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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > All grain noob needing advice
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:01 PM   #1
tmoney645
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Default All grain noob needing advice

I am preparing to do my first all-grain batch (going to be BIAB). I am wanting to use my tap water and I am pretty sure I need to treat it. I have read Palmers guide and input the values from my water report into his spreadsheet.....and I am a little lost.
What I want to know is; what is the easiest way to make sure my mash ph is at the right levels to make good beer. I am aware that different styles require different levels of different minerals, I am mainly concerned at this point with having mash water that will do what it needs to do.

Water Report (Relevant stuff in very bottom right)

Planned Recipe

Thanks for any and all help, I'm sure this topic has been covered before but I could not find the answer I was looking for, sorry If it is already out there.

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Old 12-07-2012, 09:54 PM   #2
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My thoughts are that if you are a new AG brewer, you should first get your process down before worrying about mineral additions. One thing I note by looking at your city's water report is that it is pretty neutral water, but the pH seems rather high (this is just my uneducated opinion, I am by no means a scientist). With the exception of your pH, your water is pretty close to mine and I make all styles of beer with great results. With that being said, your pH makes me a bit nervous, so I WOULD use 5.2 buffer to bring the pH down.

EDIT: This stuff is super easy to use: http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/buffer-5-2-1-lb.html

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Old 12-07-2012, 09:56 PM   #3
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https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

get this spreadsheet and spend a few days figuring out how to use it. it seems overwhelming at first but youll get it.

then buy some calcium chloride, gypsum and lactic or phosphoric acid. and a PH meter with calibration solutions.

ive found the spreadsheet to be pretty accurate with regards to acid additions, but you will still want to verify with a PH meter.

your water seems similar to mine. you will likely need to do something (add acid, acidulated malt, dark grains) to get the mash PH in line. youll also need to add acid to your sparge water.

I also use gypsum and or calcium chloride to get calcium up to over 50ppm and get the chloride to sulfate ratio right for the style i am brewing.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmoney645 View Post
I am preparing to do my first all-grain batch (going to be BIAB). I am wanting to use my tap water and I am pretty sure I need to treat it. I have read Palmers guide and input the values from my water report into his spreadsheet.....and I am a little lost.
What I want to know is; what is the easiest way to make sure my mash ph is at the right levels to make good beer. I am aware that different styles require different levels of different minerals, I am mainly concerned at this point with having mash water that will do what it needs to do.

Water Report (Relevant stuff in very bottom right)

Planned Recipe

Thanks for any and all help, I'm sure this topic has been covered before but I could not find the answer I was looking for, sorry If it is already out there.
With all your info go here: Bru'n Water. Carefully enter your data and the spreadsheet will indicate whether you need to worry about adding acid or not. It will also tell you what other things you may need to add based on your target water profile.

All things considered, I wouldn't worry about it. The grain bill does a very nice job of bringing the pH where it needs to be without doing anything. It's one less thing to fuss over when you're trying to get that first AG completed.

EDIT: k47k beat me to it!! Although I do see there is chloramine in your water so you might consider treating it with Campden tablets...you can find how to do that on the site or Google. Otherwise you have nice soft water with balanced chloride/sulfate
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:15 PM   #5
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That water report is from 2010! That alone is enough reason for me to forget it all together. Who knows how accurate it is now. There really isn't any reason you can't handle water adjustments as a new all grain brewer as long as your comfortable with what your doing either as adjusting the water or as an all grain brewer (maybe you've all grained with a friend before) but if you don't have a firm grasp on one or the other focus on the all grain process. You'll make far better beer by having a good process and leaving the water go than you will by having a cruddy process and messing with the water. I guess is what I'm trying to say is that you can deal with less than ideal water by being a good brewer but you can't fix being a poor brewer by using "better" water. Use some campden tabs to treat for chlorine and chloramine and brew with it.

recipe looks good to me. I don't know if it is yours or not but I noticed a couple of things you should be aware of:
1)The recipe is for 4 gallons
2)The recipe calls for Nottingham yeast, which is a little strange for the style but has been done before with success. I would keep it low to start and ramp it up slowly after 3 or 4 days to make sure it attenuates all the way out. Otherwise, I'd probably just go with S-05, 1056, or 001

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Old 12-07-2012, 10:45 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the input. As far as the recipe goes, I put it at 4 gal on purpose, I am a super cheap-o and am using free buckets from walmarts bakery. If I filled them up to 5 gal I would only have like less than an inch of head space. Will it be worth my money to get some of the 5.2 buffer that was mentioned earlier?

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Old 12-07-2012, 11:05 PM   #7
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Will it be worth my money to get some of the 5.2 buffer that was mentioned earlier?
It will not. Just brew with the water you have and focus on adjustments later in your career if you feel certain beers are lacking something.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:14 PM   #8
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I have read a lot of post that say that 5.2 buffer does not do what it is supposed to do. Save your money on that point.

I would also get a new water report. Working from a 2 year old one would be a shot in the dark.

I have no idea what my water is and have not been making adjustments. The beers are fine. I plan to get a filter setup, get the water tested then learn about water adjustments. 33 batches so far and minor if any problems. My beers might not be best because of my water but I don't know for sure.

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Old 12-08-2012, 04:14 PM   #9
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Advising someone to brew with water with that high of a pH seems irresponsible unless they were brewing a dark beer....but a blonde? 5.2 works fine if you use it according to directions.

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Old 12-08-2012, 04:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Advisiding someone to brew with water with that high of a pH seems irresponsible unless they were brewing a dark beer....but a blonde?
I have to agree, with a PH that high, the stated grain bill is not going to get you where you need to be. You will still make beer. You will probably find that your stouts come out better than your lighter beers.
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