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Old 07-17-2012, 04:28 PM   #1
Locham
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Default Water report - should I adjust?

I've had an issue with head retention lately, and I wonder if my water profile has something to do with it. I've started cleaning my glassware with just hot water and then drying by hand, in order to eliminate the detergent effect on head retention - I haven't noticed anything different from before, so I don't think my glassware is the problem.

I live overseas, so I haven't the foggiest idea of where to get a professional independent water report, but here's what my water company put out as its average rates for the last 6 months:

Turbidity: 0.24
Chloride: 51-134 ppm (mean: 95 ppm)
hardness: 175-277 ppm (mean: 238 ppm)
pH: 7.1-8.0 (mean: 7.5)
Chlorine: 0.44 ppm
Flouride: 0.57-0.80 ppm (mean: 0.71 ppm)
Calcium: 65 ppm
Magnesium: 27 ppm
Sulfate: 42 ppm
Sodium: Best answer I can find is 131 ppm

For the two beers in question (new-ish brewer), I've used a Culligan RV-500A water filter to clean up the chlorine...but perhaps it also removes other things I might need to be worried about?

Here's the two beers, below. Both had been carbed/conditioned in the bottle for at least 3 weeks at over 70* F, and then refrigerated for at least two weeks.

Any advice? Thanks!

The first beer: Partial Mash of Edwort's Haus Pale Ale:
Style: American Pale Ale
TYPE: Partial Mash

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 7.26 gal
Post Boil Volume: 6.76 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.50 gal
Bottling Volume: 6.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.044 SG
Estimated Color: 4.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 34.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 70.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
2 lbs Vienna Malt (Briess) (3.5 SRM) Grain 1 26.7 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 2 6.7 %
5 lbs DME Golden Light (Briess) (4.0 SRM) Dry Extract 3 66.7 %
1.00 oz Cascade [6.80 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 4 21.8 IBUs
0.50 oz Cascade [6.80 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 5 8.4 IBUs
0.25 oz Cascade [6.80 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 6 2.7 IBUs
0.25 oz Cascade [6.80 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 7 1.1 IBUs
1.0 pkg Nottingham (Danstar #-) [23.66 ml] Yeast 8 -


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 7 lbs 8.0 oz
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 3.50 qt of water and heat to 169.0 169.0 F 60 min
Mash Step Add 4.00 qt of water at 171.0 F 170.0 F 10 min

Sparge: Fly sparge with 5.68 gal water at 168.0 F
Notes:
------
Bottled 14 MAY 2012. Undershot the carbonation by about half an ounce. Still within style, but on the low end. Not on purpose - underestimated the amount of finished beer that there would be.



Beer 2: AG 'Cervesa de Malto Seca'
Style: Dry Stout
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 7.22 gal
Post Boil Volume: 5.82 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Bottling Volume: 5.05 gal
Estimated OG: 1.042 SG
Estimated Color: 33.7 SRM
Estimated IBU: 41.1 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 73.3 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
6 lbs 4.0 oz Pale Ale (Crisp) (4.0 SRM) Grain 1 69.4 %
1 lbs 12.0 oz Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM) Grain 2 19.4 %
1 lbs Black Barley (Stout) (500.0 SRM) Grain 3 11.1 %
1.79 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.80 %] - Boil 60.0 Hop 4 41.1 IBUs
0.25 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 5 -
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) Yeast 6 -


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 9 lbs
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash Step Add 13.70 qt of water at 158.4 F 150.0 F 60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun, , 5.38gal) of 168.0 F water
Notes:
------
A few notes:

1) Strike water was right temperature, but hit only 147 degrees after initial infusion. Added additional water from pot, and then added boiling water from kettle to bring it up to 151. Did not conduct protein rest that the recipe called for - not sure what the result will be for not doing that.

2) Temperature at 15 min: 149.2, 30 min: 148.6, 45 min: 147.7. Temperature mostly dropped due to opening/closing MLT in order to stir the mash.

3) Boiloff was just about right.

4) Hydrometer reads +0.003. Whatever the gravity reading is, adjust for temperature, then subtract 0.003.

5) Added irish moss at 15 minutes. Took 4 oz of wort and put it in the fridge. Added 1/4 tsp of irish moss once it was cooled, shook it vigorously, and added to boiling wort with 10 minutes remaining.

Fermentation notes:

1) Krausen formed within 8 hours.

2) Swamp cooler style fermemtation - rotated water bottles 1-2 times a day to keep temperatures around 65-68.

3) last week of fermentation increased temperature gradually to 71. Last day forgot to add ice water and temperature went up to 73. Interested in the effect this might have on

Bottling notes:

Bottling date: 15 Jun 12

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Old 07-17-2012, 04:38 PM   #2
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I doubt your water is the cause of your head retention issue. However, that water is rather horrible for brewing. Your alkalinity is most likely quite high, so you'll have trouble getting your mash pH in line (5.3-5.5 at room temp). Also your sodium is quite high.

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Old 07-17-2012, 05:19 PM   #3
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If the sodium is actually that high, then the alkalinity is also quite high. More than likely, the alkalinity is the main culprit in creating the poor head. The mash pH is probably far too high and the wort is not properly converted or composed. Diluting the water with RO would help reduce the sodium and alkalinity to more reasonable concentrations. Using acid will also be an important skill to master for both the mash and sparging water. May I suggest Bru'n Water to help you with your water issues.

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Old 07-17-2012, 05:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
If the sodium is actually that high, then the alkalinity is also quite high. More than likely, the alkalinity is the main culprit in creating the poor head. The mash pH is probably far too high and the wort is not properly converted or composed. Diluting the water with RO would help reduce the sodium and alkalinity to more reasonable concentrations. Using acid will also be an important skill to master for both the mash and sparging water. May I suggest Bru'n Water to help you with your water issues.
I'm curious, since I don't know, what does the alkalinity/mash PH do to effect the head?
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:43 PM   #5
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Martin, thank you for your software. It'll definitely help! I moved my question (and your answers) to the Brew Science thread, as that's probably the best place for it. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/bre...2/#post4258574

Cheers,

Ken

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Old 07-17-2012, 09:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afr0byte View Post
I'm curious, since I don't know, what does the alkalinity/mash PH do to effect the head?
Of course, alkalinity affects the mash pH in conjunction with the mash. The pH could significantly effect the conversion since the various enzymes have their pH and temperature sweetspots. That pH issue COULD affect the head, but there could be other factors like an overattenuated wort, insufficient proteins or beta-glucans in the wort, or other head-killing components. Its all a guess at this point. We don't even know how far out the mash pH was.
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Old 07-18-2012, 02:54 PM   #7
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Very true. The dry stout was my first effort into AG, and while I'm generally happy with the results, I suppose it could be a lot better. I must admit I didn't really look too closely at my tap water profile before brewing...I assumed that all was well, and just used an RV filter to clean out the chlorine, etc. I assumed that further brewing chemistry was just for that extra 'kick'! Naturally, when you assume, you make an a$$ out of "u" and "me". I didn't even check the mash pH!

So here's my plan. Ordered an RO system just a few minutes ago from Bulk Reef Supplies, along with a TDS. Since the quality of my tap water is variable at best, and the the alkalinity in bottled water around here is also high (and relatively expensive), I'll experiment with using just RO water and adjusting chemicals up from there. And I'll check my mash pH.

I appreciate the education! So much to learn....

Ken

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