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Old 01-25-2013, 04:12 PM   #11
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There is a correlation between beer color and necessary water RA to get the mash pH into a desirable range. But the correlation that John found was not correct. I did some work on that and found that roasted malts don't contribute as much acidity per unit of color as crystal malts do. And because most really dark beers get most of their color from roasted malts they don't need nearly as much RA as one may think. Here is something I published based on research I did in 2009 : http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php...ty_and_mash_pH

There are a few tables at the bottom that show RA for color and the percentage of color that comes from roasted malts.

As A.J pointed out until recently the primary additive for increasing RA was calcium carbonate. But I noticed that calcium carbonate is not as effective at raising mash pH as one would think. What happened is that brewers added lots of chalk thinking it would get them the high RA that was needed. Fortunately chalk is not able to raise the mash pH all that much and the beers turned out fine. In many cases they turned out better than w/o the chalk since they needed some increased RA. Because of that John's spreadsheet was not questioned.

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Old 01-25-2013, 04:31 PM   #12
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AJ, that is what I was thinking about the buffers. I am not one to trust much a single ingredient to do such things, as there are way too many variables from brew to brew.

Kaiser, thanks for the info on that all. I will give the spreadsheet a look over as well as the site (took a glance, will read in detail later). Thanks for all the info!

What I am getting from this is really to only worry if my pH is out of range, and not worry if I hit a good pH even if the RA seems off.

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Old 01-25-2013, 04:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tall_Yotie View Post
What I am getting from this is really to only worry if my pH is out of range, and not worry if I hit a good pH even if the RA seems off.
"RA being off" depends on how RA is calculated. If the necessary RA is calculated correctly it won't be "off".

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Old 01-25-2013, 04:51 PM   #14
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Well Kaiser, according you your spreadsheet (with me sitting at 87% roasted as it is VERY heavy handed), without any additions I am sitting at an estimated (I understand the term estimated) mash pH of 5.42, which means I am just going to brew with my water straight and see what the pH comes out to, and fly from there.

edit: If I plan to add the Roasted grains at the end of the mash, will that change this? Would you aim a water profile for the without roasted or the with roasted?

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Old 01-25-2013, 05:02 PM   #15
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Stone Brewing brews its RIS with San Diego water that has an even lower RA than your. So yes, you'll be fine w/o any additional alkalinity.

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Old 01-26-2013, 07:45 PM   #16
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Well. Just mashed, used a pH strip, and with adding 0.3 I got 4.7-4.9 (hard yo tell exactly). So, seems I am a bit low! This is my control batch, will do this one again with adjusted water and see this difference. The beer is my best one, so no such thing as too much!

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Old 01-28-2013, 05:30 PM   #17
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OK, I used the "EZ Water Calculator", which estimated my pH to be 5.6; the "Kaiser Water Calculator" says 5.3 (87% roast); however, my mash says 4.7! That is with pulling a few drops off after the mash went for about 15 minutes, let them cool for a short bit, and used a pH strip (adding 0.3 to the value). I got a 63% efficiency, on my smaller / lighter colored ales I tend to hit my 75%.

This is with no water adjustments.

To get the calculated mash pH that low I have to do some REALLY weird stuff to my starting values.

Sooooo.... where is the most likely place I could be going wrong?

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Old 01-28-2013, 05:42 PM   #18
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so what was the grist for this?

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Old 01-28-2013, 05:44 PM   #19
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15lb base malt
1lb victory
1lb roasted barley
0.5lb black patent
0.5lb Crystal 60
0.5lb Crystal 60
0.5lb carapils

Mashed at 1qt/lb

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Old 01-28-2013, 10:08 PM   #20
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Why such a thick mash at 1 qt/lb? With Kai's findings, I've moved to 1.5 qt/lb as my typical. Is your mash tun too small?

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