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Old 07-02-2012, 04:29 PM   #1
pensphreak
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Default Problem with Bru'n Water and EZ Water spreadsheets

I put in (what I think) are the same values for an upcoming Oktoberfest that I'm brewing and the output from both of these spreadsheets is pretty different (5.49 vs 5.2 pH). Can someone take a look at my spreadsheets and tell me what I'm doing wrong?

Background: I'm brewing with 100% RO water and normally I just follow the primer (1g CaCL2/gal of water). I batch sparge with (in this case) 4.88gal of mash water and 5.69gal of sparge water.

Code:
Amt 	Name
5.00 g 	Calcium Chloride
5 lbs 	Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM)
4 lbs 	Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)
3 lbs 	Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)
1 lbs 	Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM)
Here's my recipe: http://pensphreak.com/homebrew/Oktoberfest%202.0.html
Here's the 2 spreadsheets: Bru'n Water and EZ Water
2012-07-02_092332.jpg   2012-07-02_092301.jpg  
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:04 PM   #2
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Your using the tools correctly. Been through at least 12 mashes looking at both calculators. For me, brewing with 100% RO water, EZ Water has been closer to what I measure with a calibrated pH meter with 0.01 pH resolution. No spreadsheet has been consistently accurate and it depends on the malt/brand used.

I advocate for a very small (100 gram total) mash with your brewing water to test for mash pH and change your acidification as needed. It can be done while heating mash water and have caught potential mash pH issues before committing to acidifying the mash. It takes a fine gram scale, coffee grinder, small thermos & calibrated pH meter. Testing the mash pH becomes a formality rather than a measurement that you need to react to with some corrective measure.

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Old 07-02-2012, 06:14 PM   #3
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That RO water has little alkalinity and the CaCl addition pushes RA down pretty low. With the color of that grist, I'm not surprised with the prediction of a low mash pH. I hope you have a pH meter and can report back here with your result. From my experience, its much more likely that the mash pH is going to be low than high.

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Old 07-02-2012, 06:29 PM   #4
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Did you converted the color unit for Bru'n Water? As you showed in the Bru'n Water spreadsheet, you put the malt color in SRM (EBC) units instead off Lovibond. You can convert the units using the formula:
SRM=1.3546*Lovibond-0.76

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Old 07-02-2012, 07:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
That RO water has little alkalinity and the CaCl addition pushes RA down pretty low. With the color of that grist, I'm not surprised with the prediction of a low mash pH. I hope you have a pH meter and can report back here with your result. From my experience, its much more likely that the mash pH is going to be low than high.
I converted it to Lovibond and it was closer, but still not 100% equal. On my last brew, I checked my pH (cheapo Milwaukee pH600) and it was 5.3. Bru'n said it would be 5.3 while EZ Water said it would be 5.46. So I'm thinking if I go with Bru'n Water again for my next brew (est. 5.3), I should be fine without any acid malt additions right?
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pensphreak View Post
I converted it to Lovibond and it was closer, but still not 100% equal. On my last brew, I checked my pH (cheapo Milwaukee pH600) and it was 5.3. Bru'n said it would be 5.3 while EZ Water said it would be 5.46. So I'm thinking if I go with Bru'n Water again for my next brew (est. 5.3), I should be fine without any acid malt additions right?
Yes, you will be fine without acid malt.
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diegobonatto View Post
Yes, you will be fine without acid malt.
Hopefully my next batch pH matches Bru'n water again
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:13 PM   #8
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No acid malt seems pretty safe for this recipe and 100% RO water. Even if your pH matches EZ Water, no acid malt doesn't make for that high of mash pH.

Please complete the thread with your measured room-temp pH with calibrated meter.

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Old 07-02-2012, 10:24 PM   #9
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You shouldn't be surprised or concerned. Spreadsheets and calculators use models and while some models are better than others in particular situations the converse may be true in other situations. No model is perfect. In brewing there are simply too many degrees of freedom to allow for perfect prediction of mash pH.

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Old 07-06-2012, 08:57 PM   #10
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So I made a small change to the Bru'n water spreadsheet, and the expected pH was 5.4. My pH600 meter measured the mash right on at 5.4

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