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Old 07-09-2013, 04:45 PM   #1
seanppp
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Default Sparge water treatment

I do an English sparge (drain the wort out of the grains, then pour sparge water in for a "second mash", wait 10 minutes, and drain) and am unsure as to how to treat my sparge water.

I use the EZ water calculator to calculate my mash mineral and acid additions. And it tells me what minerals to add to the sparge water, but not how much acid. I use 4.75 gallons mash water and 1.5 gallons sparge water, so should I just do a scaled ratio of acid?

9ml lactic acid in 4.75 gal = 2.8ml in 1.5 gal

Or is the whole thing changed after the mash has taken place, thus wildly throwing off my sparge pH one way or the other.

Difficult question I guess, but maybe someone has experience with this.


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Old 07-09-2013, 04:56 PM   #2
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Just a novice here so take my advice lightly:

Your aim should be to bring your sparge water to under a 6.0 pH, generally aiming for about 5.6. This will ensure that you never creep up into the tannin extraction range of 6.0 or greater. Also, note that mash pH is generally lower at about 5.4 and is affected to some extent by salt and/or grain. Additionally, batch spargers are at much less risk of tannin extraction than are fly/continuous spargers (so no treatment might be perfectly fine). In order to get your sparge water into the proper range you will need to know the pH of your water and the amount of sparge water you'll be using, then plugging those amounts into a calculator like Bru'N Water spreadsheet will give you the proper milliliters to use.

I find that I'm generally using somewhere in the 3-4ml range of 88% lactic acid for 4.5-6 gallons of sparge water. I'm guessing that 9ml lactic will be way too much. I've ended up with beers that were too tart from using too much lactic acid, and even though they're still drinkable they would have been better with less lactic.

Give Bru'N water a shot. It's a little intimidating to look at, but after using it a couple times it's actually very easy to use. Plus I've found I'm having more favorable results using it than I did with EZwater or Brewer Friends Water Chemistry.

https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/


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Old 07-11-2013, 08:08 PM   #3
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Thanks stpug, I downloaded and used the Bru'n Water program.

I ran into some difficulty though. I nailed the suggested ion concentrations pretty much on the dot, including hitting the Alkalinity number within 2, but the mash pH shows 4.3 and it says "More Mash Water Alkalinity Needed." I don't understand!
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:20 PM   #4
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Start by making sure your mash volume, sparge volume, and batch size volumes are correct on all of the worksheets. You will need to enter them several times on the various worksheets.

If it all look in order then can you copy and paste the "5. Adjustment Summary" worksheet to a post here? Rows 3-25 would be sufficient
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seanppp View Post
Thanks stpug, I downloaded and used the Bru'n Water program.

I ran into some difficulty though. I nailed the suggested ion concentrations pretty much on the dot, including hitting the Alkalinity number within 2, but the mash pH shows 4.3 and it says "More Mash Water Alkalinity Needed." I don't understand!
AJ and Martin both regularly monitor the Science forum, and are incredible resources for water related questions, besides being patient beyond belief.

Before anyone else does, you are advised to read the sticky in the Science forum on water treatment, and obtain a water report from your supplier if you have not already..

Having said that, I generally have to acidify my sparge water a hair more than my mash water, due to the absence of grains affecting PH.

If your mash PH is coming in that low, I'm wondering what the composition of your water is, nd also curious if you need to acidify at all. Hopefully one of the water guru's can chime in here, good luck.
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:30 AM   #6
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Thanks JPFuller, I will try that out.

stpug, thanks for the offer to review my stuff. But I found out the problem! I'm stupid, turns out I wrote 400 instead of 40 for the color of my Crystal 40. This shot the acidification number way up, which thus screwed up my pH. Oops!!!!
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:07 AM   #7
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But regarding the water profile to aim for:

a) The recipe actually calls for a "Livermore" profile (not on Bru'n Water's presets) which is:
Calcium(Ca): 25.0 ppm
Magnesium(Mg): 12.0 ppm
Sodium(Na): 74.0 ppm
Sulfate(SO4): 44.0 ppm
Chloride(Cl): 104.0 ppm
biCarbonate(HCO3): 101.7 ppm
pH: 8.33

...which is pretty different from the Flemish presets, and I'm not sure why.

b) If it is better to ignore the Livermore settings and go with one of the Flemish presets, which do I go with? Why are they different and what does it mean when one says "(boiled)" after it?


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