Need help with water additions

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GillesF

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Hi all

I have brewed several recipes but I never looked at the water analysis. I want to step up my game and modify the water parameters for the first time to improve the recipes and brew results. However, I have used several calculators (Brewersfriends, EZwatercalculator, Brun'water) but each time they give me different results.

Here's my recipe, it's meant as an easy to drink brown ale with notes of caramel, toffee and a hint of chocolate. I chose Willammette and Saaz for earthy/fruity hints.


Grainfather G30 - Micro
80% efficiency
Batch Volume: 12 L (3.17 gallons)
Boil Time: 60 min
Mash Water: 11.87 L (3.13 gallons)
Sparge Water: 7.15 L (1.88 gallons)
Total Water: 19.02 L (5.02 gallons)
Boil Volume: 16.54 L (4.36 gallons)
Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.052

Vitals
Original Gravity: 1.066
Final Gravity: 1.012
IBU (Tinseth): 21
BU/GU: 0.32
Color: 36 EBC

Mash
Temperature — 65 °C (149 °F) — 60 min
Mash Out — 75 °C (167 °F) — 10 min

Malts (3.099 kg)
2 kg (61.6%) — The Swaen Swaen Vienna — Grain — 10 EBC
1000 g (30.8%) — Weyermann Pilsner — Grain — 3.3 EBC
66 g (2%) — Weyermann Carafa Special II — Grain — 1100 EBC
34 g (1%) — Dingemans Special B — Grain — 290 EBC

Other (150 g)
150 g (4.6%) — Candi Syrup Candi Syrup, D-45 — Sugar — 88.5 EBC

Hops (25 g)
16 g (17 IBU) — Willamette 5.5% — Boil — 60 min
6 g (3 IBU) — Willamette 5.5% — Boil — 15 min
3 g (1 IBU) — Saaz 4.5% — Boil — 15 min

Miscs
2 g — Irish Moss — Boil — 10 min

Yeast
1 pkg — White Labs WLP530 Abbey Ale 80%

Fermentation
Primary — 20 °C — 7 days
Secondary — 20 °C — 10 days
Cold Crash — 5 °C — 2 days


Here's my tap water results:

Calcium: 43
Magnesium: 20
Sodium: 83
Chloride: 28
Sulfate: 47
CaCO3: 160
Bicarbonates: 195
pH: 7,8

I was thinking of diluting this with distilled water by 50% and then adding 1.6g CaSO4, 3.2g CaCl2 and 1.6g MgSO4 and 1ml lactic acid of 80%. According to EZwatercalculator this shoud give me a pH of about 5,48 which is fine + the following parameters:

Calcium: 86
Magnesium: 18
Sodium: 41
Chloride: 95
Sulfate: 103

However, when I use Brewersfriends I need to use way more lactic acid to achieve this pH and when I use Bru'n I get the error that my pH will be lower then 5 when I'm not even using the lactic acid.

Am I doing something wrong or misinterpreting something? Any help is welcome.
 
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marc1

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Something seems to be off somewhere... can you post screenshots of the programs showing all the relevant info?
 

marc1

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I put your recipe into BrunWater v1.25 and got a mash pH of 6.12 without adding lactic, so it is certainly not going to be too low. It's also showing that you will need to acidify your sparge water because of the alkalinity in it.
Are you entering the mineral additions as grams/gallon?
 

Silver_Is_Money

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Here is how I see your mash, but were you aware that your tap water analyticals are impossible?

GillesF_Recipe.png Water.png

It may be that your tap water analyticals are merely averages taken from blended source waters.
 
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GillesF

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Hello

Our town has it's own water source. This is the analysis from the government:

Calcium: 43
Magnesium: 20
Sodium: 83
Chloride: 28
Sulfate: 47
CaCO3: 160 (I calculated this from 16 French degrees)
Bicarbonates: 195 (I calculated this from CaCO3)
pH: 7,8

I then dilute this with 50% distilled water, cutting the numbers in half and averaging a pH of 7,4. Then I added those extra salts from my first post:

1.6g CaSO4
3.2g CaCl2
1.6g MgSO4
1ml lactic acid of 80%

and got the results in the screenshot attached (EZwatercalculator):
 

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Silver_Is_Money

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You can not derive Alkalinity as CaCO3 (or Bicarbonate) from Total Hardness as CaCO3. That said, your total hardness as CaCO3 is ~189.9 mg/L.

2.5(43 mg/L Ca++) + 4.12(20 mg/L Mg++) = 189.9 mg/L Total Hardness (as CaCO3)

I presume your water report as shown is in units of mg/L
I took a guess that your Potassium is ~2 mg/L
I took a guess that your Nitrate is ~0.1 mg/L

With my guesses added, and with Cations and Anions in balance:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Your Alkalinity is likely to be closer to 284.5 mg/L
Your Bicarbonate is likely to be closer to 347.1 mg/L

Water.png
 
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GillesF

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Hi

Thanks for the calculations. My nitrate is about 8.85ppm and Potassium 4.59ppm. Here's a screenshot of the complete analysis.
It's in units of mg/l unless stated otherwise in the third column.
 

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marc1

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Hello

Our town has it's own water source. This is the analysis from the government:

Calcium: 43
Magnesium: 20
Sodium: 83
Chloride: 28
Sulfate: 47
CaCO3: 160 (I calculated this from 16 French degrees)
Bicarbonates: 195 (I calculated this from CaCO3)
pH: 7,8

I then dilute this with 50% distilled water, cutting the numbers in half and averaging a pH of 7,4. Then I added those extra salts from my first post:

1.6g CaSO4
3.2g CaCl2
1.6g MgSO4
1ml lactic acid of 80%

and got the results in the screenshot attached (EZwatercalculator):

So you added those minerals and acid to the total 5 gallons of water you use. And then split it for mash and sparge?
 
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GillesF

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Yep, that is correct! :)

Although I believe it's better to use the acid for sparge water only, so the sparge water pH will be lower then mash water's?
 

marc1

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Yep, that is correct! :)

Although I believe it's better to use the acid for sparge water only, so the sparge water pH will be lower then mash water's?

Mash and sparge are 2 different things.

You don't need to add minerals to the sparge, but can. Acid should be added to the mash if needed for mash pH, and to the sparge if desired to neutralize alkalinity in the sparge water (if sparge water pH and temperature are too high, it can cause tannin extraction). I use RO water for my sparge (which basically doesn't have the buffering ability to alter pH negatively), so I don't add acid to my sparge water. Someone who does it in practice can hopefully chime in with more detail.

Adding all of your minerals to all of your water at the start is OK. It's going to depend on your process if it is easier that way or not. You could also add all minerals to mash only (where Calcium Chloride and Calcium Sulfate would help lower mash pH more), or add minerals for flavor to the boil afterwards (if you want flavor contributions without interfering with the mash pH). You don't want to add alkalinity (e.g. baking soda) to the sparge water.
 
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VikeMan

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I use RO water for my sparge (which basically doesn't have the buffering ability to alter pH negatively), so I don't add acid to my sparge water. Someone who does it in practice can hopefully chime in with more detail.

The amount of acid needed to bring distilled/RO water pH down to 5.5. (or whatever) is extremely small, and wouldn't have any practical impact on the wort's well buffered runoff pH.

There may be someone who does this, but I don't know what kind of detail they'd be able to chime in with, other than "I do it."
 

marc1

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The amount of acid needed to bring distilled/RO water pH down to 5.5. (or whatever) is extremely small, and wouldn't have any practical impact on the wort's well buffered runoff pH.

There may be someone who does this, but I don't know what kind of detail they'd be able to chime in with, other than "I do it."

Thank you! That wasn't worded clearly. I was referring to someone who acidifies sparge water to neutralize alkalinity.
 

balrog

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when I use Brewersfriends I need to use way more lactic acid to achieve this pH and when I use Bru'n I get the error that my pH will be lower then 5 when I'm not even using the lactic acid.

I always get diffs and was using 6 calculators at one point.
I settled on BrewersFriend, MashMadeEasy and one other. Beersmith was always low for everything I did, way low. Never sorted that out, stopped trying.

Big caveat: since we do not ever have the real scientific specs on the actual lots of grains we use, it's gonna be a bit of a crap shoot.

What I have decided works, for me, is to use something, and when you make the recipe again, find how far off predicted vs measured was, and adjust.
 

marc1

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I always get diffs and was using 6 calculators at one point.
I settled on BrewersFriend, MashMadeEasy and one other. Beersmith was always low for everything I did, way low. Never sorted that out, stopped trying.

Big caveat: since we do not ever have the real scientific specs on the actual lots of grains we use, it's gonna be a bit of a crap shoot.

What I have decided works, for me, is to use something, and when you make the recipe again, find how far off predicted vs measured was, and adjust.

With Mash Made Easy, you can determine the grain specs for yourself and add them in, overriding the default. So if you really want to go down the rabbit hole, you can :D
 

balrog

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With Mash Made Easy, you can determine the grain specs for yourself and add them in, overriding the default. So if you really want to go down the rabbit hole, you can :D

True. True. Very true.
Personally, I'm not even certain I want to measure pH, but now that I have started do so, I can't not. I gots to know.
 

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