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Old 01-16-2013, 08:56 PM   #1
frailn
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Default Water treatment experiment - krausen

So, I decided to run a small batch experiment to play with water chemistry. I made two identical small batches back-to-back. The only difference being the water chemistry.

The recipe for both batches:
2 lbs american 2-row
2 oz c40
.25 oz perle hops for 60 minutes
2 grams of dry yeast - Safeale S-05 per Mr Malty
One gallon final volume of beer.


Batch 1 was straight tap water from my local municipality (Water One - Overland Park, KS). Batch 2 contains 37% RO water, 63% tap water, and I added one gram of calcium chloride to up the calcium and .3 ounce of acid malt to lower the PH. Determined this using the 2012 Water One quality report and the EZ Water Calculator spreadsheet.

Both batches received yeast at the same time and same temp. It has been three days of fermentation, and today I noticed that the krausen on the treated water batch is about 3 to 4 times bigger than the untreated batch. You can see it in the pic, below. The treated water batch is on the right.

I wonder if water treatment affects krausen or is this just the normal variation in fermentation? I plan on doing a side by side taste test once these are done fermenting and carbed up.

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Old 01-17-2013, 01:44 PM   #2
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can you post the expected water profile for both batches?

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Old 01-18-2013, 11:01 AM   #3
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can you post the expected water profile for both batches?

Kai
Here is the straight tap water profile from my local water report numbers plugged into EZ Water Calculator:
Calcium (Ca ppm) 72
Magnesium (Mg ppm) 48
Sodium (Na ppm) 74
Chloride (Cl ppm) 43
Sulfate (SO4 ppm) 148
Chloride / Sulfate Ratio 0.290540541
Mash PH = 5.62

Here is the expected water profile by adding RO water, acid malt and a bit of calcium chloride:

Calcium (Ca ppm) 90.36
Magnesium (Mg ppm) 30.24
Sodium (Na ppm) 46.62
Chloride (Cl ppm) 106.75875
Sulfate (SO4 ppm) 93.24
Chloride / Sulfate Ratio 1.144988739
Mash PH = 5.52

I added acid malt to bring the PH down and calcium chloride to bring the calcium up since it was diluted by the RO water below the "green range"
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:02 PM   #4
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Interesting. The only notable difference is the cl/so4 ratio and the mash pH.

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Old 01-18-2013, 01:47 PM   #5
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Proper mash pH has implications beyond the mash tun. I found that my beers lagered faster, fermented faster and dropped clear faster when I got religious about mash pH. As I used cylindroconicals I can't observe the krausen but I'm not surpriesed. You just have a more vigorous ferment. My guess as to why is that the yeast had to expend less effort getting the pH of their environment to the level they like.

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Old 01-18-2013, 03:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Interesting. The only notable difference is the cl/so4 ratio and the mash pH.

Kai
Yes - since this my first time playing with water chemistry, wanted to keep it simple and just get the numbers in the water spreadsheet in the 'green' and the cloride/sulfate ratio balanced. Then find out the impact to the finished product. On future brews, I will probably play with the chemistry even more depending on styles, but first want to get a baseline for basic brews.

The calcium did go up a tad, that is why I added the calcium chloride to get that number "in the green" - it was in range for straight tap water but dropped below threshold after adding RO water.

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Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
Proper mash pH has implications beyond the mash tun. I found that my beers lagered faster, fermented faster and dropped clear faster when I got religious about mash pH. As I used cylindroconicals I can't observe the krausen but I'm not surpriesed. You just have a more vigorous ferment. My guess as to why is that the yeast had to expend less effort getting the pH of their environment to the level they like.
Thanks for sharing - I was wondering if adjusting the PH and chemistry was going to change the ferment. Looks like it does and now I have a better understanding of how this works! Awesome!
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:04 PM   #7
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My guess as to why is that the yeast had to expend less effort getting the pH of their environment to the level they like.
interestingly enough a lower mas pH may actually cause the yeast to have more trouble lowering the beer pH. This is due to increased phytase activity which increased the buffer capacity of the wort, so I have read. But I haven't experimented with this myself, yet.

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Old 01-18-2013, 05:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser View Post
interestingly enough a lower mas pH may actually cause the yeast to have more trouble lowering the beer pH. This is due to increased phytase activity which increased the buffer capacity of the wort, so I have read. But I haven't experimented with this myself, yet.

Kai
I just received my pH meter and started doing checks. My mash pH in straight tap was 5.4 and I went to the kettle at 5.4. Those are the only checks I've done so far. What are some other points I should be testing at? I've seen ranges for finished beer so I guess post boil but that now seems to be the question?
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I just received my pH meter and started doing checks. My mash pH in straight tap was 5.4 and I went to the kettle at 5.4. Those are the only checks I've done so far. What are some other points I should be testing at? I've seen ranges for finished beer so I guess post boil but that now seems to be the question?
Whenever I get around to buying a PH meter, I will be trying step mashes and testing as I go along to each step. But, I still have a lot of reading to do on water chemistry impact on the brew...
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by frailn View Post
Whenever I get around to buying a PH meter, I will be trying step mashes and testing as I go along to each step. But, I still have a lot of reading to do on water chemistry impact on the brew...
You aren't changing the chemistry, just the temperature, so I doubt the steps should be different. Decoction mashing might be different though.
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