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Old 07-27-2009, 08:39 PM   #1
schristian619
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Default water building noob

So I decided that I'd like to start building my brew water from scratch to experiment with various profiles. Up to this point, I have simply been using tap water run through a charcoal filter, per local breweries recomendation. My plan is to buy distilled, R/O water and build up the profile from there. I know the mash water is important for the pH, but the volume of sparge water running through the grain seems like it would need to be treated as well. My question is, do I build the mash water, sparge water, or both?

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Old 07-27-2009, 08:49 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schristian619 View Post
My question is, do I build the mash water, sparge water, or both?
I am not a water expert and I haven't even tasted my beers with water adjustments yet as they are fermenting but yes you want to build both.

Put in the minerals after you have put the grains in and give it a minute. This way the PH of the mash will lower to allow for the disolving of the minerals that can't dissolve, at least as fast as you want with a PH of 7-8.

I then put together the minerals for the remaining water that will be in the kettle. So if you mash with 3 gallons and then sparge with 5 gallons to get probably about 7 gallons of boil water after the grain absorption etc... you will want to treat that extra 4 gallons by putting it into the boil kettle.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:58 PM   #3
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Yup, he is right.

I recommend Brewater 3.0 for building water easily.

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Old 07-28-2009, 03:23 AM   #4
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Just so I understand, I dough in with my r/o water, then add minerals to the mash and stir in. Then I add the remaining minerals to the runoff and NOT to the HLT to account for minerals that may not dissolve as quickly. Is that correct? Do I calculate the amount of minerals to add to the kettle based on sparge volume, or pre-boil volume? I assume it's based on sparge volume since the mash water has already been treated.

I looked up Brewater, seems like a cool program. Too bad I use a mac. Maybe I can use it at work and print my calculations or something.

Thanks for the replies.

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Old 07-28-2009, 03:35 AM   #5
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I used beersmith with my recent water calculations and the help of The Pol. I added the minerals to the crushed grain and figured they would get mixed up into the mash water along with the grain. Why waste the heat escaping from the mash tun twice, it will dissolve quickly with the pH drop. I then added minerals to the boil kettle based on how much water I sparged with. I mashed with 4 gallons and sparged with 4 so my calculations were relatively easy.

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Old 07-28-2009, 03:50 AM   #6
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cool...thanks. I'll play around with beertools and beeralchemy and see if either do any water calculations. But I do plan on downloading brewater at work as a back-up.

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Old 07-28-2009, 05:01 AM   #7
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The Pol recommended it to me (Brewater) as well and I did download it and it seems to work well. I relied on Beersmith and double checked everything with Brewater and they were the same readouts. I simply didn't want to learn the new software on brew day but I plan on giving it more of a go later on when I have the time.

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Old 07-28-2009, 11:51 AM   #8
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Calculate what you need to add TOTAL to your batch to match a certain water profile. Add a portion of pH affecting compounds (SO4, Ca, etc.) to the mash to hit pH, then add the rest of the compounds to make up the difference to the boil-kettle to hit flavor profile, yeast health levels, etc.

Brewwater 3.0 works pretty good, but this link is also more self explanitory, with more of a "how does this affect the final output" type interface.

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