correct adjustments for brown porter?

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tomaso

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I brewed the Brown Porter from Jamil and Palmer's book-

12L (3 Gallon) BIAB batch; 2,1kg Maris otter, 300g Crystal 40, 320g brown malt and 100g chocolate malt.
12L mash, 2,5L 'sparge'

with my water being very soft (43 ppm calcium, 12 ppm Mg and 167 ppm bicarbonates) I put it into The BrunWater sheet, selected the Brown and malty profile and came up with an adjustment of 1,5g of Gypsum and 2,4ml of lactic acid to give me an estimated ph of 5.2 and get the numbers more or less in the range (See pic).
I didn't have any cholride to add so I just used tap water for the little 2,5L BIAB sparge that I do, knowing that this water has chloride.

I checked the ph during the mash and if I can trust the ph meter (was asking about that in another post) it was at around 5.25.

My question now is that the water summary shows my water profile with a RA of -37 basically putting it ouf of the range of any 'traditional' citie's water profile (See pic).
Is that a problem? Did I do something wrong with adding the acid?
Or were my adjustments correct?

Thanks for your help!

Screenshot_20150611235156.png


Screenshot_20150611235119.png
 

SC_Ryan

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A "traditional city" water profile is only important if you are trying to replicate a beer from one of the "traditional cities". Even then, you need to know exactly what the brewer did to the water to make that beer.
 

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Here is an example of North Yorkshire, UK Water profile; a profile that is supposed to be very close to the water used in Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter.

Calcium (Ca) = 105.0
Magnesium (Mg) = 17.0
Sodium (Na) = 23.0
Sulfate (SO4) = 66.0
Chloride (Cl) = 30.0
biCarbonate (HCO3) = 153.0

pH = 8.33

Profile known for: Brown Ale, English Pale Ale, Porter & Stout

Amounts are Parts Per Million (PPM). PPM is also equivalent to mg/L.


Here is the profile I used for my Brown Porter balanced using EZ_Water:

Ca 88 ppm
Mg 22 "
Na 22 "
Cl 90 "
SO4 71 " (sulphate)
With a Chloride/Sulphate ratio of 1.28

I have done different water additions for my house Brown Porter, and I like this combination the best. Good luck on yours!
 

ajdelange

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The spreadsheet misapplies the concept of RA (as many of them do). RA is a measure of the alkalinity of the water minus the anticipated acidity released by the malt phosphate/water calcium reaction i.e. the extent to which the malt's natural 'acidity' overcomes the water's alkalinity. It is intended to be used to characterize waters - not mashes. Technically, RA is the proton deficit of the water as adjusted by the phosphate acidity. When you add acid in one of these spreadsheets they deduct the protons supplied by that acid from the water's alkalinity when, in fact, that acid is being added in large measure to offset the alkalinity of the malts. This gives the proton deficit of the water + acid whem what you are interested in is the proton deficit of the mash. IOW the spreadsheets should deduct the proton deficit of the acid (and any acid malts) and add the proton deficits of the base and low kilned malt to give the proton deficit of the mash which must be 0 when the proper acid amount is added for a given specified desired pH. Until the authors get on board with this just ignore the RA field and look at the pH field.
 
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tomaso

tomaso

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OK, thanks... It's quite technical but I get the bottom line. Let's see what it turns out like. Sample tasted nice
 
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tomaso

tomaso

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I bottled this porter today and it tasted a bit acidic for my taste and also lacked character. I would have liked it to be sweeter and more complex. Knowing that the mash ph this time was in the acceptable range and I added minerals to account for everything but Chloride I was wondering if that could be the culprit...?

As I said in my original post i BIAB sparged with 2,5L of my tap water which I'm sure has some chlorine.I know it's know the same as Chloride but shouldn't water with chlorine also have chloride???
But maybe that's just not enough chloride....
 

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I bottled this porter today and it tasted a bit acidic for my taste and also lacked character. I would have liked it to be sweeter and more complex. Knowing that the mash ph this time was in the acceptable range and I added minerals to account for everything but Chloride I was wondering if that could be the culprit...?

As I said in my original post i BIAB sparged with 2,5L of my tap water which I'm sure has some chlorine.I know it's know the same as Chloride but shouldn't water with chlorine also have chloride???
But maybe that's just not enough chloride....
I like a mash pH of 5.5-5.6 for my stouts and porters. The 'tart' flavor is probably from a mash pH of 5.2.

Chlorine does NOT equal chloride! You want a chlorine free water for brewing, and most brewers will use campden tablets to neutralize chlorine or chloramines in their water. Chloride is an entirely different substance than chlorine.
 

ajdelange

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I bottled this porter today and it tasted a bit acidic for my taste and also lacked character. I would have liked it to be sweeter and more complex. Knowing that the mash ph this time was in the acceptable range and I added minerals to account for everything but Chloride I was wondering if that could be the culprit...?
Yes, it could as chloride adds fullness and some sweetness to beers that contain moderate amounts.

A mash pH of 5.25 (at room temperature) is definitely on the low end. Lots of people prefer stouts/porters to have mash pH in the 5.5 - 5.6 range. Lower mash pH will not result in notably more acidic beer as the yeast will simply recognize that their environment is already acidic and excrete less acid (in fact given that perception of sourness depends more on the particular anion of the acid than the pH it is even conceivable that a beer mashed to lower pH could taste less sour than one brewed to a higher pH but that's just conjecture at this point). This does not mean, however, that a higher pH might not produce a better tasting beer. You'll have to experiment.

As I said in my original post i BIAB sparged with 2,5L of my tap water which I'm sure has some chlorine.I know it's know the same as Chloride but shouldn't water with chlorine also have chloride???
Yes as each molecule of Cl2 dissolved in water at the water plant leads to one molecule of hypochlorite and one chloride ion:

Cl2 + H2O ---> 2H+ + OCl- + Cl-

but given the small amounts of chlorine used the amount of chloride ion produced is not significant. If your utility uses a non gaseous form of chlorine (as more and more are doing given the security concerns with railroad tank cars full of liquid Cl2) then no chloride ion is produced when the material is added to water.

But maybe that's just not enough chloride....
No, it definitely isn't. You can get an indication as to what more chloride in the mash will have by tasting the beer as is with some supplemental calcium or sodium chloride added to the glass.
 
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tomaso

tomaso

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Thanks for the swift replies!

I targeted such a low mash PH because of the table in Brunwater's 'water knowledge' where malt-focused beers have a target PH of 5.2 -5.3; how does that go together with many people mashing Porters at 5.5 or 5.6? Does the higher PH range accentuate the malt in another way?

I got the full specs for the bottled water I'm using and Chloride is 11,4 mg/L. That's not enough to accentuate the body and sweetness I guess?

So when I brew this porter again what about changing the mash ph to 5.5 or 5.6 and adding Chloride to 60 mg/L (is that the same as 60 ppm?)? Or maybe even more Chloride?
 

Qhrumphf

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I'll let others with more knowledge of chemistry speak to the why, but I never found a positive or negative impact on the "malty" or "hoppy" balance from mash pH. I do, however, find a difference with color (or more accurately with a high percentage of dark malts). I tend to mash my "average" beers (much of what I brew is 10-20 SRM or so) around 5.3-5.4, but very pale beers I'll push down to 5.2 and very dark beers (porters and stouts) to 5.5. I find the paler beers are crisper and brighter with a lower pH and dull with a higher pH, and darker beers mellower at a higher pH, and harsh/acrid/acidic down at the lower end of the pH range.

Also, are you sure your source water has literally no sulfate or chloride? Yes, chloride would help bring out malt sweetness.
 

ajdelange

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I targeted such a low mash PH because of the table in Brunwater's 'water knowledge' where malt-focused beers have a target PH of 5.2 -5.3; how does that go together with many people mashing Porters at 5.5 or 5.6?
Often in brewing what is really opinion is offered as 'knowledge'. In my opinion, a pH of 5.2 at room temperature which may well result in a pH at mash temperature of less than 5 is too low but that is my opinion - not fact.

Does the higher PH range accentuate the malt in another way?
I can't say that a higher pH will accentuate the malt flavors but it will change the flavor spectrum possibly in a way that you consider an improvement.


I got the full specs for the bottled water I'm using and Chloride is 11,4 mg/L. That's not enough to accentuate the body and sweetness I guess?
No, that's not enough but many fine beers are made with chloride that low.


So when I brew this porter again what about changing the mash ph to 5.5 or 5.6 and adding Chloride to 60 mg/L (is that the same as 60 ppm?)? Or maybe even more Chloride?
Those seem good numbers to me but again I encourage experimentation.
 
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tomaso

tomaso

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@ Qhrumphf: That's helpful, thanks!

@AJ: Often in brewing what is really opinion is offered as 'knowledge'.

Yes, In my short time here and in brewing in general I'm starting to notice that :)

And I'll brew that porter again with the changed specs and report back on the difference. Quite excited about it, too 'bad' I'm going on holiday now for two weeks :)

Also, are you sure your source water has literally no sulfate or chloride? Yes, chloride would help bring out malt sweetness.
As stated above, it has 11 mg/L of Chloride. But i guess that's way too low to bring out any malt character, right?
 

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That's helpful, thanks!



As stated above, it has 11 mg/L of Chloride. But i guess that's way too low to bring out any malt character, right?
Well, malt brings out malt character. What chloride does in enhance the perception of "fullness" or "roundness" from the malt.

it's not like leaving it out hurts the beer or anything, just that bringing that level up a bit will enhance it some.


To test that theory, add a bit of table salt to your finished beer when you drink it and see if the beer is better for it (table salt is sodium chloride).
 

Qhrumphf

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That's helpful, thanks!



As stated above, it has 11 mg/L of Chloride. But i guess that's way too low to bring out any malt character, right?
I missed that part, was going off of the Bru'N Water screencap in the initial post that had zero sulfate and chloride, my bad. But yes, 11 mg/l is low, and wouldn't make a perceptible impact.

Well, malt brings out malt character. What chloride does in enhance the perception of "fullness" or "roundness" from the malt.

it's not like leaving it out hurts the beer or anything, just that bringing that level up a bit will enhance it some.


To test that theory, add a bit of table salt to your finished beer when you drink it and see if the beer is better for it (table salt is sodium chloride).
This is what I meant by "brings out the malt sweetness". She just said it better :mug:
 

ajdelange

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I forgot to mention that important point - adding malt increases maltiness. The other thing I forgot was that a higher conversion temperature results in a sweeter, more dextrinous wort. These are things that should be tried too. Tweaking the water is for fine tuning but I have had beers that I thought were hurt by too little chloride. For setting the basic beer characteristics look at the grain bill and mash temps. But only change one thing at a time! Get some chloride in there and go to a higher mash pH (OK, that's 2) and then try more malt and/or higher conversion temp.
 
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tomaso

tomaso

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Well, malt brings out malt character. What chloride does in enhance the perception of "fullness" or "roundness" from the malt.
Yes, that makes sens.

To test that theory, add a bit of table salt to your finished beer when you drink it and see if the beer is better for it (table salt is sodium chloride).
Great tip! Will that work for all salts, just adding them to the finsihed beer to see the difference it would make? also for adjusting the ph in the finished beer?
 
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tomaso

tomaso

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Given that the water adjustments are just for fine tuning the beer another point might be that the slightly acidic taste is normal and comes from the 10% of brown malt that I've used and I just don't like it but it's not a flaw.... there is still the one-dimensional aspect to the beer though...

But I'll definitely change those two variables to see the difference it makes or not
 

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Brown malt is absolutely awesome and the total opposite of "one-dimensional"! :D

PS: what Brown malt did you use? I use the regular Crisp stuff and it has no acidic character at all. It's strongly malty and toasty with some mellow roast character.
 
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tomaso

tomaso

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Not sure who the maltster is, maybe crisp or Weyerman. Didn't mean to say that the malt is one-dimensional
 
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