# EZ Water Calculator 3.0

### Help Support Homebrew Talk:

#### afr0byte

##### Well-Known Member
mastweb said:
Should we try to lower our (fly) sparge water before using it? Or will the grain still be able to lower the sparge water's pH so that it doesn't extract tannins
I would say yes. Below 5.8 is good. Apparently Sierra Nevada shoots for 5.5.

#### mabrungard

##### Well-Known Member
Sparge water pH is really just an allegory for the water's alkalinity reduction. Its actually sparge water alkalinity reduction that is the goal.

As noted above, the pH target for sparge water varies. That is because different waters have differing starting alkalinity. From my research, it appears that a final alkalinity of 20 ppm (as CaCO3) or less is an appropriate goal for sparge water.

Since alkalinity is slightly more complicated to measure, using pH measurement is an acceptable benchmark for brewers to use. But, you need to know what your water's starting alkalinity is in order to known what your pH target should be. If the starting water alkalinity is pretty high, then the target pH might be 5.5 or less. If the starting water alkalinity is already low, then a target pH of 6 or slightly higher might be OK. If the water is distilled or RO water with very little alkalinity, then its quite possible that NO acidification is needed for sparge water.

This is explained a little more in Bru'n Water and there is a Sparge Acidification calculator in there that helps you to figure out what your sparge water pH target should be.

#### ajdelange

##### Well-Known Member
It should be pretty clear that if you set your sparge water pH to 5.8 that the runoff pH will never go above 5.8 (as long as the first runnings pH is <= 5.8. The amount of acid it takes to get your sparge water to pH 5.8 depends on its alkalinity, though. It is a simple matter to calculate that amount from the alkalinity (which is the amount of acid it takes to get the pH to 4.3).

#### mastweb

##### Active Member
Good thing I thought about this before my brew day! It's nice that Bru'n Water has a calculator because I just ordered my pH meter. So, I won't have it for sunday (brew day). And I'll have to buy some lactic acid.

#### ajdelange

##### Well-Known Member
This is an application where pH strips are probably adequate.

#### jmf143

##### Well-Known Member
This is an application where pH strips are probably adequate.
If using the strips, measure the sparge water at sparge temp or room temp?

#### ajdelange

##### Well-Known Member
Room temp. This is more because I'm not sure what the temperature effects might be on the dyes in the strips though there will be a pH shift in the treated water from temperature as well.

#### mabrungard

##### Well-Known Member
It should be pretty clear that if you set your sparge water pH to 5.8 that the runoff pH will never go above 5.8 (as long as the first runnings pH is <= 5.8. The amount of acid it takes to get your sparge water to pH 5.8 depends on its alkalinity, though.
AJ, this assumes that pH is the only variable for tannin extraction. I think that it is an important player, but I'm not sure that its the only player. As we've discussed, bicarbonate in water may be a component that DeClerk mentions as having poor taste impact in beer. I think that the excess bicarbonate (aka alkalinity) might have its own mechanism (beyond pH) in extracting tannins.

I know of many brewers with very low alkalinity water with pH greater than 6 and they don't suffer from tannin extraction. I'm less inclined to attribute tannin extraction to pH alone.

We know strange and unexpected chemical reactions occur in a variety of solutions. Bicarbonate and tannin might be one of those reactions. I think that there is modest implication that this exists. Clearly, more scientific method is needed to resolve this.

#### ajdelange

##### Well-Known Member
I wasn't trying to comment on whether pH was the only factor (I doubt it is) or what pH is suitable or sufficient. I was trying to say that if you have wort with pH = y and decide that x < y is a sufficiently low then setting the sparge water to pH = x or less guarantees that the runoff pH will not exceed x.

As for the effects of residual bicarbonate I seem to recall DeClerck writing the even neutralized bicarbonate was flavor negative but neutralized bicarbonate is carbonic acid so I'm a bit puzzled by that comment. Also note that at pH 5.2 (good goal for kettle pH) only 7.6% of carbo remains as bicarbonate and that as the beer's pH drops during fermentation to say 4.6 the amount that remains as bicarbonate is only 2%. Of course 2% of a lot of carbo is more than 2% of a little so perhaps the stuff is more flavorful than I ever gave it credit for. Bicarbonate certainly does not taste very good to me in a solution of sodium bicarbonate - that's for sure.

#### Bonde

##### Well-Known Member
Super with the metric version

I'm a little puzzled still though, I seem to get lower ph in my mash than the v.3 calc predicts, where the old version seemed to get me closer.
Brewed another 2 beers yesterday and same thing with both as earlier described with my beer last week.
Am I not getting something here, or am I missing out something important.
Does the ph calculations for each malt replace the old SRM, which (as I see it) seemed to drop Ph a lot in a calculation when brewing darker beers. A lot more than the new one, when adding fx. 1kg (2lbs) roasted to a 5 gallon mash.

Am I the only one getting Ph off here?

By the way, started a new thread with sparge water adjustments, didn&#8217;t wan&#8217;t to hijack the tread.

#### ajdelange

##### Well-Known Member
If you are measuring with strips that is to be expected as they generally read 0.3 low in mash for some mysterious reason. If, OTOH, you are using a calibrated meter then it has to be because the new model does not represent your particular brewing conditions as well as the old one did. I think most people, and I am among them, find the new model matches what we see in the brewery more closely than the old one did.

#### afr0byte

##### Well-Known Member
I've only used it for one batch, but it was a good predictor for me.

#### Bonde

##### Well-Known Member
If you are measuring with strips that is to be expected as they generally read 0.3 low in mash for some mysterious reason. If, OTOH, you are using a calibrated meter then it has to be because the new model does not represent your particular brewing conditions as well as the old one did. I think most people, and I am among them, find the new model matches what we see in the brewery more closely than the old one did.
Aaahh... Didn't know the strips where off during mashing by aprox 0.3. Seems as if I have to go buy a ph meter immediately.

That suddenly explains some of my ph between 4.5-5.2

#### samc

##### Well-Known Member
PH strips off .3 depends on brand and ability to discern color. I found that a \$20 meter is a better bet.

#### ajdelange

##### Well-Known Member
Perhaps but not much better. Plan to spend close to \$100 for a unit that is really useful in brewing, more if you can afford it.

#### jmf143

##### Well-Known Member
Perhaps but not much better. Plan to spend close to \$100 for a unit that is really useful in brewing, more if you can afford it.
AJ, are you ready to recommend a particular brand or model of pH meter in the \$100 range? You have many converts here that are willing to make the purchase.

#### MichaelBrock

##### Well-Known Member
Since reading (more than a few times) the water primer sticky I have been researching available ph meters. The low end ones have accuracies of .1 ph or worse, which to me seems inadequate. I found 3 meters which come in at < \$100 and have better accuracy:

Milwaukee ph53 (discontinued but still for sale): \$65 and .01 accuracy
Milwaukee ph56 (replaced the ph53): \$65 and .05 accuracy
Extech ph100: \$85 and .01 accuracy

If anyone else knows of any please do let us know.

I have actually twice ordered the ph53 but have yet to receive one. The first, from water-testers.com never arrived and I couldn't get in touch with the company. Paypal ultimately gave me my money back. The second I ordered from an ebay seller but they sent the ph55 instead (only .1 accuracy). Still waiting for that to resolve itself. I'm trying to be patient

#### ajdelange

##### Well-Known Member
AJ, are you ready to recommend a particular brand or model of pH meter in the \$100 range? You have many converts here that are willing to make the purchase.
I'd be reluctant to do that without testing a bunch. The only one I have any experience with is the Hanna pen type which has an advertised accuracy of 0.05 which is marginally good enough. I think they sell for about \$89. They seem to hold a cal but I've never tested one at pH values other than the calibration buffers'.

#### motobrewer

##### I'm no atheist scientist, but...
maybe this has been answered before, but why did the recommend pH range shift to 5.4-5.6?

#### mabrungard

##### Well-Known Member
There hasn't been a shift in the actual pH. I think the difference is that other resources were reporting mash pH's at mash temperature instead of mash pH after the sample is cooled to room temperature. That is roughly a 0.2 to 0.3 difference (room temp pH is higher than at mash temp).

#### Steelers77

##### Vendor
Nice, I like the new workbook.

I will brew tomorrow so I will have a chance to review this soon.

Are you planning on a sparge acidification sheet anytime soon?

#### hector

##### Well-Known Member
I'm using this Calculator for the first time and as I put my water profile and the amount of grain in , it gave me 11 as the Residual Alkalinity .

Since I'm using only 2-row pale malt , I'd like to know if I can really get the SRM related to this RA ?!

Hector

#### Yooper

##### Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Mod
I'm using this Calculator for the first time and as I put my water profile and the amount of grain in , it gave me 11 as the Residual Alkalinity .

Since I'm using only 2-row pale malt , I'd like to know if I can really get the SRM related to this RA ?!

Hector
Of course you can. It depends on the water you start with. But don't consider SRM, because the actual color of the beer doesn't matter.

#### motobrewer

##### I'm no atheist scientist, but...
There hasn't been a shift in the actual pH. I think the difference is that other resources were reporting mash pH's at mash temperature instead of mash pH after the sample is cooled to room temperature. That is roughly a 0.2 to 0.3 difference (room temp pH is higher than at mash temp).
ah, ok. so, it's 5.4-5.6 at room temp, and 5.2-5.4 at mash temp?

#### kal

##### Well-Known Member
I'm brewing a darker american style hoppy beer (Janet's Brown Ale at 18 SRM, 1.066 OG, 63 IBU).

Normally for hoppy american style beers (IIPAs, IPAs, APAs) I target Randy Mosher's ideal Pale Ale numbers (Ca=110, Mg=18, Na=17, Cl=50, S04=350) to bring out some of the hop brightness and never have issues. Salts get added to both the Mash and Boil as expected.

For my water and volumes this would be the following for this beer:

Add to mash: 10.8g CaSO4, 2.9g CaCl2, 5.3g MgSO4
Add to boil: 12.1g CaSO4, 3.2g CaCl2, 5.9g MgSO4

However, because of the darkness of this beer I hit the proper pH range in the mash *without* adding any mash salts. So I left them out.

I'll still add the boil salts to the boil but I'm wondering how much of the mash salts (if any) I should I also add to the boil?

My understanding is that when sparging, 100% of the mash salts don't make it over so I don't want to simply dump *all* the salts in the boil. Problem is I don't know how much does or what I should do to compensate. Any hints? Just add the boil salts? Add the boil salts plus 50% of the mash salts? Something else?

Kal

#### kal

##### Well-Known Member
I'm brewing a darker american style hoppy beer (Janet's Brown Ale at 18 SRM, 1.066 OG, 63 IBU).

Normally for hoppy american style beers (IIPAs, IPAs, APAs) I target Randy Mosher's ideal Pale Ale numbers (Ca=110, Mg=18, Na=17, Cl=50, S04=350) to bring out some of the hop brightness and never have issues. Salts get added to both the Mash and Boil as expected.

For my water and volumes this would be the following for this beer:

Add to mash: 10.8g CaSO4, 2.9g CaCl2, 5.3g MgSO4
Add to boil: 12.1g CaSO4, 3.2g CaCl2, 5.9g MgSO4

However, because of the darkness of this beer I hit the proper pH range in the mash *without* adding any mash salts. So I left them out.

I'll still add the boil salts to the boil but I'm wondering how much of the mash salts (if any) I should I also add to the boil?

My understanding is that when sparging, 100% of the mash salts don't make it over so I don't want to simply dump *all* the salts in the boil. Problem is I don't know how much does or what I should do to compensate. Any hints? Just add the boil salts? Add the boil salts plus 50% of the mash salts? Something else?
For anyone's who's curious: I ended up throwin in the mash salts anyway and the mash pH only dropped an extra 0.01 - 0.02, likely due to the excellent buffering capacity of this mash. So all is good. I'll have the flavour profile that I like/expect.

Kal

#### sudsmcgee

##### Well-Known Member
ah, ok. so, it's 5.4-5.6 at room temp, and 5.2-5.4 at mash temp?
After much reading on this topic, that is my understanding.

#### deanocamino

##### Member
I am glad I came across this thread, I used EZ several times and was still trying to wrap my head around why it did not seem to agree with palmers SRM nomograph. Thanks

#### RichBenn

##### Well-Known Member
OK, having not used this since, probably 1.0, I like it better because it has pH. HOWEVER, I am confused and wonder if there is problems in the pH calculation.

Let me explain. I have very low mineral content water. It is:

(Ca ppm) (Mg ppm) (Na ppm) (Cl ppm) (SO4 ppm)Alkalinity (CaCO3 ppm)
16 1 8 0.5 0.5 59

96 11 8 77 131 59

The last time I checked pH during a mash (with a good meter, .05 accuracy), it was about 5.2-5.3 with a light colored (6-7 SRM) beer. Your 3.0 spreadsheet shows my pH would be 5.65.

I thought this may be because I was using a thinner mash than I used to. But changing the quantity of mash water vs. sparge makes no difference in the pH in the spreadsheet. Is that right? Seems like it would change. Also, I cannot really change the effective mash pH in the program without using acidulated malt, or adding about 10-20 times the amount of pH down (gypsum, calcium chloride, and epsom salt) I currently use!

Just asking. I haven't played with the new spreadsheet much yet, and I haven't located the exact recipe I used when I checked the pH (although it was the same SRM). Next beer I'll check pH again, but I'm getting great efficiency and no astrigency with a similar recipe, so I'm not thinking my pH is suddenly higher....

#### afr0byte

##### Well-Known Member
RichBenn said:
OK, having not used this since, probably 1.0, I like it better because it has pH. HOWEVER, I am confused and wonder if there is problems in the pH calculation.

Let me explain. I have very low mineral content water. It is:

(Ca ppm) (Mg ppm) (Na ppm) (Cl ppm) (SO4 ppm)Alkalinity (CaCO3 ppm)
16 1 8 0.5 0.5 59

96 11 8 77 131 59

The last time I checked pH during a mash (with a good meter, .05 accuracy), it was about 5.2-5.3 with a light colored (6-7 SRM) beer. Your 3.0 spreadsheet shows my pH would be 5.65.

I thought this may be because I was using a thinner mash than I used to. But changing the quantity of mash water vs. sparge makes no difference in the pH in the spreadsheet. Is that right? Seems like it would change. Also, I cannot really change the effective mash pH in the program without using acidulated malt, or adding about 10-20 times the amount of pH down (gypsum, calcium chloride, and epsom salt) I currently use!

Just asking. I haven't played with the new spreadsheet much yet, and I haven't located the exact recipe I used when I checked the pH (although it was the same SRM). Next beer I'll check pH again, but I'm getting great efficiency and no astrigency with a similar recipe, so I'm not thinking my pH is suddenly higher....
You're not measuring ph at mash temp, are you?

#### RichBenn

##### Well-Known Member
You're not measuring ph at mash temp, are you?
Yes and no. I only use a tiny bit in a small glass with a pH meter, so it moves towards room temperature quickly. Plus I usually do a 2-point calibration before reading, so the wort sample has plenty of time to cool down.

Rich

OP

#### -TH-

##### Well-Known Member
OK, having not used this since, probably 1.0, I like it better because it has pH. HOWEVER, I am confused and wonder if there is problems in the pH calculation.

Let me explain. I have very low mineral content water. It is:

(Ca ppm) (Mg ppm) (Na ppm) (Cl ppm) (SO4 ppm)Alkalinity (CaCO3 ppm)
16 1 8 0.5 0.5 59

96 11 8 77 131 59

The last time I checked pH during a mash (with a good meter, .05 accuracy), it was about 5.2-5.3 with a light colored (6-7 SRM) beer. Your 3.0 spreadsheet shows my pH would be 5.65.

I thought this may be because I was using a thinner mash than I used to. But changing the quantity of mash water vs. sparge makes no difference in the pH in the spreadsheet. Is that right? Seems like it would change. Also, I cannot really change the effective mash pH in the program without using acidulated malt, or adding about 10-20 times the amount of pH down (gypsum, calcium chloride, and epsom salt) I currently use!

Just asking. I haven't played with the new spreadsheet much yet, and I haven't located the exact recipe I used when I checked the pH (although it was the same SRM). Next beer I'll check pH again, but I'm getting great efficiency and no astrigency with a similar recipe, so I'm not thinking my pH is suddenly higher....
At what time into the mash (sacc rest) are you taking your reading? Also make sure the sample is at room temp.

Otherwise I would need to see the recipe. At the very least, what is the base malt for that recipe? My hunch is the dist. water mash ph of your base malt is not the same as what the spreadsheet has for it. You can tweak this on the spreadsheet and once you get it close your results should be quite favorable.

#### 400d

##### Well-Known Member
OK guys I have a very important question - I've been using EZ calculator lately, trying to improve my process by adjusting the water.

Now, when I was buying salts at my local chemist they had different varieties of each salt, all depending on water molecules attached to it

- MgSO4 monohydrate, heptahydrate, 11-hydrate
- CaCl2 monohydrate, dihydrate, tetrahydrate etc
- CaSo4 hemihydrate, dihydrate

So this makes me very confused, because 1g of heptahydrate is not the same as one gram of monohydrate!

I just wanted to ask the creator of the EZ calculator - what salts from the ones mentioned above did you put in your formulas in the spreadsheet?

thank you!!

OP

#### -TH-

##### Well-Known Member
OK guys I have a very important question - I've been using EZ calculator lately, trying to improve my process by adjusting the water.

Now, when I was buying salts at my local chemist they had different varieties of each salt, all depending on water molecules attached to it

- MgSO4 monohydrate, heptahydrate, 11-hydrate
- CaCl2 monohydrate, dihydrate, tetrahydrate etc
- CaSo4 hemihydrate, dihydrate

So this makes me very confused, because 1g of heptahydrate is not the same as one gram of monohydrate!

I just wanted to ask the creator of the EZ calculator - what salts from the ones mentioned above did you put in your formulas in the spreadsheet?

thank you!!
The EZ Spreadsheet uses the following:
- MgSO4 heptahydrate (MgSO4*7H2O) a.k.a. Epsom salt
- CaCl2 dihydrate (CaCl2*2H2O) a commonly available form
- CaSO4 dihydrate (CaSO4*2H2O) a.k.a. Gypsum

#### 400d

##### Well-Known Member

I hope you could also answer following:

- My CaCl2 is 6-hydrate - what correction factor should I use with this? Should I add more or less comparing to the result from the spreadsheet? What % more or less?

- My MgSO4 is bought at the chemist's as a laxative. It's dry powder in a small paper bag. - Since it's extremely cheap, I searched for the one that has detailed label with specified a/hydration. By now I bought three bags which were labeled as follows:

1. Magnesii Sulfas crystal
2. Magnesium Sulfate h.
3. Magnesii sulfas

None of them had the exact chemical formula of the stuff inside, so now I'm not sure which one to use.....

I hope you will be able to give me answers to these questions. Thank you very much!

OP

#### -TH-

##### Well-Known Member

I hope you could also answer following:

- My CaCl2 is 6-hydrate - what correction factor should I use with this? Should I add more or less comparing to the result from the spreadsheet? What % more or less?

- My MgSO4 is bought at the chemist's as a laxative. It's dry powder in a small paper bag. - Since it's extremely cheap, I searched for the one that has detailed label with specified a/hydration. By now I bought three bags which were labeled as follows:

1. Magnesii Sulfas crystal
2. Magnesium Sulfate h.
3. Magnesii sulfas

None of them had the exact chemical formula of the stuff inside, so now I'm not sure which one to use.....

I hope you will be able to give me answers to these questions. Thank you very much!
Q#1:
molar mass of dihydrate CaCl2 = 147 g/mol
molar mass of hexahydrate CaCl2 = 219 g/mol

Therefore you would need to add about 50% more (grams) of hexahydrate CaCl2 to get the same effect as dihydrate CaCl2 (219 - 147) / 147 = .49. In other words 1 gram of CaCl2 on the spreadsheet equates to 1.5 grams of your stuff.

Q#2: I don't know what you have there. For spreadsheet purposes I would consider it heptahydrate (epsom salt) since that is the most common. You shouldn't need to add much (if any) anyway. Keep in mind that when it comes to adjusting your water with salts, its better to add too little than to add too much.

#### 400d

##### Well-Known Member
thanks man, you helped a lot.

just one more question and I'm ready to go: you have only lactic acid in your spreadsheet, but at this moment I have only citric acid...

Is there a way that I can calculate the amount of citric acid needed to lower my mash ph in this calculator via lactic acid formula?

what is the relation between lactic and citric acid in terms of their "strength"?

thank you

OP

#### -TH-

##### Well-Known Member
thanks man, you helped a lot.

just one more question and I'm ready to go: you have only lactic acid in your spreadsheet, but at this moment I have only citric acid...

Is there a way that I can calculate the amount of citric acid needed to lower my mash ph in this calculator via lactic acid formula?

what is the relation between lactic and citric acid in terms of their "strength"?

thank you
I can't help you with that one. Maybe someone else here can chime in.

#### 400d

##### Well-Known Member
hm, I hope someone will!

@-TH-

thank you for your work on the ez calculator and for being ready to help!

cheers!