EZ Water Adjustment spreadsheet

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

shataway

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2009
Messages
209
Reaction score
2
Location
North Palm Beach
TH,

Thanks again for the spreadsheet.

What do you use to determine your (mash, sparge, preboil, batch) volumes?

xx qts/lbs for mash?
xx gal/lbs for grain absorbtion?
% gal/hr boiloff?

Thanks,
Steven
 

jeffmeh

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2009
Messages
2,145
Reaction score
216
I just began playing with this tool and I find it outstanding. I am trying to calculate the adjustments for Orfy's Old Speckled Hen clone, and here is what I have come up with:

-----------------------------------------
Starting Water (ppm):
Ca: 9
Mg: 2
Na: 30
Cl: 42
SO4: 2
CaCO3: 14

Mash / Sparge Vol (gal): 9.25 / 0
Dilution Rate: 0%

Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:
CaCO3: 5 / 0
CaSO4: 0 / 0
CaCl2: 0 / 0
MgSO4: 4.5 / 0
NaHCO3: 0 / 0
NaCl: 0 / 0
HCL Acid: 0 / 0
Lactic Acid: 0 / 0

Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 66 / 66
Mg: 14 / 14
Na: 30 / 30
Cl: 42 / 42
SO4: 52 / 52
CaCO3: 84 / 84

RA (mash only): 29 (8 to 12 SRM)
Cl to SO4 (total water): 0.81 (Balanced)
-----------------------------------------

I do full-volume, no-sparge, BIAB mashes and start with 9.25 gallons to finish with 5.25 gallons in the fermentor. From what I have read, that should not be an issue with the calculations, particularly if I am at the low end of the recommend ranges. Is this correct?

I expect the SRM to be around 8.9, and for an ESB I am at the bitter end of the balanced Cl:SO4 range. If I increase the MgSO4 to 5g, the SRM moves to 7-12 and the Cl:SO4 moves to 0.73 (at the balanced end of the bitter range). Do either of these sound right for the style, or is there a better target for Cl:SO4?

Many thanks.
 

jimba009

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2008
Messages
299
Reaction score
1
Location
Capital City, OH
TH, if I were to do a multi-rest infusion mash, would I distribute the salts accordingly to the volume of infusions?

thanks
 

jeffmeh

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2009
Messages
2,145
Reaction score
216
I am curious regarding a more objective method of determining the appropriate Cl:SO4 ratio for the style. While I appreciate the scale range labels (Very Bitter, Bitter, Neutral, Malty, Very Malty), which styles fit into each label? Is there a way to correlate Cl:SO4 to something like IBU, or IBU/SG?
 

crlova2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2009
Messages
294
Reaction score
5
Location
Lexington
SO I am a newb and don't really know which target profile to use for which styles of beers. What target profile would I use for an IPA? Thanks
 

944play

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Messages
2,725
Reaction score
49
Location
Portland
There are some water recipes at the end of this page.

I am on a bit of a personal campaign to liberate people from the mistaken assumption that a "balanced" sulfate:chloride ratio must mean 1:1. For almost any style of beer, much more sulfate than chloride is preferable.
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,724
Location
McLean/Ogden
I am on a bit of a personal campaign to liberate people from the mistaken assumption that a "balanced" sulfate:chloride ratio must mean 1:1. For almost any style of beer, much more sulfate than chloride is preferable.
Guess it depends on what kind of beer you are trying to brew. For continental lagers a good sulfate:chloride ratio is 0:1. There are, of course, continental lagers brewed with a fair amount of sulfate but you have to be very cautious with sulfate and noble hops. Doesn't take much sulfate to turn their fine bitterness coarse and unpleasant.

I guess my campaign is to liberate people from the misconception that the Cl/SO4 has the significance so many seem to assign to it. That idea apparently derives from a paragraph in the second edition of Handbook of Brewing (ed. Priest and Stewart). This book is definitely British oriented. The actual statement says that "many" authors have referred to the importance of balance. Every single one of those cited in the references is British The single sentence that has resulted in propagation of this idea reads "It appears that, in many cases, it is the relative ratio of the two ions that has the major flavor influence..." It does not say all cases, or most cases, or the majority of cases. In my experience, "many" does not include any case in which noble hops are involved and my reading of the German texts seems to confirm that sulfate = bad where noble hops are involved. I am not an Anglophobe. It's just that brewing practices from the rest of the world (where they make better beer, IMO, but that's just my taste) need to be taken into consideration.

My passionate campaign is to get people who publish spreadsheets to take out anything that calculates an RA "requirement" from beer color. The correlation between the two is just too weak. Judging by the posts I've seen here and on other boards the SRM - RA thing has ruined more potentially good beer than anything else I can think of. This relates to the other problem I have with these spreadsheets - they ignore pH and you can't do water chemistry without dealing with pH unless you skip carbonates and caveat that the spreadsheets pretty much fall apart as pH increases much beyond 8.3. If you throw away the notion that you require an RA of 400 to brew a 40 SRM beer you should not find yourself in the position of having to add carbonates to adjust RA and it is immaterial that they don't do the calculations correctly.

For example, if I tell the EZ spreadsheet that I want to brew a 40 SRM Stout (e.g. Guiness) from DI water it tells me I must add 1.955 grams (yes, grams) of calcium carbonate for each liter of water! That should immediately strike anyone as insane. It goes on to tell me that this will produce an alkalinity of 952, an RA of 402 and be suitable for beers 38 - 43 SRM. But 1955 mg/L CaCO3 increases alkalinity by 1955 ppm as CaCO3 - there's a reason why alkalinity is specified "as CaCO3". IOW EZ accounts for about half the buffering capacity of CaCO3 and thus directs the user to add twice as much as it would take to get to the "required" RA. If a brewer were to follow this advice he would presumably realize that this much chalk (37 grams for 5 gallons) is not going to dissolve and add it to the mash or suspend it in the water and mash with the suspension. The pH of such a mash would be way high. The theory behind these spreadsheets would require the roast barley to contain 714 mEq of acid which would dissolve and neutralizes the CaCO3 and lower the pH to 5.2. Believe me, the amount of acid in a pound of roast barley is nowhere close to 714 mEq. To get to pH 5.2 the brewer would have to add about (the roast barley will supply a little) 57.8 mL of 23 Be' (hardware store strength) hydrochloric acid!. Fix the thing to correctly calculate the alkalinity correctly and the required acid goes down to 356 mEq. Still completely absurd.

So my recommendation would be to take out the "Best for this SRM" thing so brewers are not mislead into thinking they need such high RA (I do very nice dry stouts darker than 40 SRM with water with an RA of about 36 and the pH is still a little higher than I'd like) and then take away the CaCO3 input. There is little reason why a homebrewer should ever be adding chalk to brewing water unless he is trying to match a particular profile. Getting a spreadsheet to the point where it can do that correctly takes it beyond "simple" pretty quickly. Removing the carbonate removes the necessity to fix the chemistry in that department. Without carbonate (bicarbonate can stay) ignoring pH will give a pretty fair approximation as long as the pH is below 8.3. Even at pH 9 the error in assuming that all alkalinity is from bicarbonate is only about 10%. My final recommendation is to leave the Cl/SO4 ratio but take out the "Best for this style" field because, while there may be some validity to those recommendations for ales (the type of beer homebrewers do most frequently) they are not valid for lagers, wits, wheats, lambics, abby beers....

Having simple spreadsheets is a wonderful thing but the chemistry imposes limitations on simplified calculations. If those limits are exceeded then the simplified calculation can lead the user down the garden path. This would be the case with ignoring pH: don't go above 8.4 or so and you're OK. But the simple spreadsheet must also be based on sound fundamentals. The simplified chemistry must be applicable at pH below 8.4 (as it appears to be here except where carbonate is involved). The premises behind the SRM/RA relationship and SO4/Cl balance are seriously flawed.
 

jdieter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
74
Reaction score
5
A.J. I agree on the sulfate and noble hops, I had to back off the gypsum and manage the Ca with CaCl2 to reduce the hop bite. In another post you mentioned reliability issues mailing water samples vs. local testing do to the time lag and I think the sample not staying refrigerated. I use Wards and their result for TA (CaCO3) on my RO water is 113. That didn't make sense to me so I did a titration test and get a TA less than 50ppm(the smallest increment my kit could test). All the other results were what I would expect with RO filtration, a 90% plus reduction. Is the high TA a result of the sample draw vs. testing lag?
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,724
Location
McLean/Ogden
113 is totally unreasonable for RO water. At 80% - 90% rejection that would imply an alkalinity of 565 - 1130 in the feed. That's possible if you add, for example, a gram of sodium carbonate to a liter of water (alkalinity 859, pH 10.4) and I trust your feed water is nothing like that! What do they say about the anion/cation balance? Actually, what does the rest of the report say. Something fishy here.
 

jdieter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
74
Reaction score
5
pH - 7.3
C/A - 1.2/2.6
Na - 5
K - <1
Ca - 11
Mg - 5
Hardness(CaCO3) - 48
SO4 - 3
Cl - 4
CO3 - <1
HCO3 - 138
TA(CaCO3) - 113

Needless to say after I put the RO unit in I was disappointed with the test results, my well water TA was 324 ahead of the RO unit. I had some conversations with Raymond Ward about all this but I don't recall too much except that the he couldn't explain the C/A imbalance and some of their values are not actually measured but calculated and that could have lead to the high TA. And of course send another sample in at my cost. Anyway that's why I use the alkalinity test result I get from the tap versus Wards, but use their mineral results.
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,724
Location
McLean/Ogden
I can see why you might have been disappointed in your RO performance unless the feed water is really hard and alkaline. Do Ward Labs give a TDS number? That is usually determined by conductivity whereas the alkalinity is determined by titration. The conductivity based TDS only approximates actual TDS but if it appreciably lower than the sum of the ions in the report (don't include hardness or alkalinity) then that points to the alkalinity measurement being off.

The C/A imbalance largely goes away if you assume the alkalinity is half what the report shows. The factor of half raises an eyebrow. When the titration is done 0.1 N acid is added to 100 mL of sample. The number mL of acid is the number of mEq/L H+ required to bring the sample to the end point pH. This is multiplied by 50 to give the alkalinity "as CaCO3". But some people think you should multiply by 100. If that's what Ward Labs is doing that would, in this case, neatly explain the report you got. I can hardly believe that a modern lab would make that mistake and there may be another reason for what you have in this report but I do remember I bought a test kit once that read out the result with the 100 factor. And the manufacturer stood his ground when challenged. If your are talking to the guy in charge at Ward you might ask him about this. I often wondered why Ward Lab reports don't seem to balance as well as they should.

To help you get a handle on this you need to increase the sensitivity of your test. I'm assuming it's a drop count titration test. To increase its sensitivity 10 - fold just test 10 times the normal sample. If it is like most you have a test tube you fill to a line with sample, then add the indicator and then the acid drops. For increased sensitivity just fill the tube to the line 10 times and empty into a beaker or tumbler. Then add the indicator - more that the usual amount, in fact 10 times the usual amount for the same color depth. Then add the acid one drop at a time until you see the color change. If each drop was worth 50 ppm in normal use of the kit it would be worth 5 ppm with 10 times the normal sample.
 

jdieter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
74
Reaction score
5
Thanks for the method to increase the sensitivity of the alkalinity test. Since I'm getting close to hi-jacking this thread I'll start a new thread with the test results I get with the increased sample size. Also I'll include the complete reports from Ward for the pre & post RO unit.
 

SpanishCastleAle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
4,339
Reaction score
42
Location
Central Florida
AJ, very interesting posts on brewing/water. I was going to brew a Helles this weekend but don't have any sour malt nor acid so I've changed course to a Dortmunder. Do you know how much Carafoam/Carapils help to lower mash pH? I thought I had read somewhere they help but not sure if it's any more than C10.

I'll be using noble hops. I plan to dilute spring water with distilled (~55%) and add Ca; in your opinion, should I steer clear of sulphate or no? Style has it but you've said sulphate+nobles=harsh. I just want to make the best beer possible but still want it to be in-style to a large degree (i.e. competition-worthy). The spring water I'll be using is relatively low in both sulphate and chloride. I plan to mash relatively thick to try and help lower mash pH too.
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,724
Location
McLean/Ogden
Before his untimely demise George Fix used to send beers to my club's annual contest and I'd often wind up judging them which would frequently result in a nasty-gram from George complaining about his score. The case I remember best was an Export. I graded it down because it lacked that crisp, mineral quality that distinguishes an Export. He'd come back with a list of all the professional brewers he'd given it to who thought it was really good beer. I agreed that it was good beer but that my job was to judge it by the guidelines and the guidelines called for the mineral profile. Note: I just checked the current guide and they've toned it down WRT the minerals - I'll come back to that in a minute. I told George his gripe was with the BJCP and not me and he seemed satisfied with that.

I'll add two more things to consider with the George Fix story:

1. When I brew identical ales (for water workshops) except that one is done with synthetic Burton (high sulfate) water and the other with my much lower sulfate well water the Burton ale is judged more authentic but the other is considered a better beer.

2. In the water chapter of the 2d edition of Handbook of Brewing a finding that taste panels score lower sulfate beers higher than high sulfate beers.

The conclusion I draw from this is that Export, Burton ale etc. were conceived to be brewed with the water at hand. The pioneers didn't even know how to remove bicarbonate let alone sulfate. Styles with high sulfate were born and people became used to them. But the beers would have been better beers had their creators been given low sulfate water to work with (does anyone prefer Export to Bohemian Pils?). In the modern day with RO water pretty inexpensive and Burton ales no longer brewed in Burton I think those high sulfate styles are being brewed with lower sulfate water. A bottle of imported Bass certainly is not a minerally - harsh as a Burton ale brewed with Burton-like water (IMO anyway). As evidence of this thesis I offer the fact that the mineral qualities of Export are, in the current edition of the BJCP guidelines, much toned down relative to the way I remember them from 15 yrs ago.

So I'd say it's completely up to you. If want to see what a real Export is like then use the sulfate. If you want to win a ribbon in a competition use less. If you want the best tasting beer use none. Bear in mind that the judges you are likely to face may well not be style Nazis as I was and the best tasting beer might carry the day.

Here, as in every other case, I recommend brewing without sulfate first and then with some sulfate added on a subsequent brew. Decide which you like best and do that in the future. I used to think I was alone in not liking sulfate's effects on hops but the evidence seems to be mounting that many, if not most, people think the same way. There may well be a considerable number of people who do like this synergism. I don't want to be telling people what they should or shouldn't like!
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,724
Location
McLean/Ogden
Forgot to answer the question about Cara malts. They are somewhat higher kilned and so produce a bit of acid but not much - not really enough that you can count on them to have an appreciable effect. I'd say less than 0.05 pH shift if using very low alkalinity (i.e. Pilsen like) water.
 

SpanishCastleAle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
4,339
Reaction score
42
Location
Central Florida
Thanks for your help and cool story about Fix. I'll try very low sulphate this time and if it's not to style it won't be first time I've 'renamed' a beer after brewing it.
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,724
Location
McLean/Ogden
Interestingly enough it came up again last nite. I judged BOS for the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair which is done in a strange format. The judging was done last Saturday closed to the public and BOS last night open to the public. The panel (4) sits at a long table facing the "audience" and is charged to explain each style as it is given to us, answer questions as we go and deliberate in a loud enough voice so that the room can hear. Educating the public is the Fair's mission. Well we had an Export (field of 20 beers) which was, otherwise, very well done but no mineral profile. I was armed and ready to discuss that one for sure. It probably met the current guidelines but we all agreed it wasn't really an Export and that included a panelist who works on styles for the BJCP. So no sulfate, no ribbon for this fellow from this panel (but don't feel too sorry for him as he got 2nd and 3rd.) He might have fared differently had this thread not turned in this direction.
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,724
Location
McLean/Ogden
I've been trying to figure out why Ward Labs reports didn't look "quite right" and found 2 things one of which is pretty much immaterial and the other is quite significant to users of Ward Labs reports with the EZ spreadsheet. First, the insignificant one: Ward labs calculates bicarbonate ion content by simply assuming that all the alkalinity is caused by bicarbonate ion. Actually, some is caused by the water itself. Thus a water sample with alkalinity determined by titration to pH 4.4 of 87 would have a bicarbonate ion content of 104.2 mg/L. Simply 61*alkalinity/50 (what you get if bicarbonate caused it all) would be 106.14 - not a big deal. Things get trickier at higher pH's. You can still calculate bicarb from the T (total alkalinity) alone but there are other approximations that use the P alkalinity as well. Not at issue if pH is < 8.3.

Much more important, especially in terms of this discussion of sulfates, is that Ward labs reports sulfate as sulfur whereas the EZ spreadsheet calculates sulfate as the ion. To use Ward Labs sulfate data in the EZ spreadsheet you must divide the as Sulfur number by 32.065 (the atomic weight of sulfur) and multiply the result by 96.08 (the molecular weight of the sulfate ion). I only noticed this in another thread where several people had cut and pasted e-mailed Ward Labs reports. There it was, big as life SO4-S. Most people, when they are typing in their reports don't type the -S, nor the -N for nitrate. These are very significant to the analyst. Ward labs reports now look much better to me.

I want to be clear that neither of these things should be taken as a criticism of Ward Lab's services. It is pretty much standard practice to equate alkalinity and bicarbonate for pH < 8.3 and, while it may not be so usual to express sulfate as sulfur in the brewing industry remember that Ward Labs apparently primarily serves the agricultural industry and they may do this as a matter of course. In any case it's like inches and cm. They can equally well convey the same information but it's important to know which system you are in. Ten inches is impressive. Ten cm is not.
 

cyberbackpacker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
2,073
Reaction score
355
Location
Holland, MI
ajdelange, thanks for all the information for continuing to build on the library of information that exists here! It is greatly appreciated, and should help untold numbers of us.

:mug:
 

PtotheL

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
66
Reaction score
0
Location
Montreal, Quebec
2. In the water chapter of the 2d edition of Handbook of Brewing a finding that taste panels score lower sulfate beers higher than high sulfate beers.
I would like to hear your take on what is considered low, med, and high sulfate amounts... do you define 50ppm of S04 as high ?
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,724
Location
McLean/Ogden
Please understand that this is my take based on my palate, preferences and experience with mostly lagers (which is what I brew most). I have seen posts on this forum advising that with sulfate more is better. I feel just the opposite but sulfate is a stylistic ion. If you like it, use it, if you don't, avoid it.

When I started doing lagers I used my well water which measures about 29 mg/L. For a highly hopped Bohemian Pils that's too much (IMO) - rendered the beer rough. So I guess I'd say "low" is below 15, moderate 15- 40, medium 40 - 80, 80-160 high and above 160 (noting that I have seen reports for Burton water ranging from 450- 820) very high.

I think you could safely brew any ale with 50 ppm but I'll note that a friend told me she liked my ale (brewed with 29 ppm) better that the similar ale which is coming out of the newest brewpub in the area because mine was smoother. He's using Corps of Engineers water which runs, on average, 50 and he may be adding gypsum.
 

JakeFegely

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2011
Messages
113
Reaction score
0
Location
Royersford
First post by a new brewer exploring a mostly all grain topic.....

I brewed my fourth batch on Friday - a DFH 60 clone. I'm looking for lots of hop flavor. Today I got my water report from Ward as follows:

pH 8.9
Na 25
Ca 20
Mg 5
SO4-S 7 (adjusted to 21 as SO4 per post in this thread)
Cl 32
Carbonate 6
Bicarbonate 40
Total Alkalinity as CaCO3 43

I have 2 questions (or I'll try to limit it to 2)
1) Since I am extract brewing with steeped spec grains, should I even be worrying about this? I have no idea of the water profile used to make the extract. Those minerals should all still be in the extract.
2) Regardless of the answer to #1, it seems my water is very low in Ca Mg and SO4, particularly for a strong IPA. Wouldn't a future brew benefit from some increases in those ions?

Okay - I must ask one more question. Would anyone ever consider adding some of these salts 4 or 5 days after pitching the yeast? At what time do they affect hop character/perception? I won't dry hop for another 10 days at least. Will my current batch be disappointing because of the water profile? (yes, I know that was 3 more questions).

Thanks,
Jake
 

weiht

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
Location
singapore
I just downloaded the file and may i say that its EXCELLENT!!!

It would be great to include maybe a selection for different water profiles in terms of region or beer styles, and later maybe some calculations made out for us about how much gypsum or salts to add...

kinda like this http://www.jimsbeerkit.co.uk/water/water.html
 

afr0byte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2010
Messages
1,453
Reaction score
76
Location
Vermont
weiht said:
I just downloaded the file and may i say that its EXCELLENT!!!

It would be great to include maybe a selection for different water profiles in terms of region or beer styles, and later maybe some calculations made out for us about how much gypsum or salts to add...

kinda like this http://www.jimsbeerkit.co.uk/water/water.html
If you downloaded 2.0...be aware that 3.0 is available
 

weiht

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
Location
singapore
Yes i got the v3 and its a killer... Am i right to say that if im aiming for a mash ph of 5.2, it would be 5.55 at room temperature after adding the 0.35 adjustment?

Does all the salts added to the mash carry over to the kettle and finished beer? Or do some of it remain in the MT with the grains?

Am I right to say if i have added the salts in the mash and sparge wate, and I only need to make the very slight adjustments in the kettle to hit my tgt water profile if needed?

Maybe a field for sodium chloride?

One more qns, how long do you guys leave the mash to settle before taking a ph reading? I read some places which says 15-20mins, but wouldnt it be too late to make adjustments when 50-75% of conversion have taken place?

I'm loving this excel file ALOT...
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,724
Location
McLean/Ogden
Yes i got the v3 and its a killer... Am i right to say that if im aiming for a mash ph of 5.2, it would be 5.55 at room temperature after adding the 0.35 adjustment?
You should shoot for a mash pH of 5.4 - 5.5 at room temperature which is the temperature at which it is measured. It is unlikely that the fall back with increased temperature would be so great as to result in a drop of 0.35 at mash-in temperature.

Does all the salts added to the mash carry over to the kettle and finished beer? Or do some of it remain in the MT with the grains?
In beers mashed with hard water calcium precipitates as the phosphate (from the malt). This is responsible for relatively lower pH of beers mashed with hard water.

Am I right to say if i have added the salts in the mash and sparge wate, and I only need to make the very slight adjustments in the kettle to hit my tgt water profile if needed?
If you are going to the trouble to emulate an actual profile (which is seldom justified and even less often done properly) then you should do nothing more than that unless you know what the brewery did with that water. Assuming, for example, that you have emulated Munich water you would decarbonate it before brewing Helles because that is how Helles is brewed. For dunkles you might not relying on the acids from the dark malts to combat the bicarb. You shouldn't add salts to the kettle unless you have a particular purpose in mind such as knowledge that the brewery who produces a beer you are trying to clone makes kettle additions.



One more qns, how long do you guys leave the mash to settle before taking a ph reading? I read some places which says 15-20mins, but wouldnt it be too late to make adjustments when 50-75% of conversion have taken place?
Mash pH is generally stable within a few minutes with the exception being mashes that are acidified with acidulated malt (sauermalz). Sauermalz seems to take about 15 - 20 min. to stablilize pH. Yes, there is a problem with discovering that the pH is too high because you didn't add enough sauermalz and then adding more 20 minutes into the mash. Yes, much of the conversion has taken place at less than ideal pH meaning that the enzymes have not been able to work in their optimum* range. But when you make the correction you bring them into the optimum range and they are, at least, able to finish up. The real benefit from an observation in which the pH isn't where you want it to be is in subsequent brews of the same beer. Your notes will show that pH was, for example, 0.1 too high the last time you brewed a particular beer so you should add an extra 1% sauermalz this time.

*The word "optimum" should never be used without specifying what the criterion of optimality is. In this case the optimum pH is the pH which produces the best beer as the pH's we shoot for are not the ones at which any one of the many enzymes performs best but rather the best compromise.
 

weiht

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
Location
singapore
ajdelange - thx for your prompt and detailed reply... I read in alot of places online that the difference in the mash temp and room temp affects the ph reading by abt 0.35, that is why i use 5.55 which is the 5.2 target and that 0.35.

thanks again
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,724
Location
McLean/Ogden
Yes, that number is bandied about a lot. I am not prepared to sacrifice a pH electrode to find out what the actual pH is at sachharification or mashout temperatures but what I have done is measure the slope at beta glucan and protein rest temperatures. That measured slope is less than what would be required to give a drop of 0.35 at sachharification temperature.

Of course we must ask "What is mash temperature." If you do a single step infusion it's pretty clear what it is. But if multiple rests are done on the way to saccharification temp. then it is not so clear. Just one more reason why it is best to standardize to room temperature.
 

weiht

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
Location
singapore
OK, a question.. For lactic acid field, is that liquid or powdered? The only lactic i can get is in powdered form, and I'm not sure how much to add into the mash...

It say i need to add 1ml, so how should i add the powder by weight?
 

anicola

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
60
Reaction score
7
Location
Bay Point
ajdelange said:
Most lactic acid solutions are 88% w/w. One mL of an 88% solution has a weight of 1.3 g and so contains 0.88*1.3 = 1.14 grams of the acid
Wouldn't 1ml of an 88% solution contain .88g of the solute? If I remember my high school chemistry ( 1965- a long time ago) , to make 100ml of an 88% solution we would weigh 88g of solute and dissolve in enough distilled water to make 100ml.
 

anicola

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
60
Reaction score
7
Location
Bay Point
Right U R! Lactic Acid 88% is w/w not w/v. Thanks for the heads up. Now I need to recalc my Ascorbic acid dihydrate grams to Lactic Acid 88% mils equivalency
 
Top