Happy HolidaySs Giveaway - Last Sponsor Giveaway of the Year!

Come Enter the BrewDeals/FastFerment Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Water Question
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-04-2011, 02:19 AM   #1
HossTheGreat
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 544
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts

Default Water Question

So, I have been working at eliminating some grainy off-flavors from my lighter beers. I have documented my issues in this post.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/help...flavor-222470/

I decided that it would be a good idea to send a sample of my water off to Ward for analysis. I received my report today and have included the results below. I've been reading a bit on water chemistry, but I'm not the greatest when it comes to this stuff. I'm hoping that some of you could take a look and advise on how my water stacks up and anything I can potentially do to help clean up my lighter beers.

pH 7.6
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est 82
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.14
Cations / Anions, me/L 0.7 / 0.7

ppm
Sodium, Na 4
Potassium, K 2
Calcium, Ca 7
Magnesium, Mg 1
Total Hardness, CaCO3 22
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.1 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 4
Chloride, Cl 6
Carbonate, CO3 < 1
Bicarbonate, HCO3 15
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 13

__________________
HossTheGreat is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-04-2011, 03:26 AM   #2
BigEd
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,385
Liked 123 Times on 108 Posts
Likes Given: 20

Default

Your water is very low in ion content which makes it fairly easy to modify for various styles. At 7ppm the Ca+ is very low and all beers need Calcium. To start off simply use Calcium chloride for light lagers and Calcium sulphate for ales and get the Ca+ up to a base of 50-75ppm.

__________________
BigEd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-04-2011, 04:48 AM   #3
wildwest450
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 9,099
Liked 166 Times on 151 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

That's almost my water exactly, you shouldn't be getting any off flavors in a light srm beer. Although color has little to do with anything, it's the mash ph that counts.

I just made a Classsic American Lager(3.2 srm) with very little salts, it was technically the best beer i've ever brewed.


_

__________________
wildwest450 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-04-2011, 12:08 PM   #4
HossTheGreat
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 544
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts

Default

Thanks for the info guys. I'm not saying that the water is the cause of my off-flavors, however I'm trying to refine every part of my processy so that I can make the best beer possible. I've tweaked my crush, BIAB bag material, will be checking the ph of my mash, etc....It may not be one thing but if I improve every piece I can, I know it'll help make a better beer.

__________________
HossTheGreat is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-04-2011, 01:19 PM   #5
ajdelange
Senior Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 6,267
Liked 634 Times on 524 Posts
Likes Given: 19

Default

The advice to supplement calcium is, in general, good though you probably would want to limit it for Bohemian Pilseners. Equally important is the use of acid in some form to get pH into proper range. That will make a dramatic difference in the quality of your beers. See the Water Chemistry Primer in the stickies.

__________________
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-04-2011, 02:05 PM   #6
HossTheGreat
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 544
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
The advice to supplement calcium is, in general, good though you probably would want to limit it for Bohemian Pilseners. Equally important is the use of acid in some form to get pH into proper range. That will make a dramatic difference in the quality of your beers. See the Water Chemistry Primer in the stickies.
I have been using 5.2 in the mash, however since I've been doing BIAB and mashing in the full volume (ie 8 gallons or so), I haven't upped the amount I'm using. I have also never tested the ph. So on my next batch, I'm going to measure out the proper amount of 5.2 and measure my ph with a test strip. Is there any issue adding calcium while also using the 5.2?
__________________
HossTheGreat is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-04-2011, 02:42 PM   #7
mabrungard
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Carmel, IN
Posts: 2,829
Liked 204 Times on 175 Posts
Likes Given: 24

Default

Given your low alkalinity, the 5.2 Stabilizer could be doing you a bit of good in keeping the pH from dropping too much with dark grists. But, that comes at the cost of adding sodium to your wort. Not really a good idea and probably unneeded for your paler beers. I'm sure AJ has more guidance.

__________________

Martin B
Carmel, IN
BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook for occasional discussions on brewing water and Bru'n Water

mabrungard is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-04-2011, 03:19 PM   #8
bctdi
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: N.W. Atlanta Metro,GA
Posts: 249
Liked 9 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HossTheGreat View Post
So, I have been working at eliminating some grainy off-flavors from my lighter beers. I have documented my issues in this post.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/help...flavor-222470/

I decided that it would be a good idea to send a sample of my water off to Ward for analysis. I received my report today and have included the results below. I've been reading a bit on water chemistry, but I'm not the greatest when it comes to this stuff. I'm hoping that some of you could take a look and advise on how my water stacks up and anything I can potentially do to help clean up my lighter beers.

pH 7.6
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est 82
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.14
Cations / Anions, me/L 0.7 / 0.7

ppm
Sodium, Na 4
Potassium, K 2
Calcium, Ca 7
Magnesium, Mg 1
Total Hardness, CaCO3 22
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.1 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 4
Chloride, Cl 6
Carbonate, CO3 < 1
Bicarbonate, HCO3 15
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 13


I have pretty much the same water as you, and my dark beers always seem to come out a little thin ( they seem to be missing something from the malt) even though I hit all my numbers perfectly. I have been playing with the bru'n water program with my recipes and plan on using it on my next beer. I have been researching water for about a year now , and I think a little calcium would help. I used to add epsom salt for magnesium , but later found out that the mash already adds more than enough magnesium... So on my last 5 or 6 beers I basically have been throwing in a little gypsum (5 grams) to the boil for yeast health and flavor fullness. I now realize I have been competely ignoring my mash ph (especially for darker beers) so with the bru'n water program I can get the mash additions correct without overdoing it. It seems as though I need to bring my mash ph up a little with anything over a 10 srm beer , so I can't see why adding acid would help....the program reccomends adding some combination of pickling lime , gypsum , or calcium chloride in order to bring up the mash ph to an acceptable level.......If I were you I would download the bru'n water program even for the sake of all the info on water it gives. as far as lighter beers go I think our water is perfect except for maybe a little calcium for yeast health as others have suggested.
__________________
bctdi is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-04-2011, 05:05 PM   #9
ajdelange
Senior Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 6,267
Liked 634 Times on 524 Posts
Likes Given: 19

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HossTheGreat View Post
on my next batch, I'm going to measure out the proper amount of 5.2 and measure my ph with a test strip. Is there any issue adding calcium while also using the 5.2?
There is a potential issue with it depending on the amounts of 5.2 and calcium added. 5.2 is a mix of monobasic and dibasic sodium phosphates. Calcium phosphate is extremely insoluble. That's why your teeth and bones are made of it (plus a couple of other things). At reasonable concentrations and pH near 5.2 there shouldn't be any precipitation but 5.2 doesn't hold a pH anywhere near 5.2 even in distilled water. No one has figured out how to make this stuff do what the manufacturer claims it does so, in effect, all it does is load your brew with sodium. I advise against its use for this reason.

If you want mash pH near 5.2 (and I don't think you do - 5.4 would be more like it IMO) you will need to use some acid (certainly for light beers and for some fairly dark ones).

Do not rely on test strips for measurement of mash pH. They are simply too inaccurate. Decent pH meters are available for < $100.
__________________
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-04-2011, 06:25 PM   #10
HossTheGreat
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 544
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bctdi View Post
I have pretty much the same water as you, and my dark beers always seem to come out a little thin ( they seem to be missing something from the malt) even though I hit all my numbers perfectly. I have been playing with the bru'n water program with my recipes and plan on using it on my next beer. I have been researching water for about a year now , and I think a little calcium would help. I used to add epsom salt for magnesium , but later found out that the mash already adds more than enough magnesium... So on my last 5 or 6 beers I basically have been throwing in a little gypsum (5 grams) to the boil for yeast health and flavor fullness. I now realize I have been competely ignoring my mash ph (especially for darker beers) so with the bru'n water program I can get the mash additions correct without overdoing it. It seems as though I need to bring my mash ph up a little with anything over a 10 srm beer , so I can't see why adding acid would help....the program reccomends adding some combination of pickling lime , gypsum , or calcium chloride in order to bring up the mash ph to an acceptable level.......If I were you I would download the bru'n water program even for the sake of all the info on water it gives. as far as lighter beers go I think our water is perfect except for maybe a little calcium for yeast health as others have suggested.
I'm checking out the spreadsheet now. It's great. However, I'm curious if it's still accurate for doing full volume BIAB mashes. I have seen other spreadsheets that state they are not accurate in a grain to water ratio above 2.5 qt/lb. My process involves bringing approx. 8 gallons or so to strike temp then adding my grain. After 60 min, I raise the temp to 170 for 10 min for a mashout. I then pull the bag out of the kettle and let it drain while bringing my water to a boil. I do not sparge.
__________________
HossTheGreat 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
Question on EZ Water Calculator 2.0 adromo Brew Science 2 02-12-2011 05:40 PM
Question on Water Chemistry meschaefer Brew Science 7 11-02-2010 10:39 PM
Question about water abweatherley Brew Science 7 08-30-2010 06:09 AM
Quick water question.... Snafu Brew Science 1 03-01-2010 02:07 PM
EZ water question mkultra69 Brew Science 3 12-12-2009 02:40 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS