Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Hey Martin! A question about bicarbonate
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:49 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by jmf143 View Post
Does it matter in the finished beer which of these 2 methods are used (assuming same mash pH and ppm of Ca, Cl, SO4 etc in finished beer):

Mix tap water + RO water for both mash and sparge, and use "less" acid malt in grist and acidify sparge water

OR

Use all tap water for mash plus "more" acid malt in grist and use all RO water (no acidification) for sparging.

I'm trying to determine the best way to reduce/neutralize bicarbonate - acid reduction or dilution - all else being equal.
On a first level of appoximation I would say no. You are adding the same amount of acid and minerals.

There might be some minor 2nd order differences. I like the idea of mashing with tap water and sparging with R/O water when suitable. That saves you the mixing steps.

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Old 02-06-2013, 10:03 PM   #32
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Again, many thanks to AJ, Martin and Kai for their help, patience and understanding. I plan to put together a "cheat sheet" of sorts for my own beers where I know how I will dilute, what additions I will make, etc. for each style or at least each color range. I recently went back and looked at a bunch of beers that turned out exceptional and it turns out that most of these can be traced back to using distilled water as a part of the brewing water. They also happen to have a larger amount of calcium chloride added back than gypsum... once again securing the idea that my tastebuds do not like an overabundance of sulfate. In some cases it was 2-to-1 and in some cases, 3-to-1 chloride over sulfate. Cheers and thanks again.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:52 PM   #33
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This Thread is very helpfull . But , my Problem is on the contrary .

I use only pale malt in the mash and the mash pH is very low ( Under 5 at mash Temp. ) .

My Water Profile :

Ca = 78.5 ppm

Mg = 18.7 ppm

Na = 6.2 ppm

Cl = 28 ppm

SO4 = 20 ppm

Bicarb. = 280 ppm

pH = 7.2

Is it possible to add the crushed malt to the water at room Temperature and let it sit for at least 30 minutes and then check the pH and add enough Baking soda to raise the pH to the desired range and then raising the Temperature to 150 F ?!

Would it lead to harsh after-taste , too ?!

Hector
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:07 AM   #34
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Something does not compute. There is no way you could get mash pH under 5 by mixing pale malt with water with this level of bicarbonate content. How do you measure pH? Besides which mash pH should be measured at room temperature.
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:35 AM   #35
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I agree with AJ, there is no way that a pale malt grist in that water would produce a pH of 5. I cannot even see it getting down to 6.0. Something is wrong in the measurement or the reported water quality.
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:42 AM   #36
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To "Ajdelange" and "mabrungard" :

I use a digital pH Meter which is calibrated before mashing .

The Water Profile is written on the label of the bottled spring water I use .

My Problem is that after adding the crushed grain into the water , it takes relatively long for the pH to drop to the desired range which is 5.3-5.6 at room Temperature . Although , it continues dropping until it reaches under 5.3 . I want the pH to stay in that range because I do a Protein Rest first . My pale malt is moderately modified .

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Old 02-19-2013, 01:51 PM   #37
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You might want to take a look at http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/ph-...ration-302256/ to be sure there isn't some subtlety about pH meter calibration and measurement that you have missed such as the use of fresh buffers, stability checks etc.

It is quite normal for the pH to continue to drop for a long time but 5.3 seems quite low for that level of bicarbonate so I'd do the stability check.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:05 PM   #38
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Quote:
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It is quite normal for the pH to continue to drop for a long time but 5.3 seems quite low for that level of bicarbonate so I'd do the stability check.
Lets assume that I check the stability of the Meter and it's alright , then what should I do ?

I've also decided to use RO-Water and add CaSO4 , CaCl2 and NaHCO3 and make a mini-mash Test with it . But , I do partial mash and I don't know how much of these salts would be added to the Wort by DME .

I mean , for example , if my DME would bring a great concentration of Sodium and Sulfate to the Wort , then I would probably have a harsh tasting Beer at the end .

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Old 02-19-2013, 03:26 PM   #39
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Lets assume that I check the stability of the Meter and it's alright , then what should I do ?
Then you will keep looking for the source of the inconsistency. The pH meter check is easy to do as it consists simply of measuring the two buffers at time intervals after the calibration (be sure to rinse and blot in between measurements).
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:41 PM   #40
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Sorry for steering this discussion a bit off course but I have a question regarding bicarbonate. Are there any advantages, taste-wise, to having bicarbonate in your brewing water? I know that if I choose a particular style in the Bru'n Water spreadsheet, it will give a "desired" bicarbonate level. I brew exclusively with RO water which I have a water report for (with typical CaCl2, CaSO4 and acidulated malt additions) using BIAB and make a lot of milds and ESBs. If bicarbonate adds nothing to the taste profile of the beer, then it seems silly for me to be adding NaHCO3 to hit the desired level just so I can neutralize it with an extra ounce or two of acidulated malt. But if bicarbonate does, at low levels, add something positive to the beer, then I'd guess I'd add it. I haven't worried about it and just went with the very low level of bicarbonate that is in my RO water even if it's far below the "desired" level for a style/color of beer. Everything seems ok to me but I'd change protocols if I heard different from the water experts here. Thanks!
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