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Mexibilly

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Being an all grain novice, and having not received my home water analysis from my friend and industrial cooling water rep yet, I have a question for brew day this Saturday.
I entered 0 across the board for my local grocery available RO water at Brewers Friend. I know it's not 0, but from my research for most practical purposes 0 will work for RO.
I'm brewing a DIPA. Brewers Friend tells me 2.5 tsp gypsum, 1tsp calcium chloride, and a slight sprinkle of non-iodized salt and baking soda.
The bottles I just received from LHBS are labeled '1tsp gypsum per 5 gallons' and '1 tsp calcium chloride per 5 gallons'.
I understand that the ~11 gallons total water in this beer don't necessarily represent the 5 gallons noted on the bottle.
I've seen posts that advise 1tsp gypsum as the goto addition.
I'm inclined to add the salts as the Brewers Friend water calculator specifies, but I really don't want to screw up a whole batch...
18lb pale 2row
.5lb crystal 120
.5lb crystal 20
.5lb carapils
Hop schedule is medium bitter addition and heavy late.
Any advice is totally appreciated.
A lack of advice will result in either halving the Brewers Friend additions or adding as it advises based on a totally neutral base profile...
Thank you
 

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No baking soda- my bet is you need to lower the pH, not raise it. A mash pH of 5.3-5.4 is desireable.

Gypsum is fine, but you probably don't need the table salt or calcium chloride either.
 

kev211

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1 tsp gypsum/gal is just fine. But I definitely recommend downloading the bru'nwater spreadsheet. Makes the whole process way easier and produces some awesome water profiles
 

Gavin C

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I have a question for brew day this Saturday.
I entered 0 across the board for my local grocery available RO water at Brewers Friend.
@Mexibilly

I don't know if this will be of any use but here is a link to how I tackle mineral additions and mash pH from another thread.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showpost.php?p=7161307&postcount=10

I have never needed any alkali additions. I doubt you will either. Certainly not for this grain bill. All I use are Calcium chloride, Calcium sulphate and acidulated malt for mash pH adjustment.

Here is a recent adjusted water and grain bill for an IPA I brewed at the weekend.


Again. May be of no use to you. Disregard as needed.

I use Bru'n Water. I find it to be an excellent tool.
 
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Mexibilly

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No baking soda- my bet is you need to lower the pH, not raise it. A mash pH of 5.3-5.4 is desireable.

Gypsum is fine, but you probably don't need the table salt or calcium chloride either.
I played with additions to get my numbers as close as possible to the 'light colored and hoppy' profile at Brewers friend using RO and my grain bill.
I questioned the tiny additions, but when removed or adjusted otherwise it brought my sulfate, magnesium and sodium out of ideal range.
I also wonder about treating my entire volume or just mash. I was inclined to treat the entire volume based on what info I could find.
I also see that if ph is in happy range to add gypsum to the boil.
I may download Brun Water this evening and compare the results.
 
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@Mexibilly

I don't know if this will be of any use but here is a link to how I tackle mineral additions and mash pH from another thread.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showpost.php?p=7161307&postcount=10

I have never needed any alkali additions. I doubt you will either. Certainly not for this grain bill. All I use are Calcium chloride, Calcium sulphate and acidulated malt for mash pH adjustment.
I do have 75% phosphoric.
This is my first attempt at chemistry adjustment. Beersmith has regional water profiles, but I haven't compared regions with ideal water for a lighter hoppy beer.
More research to come. Thank you
 

LKABrewer

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I have very soft water, and was not able to make great IPAs until I really hardened my water. I used the pale ale profile in Bru'n water and it came out fantastic (2nd BOS out of 518 beers!). With this profile and starting with RO water, you will need to add some alkalinity (baking soda) to balance the large calcium additions. Here is the profile I use: Finished Profile - 167ca, 14mg, 28na, 291sulfate, 55chloride, 187CaCo3. I know some people enjoy less minerals in the water, but I find soft water IPAs to be cloying and dull. My $.02.
 
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I have very soft water, and was not able to make great IPAs until I really hardened my water. I used the pale ale profile in Bru'n water and it came out fantastic (2nd BOS out of 518 beers!). With this profile and starting with RO water, you will need to add some alkalinity (baking soda) to balance the large calcium additions. Here is the profile I use: Finished Profile - 167ca, 14mg, 28na, 291sulfate, 55chloride, 187CaCo3. I know some people enjoy less minerals in the water, but I find soft water IPAs to be cloying and dull. My $.02.
Thank you. More research is revealing that a profile similar to this will help to accentuate exactly the character I'm going for.
 

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I played with additions to get my numbers as close as possible to the 'light colored and hoppy' profile at Brewers friend using RO and my grain bill.
I questioned the tiny additions, but when removed or adjusted otherwise it brought my sulfate, magnesium and sodium out of ideal range.
I also wonder about treating my entire volume or just mash. I was inclined to treat the entire volume based on what info I could find.
I also see that if ph is in happy range to add gypsum to the boil.
I may download Brun Water this evening and compare the results.
You really don't need to get close to light colored and hoppy- I mean, the calcium, sodium, and magnesium and chloride don't really have any impact in that profile.

You can increase the sulfate, but "ideal range" for things like sodium is just "under 100 ppm" so the beer doesn't taste salty. Too much magnesium can make a sort of sour taste, so there really isn't an ideal for that in almost all cases.

The idea is to first hit the perfect mash pH, and then consider the flavor additions. Just like with cooking- a little salt can make good recipe great, but too much salt can ruin the whole thing.

The mash pH is critical- the salt additions are "flavor" additions just like spices in cooking.

For what those things do, take a look at this page: (scroll down a little): https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/water-knowledge
 

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As already said, skip the baking soda without question. Never add baking soda unless you need it. The acceptable levels for magnesium and sodium are "none" unless you have a specific reason otherwise. I used to bump up magnesium, but then realized that malt and yeast nutrient provide all the magnesium the yeast need, and the flavor impact on water is tiny, and the impact on mash pH is tiny. So I never raise it. I will occasionally raise sodium, but an IPA is the last place I would do that.

Most of my water additions are gypsum, calcium chloride, and lactic acid. I do on occasion need to add some alkalinity (via baking soda) for very dark beers, and occasionally some canning salt, but you will not need either for this grain bill. Crystal malt will add some acidity (especially C120L), but you'll probably still need to acidify it a bit.

For this, I think you're on the right track. I'd use gypsum to up the sulfate to 175-200ppm (I don't like it higher than that, but others do), and up the chloride to 75ppm (that's a little more optional, and I like a little more malt in my IPAs). And then use your phosphoric to get your pH down to the right range. Bru'N Water is very helpful for that (but Brewer's Friend is good too).
 
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Mexibilly

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As already said, skip the baking soda without question. Never add baking soda unless you need it. The acceptable levels for magnesium and sodium are "none" unless you have a specific reason otherwise. I used to bump up magnesium, but then realized that malt and yeast nutrient provide all the magnesium the yeast need, and the flavor impact on water is tiny, and the impact on mash pH is tiny. So I never raise it. I will occasionally raise sodium, but an IPA is the last place I would do that.

Most of my water additions are gypsum, calcium chloride, and lactic acid. I do on occasion need to add some alkalinity (via baking soda) for very dark beers, and occasionally some canning salt, but you will not need either for this grain bill. Crystal malt will add some acidity (especially C120L), but you'll probably still need to acidify it a bit.

For this, I think you're on the right track. I'd use gypsum to up the sulfate to 175-200ppm (I don't like it higher than that, but others do), and up the chloride to 75ppm (that's a little more optional, and I like a little more malt in my IPAs). And then use your phosphoric to get your pH down to the right range. Bru'N Water is very helpful for that (but Brewer's Friend is good too).
This may be the most valuable explanation so far. I did readjust, adding only gypsum and CaCl, to 160 SO, 48 Cl, 0 Mg and 0 Na, with Ca at 94.
This required 12g (3tsp) gypsum and ~4g (1tsp) CaCl.
I had intended to treat my entire volume as the calculations are based on my entering the total. At this point though I'm unsure how to proceed due to increasing Ca and possible low ph...
 

Qhrumphf

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This may be the most valuable explanation so far. I did readjust, adding only gypsum and CaCl, to 160 SO, 48 Cl, 0 Mg and 0 Na, with Ca at 94.
This required 12g (3tsp) gypsum and ~4g (1tsp) CaCl.
I had intended to treat my entire volume as the calculations are based on my entering the total. At this point though I'm unsure how to proceed due to increasing Ca and possible low ph...
I think that water is good for the style. What's the projected pH, and is that determined by SRM or by grain bill? With RO water, I'd expect the pH to be pretty solid if not a touch on the high side, but not too low unless you're mashing super thick.
 
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No baking soda- my bet is you need to lower the pH, not raise it. A mash pH of 5.3-5.4 is desireable.

Gypsum is fine, but you probably don't need the table salt or calcium chloride either.
Side note, never made the connection that MB wrote the Bru'n Water program. My former manager of 11 years is an FBI member and BJCP judge as well. Better download it this evening...
 

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Side note, never made the connection that MB wrote the Bru'n Water program. My former manager of 11 years is an FBI member and BJCP judge as well. Better download it this evening...
You'd better! Martin is a great guy, and I really like him. He's been one of my favorite drinking buddies at the NHC. And he does look really good in that black FBI suit, I must say. :D What can I say, I'm shallow. But he really is a nice guy, and a very good BJCP (national(?) I think) judge as well.

@mabrungard thanks!!!!
 
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Mexibilly

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I think that water is good for the style. What's the projected pH, and is that determined by SRM or by grain bill? With RO water, I'd expect the pH to be pretty solid if not a touch on the high side, but not too low unless you're mashing super thick.
Projected mash ph with 75% phosphoric is 5.38.
A touch high doesn't concern me, as I can correct for it simply if I choose. A touch low is another issue.
My intent is to dial in a few house recipes, this DIPA being one of them.
Trial and error is assumed, but as close as I can get it is best.
This is version 3 of this recipe. Version 1 was too high abv and undefined/unrefined hop character.
Version 2 was in the lower acceptable abv range with a very good citrus hop character, but still lacking based on my goal.
This will hopefully be the closest to my goal yet and provide the base from which minor tweaks can be made to dial this one in.
Thank you for the advice. I'll post results next year
 

mabrungard

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Side note, never made the connection that MB wrote the Bru'n Water program. My former manager of 11 years is an FBI member and BJCP judge as well. Better download it this evening...
I'm assuming you work at the foundry and Mr. Indiana Homebrewer of the Year Palmer worked with you?
 
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I'm assuming you work at the foundry and Mr. Indiana Homebrewer of the Year Palmer worked with you?
That is correct. Tim was my manager since 2004, and was a great reference when I began brewing. When he left us I inherited his Environmental Compliance responsibilities, and my respect for him has only grown as I wrap my head around the immensity of this one of his many former responsibilities.
 
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Mexibilly

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I think that water is good for the style. What's the projected pH, and is that determined by SRM or by grain bill? With RO water, I'd expect the pH to be pretty solid if not a touch on the high side, but not too low unless you're mashing super thick.
Water jugs are in my truck and ph meter is in my pocket. I'll fill one, test the ph and buy a few gallons of distilled if its in the very low 5s. I entered 5.6 as water ph in beersmith, and mash ph is based on the neutral water, grain bill and acid addition.
A 1oz bittering addition comes in very low, but I'm seriously considering going with 1oz anyway and counting on the SO to enhance it to a desirable level.
Also considering 14 - 16 grams of gypsum, not 12...
 

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Water jugs are in my truck and ph meter is in my pocket. I'll fill one, test the ph and buy a few gallons of distilled if its in the very low 5s. I entered 5.6 as water ph in beersmith, and mash ph is based on the neutral water, grain bill and acid addition.
A 1oz bittering addition comes in very low, but I'm seriously considering going with 1oz anyway and counting on the SO to enhance it to a desirable level.
Also considering 14 - 16 grams of gypsum, not 12...
The water pH doesn't matter at all- it's the alkalinity of the water that matters. If it's RO water, the alkalinity would be very low so no worries there.
 
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The water pH doesn't matter at all- it's the alkalinity of the water that matters. If it's RO water, the alkalinity would be very low so no worries there.
Low alkalinity wouldn't result in the grain bill bringing the mash ph down more easily, based on pre-mash water ph?
I'm just concerned that if I test the water at the store and it's 5.2 or 5.3 that my resulting mash ph will be too low
 

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Low alkalinity wouldn't result in the grain bill bringing the mash ph down more easily, based on pre-mash water ph?
I'm just concerned that if I test the water at the store and it's 5.2 or 5.3 that my resulting mash ph will be too low
No, as Yooper said, water pH isn't the concern (mash pH is). If you have distilled water with one drop of HCl added, it's pH will be close to 0, distilled water with one drop of NaOH will be close to 14. Both, however, will give a similar mash pH as there isn't much in the water to prevent a change in pH due to grain and salt additions.
 

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Low alkalinity wouldn't result in the grain bill bringing the mash ph down more easily, based on pre-mash water ph?
I'm just concerned that if I test the water at the store and it's 5.2 or 5.3 that my resulting mash ph will be too low
No. It has to do with buffering (from grains and the alkalinity) and not the pH of the water you start with.

Bru'nwater really gets close to actual projected mash pH for me, so try it out. It has a learning curve, but Martin is very responsive here in the forum to questions about it, and Matt Chrispen has a bru'nwater tutorial walk-though here: http://accidentalis.com/archives/275
 
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No, as Yooper said, water pH isn't the concern (mash pH is). If you have distilled water with one drop of HCl added, it's pH will be close to 0, distilled water with one drop of NaOH will be close to 14. Both, however, will give a similar mash pH as there isn't much in the water to prevent a change in pH due to grain and salt additions.
So am I understanding correctly that the grain primarily determines the mash ph, and the ph of the water has little effect other than buffering ability relative to alkalinity?
That would be totally opposite of what I thought.
 
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No. It has to do with buffering (from grains and the alkalinity) and not the pH of the water you start with.

Bru'nwater really gets close to actual projected mash pH for me, so try it out. It has a learning curve, but Martin is very responsive here in the forum to questions about it, and Matt Chrispen has a bru'nwater tutorial walk-though here: http://accidentalis.com/archives/275
Thank you. I didn't download it last night, but I will as soon as I get home.
 

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So am I understanding correctly that the grain primarily determines the mash ph, and the ph of the water has little effect other than buffering ability relative to alkalinity?
That would be totally opposite of what I thought.
Well, no, not exactly. The grains do bring down the pH, but it's the alkalinity of the water that is most responsible.

I have a bicarbonate of 228 in my water- so even though the water pH may be close to neutral, that level of alkalinity needs I need to acidify both my mash and my sparge water. (I generally use RO water now, except for my one stout recipe where I use tap water).

When I use RO water, the bicarbonate is something like 16, and so I don't have to use nearly as much acid to get the mash pH in the 5.3-5.5 range. For an IPA, I like 5.3-5.4 for the mash pH as it seems to make the flavors "brighter".
 
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Yes, you will and probably quickly. It's not hard, but I sure am no expert on this. I think of water as "the final frontier" of brewing.
Just put a brand new electrode on a ph meter yesterday, and the RO water was the very first thing it tested, other than a 2 point calibration. 7.18 - 7.2.
I sat down to look at how best to add salts to my water and of course got sucked in to HBT :).
I'm thinking I'll treat my entire volume, and pretend I live somewhere that has that specific composition and that I'm simply using my regional water.
 

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Don't bother targeting regional water profiles. Aim for one of the color and flavour profiles in brunwater.
 
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Don't bother targeting regional water profiles. Aim for one of the color and flavour profiles in brunwater.
I din't express that clearly. I had been trying to determine whether or not to treat my entire water volume, or mash and sparge separately, or mash and then sparge additions in the kettle. Rather than complicate this first attempt at water chemistry, I'm just going to treat the entire volume to my desired profile, as if I lived in a region where the water is that profile. I checked regional profiles in beersmith and none are close enough to my goal.
 
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Following Brewers Friend, (still haven't downloaded Bru'n water, it looks confusing)
My projected mash ph was 5.38. I hit 5.46, drawing a little off the valve and cooling to ~65.
Might hit it with a little more phosphoric
 
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