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Old 12-04-2007, 03:34 PM   #1
Reverend JC
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Default Help with my Water Profile.

I have been Ag brewing now for about a year to the week now. I have Never paid attention to my water profile or pH or anything other than the temp of my strike and mash.

With that said i have made beers that are outstanding. But, being the competative person that i am i think i can make them better. While at the LHBS yesterday and working my first Oatmeal Stout Recipe he suggested tossing some gypsum in the mash. Then he went on to say that i should add a teaspoon to every beer i make. I am sitting at work trying to read through palmers book that talks about it but i need someone to look at my water profile and tell me what it all means.

Water Quality Parameters 12/18/06
Lincoln's water is moderately hard. Alkalinity, pH, and hardness are important if considering a water softner.

pH (in pH units) 7.71

Total Alkalinity (CaCO3) 188 ppm
Total Hardness (CaCO3)
(12 grains per gallon) 200 ppm
Total Dissolved Solids 331 ppm
Calcium 59.3 ppm
Chloride 16.9 ppm
Iron <0.05 ppm
Manganese 3.38 ppb
Sodium 23.9 ppm
Sulfate 52 ppm

So, will gypsum be helpful to me in ALL of my beers? Will gypsum hurt the hardness of the water? Do i want that when making a stout? Don't you want hard water to make a stout?

help.

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Old 12-04-2007, 04:01 PM   #2
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Hey JC,
I've struggled with this as well and I must be chemistry challenged when it comes to figuring this stuff out. Luckily, one of the guys in my brew club is a genius. He has a spreadsheet that you can plug your water info into and then based upon what changes you make to the water (adding gypsum, calcium chloride, etc.), it tells you if the changed water fits the style. It's all based on Residual Alkalinity. I'll see if I can fill out the basic info for you and attach the file.

edit: is there anyway to add an attachment to a post? it's an excel spreadsheet.

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Old 12-04-2007, 04:20 PM   #3
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Your report doesn't give a measurement for MG does it?

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Old 12-04-2007, 04:32 PM   #4
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Here's what I came up with using Palmer's spreadsheet.

Effective Hardness = 44.3
Residual Alkalinity as CaCO3 = 109.8
SRM range = 14-19

So, I'd say you could benefit from gypsum for anything lighter than a (dark) brown. For Porters and stouts it wouldn't help, and may make your mash too acidic.


EDIT - I read the Mangenese as Magnesium. Flyguy's nomograph below is probably closer to the truth.

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Old 12-04-2007, 04:34 PM   #5
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Emailed the spreadsheet to you. You'll need to figure MG as CaCO3 though, I didn't get that one done.

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Old 12-04-2007, 04:42 PM   #6
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The spreadsheet that Palmer has online has been invaluable for me. I think its in Chapter 15 on the web. You need to get all your ions in PPM, not as CaCO3, but his stuff has some basic calculations to convert between the two. After that, RA and SRM are key. I don't think that any water profile could benefit from ANY mineral addition in ALL beers. Anytime anyone tells you to add any mineral to all your beers, I would be hesistant to listen to that advice. I also don't understand why anyone would tell you to put Gypsum in your stouts. The sulfate is great for increasing the perception of dryness (good for a stout), but the Ca will work to lower your mash pH, which the acidic, dark grains are already doing. Good luck.

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Old 12-04-2007, 05:20 PM   #7
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I quickly ran these numbers, although I had to back-calculate your dissolved Mg from your total hardness. I ended up getting about 63 ppm, if my calculations are correct -- check that against your water report to be sure. (Basically, I converted your Ca hardness in ppm to CaCO3 equivalents, subtracted this from your total hardness to get Mg hardness, and converted back to Mg ppm.)

It looks like your water has moderate to moderately-high residual alkalinity. I did up a quick nomograph (a la Palmer; see attached zip file) to visualize it. The nomograph predicts that you should be able to brew beers with small to moderate amounts of roasted grains with no problem (e.g., bitters, ambers, browns, bocks, etc.). I suspect you could brew everything except for the lightest and absolutely darkest beers without any water modification. But if you wanted to brew a pils or really light lager, you could easily just dilute your tap water with demineralized water. If you wanted to brew are really dark stout, you could add a small amount of gypsum. Since you already have access to Palmer's spreadsheet, that would help you to determine the correct quantities.

nomograph.jpg
Palmers Mash pH nomograph.zip

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Old 12-04-2007, 05:21 PM   #8
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Thank you for the replies, and for the spread sheet jdoiv.


I am going to get to work on the next phase of my brewing which is water profile.

thank you all.

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Old 12-04-2007, 05:35 PM   #9
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Flyguy-

When i made my Kolsch i used 90% RO water and it turned out phenominal. That was blind luck on my part i just knew that RO water would simulate the soft water i was looking for.

I have only made one dark beer, a vanilla porter that was an extract beer (my second beer ever) and have not done one until i attempt this stout. Thank you for the help!

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Last edited by Reverend JC; 12-04-2007 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 12-05-2007, 01:19 AM   #10
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If you have the Solver add-in for Excel (comes on the MS Office disk but may not have been loaded in the initial install), I have a spreadsheet in the software forum that is based on the Palmer spreadsheet with qite a few added features (such as having the option to add items as either ppm or CaCO3 equivalents and a water optimizer based the beer you want to make).

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