Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Water adjustments dangerous?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-12-2013, 11:40 PM   #1
somedudefromguam
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Albany, Oregon
Posts: 149
Liked 13 Times on 9 Posts
Likes Given: 53

Default Water adjustments dangerous?

Okay, brewing just seemed to get way more complicated for me...
I am reading up on water adjustments, I would like to adjust my water to have a more mineral-y profile similar to Burton on Trent. I use well water that I think is considered hard, but I have no real evidence to support that. It has a nice clean flavor, not like minerals, just clean.

So I was re-reading the third edition of The Complete Joy of Homebrewing and Charlie states "caution and knowledge of water chemistry should be pursued by the homebrewer before adding any chemical to water used for consumption. " I don't understand if he is saying "don't be an idiot and add a bunch of stuff you found at the fertilizer store to your brewing water" or if he is saying "you can add too much calcium carbonate and can poison yourself"...

Anyway, I added 1.5 grams of Calcium carbonate, .1 grams of sodium chloride, .1 grams sodium bicarbonate, and .6 grams of gypsum to my mash water. (2 gallon batch by the way) I mashed in minutes ago and am waiting for a negative starch test. I should also say that my mash water started at 5.2 according to the PH strips that I use, after the additions the strips started to change a purple color that is not described in the PH strip kit (only measures 4.6-6). I hope I didn't smurf everything up by adjusting the water profile before the mash. I did this because it sounds like calcium carbonate and gypsum wont dissolve very well in boiling wort, so I added everything before I heated the mash water...

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegod View Post
I fermented a brown ale at 80 degrees for two weeks. At the end my beer tasted like a belgium tripple not a brown but it was a damn good belgium tripple.
somedudefromguam is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-12-2013, 11:44 PM   #2
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 60,773
Liked 4379 Times on 3186 Posts
Likes Given: 854

Default

What you added isn't at all dangerous, but unnecessary and possibly unpalatable.

First, calcium carbonate won't dissolve properly so it's "wasted". A little gypsum and salt won't hurt you.

But without knowing where you are starting, you can't really get where you want to be.

You can get a water report from Ward Labs, and then add what you need to in order to get the water you want. They are $16.50 for a full report.

In this case, it'd be like making spaghetti sauce and saying you wanted to have a spicy sauce. But without knowing what else is already in there, adding oregano and onion probably won't help. It also probably won't hurt.

The same is true in this case. You didn't add much of anything of any use. It probably won't hurt. But it probably won't help, either.

__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-13-2013, 03:08 AM   #3
somedudefromguam
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Albany, Oregon
Posts: 149
Liked 13 Times on 9 Posts
Likes Given: 53

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
First, calcium carbonate won't dissolve properly so it's "wasted".
So, how is calcium carbonate properly added. And how was it wasted? All of the books I have say to add it to the mash and 1 gram =106 ppm calcium and 147 ppm bicarbonate.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegod View Post
I fermented a brown ale at 80 degrees for two weeks. At the end my beer tasted like a belgium tripple not a brown but it was a damn good belgium tripple.
somedudefromguam is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-13-2013, 03:21 AM   #4
b-boy
16%er
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 5 reviews
 
b-boy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: GETZVILLE, NY
Posts: 2,359
Liked 402 Times on 296 Posts
Likes Given: 118

Default

I think Yooper is saying that until you know where you are, you really can't get to where you want to be. You need a baseline. Get your water profile first, then you can make additions specifc to that profile. Just adding stuff to your water may make your beer better, but it's just as likely to make it worse.

__________________

Never underestimate the potential of someone who refuses to act their age.

b-boy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-13-2013, 03:31 AM   #5
somedudefromguam
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Albany, Oregon
Posts: 149
Liked 13 Times on 9 Posts
Likes Given: 53

Default

Thanks b-boy, I will look into it, then.

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegod View Post
I fermented a brown ale at 80 degrees for two weeks. At the end my beer tasted like a belgium tripple not a brown but it was a damn good belgium tripple.
somedudefromguam is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-13-2013, 03:39 AM   #6
b-boy
16%er
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 5 reviews
 
b-boy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: GETZVILLE, NY
Posts: 2,359
Liked 402 Times on 296 Posts
Likes Given: 118

Default

I use EZ-Water. It's a spreadsheet that will help you understand your existing water profile and how additions will impact it. I think it's pretty easy to use. I think it has helped me out a lot. There are other products out there as well. I can't vouch for them.

It's free and can be found at : www.ezwatercalculator.com

__________________

Never underestimate the potential of someone who refuses to act their age.

b-boy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-13-2013, 04:42 AM   #7
ajdelange
Senior Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 5,865
Liked 570 Times on 470 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by somedudefromguam View Post
So, how is calcium carbonate properly added. And how was it wasted? All of the books I have say to add it to the mash and 1 gram =106 ppm calcium and 147 ppm bicarbonate.
It is properly added by mimicing the way nature does it i.e. by dissolving it with carbonic acid. This is one reason why few knowledgeable brewers use it.
__________________
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-14-2013, 02:50 PM   #8
Kaiser
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Kaiser's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Pepperell, MA
Posts: 3,904
Liked 114 Times on 71 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

calcium carbonate is not wasted. It just takes more than what you would expect since it doesn't appear to dissolve completely in the mash. I experiments point to a utilization of ~50% in most mash environments.

Kai

__________________
BrauKaiser.com - brewing science blog - Twitter - water and mash chemistry calculator
Kaiser is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Water adjustments for an IPA spin02 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 9 03-09-2012 05:15 PM
Help with IPA water adjustments Joshua618 Brew Science 4 08-29-2010 06:12 PM
PH and Water Adjustments Pumpkinman906 Brew Science 3 02-15-2010 07:45 PM
Water adjustments for my IPA klamz All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 11 12-08-2009 09:00 PM
Water Adjustments jjp36 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 10 09-28-2009 04:33 PM