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Old 05-17-2012, 08:35 PM   #1
mjohnson
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Default Using Bru'n Water and the primer...

Short Version:
In the spreadsheet, what "Grain Type" is Victory. Would you expect to use some acid malt in the recipe below?


Long Version:
First, I don't have a ph meter. Its on the list, but for now, I have to make due with rules of thumb and excellent tools like Martin Brungard's Bru'nWater spreadsheet (thanks btw).

Second, I understand the primer is a rule of thumb and not absolute. Can't thank AJ DeLange enough for it. That thread really made a difference in my brewing.

I'm going to brew this weekend. I'm going to make a recipe posted below. The last several brews, I've been following the primer to good effect when starting with 100% RO water from the store. I made a porter (only added 5g of CaCL) and a Blonde Ale that is in the fermenter (2% acid malt + 5g of CaCl) that I have high hopes for.

I decided to try out the Bru'nWater spreadsheet. On the Water Adjustment sheet, I made the RO addition 100%. For additions, I set Gypsum at .5g/Gallon. For CaCl, I did the same.

For the Mash Acidification, I entered the Following malts:
2 row pale - (Base malt) - 9lb 5.2oz
Munich - (Base malt) - 1lb 5.2oz
Victory - (Roast malt) - 0lb 10.6 oz
Rye Malt - (Base malt) - 1lb 6oz
Honey Malt - (Crystal Malt) - 7.8oz

With my adjusted water, and that malt bill, I get an estimated room temp Mash pH of 5.2 without the addition of any acid malt. Would you expect that?

I see that the victory is contributing a lot to the acidity calculation of the mash because I list it as a roast malt. Is this correct? I selected this because it was listed as a roasted/toasted malt at Nortern Brewer.

Any other thoughts on managing ph without a meter?

Thanks everyone!

--- Recipe ------------------------------------------------------------

All recipes are (unless otherwise specified): 6 gallons post-boil, 70% efficiency, Morey for color, 15% evaporation, 7.27 gallons preboil, Rager IBU, and most hops are in grams not ounces. Most, if not all recipes are primary only (no secondary).

If you brew this, please reply with your results for discussion.

OG 1054
FG
40.3 IBU
6.8 SRM

90 min boil

4.26kg US 2-row
600g Rye
600g Munich
300g Victory
220g Honey Malt

14g Magum 14%AA @60m
14g Fuggles 5%AA @ 30m
14g Goldings 4.75%AA @20m
14g Goldings @10m
17g Cascade 5.75%AA @ 1m
35g Amarillo dry hop

Wyeast 1272 American Ale II

Mash at 154

Ferment at 66F

Dry hop at 66F for one day, reduce to 60F for the remainder of dry hop

-------
Edited to remove a water profile that I wasn't shooting for
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:15 PM   #2
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Victory is kilned to only 25L. Its not a 'roast' malt. Roast malts are very dark (say over200L) and have roasty or charred character. Victory is a trade name for Briess's Biscuit malt. I find that this malt is best characterized for its acidity contribution using a Crystal malt setting, but you could also call it a base malt and the difference in calculated acidity is small.

That low predicted pH is due to using that Roasted malt setting for the Victory. That's predicting 2 or 3 times more acidity than that grain is likely to contribute.

For a hoppy style like indicated above, I'd aim for a predicted pH of about 5.3 to 5.4. Aim for this range for lighter colored beers. This will help avoid too high a pH which might create some harshness from the hops.

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Old 05-18-2012, 01:08 PM   #3
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That makes sense - changing to base-malt changes the estimated pH to 5.3. This indicates to me that according to the spreadsheet, I probably don't need acid malt. Does that jive with your expectation?

I suppose at this point the answer is just "you need a ph meter."

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Old 05-18-2012, 01:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjohnson View Post
That makes sense - changing to base-malt changes the estimated pH to 5.3. This indicates to me that according to the spreadsheet, I probably don't need acid malt. Does that jive with your expectation?

I suppose at this point the answer is just "you need a ph meter."
A meter would help assure you, but in practice the use of Bru'n Water will get you in the ball park. The mentioned mash pH result with a modest crystal malt addition and kilned malts is not a surprise when you start with RO water. I find that when dealing with the very low alkalinity of RO or distilled water makes it possible to achieve a good pH result without acid or acid malt addition. If the grist is more one-dimensional with only Pale or Pils malt, then the need for acid or acid malt is more likely.
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:39 PM   #5
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Great - thanks for the feedback and for the wonderful tool. I really appreciate it.

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Old 05-26-2012, 04:23 PM   #6
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I'm not sure if you're not willing to get a pH meter because of what you're "allowed" to spend on brewing. However, you might consider investing in some ColorpHast strips from Amazon. These are in the 4-7 pH range, and can be cut in half lengthwise. This gets you 200 strips for $20. It's a thought to tide you over until you get a meter, and I don't think they go bad. Just a thought from another member of the brewing on a budget crowd.

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