Schwarzbier Water Profile Help

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porter1974

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I am trying to make get RO water to an appropriate mineral content.

I am using the Munich Dark Lager profile from Brewer's Friend as a goal.

Calcium 82
Magnesium 20
Sodium 4
Chloride 2
Sulfate 16
Bicarbonate 320

Grain Bill:
Pilsner 7.5 lb
Munich 10L 2 lb
Carafa II 8 oz
Crystal 60 6 oz
Chocolate 350L 4 oz

The problem I run into is that when I add the minerals the PH is way to high but then when I add a few ounces of phosphoric acid the bicarbonate level drops way to much.

One possible solution is to scrap that profile as a goal?
Does anybody have a schwarbier profile they created from RO water?

Thanks for your help.
 
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porter1974

porter1974

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I’d still end up with a high PH and then almost no bicarbonate. So you would lean toward scraping the Munich Dark profile? I did an Oktoberfest using the decarbonated Munich and loved it. I could use that profile.
 

dmtaylor

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I’d still end up with a high PH and then almost no bicarbonate. So you would lean toward scraping the Munich Dark profile? I did an Oktoberfest using the decarbonated Munich and loved it. I could use that profile.
Define "high". Some folks such as myself are now shooting for a mash pH of 5.6. Helps ward off that pesky "tartness" that I've been dealing with for most of my beers over the past couple years. What no one seems to realize is that the old rule of thumb for a mash pH of 5.2-5.5 was originally intended to be the pH at mash temperature, not at room temperature. Meanwhile people will always tell you to measure pH at room temperature only. If that's the case, pH is inherently 0.25 units higher at room temp than at mash temp, so we really should be aiming for 5.45-5.75. Mind blown yet? There are other conversations in this forum that might be worth looking up. Or perhaps more of my interested brethren lurking in the shadows will pop their heads out tonight or tomorrow.
 

Vale71

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That "bicarbonate 320" should actually read "carbonate 320". Carbonate and bicarbonate are two different things. Unfortunately you can't get calcium or magnesium carbonate to easily dissolve in water so creating the original profile from RO water is not really practically possible.
 

hottpeper13

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Why are you using RO water? I use it because my CaCO3 is ~400 ppm. When I mash a dark grain bill I use half filtered house water and half RO. Could you do that? Also what Dave said I agree with. My very lite colored beers are mashed at 5.2 for that crispness and darker ones at 5.5 for smoothness. You could also just put the dark grains in at vorlof or cold steep the nite before and add at boil.
 

Silver_Is_Money

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I don't think that any of us should presume that Munich breweries are actually using their terrible local water straight up and without any form of alteration. Munich water (as you have presented it above, and as seen on the BF website) is devoid of flavor ions, borderline offensive in magnesium, and insanely high in bicarbonate.
 

Silver_Is_Money

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For specifically the case of your listed grist being no-sparge mashed in 8.75 gallons of water with 50 ppm of Ca++ ions present within, I compute bicarbonate needs as follow:

Bicarbonate required for mash at ~5.6 pH ~= 100 ppm (~82 ppm alkalinity)
Bicarbonate required for mash at ~5.5 pH ~= 67 ppm (~55 ppm alkalinity)
Bicarbonate required for mash at ~5.4 pH ~= 37 ppm (~30 ppm alkalinity)
 

jdauria

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I usually shoot for "Brown Balanced" profile for my Schwarzbiers and Czech Dark lagers and a pH between 5.4-5.5. Though my last Czech Dark I basically went soft, almost like Pilsner Urquell water..Ca 16, Mg 0, Na 5, SO4 20, CL 29 and it did great in comps averaging over 40 pts and making the final table at NHC this year. Lagers don't need 50 ppm of Ca for yeast health per the water gurus.
 

Silver_Is_Money

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Lagers don't need 50 ppm of Ca for yeast health per the water gurus.
True, but its addition at that level or above helps prevent nasty and really hard to remove beerstone deposits on/in the brewing equipment (which when present, and often hidden, leads to off tasting beer, the offness of which is generally attributed incorrectly to other reasons, which ironically enough often leads to a rabbit hole of mistaken exploration into areas such as magical or mystical water profiles in ones effort to resolve the off flavor(s)). And it also helps prevent gushers in the bottle which are not attributable to adding to much priming sugar.
 
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Hayden123982

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I have used two different profiles for my shwarz in the past.

Ca 51, Mg 12, SO4 49, Na 9, Cl 34, HCO3 120
Ca 78, Mg 3, SO4 11, Na 9, Cl 81, HCO3 121

Myself and most others preferred the the first profile, but agreed the beer with the second profile was more to style for how the beer turned out
 
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