Bru'n Water and Water Report

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

StoneHands

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2009
Messages
427
Reaction score
31
Location
Birmingham, AL
From my water board (values below), I get a range of values (as it should be, as I would think these values change throughout the year). Over the years, these ranges vary, but not by much, this latest report is fairly typical. For input in Bru'n Water, I've used the median value of the ranges listed. I think for the most part I have really decent water, a little high in sulfate, and a little high in alkalinity. I've been cutting my water 2:1 for helles (2 gallons distilled to 1 gallon tap), adding acid malt and calcium chloride, and have been getting good results. I'd like to eliminate the need for the distilled if possible one day, but brewing lagers, I hate to waste the time to get poorer results since I'm getting good results now. I mostly brew malty German lagers. My questions are these:

Is using the median value for Bru'n Water adequate to get me in the ballpark, or should I use the upper or lower ranges on some of these?

What does Weyermann Dehusked Carafa malt do to mash pH? Is it treated as a true roast malt, or since it's designed to be less bitter, does it not drop the pH as a typical roasted grain?

Bottom line, I realize I'll have to get a meter someday to truly tell what kind of values I'm truly getting.

Hoping AJ or Martin chime in.

Shades.jpg
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,730
Location
McLean/Ogden
I'm guessing that the median values would get you into the ballpark. Given the uncertainties in malt characteristics (your next question) I wouldn't think this much variation in the other properties would lead you too far astray. But why not check this out? Put the median values in and then try changing alkalinity to some other value (you'll have to adjust a cation or cations to maintain electrical balance) and see what the magnitude of the change in predicted pH is. Keep playing around with this until you get a feel for what the reported range might give you in the mash tun.

As for the Carafa: I have no idea. If the acids are produced primarily in or near the husks when the grain is roasted then one might expect a somewhat subdued effect but I don't know that to be the case. Some one will have to do a 'titration' on this malt in order to get even a rough idea.
 
OP
StoneHands

StoneHands

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2009
Messages
427
Reaction score
31
Location
Birmingham, AL
But why not check this out? Put the median values in and then try changing alkalinity to some other value (you'll have to adjust a cation or cations to maintain electrical balance) and see what the magnitude of the change in predicted pH is. Keep playing around with this until you get a feel for what the reported range might give you in the mash tun.
Thanks AJ, good advice as usual. Although I'm an engineer, I'm of the civil\transportation variety so chemistry was not my forte (and school is getting further and further in my rear view mirror). This is a nice mental exercise though, and the more I dig into the brewing chemistry, the more interesting it gets to me.

About the dehusked malt, I've got another Munich dunkel planned and, although I've made good ones in the past, I'm always looking to improve. I'm thinking I'll need a little acid malt for even a dunkel, which seems a little counter-intuitive with the roast grain, but the roast grain is a very small portion of the grain bill, and I have doubts that the dehusked variety really does much to the pH as is.
 

mabrungard

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
6,036
Reaction score
1,983
Location
Carmel
The Carafa does depress the mash pH, but I know with my Dunkels, the amount of Carafa is quite small. Its effect on the overall mash pH should be minor. I'm not surprised that an acid addition is needed with that water and grist.
 
OP
StoneHands

StoneHands

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2009
Messages
427
Reaction score
31
Location
Birmingham, AL
Thanks, got a response from both!

Let me ask this then, with the water outlined above, would either of you bother with a RO/distilled water dilution, or would you just modify the water out of the tap with acid and mineral additions?
For a helles, I think I'll stick with the dilution (or anything really pale). Amber to dark, I may try just tap water.
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,730
Location
McLean/Ogden
I do everything with RO water so my answer would be 'yes'. The reason I do this is because most of the beers I do are, IMO, better with minimal ion content. As an engineer I used to get a kick out analyzing the water from the tap on a given brew day and of being able to produce any profile from any other (by adding RO water and minerals) and have an elegant algorithm for doing that but a lot of it was an engineer getting his jollies and it was rather time consuming. It's hard to imagine a simpler process than adding a few salts to some RO.
 

mabrungard

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
6,036
Reaction score
1,983
Location
Carmel
Since the alkalinity isn't that high, acidification with lactic acid is quite feasible. You could use that acidified tap water to brew a decent Helles. However, the sulfate level is a bit high. The rest of the ions are OK for a Helles. Because of the sulfate, you may want to dilute to reduce the potential for dryness that sulfate can promote.
 
Top