target, I would need to add 0.3g per gallon of baking soda to keep the Na on target while gaining some bicarbonate. Even then, the bicarbonate would be ~60ppm. Should I even be concentrating on the HCO3 target, or just focus on Ca, Cl, and SO4?

2) To the mash, I will be adding 10g Gypsum, 0.8g CaCL, and 1.2g Baking Soda. Per Bru'n Water, this puts my estimated mash pH around 5.2. If I enter the same stuff into EZ Water, it puts my estimated pH at 5.45 ONLY if I add 3oz of Acid Malt. I do not have any acid malt entered into Bru'n water.

Any ideas as to why there is such a discrepancy between the two? Is there anyone with a pH meter out there that can tell which of the two they have found to be more accurate with their mash estimates?


As you can tell, I am not a scientist. Any help or input would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 01-02-2013, 01:27 PM   #2
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Science is hard.

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Old 01-02-2013, 01:41 PM   #3
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:50 PM   #4
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I think, from what I have read and heard from others, EZ water becomes more inaccurate on extreme ends of the spectrum (like what you are doing). I would trust the Bru'n Water Projections.

FWIW - seems like an awful lot of additions. Out of curiosity, how do you know for sure that this is the exact water profile that is actually used to make your favorite beer? I tried to add a lot of gypsum and other additions once to mimic a profile and it was the worst beer I have brewed in the last 3 years. Tasted like my water additions.

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Old 01-02-2013, 01:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braufessor View Post
I think, from what I have read and heard from others, EZ water becomes more inaccurate on extreme ends of the spectrum (like what you are doing). I would trust the Bru'n Water Projections.

FWIW - seems like an awful lot of additions. Out of curiosity, how do you know for sure that this is the exact water profile that is actually used to make your favorite beer? I tried to add a lot of gypsum and other additions once to mimic a profile and it was the worst beer I have brewed in the last 3 years. Tasted like my water additions.
This profile is for Fat Head's Head Hunter IPA. The head brewer at Fat Head's gave the entire recipe - including water profile - to Mitch Steele for his IPA book.

I was leaning towards the Bru'n Water side of things on this one, becase the grain bill does not mention any acid malt. I would have to add acid malt, per EZ Water. I know there are many holes in that logic, but that's what my simple mind is going with!

It's definitely a lot of additions though. Unfortunately, thems the breaks when you use 100% distilled water.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:00 PM   #6
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Clint, you should buy a 55 gallon drum & fill up at one of the aaco member's homes. Great water profile for brewing just about anything. Good Jay has a copy of the report.

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Old 01-02-2013, 02:03 PM   #7
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Clint, you should buy a 55 gallon drum & fill up at one of the aaco member's homes. Great water profile for brewing just about anything. Good Jay has a copy of the report.
I've actually discussed this with Nathan before. At the very least, sanitize and fill 2 carboys to use.

As a matter of fact, I may be dropping Nathan a line before I brew on Saturday....
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:06 PM   #8
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yeah that would be less extreme. I have a habit of going overboard.

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Old 01-02-2013, 02:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clint04 View Post
This profile is for Fat Head's Head Hunter IPA. The head brewer at Fat Head's gave the entire recipe - including water profile - to Mitch Steele for his IPA book.

I was leaning towards the Bru'n Water side of things on this one, becase the grain bill does not mention any acid malt. I would have to add acid malt, per EZ Water. I know there are many holes in that logic, but that's what my simple mind is going with!

It's definitely a lot of additions though. Unfortunately, thems the breaks when you use 100% distilled water.
Sounds reliable then. I guess you don't know if you don't try. Hopefully someone will chime in with a more specific answer to your question in regard to the HCO3 - I don't know the answer to that. But I would stick with the Bru'n water numbers. I have never heard anyone say that EZ Water is consistently more accurate than Brun Water.

good luck
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:08 PM   #10
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EZ Water uses the first SRM based mash pH prediction that I came up with after I did some research on how mash pH is affected by grain and water. I recently revised this formula to be independent of mash thickness based on some additional insight. That more accurate formula is implemented in my current spreadsheet: http://braukaiser.com/documents/Kaiser_water_calculatorUS_units.xls

Unless a mash pH calculator lets you enter pH related grain properties (pH and acidity, for example) it calculates these values from the color of the malt and as a result SRM based mash pH prediction is not inherently less accurate than a grist based prediction.

Can you give more detail about the actual water, volumes and the color of the beer?

Kai

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