Heady Topper Results From Ward Labs

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carvetop

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I'm not sure if anyone has sent one off to Ward and/or posted the results but I promised to do so myself and the numbers are in. Quite frankly, my water knowledge is fairly limited but these numbers seem to be off the charts in several respects. Hopefully our resident water experts will have a look and let us know what they think. What I can say is that the video showing the brew log from the 1000th brew was not intended to misdirect. He was in fact aiming for incredibly hard water.

pH - 4.3
TDS - 1584
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm - 2.64
Cations/Anions, me/L - 36.6/20.6**

ppm
Sodium, Na - 25
Potassium, K - 802
Calcium, Ca - 110
Magnesium, Mg - 113
Total Hardness, CaCO3 - 746
Nitrate, NO3-N - 17.6
Sulfate, SO4-S - 156
Chloride, Cl - 339
Carbonate, CO3 - <1.0
Bicarbonate, HCO3 - <1
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 - <1
Total Phosphorus, P - 278.10
Total Iron, Fe - 0.37
"<" = Not Detected/Below Detection Limit
** = Total phosphorus not included in cation/anion calculation
 

mtnagel

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So from my limited water knowledge, that is a high level of magnesium and chloride. In Bru'n water, the Mg limit is 30 ppm and the chloride limit is 100 and he's tripling those. Also surprised the sulfate is so low. Who wants to brew it with this profile?
 
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carvetop

carvetop

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So from my limited water knowledge, that is a high level of magnesium and chloride. In Bru'n water, the Mg limit is 30 ppm and the chloride limit is 100 and he's tripling those. Also surprised the sulfate is so low. Who wants to brew it with this profile?
In the format SO4-S, the result is multiplied by 3 to get the relevant sulfate content. In this case, 468 ppm. The magnesium seems elevated but I'm much more thrown by the Cl numbers. We need some expert opinions here.
 

mtnagel

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In the format SO4-S, the result is multiplied by 3 to get the relevant sulfate content. In this case, 468 ppm. The magnesium seems elevated but I'm much more thrown by the Cl numbers. We need some expert opinions here.
Oh yeah. Thanks for the reminder.

This is the lab result conducted on the finished beer, correct? Then the ion concentrations aren't all that out of line. Malt contributes significant Mg and K to the wort and finished beer. Don't read a lot from these results with regard to the profile you should try to emulate for brewing.
Isn't it odd then that the finished beer equals the target of 750 ppm total hardness from that video?
 

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Cool - thanks for sending that in..... Be hard put to wrap up a can of Heady Topper and send it away:)
I have a couple mason jars of Vermont Ale yeast and all the ingredients on hand..... I was planning on brewing a batch this week anyway, and will take a shot at these higher hardness numbers. Maybe I will scale it down to 3 gallons in case it does not come out well.
 
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carvetop

carvetop

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This is the lab result conducted on the finished beer, correct? Then the ion concentrations aren't all that out of line. Malt contributes significant Mg and K to the wort and finished beer. Don't read a lot from these results with regard to the profile you should try to emulate for brewing.
The Mg and K weren't particularly eye-catching. Any thoughts on the Cl levels? I wasn't aware that malt contributed much to those levels.
Braufessor, not a problem to send in a can. It was the least I could do after lurking around here for a while and gathering TONS of info about brewing. Plus, I can get it weekly!
mtnagel, Turpin HS grad myself. You?
 

Braufessor

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The Mg and K weren't particularly eye-catching. Any thoughts on the Cl levels? I wasn't aware that malt contributed much to those levels.
Braufessor, not a problem to send in a can. It was the least I could do after lurking around here for a while and gathering TONS of info about brewing. Plus, I can get it weekly!
mtnagel, Turpin HS grad myself. You?
The Chloride is the one I don't understand either. Does the Chloride level increase through the process like Mg or K??
 

mtnagel

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The Mg and K weren't particularly eye-catching. Any thoughts on the Cl levels? I wasn't aware that malt contributed much to those levels.
Braufessor, not a problem to send in a can. It was the least I could do after lurking around here for a while and gathering TONS of info about brewing. Plus, I can get it weekly!
mtnagel, Turpin HS grad myself. You?
Not from Cincy, but I've lived here for 14 years. All post college.

So does that mean you come back to Cincy with Heady Topper?? :)
 
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carvetop

carvetop

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Not from Cincy, but I've lived here for 14 years. All post college.

So does that mean you come back to Cincy with Heady Topper?? :)
Ah, I see. Haven't lived there in 18 years myself. Vermont has me spoiled rotten!
Back to the Cl though. Perhaps its a consequence of increasing the hardness of the liquor? The source Cl indicated is basically negligible.
 

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Thank you posting. A few things that interest me. First off, K. I work out regularly and use some basic supplements including K. I like salty foods and K is well known to assist with the body's sodium regulation. 802ppm K is .801g/L. Let's say a pint of HT is half a liter. .401g or 400mg. That is 4x the largest dosage available (99mg) and about the same as a banana, but quite a bit more than I would expect to see in a beer. Curious what is driving the K... Let's add to that a well known salt substitute is potassium CHLORIDE. I actually have 500g sitting in my amazon cart. I have used 350ppm chloride in a mild and wasn't blown away with the results but it was a good beer so I cannot imagine 339ppm chloride ruining an IPA at all. Lastly, the pH is is interesting because I am seeing more and more threads say IPAs should have a pH of 4.5 or HIGHER. Will post more after taking the oldest to cheer practice.
 

mabrungard

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Malting and Brewing Science has some info on the typical ionic content of beer. I don't have that book in front of me at the moment. I'll check this evening. The chloride result is a bit unexpected.
 

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Has anybody looked at the water spreadsheet that Greg Noonan uses for his brewery? That is where John Kimmich went to learn right? It's pretty simple and doesn't give a lot of detail on the water. But maybe the simplicity is what made an odd water profile. Just guessing.
 
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carvetop

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I've been learning my way around Bru'n Water for all of my adjustments. Really nice program. It would be nice to be able to specify target hardness, sulfate and other parameters and then have the program calculate the mineral additions for you rather than the other way around. Is there a way to do this in the latest edition? Forgive my naivete if there is.
 

GRBC

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I'm not sure if anyone has sent one off to Ward and/or posted the results but I promised to do so myself and the numbers are in. Quite frankly, my water knowledge is fairly limited but these numbers seem to be off the charts in several respects. Hopefully our resident water experts will have a look and let us know what they think. What I can say is that the video showing the brew log from the 1000th brew was not intended to misdirect. He was in fact aiming for incredibly hard water.

pH - 4.3
TDS - 1584
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm - 2.64
Cations/Anions, me/L - 36.6/20.6**

ppm
Sodium, Na - 25
Potassium, K - 802
Calcium, Ca - 110
Magnesium, Mg - 113
Total Hardness, CaCO3 - 746
Nitrate, NO3-N - 17.6
Sulfate, SO4-S - 156
Chloride, Cl - 339
Carbonate, CO3 - <1.0
Bicarbonate, HCO3 - <1
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 - <1
Total Phosphorus, P - 278.10
Total Iron, Fe - 0.37
"<" = Not Detected/Below Detection Limit
** = Total phosphorus not included in cation/anion calculation

Yes. Interesting that he was shooting for 750 total hardness in the brewing water and ends up at 746 in the finished beer.


Sent from my iPhone using Home Brew
 

mabrungard

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Table 22.2 from Malting and Brewing Science reports the following inorganic components in beer.

K: 220 to 1100 ppm
Na: 9 to 230 ppm
Mg: 34 to 250 ppm
Ca: 10 to 140 ppm
Fe: 0.02 to 0.84 ppm
Cl: 143 to 984 ppm
SO4: 107 to 400 ppm

There are more listed, but I'm tired of typing. The ranges cover a lot of styles and countries of origin, but this does give you an indication of many ions that malt contributes. In the case of Mg, malt supplies about 1 g Mg per kg of grain. Ca is supplied at the rate of about 0.3 g per kg of grain. If all that content makes it into the wort, that equates to about 60 ppm Ca and 150 ppm Mg.

As you can see, malt is a big contributor of necessary ions for yeast growth and health. Adding those ions to water is NOT necessary for the yeast. But we do like to add them for more flavor in our beer!

The other question that is answered here is that chloride is indeed supplied by malt. So the result shown above is a reasonable representation of a beer.
 

mtnagel

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Interesting. Thanks for that. So now I see why you say not to set the target on those numbers because the ranges are so big, it's hard to tell what was added and what came from the malts.

I do still wonder how they have a target of 750 ppm total hardness and the beer ended up to be that, but obviously they are added less than that as mineral additions. So do they really know what the malts will contribute and base their additions on that?
 

mabrungard

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Matt, I agree that its impossible to really deduce what the malt provides and what was already in the water for those various beers. The only thing that you might be able to pull out of that data is from looking at the minimum values in the ranges. If we assume that water was nearly mineral free, then maybe the contribution is all from the malt???
 

zwiller

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Thanks for digging and posting Martin. Starting to wonder if commercial brewers send beer out for lab work and could be targeting finished levels for health/legal reasons.
 
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carvetop

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Or they have the capability to test it themselves.

Has anyone tried emailing the Alchemist about this?

Haven't emailed them in this regard. Might be worth a shot.

So, the general consensus on sending in commercial beers for the purposes of gleaning info on their construction? I don't think it was a total waste of time and money but I also don't believe it brings us much closer to understanding how this beer works.

My takeaway, for experimental purposes, will be increasing the hardness of my source water significantly (75ppm as CaCO3, possibly similar to Waterbury's water), increasing the sulfates to 450ppm and not being afraid of elevated chloride levels.

If anyone else decides to experiment based on the numbers given, let us know how it turns out.
 

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Haven't emailed them in this regard. Might be worth a shot.

So, the general consensus on sending in commercial beers for the purposes of gleaning info on their construction? I don't think it was a total waste of time and money but I also don't believe it brings us much closer to understanding how this beer works.

My takeaway, for experimental purposes, will be increasing the hardness of my source water significantly (75ppm as CaCO3, possibly similar to Waterbury's water), increasing the sulfates to 450ppm and not being afraid of elevated chloride levels.

If anyone else decides to experiment based on the numbers given, let us know how it turns out.
I would agree - while it does not really give precise water numbers, I think it is safe to infer that the water being used is pretty hard and pushing higher ends of mineral content.

I suppose a second "experiment" that would be interesting would be to brew up a batch of HT clone. Take a sample of the treated water and send it to wards (or simply go off of numbers derived from B'run Water based on starting profile/additions). And then, send in a sample of the finished homebrew to ward labs for analysis........ would perhaps be interesting to see how the finished beer and the grain contributions compared to the original brewing water (where you know the original mineral content.)
 

zwiller

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(braufessor beat me) If I was gung ho I would send a sample of a HT clone off to Ward... Would be worth some extra data points. I would also recommend sending me HT to evaluate. :D (in all seriousness, I know IPAs and am BJCP and have never had HT)

Do NOT add CaCO3 to a pale beer like HT. The hardness is EXPRESSED as CaCO3 and that does not not mean it there is any in it. A confirmation of this is the carbonate value of <1. I will let the more knowledgeable explain...
 

mtnagel

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Haven't emailed them in this regard. Might be worth a shot.

So, the general consensus on sending in commercial beers for the purposes of gleaning info on their construction? I don't think it was a total waste of time and money but I also don't believe it brings us much closer to understanding how this beer works.

My takeaway, for experimental purposes, will be increasing the hardness of my source water significantly (75ppm as CaCO3, possibly similar to Waterbury's water), increasing the sulfates to 450ppm and not being afraid of elevated chloride levels.

If anyone else decides to experiment based on the numbers given, let us know how it turns out.
Don't forget that some of the sulfate comes from the malt (as Martin posted). So you might not want to go quite that high.
 
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carvetop

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(braufessor beat me) If I was gung ho I would send a sample of a HT clone off to Ward... Would be worth some extra data points. I would also recommend sending me HT to evaluate. :D (in all seriousness, I know IPAs and am BJCP and have never had HT)

Do NOT add CaCO3 to a pale beer like HT. The hardness is EXPRESSED as CaCO3 and that does not not mean it there is any in it. A confirmation of this is the carbonate value of <1. I will let the more knowledgeable explain...
Yes, certainly wasn't planning on adding CaCO3. I understand the hardness level indicated is related to the Ca and Mg amounts found in solution. Would still not shy away from 450ppm+ sulfate levels on an experimental basis either. PM me about a possible trade.
 

zwiller

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Cool. I like higher sulfate in english stuff (450ppm) but I think the sweet spot for AIPA is 300ppm. Higher than 300ppm seems to add a certain thickness (have also seen the expression "crunchy") that I don't care for in my AIPAs but would definitely lend some authenticity to english ales. Some guys are freaked out with the sulfate bump. I have been doing it forever and learned it from Terry Foster's Pale Ale.
 

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Based on the Alchemist brew sheet I used 4 tsp of gypsum in my last HT clone. It was the best one yet, but now I'm seeing this thread and the numbers just don't add up. The hardness is spot on, but I plugged in the numbers from the Alchemist brew sheet into the brewersfriend water profile and came out with over twice the calcium level and over three times the sulfate level. That is the mash water, but I don't see how the finished beer could be that much less. Maybe this is an off brew sheet or maybe the calcium sulfate anhydrous doesn't provide nearly as much calcium sulfate on a gram per gram basis as gypsum, but from what I know about chemistry it should be exactly the opposite.

HTwater2.jpg
 

Braufessor

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Are you using the "750" as a number you are shooting for in regard to mash water, or a number that would be found in the finished beer? The 750 is the total hardness in the finished beer (as sent to ward labs) not necessarily the water profile of the mash water. Those spread sheets are looking at mash water.
 
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For those assuming that the sheet is accurate, I would reason that the treatment is for the full liquor volume, not just the mash water. They brew 15bbl batches (~465G) so it's reasonable to assume that 776G would be the total liquor volume to begin with. Dividing the grams of CaSO4 added by the total volume, we get 2775g/776G = 3.6 g of CaSO4 per gallon. Extrapolating this number to a 5-6G homebrew batch and assuming that the total liquor volume is approximately 7.75G - 9.25G, we get between 28-33g of CaSO4.
Please correct me if my logic seems flawed. I've never come close to using that amount of CaSO4 in my hoppy brews. If anyone has experimented with this amount of gypsum, I'd like to hear about the results.
 

mtnagel

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I used 15.5 g gypsum (2.11 g/gal) in my batch. I was targeting 400 ppm sulfate (my water has 54 ppm). I also added some epsom salt also. It was great and got a 3rd place out of 37 beers. That that for what it's worth.
 

dyqik

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For those assuming that the sheet is accurate, I would reason that the treatment is for the full liquor volume, not just the mash water. They brew 15bbl batches (~465G) so it's reasonable to assume that 776G would be the total liquor volume to begin with. Dividing the grams of CaSO4 added by the total volume, we get 2775g/776G = 3.6 g of CaSO4 per gallon. Extrapolating this number to a 5-6G homebrew batch and assuming that the total liquor volume is approximately 7.75G - 9.25G, we get between 28-33g of CaSO4.
Please correct me if my logic seems flawed. I've never come close to using that amount of CaSO4 in my hoppy brews. If anyone has experimented with this amount of gypsum, I'd like to hear about the results.
I also worked this out over in either the Brew Science version of this thread or the Recipes Clone thread. It pretty much worked out when I ran it in Bru'n'Water with Boston water as the base (not too far from the base water profile listed on the sheet). This gives water pretty similar to the Burton-on-Trent deep aquifer profile that's commonly listed in various places (including in Bru'n'Water), although I make it 4.1g/gal to get Boston water to Burton levels of sulfates (610 mg/l), and a total hardness of 750 mg/l).

Martin Brungard did say that Burton water wouldn't historically be used undiluted, but my feeling is that plenty of brewers have just taken that profile on faith, and so it is plausible that Heady Topper does use that profile.
 
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Another question for Martin if you're still tuned in... Plugging the grain bill for a 5.5G batch into Bru'n Water and dialing the Calcium Sulfate up to the amounts previously mentioned (3.6g/G), pushes the mash pH to undesirably low levels. Even if one were to add a lesser amount to the mash to reach the desired pH and then add the remainder to the kettle, wouldn't this amount of calcium have a detrimental effect on the boil pH and resulting wort pH? I'm trying to make sense out of adding that much calcium at any point in the process.
 

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My mash pH was fine. I actually had to add 1% acidulated malt on top of that to get it down to 5.3. Your water must be a really low pH or maybe Bru'n water is calculating incorrectly. Try http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-chemistry-and-brewing-water-calculator/ and see if you get the same result. I personally found it much easier to work with as well. Even if your pH is as low as 5.1, that is probably fine. Of course a properly calibrated pH will tell you what your pH really is.
 
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My mash pH was fine. I actually had to add 1% acidulated malt on top of that to get it down to 5.3. Your water must be a really low pH or maybe Bru'n water is calculating incorrectly. Try http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-chemistry-and-brewing-water-calculator/ and see if you get the same result. I personally found it much easier to work with as well. Even if your pH is as low as 5.1, that is probably fine. Of course a properly calibrated pH will tell you what your pH really is.
Using the exact same input parameters for both programs gives me completely different outputs. Clearly user error. Just not sure where I'm going wrong. Brewer's Friend is predicting a much higher mash pH than Bru'n Water.
 
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The next logical step. The difference is bothering me though.
 

mabrungard

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Another question for Martin if you're still tuned in... Plugging the grain bill for a 5.5G batch into Bru'n Water and dialing the Calcium Sulfate up to the amounts previously mentioned (3.6g/G), pushes the mash pH to undesirably low levels. Even if one were to add a lesser amount to the mash to reach the desired pH and then add the remainder to the kettle, wouldn't this amount of calcium have a detrimental effect on the boil pH and resulting wort pH? I'm trying to make sense out of adding that much calcium at any point in the process.
Yes, you can't avoid the pH lowering effect of adding calcium to wort, whether its in the mash or in the kettle. Sure, you can reserve some calcium from the mash and produce a decent pH in the tun, but when you add the rest of the calcium to boost the sulfate level, the kettle wort pH will be reduced. In a hoppy beer, that can take the edge off the bittering and hop expression.

If you are adding a bunch of gypsum to reach a high sulfate target and your starting water doesn't have much alkalinity, it can depress the mash or kettle pH below the desirable hoppy beer target of about 5.4. Adding a bit of lime or baking soda can correct that.
 

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