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First Time Using 100% RO water on Bru'n Water

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eddieg115

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Hi all - I'm brewing up a 5 gallon light bodied IPA using 100% RO water in both the mash (3.9 gallons) and the sparge (5.1 gallons). I selected the Pale Ale water profile off of Bru'n Water because it says its good for hoppy beers. The exact profile is:

Cal: 140
Mg: 18
Na: 25
SO4: 300
Cl: 55
Bicarbonate: 110

The brewing salts i have available at Gypsum, Calcium Chloride, Chalk, Epsom Salt, canning salt, and baking soda. I inputed my grain bill for pH prediction which is 5.64 (relatively high).

When I adjust all the brewing salts to match the Pale Ale water profile I still get a relatively high mash pH of 5.56. These are the salts I used to match the profile: Gypsum, Calcium Chloride, Chalk, Epsom Salt, and baking soda. I noticed that I can lower the mash pH by adding Lactic Acid (88%) but when I do that the bicarbonate decreases.

My question is do I need to keep the bicarbonate at 110 ppm if I'm using 100% RO water? I feel that by using lactic acid to lower the mash pH it defects the purpose of added bicarbonate in the first place. If you guys need any more info to help me figure this out just let me know Ill be glad to supply it. Thanks!
 

Chorgey

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I'll let someone else who has more knowledge answer but two things come to mind.

1. Baking Soda should not be added to water if acid is also added, they counteract with each other.
2. Chalk has limited solubility. Do not use chalk for brewing unless it has been fully pre-dissolved into water with CO₂

On the water adjustment tab, under minerals, if you put your cursor near the red tab that is in the corner, you will get useful notes.

Cheers!
 
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eddieg115

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I'll let someone else who has more knowledge answer but two things come to mind.

1. Baking Soda should not be added to water if acid is also added, they counteract with each other.
2. Chalk has limited solubility. Do not use chalk for brewing unless it has been fully pre-dissolved into water with CO₂

On the water adjustment tab, under minerals, if you put your cursor near the red tab that is in the corner, you will get useful notes.

Cheers!

So you think you wouldnt need the bicarbonate? Because those are the only two I have that supply the bicarbonate
 

isomerization

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Bicarbonate is basically just the buffering capacity of your mash (via alkalinity). There isn’t really a target per se, no flavor contribution that I’m aware of.

When using RO water, I ignore that value in my BruN water spreadsheets. Using city water, this changes, but for your purpose, add all salts to hit target and then add acid to hit pH. Mash away.
 

SEndorf

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Bicarbonate is not a targeted goal; it is an indicator in the spreadsheet.
For your recipe you will need calcium chloride, gypsum, perhaps a bit of Epsom (optional but I like the effect in IPA's) and lactic in the mash.
 
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eddieg115

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Bicarbonate is basically just the buffering capacity of your mash (via alkalinity). There isn’t really a target per se, no flavor contribution that I’m aware of.

When using RO water, I ignore that value in my BruN water spreadsheets. Using city water, this changes, but for your purpose, add all salts to hit target and then add acid to hit pH. Mash away.
This is great advice, thanks! So is it safe to say that the Bicarbonate category is just a target to get into when building your water using city water?
 

marc1

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This is great advice, thanks! So is it safe to say that the Bicarbonate category is just a target to get into when building your water using city water?
I wouldn't call it a target at all. It's something that might be in your water that would affect the pH of the mash, so if you have a lot of it, it could be something that you have to deal with by adding more acid.
Or, if your mash was predicted to be too acidic, you could use it to raise the mash pH.
Generally with that spreadsheet you want to pick the profile based on the beer color (Yellow, Amber, Brown, or Black) and mouthfeel (full, balanced, or dry). So maybe for a light bodied IPA you'd want the Yellow Dry profile. But this is all personal preference.
 

mashpaddled

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Inevitably for a lot of recipes you will need to add lactic acid to the water to reduce the ph. That will reduce the bicarbonate but as many have said above that will not affect the flavor of the beer (beyond the effects of your desired ph adjustment).
 
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