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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Should I lower bicarbonates for Belgian Wit
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:53 PM   #1
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Default Should I lower bicarbonates for Belgian Wit

Doing a 15 gallon Belgian Wit.

My water profile (ppm):

pH -- 7.5
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm -- 311
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm -- 0.52
Cations / Anions, me/L -- 5.2 / 5.0

Sodium, Na -- 62
Potassium, K -- 6
Calcium, Ca -- 38
Magnesium, Mg -- 5
Total Hardness, CaCO3 -- 116
Nitrate, NO3-N -- 0.7
Sulfate, SO4-S -- 17 * 3 = 51
Chloride, Cl -- 59
Carbonate, CO3 -- < 1
Bicarbonate, HCO3 -- 138
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 -- 113

Fluoride, F -- 0.51
Total Iron, Fe -- <0.01

Using EZ Water Calculator 3.0.2 my estimated Mash pH is 5.80 at room temperature. Residual Alkalinkty at -23 and Effective Alkalinkty at 7.

Thinking I should add a few grams of each Gypsum and Calcium Chloride to bring up my Calcium levels to above 50 while keeping Chloride and Sulfate near a 1:1 ratio. Does this sound right?

Should I lower my Bicarbonate as well? Add Phosphoric Acid?

Thanks.

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Old 04-11-2013, 10:19 PM   #2
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Neutralizing the alkalinity is necessary for that beer. Don't worry about RA. The only thing that matters is mash pH. I suggest acidifying to produce a mash pH in the 5.3 range so that this beer is slightly acidic and crisp. In the case of this beer, I'd be more inclined to use lactic acid since it helps add a twang that fits the Wit. Phosphoric is fine too, just no twang.

If you want to learn more about brewing water, visit the Water Knowledge page on the Bru'n Water website. You won't have that benefit using what you are using now.

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Old 04-11-2013, 10:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
Neutralizing the alkalinity is necessary for that beer. Don't worry about RA. The only thing that matters is mash pH. I suggest acidifying to produce a mash pH in the 5.3 range so that this beer is slightly acidic and crisp. In the case of this beer, I'd be more inclined to use lactic acid since it helps add a twang that fits the Wit. Phosphoric is fine too, just no twang.

If you want to learn more about brewing water, visit the Water Knowledge page on the Bru'n Water website. You won't have that benefit using what you are using now.
Thanks for the reply.
Do I need to worry about Phosphoric acid reducing the Calcium? Is there is a guideline for how much lactic acid to use before it changes the flavor? I have 1.5% acidulated malt in the grain bill already.

*Edit - nevermind found the answer on the Bru 'N Water Knowledge page - "adding phosphoric acid for alkalinity neutralization (typically added at well under 0.1 percent) should not cause excessive precipitation of calcium in the mash and can be used freely in brewing."
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Old 04-14-2013, 05:03 PM   #4
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In the case of this beer, I'd be more inclined to use lactic acid since it helps add a twang that fits the Wit. Phosphoric is fine too, just no twang.
Agreed.

His bicarbonate levels aren't high enough to where the lactate will even be noticeable IMO, but a little lactic "twang" wouldn't exactly be a bad thing even if it was.
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