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Old 03-31-2013, 02:38 AM   #1
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Default Bru'n Water Test Results

I recently did a series of test mashes to put Bru'n Water through its paces. In short, I found it to be quite accurate at predicting mash pH. Details on the test and my results can be found here for anyone interested:
http://restorationbrewing.blogspot.com/2013/03/7-little-mini-mashes.html

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Old 03-31-2013, 02:07 PM   #2
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Well that is interesting. The results do tend to fall on the response curve that I and the Beta testers developed. The condition I would like someone else to confirm is the case with very acidic grists and low alkalinity water. My test with the Reapers Mild grist (which is very acidic due to the high percentage of crystal malts and touch of roast). I recall that my test result with RO water produced a mash pH of 5.0 which is far too low for good beer results.

I appreciate Kai's work, but I am concerned with the pH prediction results his new calculator produces in the case I mention above. From what I can tell, it won't duplicate the very low pH observation I found with the grist above. Its this very acidic range that I think I have right in Bru'n Water that may not be accurately predicted in other calculators. I would appreciate some confirmation from others for that case.

With that said, Kai did point out that I screwed up the acid malt contribution in Bru'n Water and he is correct. I thought I had correlated the acid malt response to provide a 0.1 unit pH drop with a 1% acid malt addition, but I see that the results don't agree with that assumption. I'll be posting a new version of the free Bru'n Water in the next few days on the Bru'n Water website. That also means that I'll have to send out almost a thousand emails to the Bru'n Water supporters with the new information. Oh joy!

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Old 08-01-2013, 02:19 AM   #3
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I actually think the advice regularly given out (not by you Martin) to avoid adding alkalinity at all costs isn't great. Yes, I can see the logic as most tap water has some alkalinity in it, and your average brewer won't be well served by adding chalk/baking soda etc. However lots of people are now using RO water to brew with, and its hard to brew a beer with some measure of colour in it without needing some alkalinity.

Also, it seems very few people address the mash pH requirements of ale vs lager. It seems that the people calling for RO, a pinch of salt to get 50ppm Ca, and 3% acid malt in a pale beer are brewing lagers. The pH drop of a lager yeast during fermentation is less than that of an ale yeast. Do this with an ale, and your beer pH could be 4.0 or less due to the more aggresive fermentation, which kills the flavour. I suspect a mash target of 5.5-5.6 (room temp) is more appropriate for an ale ?

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Old 08-01-2013, 02:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by foles View Post
I actually think the advice regularly given out (not by you Martin) to avoid adding alkalinity at all costs isn't great. Yes, I can see the logic as most tap water has some alkalinity in it, and your average brewer won't be well served by adding chalk/baking soda etc. However lots of people are now using RO water to brew with, and its hard to brew a beer with some measure of colour in it without needing some alkalinity.
Very simple solution - hold your dark grains out of the mash. Instead steep them.
So take the 1 pound of roast barley out of the mash, steep, and add the liquid to the boil.

This may affect the taste of your beer too.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:12 PM   #5
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Very simple solution - hold your dark grains out of the mash. Instead steep them.
So take the 1 pound of roast barley out of the mash, steep, and add the liquid to the boil.

This may affect the taste of your beer too.
While this technique is effective in avoiding a lower than desirable pH in the mash, when you add the dark grain to the main wort, the kettle wort pH will drop similarly to as if you mashed everything together. This technique is similar to that used by Guinness to brew their dry stout. The result is a crisp and acidic flavor. That is good in that style, but it may not be right for your next beer. Including the appropriate amount of alkalinity in your brewing water is still an important consideration.
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:17 AM   #6
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While this technique is effective in avoiding a lower than desirable pH in the mash, when you add the dark grain to the main wort, the kettle wort pH will drop similarly to as if you mashed everything together. This technique is similar to that used by Guinness to brew their dry stout. The result is a crisp and acidic flavor. That is good in that style, but it may not be right for your next beer. Including the appropriate amount of alkalinity in your brewing water is still an important consideration.
This is interesting..... I think I understand the logic here. Calcium will interact with malt phospate elements to reduce pH, just as it would in the mash. Why is there a widely held belief that this won't happen outside of the mash ?

I am well and truly in the camp that buffers are important for fermentation and mash/wort pH can easily be reduced too far, therefore pushing the beer pH too low. I've had it many times after being scared into over acidifying my mash (old pH calibration solution & inaccurate measuring spoons didn't help my cause).
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:03 AM   #7
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I'll be posting a new version of the free Bru'n Water in the next few days on the Bru'n Water website.
Is there an easy way to transfer water profiles and input information from the older version to the newer? Also, would it make enough difference to warrant hand input of multiple different recipes if there weren't?
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:09 PM   #8
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Is there an easy way to transfer water profiles and input information from the older version to the newer? Also, would it make enough difference to warrant hand input of multiple different recipes if there weren't?
You should be able to copy and paste any of your input data from the blue cells into a new sheet. That should aid in speeding a transfer into the new sheet.

Foles, AJ and I had this discussion several months ago. Since all the soluble components from the malt make it into the wort and that is where that reserve of phosphatic compounds reside, adding calcium to that solution will result in the calcium complexing with the phosphatic compounds and precipitating from solution. It makes no difference if it is within the confines of the mash tun or boil kettle. It is a chemical reaction and not enzymatic and its result is the release of protons (acidification).
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:17 AM   #9
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Martin,

Any chance a future release of Bru n Water will have a "best fit" feature to get from the starting profile to the target profile automatically...or at least close

Thanks for all your work on this, I really like the program.

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Old 08-06-2013, 02:23 PM   #10
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interesting bit about the final beer ph. will have to check this on my next brew. i usually use mostly distilled with a gallon or so of tap, some salt additions + lactic to bring my mash ph to 5.4-5.6 at room temp.

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