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“Rochefort” water Profile

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jam095

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Hey guys, started building up a water profile on Bru’n Water for a BDS. Opted for the Rochefort profile, since I will be using WLP540 strain. However, having trouble getting my Calcium and Bicarbonate anywhere close to the suggested levels. Looks like chalk covers both minerals, but per the spreadsheet is not reliably effective without a lot of extra work. Any suggestions?
 

RPh_Guy

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Any suggestions?
Do not target a water profile for a particular locale.

1. Chloride, sulfate, sodium, and magnesium are the flavor ions. You can achieve desired concentrations with calcium chloride, gypsum, table/canning salt, and epsom salt.
2. Add acid or base to reach your desired mash pH (around 5.2-5.6). Never add base to sparge water, only mash water.
3. Neutralize any alkalinity in your sparge water if applicable.
 
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jam095

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So Calcium is irrelevant?
 

Big Monk

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Hey guys, started building up a water profile on Bru’n Water for a BDS. Opted for the Rochefort profile, since I will be using WLP540 strain. However, having trouble getting my Calcium and Bicarbonate anywhere close to the suggested levels. Looks like chalk covers both minerals, but per the spreadsheet is not reliably effective without a lot of extra work. Any suggestions?
In my experience, when doing something in the ballpark of Rochefort, I would concentrate more on fermentation and recipe rather than water.

Typically I would just get the calcium to 40-50 ppm using a combination Gypsum and Calcium Chloride and add Magnesium Sulfate and Sodium to taste to round it out.

What does your recipe look like?
 

RPh_Guy

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^ This.
Calcium can potentially affect yeast behavior somewhat, but your CaCl2 and CaSO4 additions should get you up to a "normal" level (40ppm+).
 
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jam095

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Guys, I appreciate the suggestions.. I suppose this is why I’m so hesitant to post on here. Fermentation and recipe are covered.. I’m happy to share my recipe, but I know it’s solid. I’m asking a water question. I am using Bru’n Water, and looking to match Rochefort’s profile, bc that’s what I want to do. If I didn’t care about my profile, I wouldn’t use Bru’n Water.

15 lb Castle Pils
3 lb Weyermann Munich I
1 lb Aromatic
.25 lb Special B
2 lb D180 (Near end of fermentation)

Hops- 35 IBU
WLP 540
Step Mash 122, 150, 158, 168
2 hr boil
 
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Vale71

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Guys, I appreciate the suggestions.. I suppose this is why I’m so hesitant to post on here. Fermentation and recipe are covered.. I’m happy to share my recipe, but I know it’s solid. I’m asking a water question.
OK. What's the question?
 

Vale71

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See OP. How to elevate calcium and Bicarbonate, WITHOUT elevating sulfates and chlorides
The only way to do so is to add calcium carbonate, which will not work without a lot of extra work as CaCO3 is hardly soluble in water.
Alternatively you have to look for a source of water that is alredy rich in carbonate hardness.
 

ccous

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I do not think that’s possible, unless you to use pickling lime, which will bring the pH up way too high which you will definitely want to avoid. You’re already showing a high mash pH, which would be helped by adding caso4 and cacl. I know you are trying to avoid so4 and cl, but honestly adding a bit more won’t have a huge flavor impact (or mouthfeel, likely); the ‘profile’ you want just isn’t feasible when trying to build your own water, I don’t think. That’s a natural source water that seems pretty hard to build yourself.
 

Big Monk

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Guys, I appreciate the suggestions.. I suppose this is why I’m so hesitant to post on here. Fermentation and recipe are covered.. I’m happy to share my recipe, but I know it’s solid. I’m asking a water question. I am using Bru’n Water, and looking to match Rochefort’s profile, bc that’s what I want to do. If I didn’t care about my profile, I wouldn’t use Bru’n Water.

15 lb Castle Pils
3 lb Weyermann Munich I
1 lb Aromatic
.25 lb Special B
2 lb D180 (Near end of fermentation)

Hops- 35 IBU
WLP 540
Mash 149F
2 hr boil
See OP. How to elevate calcium and Bicarbonate, WITHOUT elevating sulfates and chlorides
There is always Pickling Lime as well but again I stress the fact that trying to replicate Rochefort's quoted municipal water profile is not going to net you much. We know they add acid to knock down the alkalinity anyway.

Keep in mind that if you add a ton of alkalinity in the form of Pickling Lime and use a grist that is 93% base malt, you'll have to add a ton of acid to bring the pH down.

You are better off disregarding both the Calcium and HCO3 numbers quoted in their municipal profile and doing what I suggested originally. So add enough calcium based salts to get your Ca to 40-50, SO4 or Cl to desired levels, etc.

I just can't see adding a TON of alkalinity then having to neutralize it to get pH in line.
 
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jam095

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The only way to do so is to add calcium carbonate, which will not work without a lot of extra work as CaCO3 is hardly soluble in water.
Alternatively you have to look for a source of water that is alredy rich in carbonate hardness.
Sounds like the only way is chalk, and using co2 to dissolve.

Next question is what does calcium bring to the table?

I appreciate some of you all’s ability to neglect a detailed water profile, but this is my latest quest in brewing better beer. I am relatively new to water chemistry, and have been blown away with the effects it has had on my beer.

Don’t feel the need to post if you don’t have an educated answer, lol..
 

ccous

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Whoa, everyone who is responding IS educated, knows how to use this program, and build water for every single brew. People are being nice and trying to help. These are informed answers. You are trying to build a profile that isn’t very feasible or realistic. It doesn’t make sense to add a ton of alkalinity with caco3 (which is super difficult to use) or pickling lime (which dissolves easily), only to have to knock down the alkalinity with tons of acid for a reasonable mash pH. You then wouldn’t have anything like the water you are after. Sorry, but people with years of experience tweaking water chemistry were being open and honest with you. It is a fruitless endeavor.
 

Big Monk

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Sounds like the only way is chalk, and using co2 to dissolve.
It's not the only way. Pickling Lime will also raise the alkalinity of the brewing water and add Calcium but it's a bit naster than other water salts/substances, i.e. I would wear basic PPE if using it, which I don't.

Next question is what does calcium bring to the table?
At levels higher than 40-50 ppm? Not a whole lot.

I appreciate some of you all’s ability to neglect a detailed water profile, but this is my latest quest in brewing better beer. I am relatively new to water chemistry, and have been blown away with the effects it has had on my beer.
I appreciate this and I know where you are right now as myself and many others were there as well. In this case though you arent helping yourself or the beer by adding alkalinity you then need to immediately neutralize to get pH in line.

With a 93% contribution from Pilsner and Munich malts, your pH will be fairly high to start. Now add a ton of alkalinity from Pickling Lime (which would be preferable for what you want as opposed to Chalk, which has no real practical application in homebrewing). You will then need to add a large dose of acid to get your pH inline, which someone like Rochefort does anyway. So you are essentially adding a ton of alkalinity to get Calcium you really don't need, then neutralizing it anyway, all to adhere to a municipal water profile that the Brewery doesnt use in it's "stock" form anyway.

But to answer your question: If you desire what you posted originally, Pickling Lime would be the better way to go but just make sure you wear basic PPE like gloves and safety glasses to be safe.
 
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jam095

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Whoa, everyone who is responding IS educated, knows how to use this program, and build water for every single brew. People are being nice and trying to help. These are informed answers. You are trying to build a profile that isn’t very feasible or realistic. It doesn’t make sense to add a ton of alkalinity with caco3 (which is super difficult to use) or pickling lime (which dissolves easily), only to have to knock down the alkalinity with tons of acid for a reasonable mash pH. You then wouldn’t have anything like the water you are after. Sorry, but people with years of experience tweaking water chemistry were being open and honest with you. It is a fruitless endeavor.
I didn’t say the people weren’t educated, I asked for educated answers. I’m educated. But in this instance I was stumped.

Telling me not to worry about the water, and focus on fermentation and recipe is not helpful or educated..

How is it fruitless? Is targeting authenticity dumb to you? To each their own, right?
 

ccous

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It wouldn’t be authentic because the brewery doesn’t use that water straight up. They adjust it. No one can say what they do for sure. People did tell you how to achieve it, including me in my original response, which is jack up the alkalinity and Ca with pickling lime. Then you’d have to dump in a ton of acid. That’s redundant. It’s possible, which was explained, and others gave good tips in other variables to pay attention to. Then you lol’d everyone. That was lame.
 

Big Monk

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Is targeting authenticity dumb to you? To each their own, right?
I respect your position, but in this case it's only authentic in the sense it exactly matches the municipal profile that Rochefort uses, which at the very least is treated with a good amount of acid (1 liter of Phosphoric in fact, see attached Rochefort brewing sheet) to reduce alkalinity of the mash water.
Belgium 2006 034.jpg


By all means, please pursue what you want to. Pickling Lime is the best way to achieve what you are after IMO.

Just know that adding alkalinity to then turn around and reduce it, just to get elevated levels of Calcium without Sulfate and Chloride, won't net you much.

It certainly won't increase the "Rochefortey-ness" of the resulting beer. That's purely a product of their fermentation practices and high carbonation.
 
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jam095

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It wouldn’t be authentic because the brewery doesn’t use that water straight up. They adjust it. No one can say what they do for sure. People did tell you how to achieve it, including me in my original response, which is jack up the alkalinity and Ca with pickling lime. Then you’d have to dump in a ton of acid. That’s redundant. It’s possible, which was explained, and others gave good tips in other variables to pay attention to. Then you lol’d everyone. That was lame.
Thanks. Was trying to sugar coat it with lol to keep it light hearted. I’ll be more direct from now on.

It’s very irritating when people just feel the need to comment on everything, even if they don’t have an educated answer.
 

ccous

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Sorry. Several with sufficient background knowledge (ie the experience needed to give an educated answer) explained how you could do what you are after, and why it’s a roundabout way to accomplish very little. Briefly, it’s not worth strictly adhering to those numbers, and believe me that is an educated response. You can believe it or not. Truly was trying to help, and you continue to flame. See ya.
 
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jam095

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I respect your position, but in this case it's only authentic in the sense it exactly matches the municipal profile that Rochefort uses, which at the very least is treated with a good amount of acid (1 liter of Phosphoric in fact, see attached Rochefort brewing sheet) to reduce alkalinity of the mash water.
View attachment 600979

By all means, please pursue what you want to. Pickling Lime is the best way to achieve what you are after IMO.

Just know that adding alkalinity to then turn around and reduce it, just to get elevated levels of Calcium without Sulfate and Chloride, won't net you much.

It certainly won't increase the "Rochefortey-ness" of the resulting beer. That's purely a product of their fermentation practices and high carbonation.
I didn’t realize the profiles weren’t the end product for brewing liquor. That makes sense though.

Rochefort, or any other beer is a result of lots of things. Not just Fermentation and carbonation.. I get that those aspects are key, but I try and cover ALL bases and not take anything for granted.
 

Big Monk

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I didn’t realize the profiles weren’t the end product for brewing liquor. That makes sense though.

Rochefort, or any other beer is a result of lots of things. Not just Fermentation and carbonation.. I get that those aspects are key, but I try and cover ALL bases and not take anything for granted.
Right, and I respect your position. In this case, I think you'd be better served with the following:

40-50 ppm of Calcium (From Gypsum/Calcium Chloride), Sulfate content driven by Gypsum addition, Chloride content driven by Calcium Chloride, and a modest little Sodium addition to taste. If you want to keep things authentic, you can use phosphoric acid like they do to acidify.
 

Silver_Is_Money

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If you intend to use pickling lime to add bicarbonate to your water, beware that it does no such thing.
 

Big Monk

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If you intend to use pickling lime to add bicarbonate to your water, beware that it does no such thing.
In this case Larry, Brun' Water will treat it as such. Technically you are right, but it's a moot point really.
 

mabrungard

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Ignore the calcium and bicarbonate concentrations and CONSIDER the relative concentrations of the other flavor ions in the profile. That will help to simulate what a Rochefort brewer might have used to brew their beer with.
 
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jam095

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Ignore the calcium and bicarbonate concentrations and CONSIDER the relative concentrations of the other flavor ions in the profile. That will help to simulate what a Rochefort brewer might have used to brew their beer with.
Case closed! Thank you all.
 

mojonojo

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Except the municipal water isnt used by the brewery for brewing liquor - they have their own well, and municipal water comes from Namur/Liege depending on the time of year, both are on the edge of the ardennes but not in the ardennes, but Rochford/marche-en-faemmen are very definitely in the ardennes on the other-side of a rather large set of hills. I used to live in Liege.
 

Big Monk

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Except the municipal water isnt used by the brewery for brewing liquor - they have their own well, and municipal water comes from Namur/Liege depending on the time of year, both are on the edge of the ardennes but not in the ardennes, but Rochford/marche-en-faemmen are very definitely in the ardennes on the other-side of a rather large set of hills. I used to live in Liege.
This is an important distinction but in the end makes no difference.

The water they use is listed in BLAM and a few other places. It differs enough from the Liege municipal water to standout and matches the description in the Rochefort section on BLAM.

You are right though. Using the term municipal to describe thier source is not accurate.
 
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jam095

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I’m pleased to say that I’m at peace with the profile I used for my BDS. The info about the locale water source vs the treated brewing liquor helped me understand what y’all were telling me. I will probably only select the SRM/Characteristic profiles to build on going forward.

With that being said, here’s a wrench to throw in it. Much of the color will be coming from D180 added to the fermentation, rather than the boil. So in my mind, the SRM profile selection should be based on the mash, not the final beer. Is that right? In other words, I used Amber/Malty, even though the beer will end up being very dark.

Thanks!
 

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Big Monk

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Caramelised sugars are a critical part of the Rochefort story - see this blog for some thoughts on that :
https://pursuitofabbeyness.com/2018/02/12/brew-day-pursuit-of-abbeyness-xii/
In reality though, most of the flavors are yeast derived and the color likely comes from the Sinamar type product they use.

Homebrewers generally have to be creative to re-create these beers, especially if they can't replicate the fermentation schedules and yeast health at the Trappist breweries.
 
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jam095

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For this beer, I brewed a Patersbier a couple weeks ago as a “yeast starter”. I kegged it while brewing the BDS lastnight, and harvested a pint of slurry. Pitched at 66, and will ease it up over the next couple days. Gave it a second dose of O2 this morning.
 

Big Monk

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For this beer, I brewed a Patersbier a couple weeks ago as a “yeast starter”. I kegged it while brewing the BDS lastnight, and harvested a pint of slurry. Pitched at 66, and will ease it up over the next couple days. Gave it a second dose of O2 this morning.
That's the way to do it!

I typically pitch at 64 and just let it go all the way to the end. I don;t temp control the fermenters. They usually stay at about 64-65 for the first 24-36 hours then steadily climb over the next 2-3 days into the low 70's.
 
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jam095

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That's the way to do it!

I typically pitch at 64 and just let it go all the way to the end. I don;t temp control the fermenters. They usually stay at about 64-65 for the first 24-36 hours then steadily climb over the next 2-3 days into the low 70's.
That’s what I would prefer, but my brewery is in my basement, and it stays around 60-61 down there, so I’m always afraid it’s going to drag the Ferm down.. I have a fermwrap on it and in a ferm freezer on an Inkbird. The best Belgians I’ve ever made were in the summer when my basement is around 64-65, and I just pitch and let it go.

I was thinking about just unplugging the freezer, and just setting the fermwrap to 68 or so..
 

Big Monk

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I mocked up some numbers using the Rochefort Brewery sheet in my "Rochefort Recipe Analysis" spreadsheet and came up with the following:

Capture.JPG


Good topic! i had totally forgotten about my spreadsheet until I had to revisit it and BLAM for info yesterday.
 
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