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Old 03-05-2013, 01:16 AM   #1
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Default Water Analysis - Few Questions

Good evening,

Did the Ward test a few months back and here are the results:

Ph 7.7
TDS 173
Sodium 10 ppm
Potassium 4
Calcium 21
Magnesium 8
Tot. Hardness 86
Sulfate 16
Chloride 26
Carbonate <1
Bicarbonate 28
Tot Alkalinity 23
Fluoride 0.97

I do not dilute, just filter through a carbon block to remove chlorine. Not trying to reproduce a historic water, just want to boost the Calcium to at least 50 and manage the Mash/Sparge Ph. I run each batch through Bru'n Water and add Gypsum, Lactic Acid and Calcium Chloride as needed.

Getting ready to brew Denny's BV Porter this weekend, and with the additions Bru'n Water cranks out:

Calcium 51
Magnesium 7
Sodium 10
Sulfate 30
Chloride 70
Bicarbonate 34
Est. PH 5.1

My questions are:

1. Anyone feel with the the info. in the water report that I should be diluting for every batch?

2. The low Ph concerns me for this recipe. It actually came in at 4.6, but I removed the 1/2 lb. Choc. Malt, since I add it to the mash towards the end of the sparge. Am I correct with this logic?

3. Should I run the batch as is or make corrections to raise the Ph? Looks like I can add a gram of Baking Soda and hit the desired 5.3, but then Bicarbonate shoots up to 73. Is this Bicarbonate level a real concern?

Thanks for the help.

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Old 03-05-2013, 01:24 AM   #2
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In my experience 73 would be on the low end for something like that BVIP. I'd raise my alkalinity using pickling lime, given a choice, though. Also, don't add any baking soda / lime to your sparge water.

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Old 03-05-2013, 02:01 AM   #3
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I don't think you'll need any additional alkalinity. I predict a mash pH of 5.4 with this calculator:

I went with this recipe:

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Old 03-05-2013, 02:32 AM   #4
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That water looks fine. There is no reason to dilute it.

I'm not a big fan of reserving the roast grains from the main mash, but if you don't have a way to get enough alkalinity into the mashing water, you have to do what you have to do!

With 10 ppm sodium, there is plenty of headroom to add baking soda to provide more alkalinity. Keep the Na below 50 ppm in the mashing water and the ending concentration will be well below the upper limit since baking soda is not added to the sparging water. Adding 0.5 gram per gallon of mash water will add 36 ppm Na and boost the mash alkalinity by 80 ppm (as CaCO3). That should be OK. It looks like you wouldn't necessarily have to reserve those roast grains.

If Bru'n Water says that the mash pH will be low, its pretty likely to occur. This is an area where calculators diverge. My data says that you will need the alkalinity. That recipe grist should have a fairly high amount of acidity and require the alkalinity in the mashing water.
Martin B
Carmel, IN
BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

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Old 03-05-2013, 03:44 AM   #5
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Thanks again for the great info.

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