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Old 08-12-2013, 03:49 AM   #741
ajdelange
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It's already there in most mashes - it is the cause of most of the alkalinity in potable and brewing water. That's why it is the most important of the polyprotic acids. The failure to model it as such by most spreadsheets results in calculating a bicarbonate content of water of alkalinity 100 as 122 at pH 6 (where it is 122) and 7 (where it is actually 120) and pH 8.3 (where it is actually 118). Or, conversely, to calculate the alkalinity of water given bicarbonate content incorrectly. Though the errors are small they are of the order of magnitude caused by approximations that don't model phosphate completely.

The proper modeling of carbonic acid is also important where brewers try to emulate a natural carbonaceous water. The only way to get a close fit to a natural water is add chalk and/or sodium bicarbonate and supply CO2 until the desired pH is reached.

In attempting to predict mash pH one has to consider the polyprotic nature of the carbo system (as he does the phospho if he has used phosphoric acid).

Perhaps another way to express what I am trying to say is that many of the spreadsheets/calculators seem to fail to recognize that 1 M does not mean 1 N for many of the acids we consider such as carbonic, phosphoric, lactic and citric.


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Old 08-15-2013, 01:34 AM   #742
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AJ ,
thank you so much. Decided to take the plunge into understanding water as it pertains to brewing couple weeks ago. Because of this thread and your general knowledge I have been saved from many misconceptions and fruitless efforts.
Reading you answer the same questions over and over again actually served quite well to beat the general ideas into my mind. It will take time but eventually all brewers will come to understand your findings and beer all over will be the better for it. Got a pH meter on the way and will be making adjustments based on my taste.

thanks again


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Old 08-15-2013, 01:16 PM   #743
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Thank you for the kind words. They are much appreciated!
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:58 PM   #744
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
There is no need to do this with DI water. To begin with its pH is probably pretty close to 5.6 from carbon dioxide in the air. More to the point: it's pH doesn't matter because it has no buffering capacity and thus cannot pull the pH of the runoff (it contains no bicarbonate - or precious little - to neutralize malt acids).
Thanks for answering my question. I am going to re-work my plan for water treatment and this time follow the primer in the OP. I have a couple more questions. Note: My original question was about treating sparge water, these are now just about the mash.


So it's safe to assume that the pH of DI water is around 5.6 for the sake of brewing with it? Is this the same with RO water?

Since DI water has no buffering capacity, and there are acids present in malt, a mash containing only DI water and a grist of base malt (2-row) will have a pH around 5.6 or lower, correct?

^If that is correct, then adding 1-2% acidulated malt will get the mash pH in the 5.3-5.4 range, correct? From this point wouldn't adding salts like CaCl and CaSO cause the pH to go too low?

I am wanting to brew a hoppy pale ale - About 5.3% abv and a shade under 50 IBUs mashing with 5 gallons of 100% DI water. I am going to follow the British beer profile in the OP

So, this would give me the base line of 1tsp CaCl + an additional tsp of CaCl + 1tsp gypsum.

When I enter this into a calculator (brewer's friend website) I get:

93 ppm Calcium
119 ppm Chloride
61 ppm Sulfate

pH = 5.37 at room temp
--------------

I know from reading your other posts you don't agree with amping up the sulfate to high amounts that are often suggested for hoppy beers (125+ ppm of sulfate), BUT, it seems like the ratio of Sulfate to Chloride is completely backwards for a hoppy beer?

The mash pH looks good, but this is without adding 1-2% acid malt as the primer suggests in the first post.


Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions!!
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Old 08-17-2013, 11:52 PM   #745
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stankonia View Post
So it's safe to assume that the pH of DI water is around 5.6 for the sake of brewing with it? Is this the same with RO water?
More or less. But it is more important to understand that the pH of the water is immaterial because of the lack of mineral content. It will go to whatever pH is dictated by the things you add (malts, acids, bases, salts).

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Originally Posted by Stankonia View Post
Since DI water has no buffering capacity, and there are acids present in malt, a mash containing only DI water and a grist of base malt (2-row) will have a pH around 5.6 or lower, correct?
That depends on the amount of acid in the particular malts. Most base malts have a natural (DI water pH) around 5.7 but some base malts have lower values (as low as 5.60 and highly colored malts can have DI pH values of as low as 4 and perhaps even below that.


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Originally Posted by Stankonia View Post
If that is correct, then adding 1-2% acidulated malt will get the mash pH in the 5.3-5.4 range, correct? From this point wouldn't adding salts like CaCl and CaSO cause the pH to go too low?
With base malt pH of 5.75, 2% acidulated would get you to approximately 5.55 and 1% to 5.65. If the base malt pH were 5.65 2% would get you to 5.45 etc. Of course if there is any colored malt in the grist that will have a pH lowering effect.

Calcium does release hydrogen ions and thus lower pH but the effect is not a strong one. The acid (from sauermalz or added lactic or phosphoric) will usually be the dominant influence but one should consider the effects of calcium as well. Most of the spreadsheets calculate a pH depression from this effect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stankonia View Post
I am wanting to brew a hoppy pale ale ... I am going to follow the British beer profile in the OP ... base line of 1tsp CaCl + an additional tsp of CaCl + 1tsp gypsum...brewer's friend website) I get:

93 ppm Calcium
119 ppm Chloride
61 ppm Sulfate

pH = 5.37 at room temp
--------------

I know from reading your other posts you don't agree with amping up the sulfate to high amounts that are often suggested for hoppy beers (125+ ppm of sulfate), BUT, it seems like the ratio of Sulfate to Chloride is completely backwards for a hoppy beer?
I personally don't, in general, like heavily hopped beers and especially don't like them when the hops are rendered harsh by the sulfate levels that many folks love. So I tend to advise people to start modest with the sulfate. I'd brew the beer with 1 tsp each and then add more in the glass to see if I liked the effect, reserving the decision as to whether to add more gypsum until after those taste tests.

I do strongly advise against getting hung up on the chloride/sulfate ratio as a beer design parameter. Chloride has its effects and sulfate has its. While they are not orthogonal they are not antipodal either so you need to experiment to see what each does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stankonia View Post
The mash pH looks good, but this is without adding 1-2% acid malt as the primer suggests in the first post.
Unless your grist contains some caramel, crystal or other colored malt it is likely you will need some sauermalz. The only way to be sure is to use a pH meter.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:29 PM   #746
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Hi, I am going to be brewing an imperial stout:
12 lb pale malt
2 lb Munich malt
1 lb chocolate malt
1lb 120 L crystal
1 lb oatmeal
1/4 lb smoked malt
1/4 lb black malt
1/2 lb roasted barley

hops are low alpha types
1 oz Fuggles / boil
1 oz Crystal / aroma
1 oz Liberty / Flavor

And here is my water report:

Sodium, Na 8
Potassium, K 2
Calcium, Ca 12
Magnesium, Mg 1
Total Hardness, CaCO3 34
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.3 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 4
Chloride, Cl 8
Carbonate, CO3 3
Bicarbonate, HCO3 28
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 28

Should I treat my water as you said ( 1 tsp calcium cloride per 5 gal) ?
Also, what do you think of the recipe itself - any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks for a great article on h2o chemistry, and hope to hear from you soon !!!

Stewart
HighTower Home Brewery
Ball Ground, GA
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:57 PM   #747
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsunshades View Post
Hi, I am going to be brewing an imperial stout:
12 lb pale malt
2 lb Munich malt
1 lb chocolate malt
1lb 120 L crystal
1 lb oatmeal
1/4 lb smoked malt
1/4 lb black malt
1/2 lb roasted barley

hops are low alpha types
1 oz Fuggles / boil
1 oz Crystal / aroma
1 oz Liberty / Flavor
I think the recipe looks good. I'm not a fan of crystal hops. They taste soapy to me, but that's a personal preference. Sorry I can't be of assistance on the water profile. What's the starting gravity, IBU, and ABV?
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:46 PM   #748
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The big decision you have to make, IMO, is as to whether you want sulfate in this beer. My usual recommendation is to leave it out, IOW to just brew with some calcium chloride and then taste test with and without some gyspsum additions in the glass to see if you like what sulfate does. Then brew it in the future with or without the sulfate according to what your taste tests tell you.

If I were doing this beer I would probably start with half a tsp of CaCl2/5 gal because it is going to be a pretty rich beer as is and you might not want as much chloride effect as you would in a less rich brew. Again, you can start low and experiment with calcium chloride taste test additions in the glass.

You have quite a bit of high colored malt in this recipe. There is some danger that your pH will drop too low. Some would advise you to add bicarbonate to insure that this doesn't happen. That would be good advice if they could assure you that mash pH won't go too high. The best thing to do would be to check the pH of a small test mash with a meter. If you can't do that I'd try the beer without any bicarbonate. At some point, if you want to brew beers with high colored malts, a pH meter is going to be a necessity. It is also a very valuable tool for brewing light beers.
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Old 09-09-2013, 03:03 PM   #749
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First, I'd like to add my thanks to the long list in this thread. Fortunately, it started right around the time I was getting interested in water and I think it saved me from many common pitfalls. I'm eagerly awaiting the water book from Palmer and Kaminski, and I'm glad to hear that they consulted you during the editing process.

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I do strongly advise getting hung up on the chloride/sulfate ratio as a beer design parameter. Chloride has its effects and sulfate has its. Why they are not orthogonal they are not antipodal either so you need to experiment to see what each does.
Can you clarify a bit here? It sounds like you're saying that the ratio isn't as important as the overall levels of chloride and sulfate. That is, their contributions are largely independent and don't necessarily negate each other. Thus, a 1:1 ratio at 50 ppm will have a different character than the same ratio at 75 ppm?
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:51 PM   #750
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[QUOTE=yogensha;5496819
Can you clarify a bit here? It sounds like you're saying that the ratio isn't as important as the overall levels of chloride and sulfate. That is, their contributions are largely independent and don't necessarily negate each other. Thus, a 1:1 ratio at 50 ppm will have a different character than the same ratio at 75 ppm?[/QUOTE]

Yes, that's what I am saying but I can see how you might have been confused by the quote in which I left out a very important word. I advise against getting hung up on the ratio concept.


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