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RO water for All Grain

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cathlabrob

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Hi all,
I am new to all grain and I live in Las Vegas which has terrible hard water. I’ve been making extract and mini mash kits for 10 years using RO water. I’ve been reading up on all grain brewing and plan to use RO water profiles with BeerSmith additives to match various water profiles by adding designated amounts of gypsum, salt, epsom salt, calcium chloride, and baking soda.
My question is: Will there be enough zinc or copper from the mashing of the grains to provide adequate nutrient for the yeast or should I get yeast nutrients?
Thanks for any advice or information.
Rob Williams
 

mabrungard

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RO treatment does strip what little zinc there is in a water supply. It is actually quite important for brewers to add a zinc supplement to their brewing liquor in order to help the yeast metabolism. I too use the Wyeast product.

For copper, all you need to do is have (or add) a bit of copper tubing in your brewing system and it will provide all that you need. If your system is all stainless, drop of small piece of copper tube in the kettle and you'll be good.
 

Vale71

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The amount of zinc found in water is so small as to be completely irrelevant. All the zinc comes from the malt and is released during mashing. Unless you use a lot of refined adjuncts such as refined sugar, either solid or syrup, which do not contain minerals then there should be enough zinc in your wort to assure a trouble free fermentation.
 

mabrungard

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Zinc is a micronutrient for yeast. While malt does provide zinc, there are studies that confirm that the water does HAVE to provide some zinc naturally or via supplement in order to improve yeast performance.

It’s not a debate. Zinc is an important micronutrient need when a brewer starts with RO or distilled water.
 

Vale71

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Zinc is a micronutrient for yeast. While malt does provide zinc, there are studies that confirm that the water does HAVE to provide some zinc naturally or via supplement in order to improve yeast performance.

It’s not a debate. Zinc is an important micronutrient need when a brewer starts with RO or distilled water.
Do you have a link to any of these studies? Chelation removes most of the zinc during the boil. The amount of zinc in drinking water is already minuscule and most of it will be lost to chelation during the boil in any case. This is the reason why adding zinc supplements to the brewing water is considered a waste of time and additions should be at the end of the boil (when all the hot break has already formed) or even better in the fermenter after chilling. At least, that's what taught to brew masters at Doemens in Munich.
 

mabrungard

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Anheuser Busch performed their own studies and published them. I’ve only seen PowerPoint presentations of that recommendation, not journal citations.

Regarding chelation, that process drops out EXCESS ionic content. Brewing water and tap water are dealing with trace zinc content. Chelation is apparently not a factor.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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So if one were to convert the science using"brewing process engineering" to get to a poka-yoke'd brewing process, would yeast nutrient effectively be "cheap insurance" (which is one of those 'forum wisdom' thingees ;))?
 

Vale71

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Anheuser Busch performed their own studies and published them. I’ve only seen PowerPoint presentations of that recommendation, not journal citations.

Regarding chelation, that process drops out EXCESS ionic content. Brewing water and tap water are dealing with trace zinc content. Chelation is apparently not a factor.
How would you define EXCESS ionic content? Chemically up until saturation is reached there is no definition of excess content.
Here is a more recent study of the metal ion dynamics of brewing:


Table VI shows that in a commercially produced beer (unnamed) of a total of 4.39 milligrams per liter of finished contributed by the raw materials, malt contributed 4.32 and brewing water a whopping 0.01 mg/l. Measured on the output side, i.e. at the end fot he brewing process, hot break material contains 0.06 milligrams per liter of finished beer showing that chelation removes at least six times what is contributed by beer. Furthermore, spent grains still contains 3.83 milligrams per liter of finished beer, showing that malt's net contribution to the process is 0.49 mg/l or approximately 50 times the contribution of water. I'd say this proves beyond any doubt that water's contribution to zinc content is irrelevant and can be disregarded.
 

stealthfixr

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I switched to RO water about 4 months and 5 batches ago. I also always use Servomyces (White Labs?), which as a yeast nutrient seems to always ensure healthy fermentations. Using RO didn't seem to make any difference to fermentation health, but sure did positively in the resulting beer taste.
 

Brooothru

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RO treatment does strip what little zinc there is in a water supply. It is actually quite important for brewers to add a zinc supplement to their brewing liquor in order to help the yeast metabolism. I too use the Wyeast product.

For copper, all you need to do is have (or add) a bit of copper tubing in your brewing system and it will provide all that you need. If your system is all stainless, drop of small piece of copper tube in the kettle and you'll be good.
Copper!?! HERESEY to the LoDO brewer!

Just kidding, of course. Trace copper is necessary/desirable, but is copper can be chelated with a dose of Trifecta in the late boil to help rid the wort of dissolved O2.

Brooo Brother
 

Vale71

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If you look at the study I linked you'll see that malt brings in plenty of copper. Lots of it is already lost to chelation and very little makes it into beer, so there's neither need to add it to the mash nor to increase its removal through the use of nasty chemicals.
 

Brooothru

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If you look at the study I linked you'll see that malt brings in plenty of copper. Lots of it is already lost to chelation and very little makes it into beer, so there's neither need to add it to the mash nor to increase its removal through the use of nasty chemicals.
I was kinda' kidding about the chelation of copper, though it does happen with Trifecta. And yes,, copper (as well as zinc) are brought to the dance by the grist bill. But I'm curious about the "nasty" chemical component since Trifecta is NaMeta, ascorbic acid and BrewTan B which are all common additions in brewing as well as other food & beverage applications. Granted, it doesn,'t comport well with Rheinhotsgebot.....

Brooo Brother
 

Vale71

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Rheinhotsgebot.....
Arghhh. My eyes, my eyes! :p :p
Nobody is using either NaMeta nor ascorbic acid in brewing other than our friends that shall not be named. As for BrewTan B I hope none of the beers I drink have been spiked with it.
 

Brooothru

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Arghhh. My eyes, my eyes! :p :p
Nobody is using either NaMeta nor ascorbic acid in brewing other than our friends that shall not be named. As for BrewTan B I hope none of the beers I drink have been spiked with it.
💣
Without wanting to wander into dangerous territory with the mods, "They who are unnamed shall remain unnamed. 😙.

I get the impression that BrewTan (manufactured and distributed for some time by White Labs) is indeed used by many macro and nano brewers. NaMeta and even ascorbic acid are as common in wine production as grape must. So I'd suggest you may have consumed them before.

In beer (home brew, LoDO) the BrewTan and the associated gallotannins it binds with are precipitated with the trub during whirlpool, and the ascorbic and meta help mitigate dissolved O2 in the wort, which I'm sure we agree is beneficial to the quality and longevity of the beer.

In fairness I'll agree that I don't want those things (BrewTan, meta) in my beer either 🤮, which is why I take measures to remove them either through precipitative settling or molecular binding.

Brooo Brother
 

BarryBrews

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My question is: Will there be enough zinc or copper from the mashing of the grains to provide adequate nutrient for the yeast or should I get yeast nutrients?
Thanks for any advice or information.
Switching to RO water plus calcium sulfate, calcium chloride and yeast nutrient improved my beers dramatically. Easy on the salts though, only enough for 50 ppm of calcium (IMHO)! Used to live in Phoenix so I understand the poor water quality for brewing. Two additional big improvements came with low oxygen techniques and kegging the beer. Oh yea, should mention kveik.
 
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