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Water Modification Videos, TH's Spreadsheet

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Bobby_M

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Of course I don't have to remind you folks that I'm a complete novice at this topic. I'm not claiming authority in any way, just trying to pass on nuggets of info that other people were good enough to pass on to me.

This is part one in a series of at least 3, still editing and rendering the 2nd and 3rd parts.

Corrections and criticisms welcome.. If you click the video to go directly to youtube, you can watch in HQ to see the text better.



Part 2, modify for pale ale:


Part 3, modify for dark beer and includes the concept of separate mash/boil additions and the ability to exclude some salts from the boil addition if necessary.
 
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Bobby_M

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I couldn't figure out a way to make it more concise and I realize it's a little rambly. Anyway, I added part 2 last night.
 

millstone

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good stuff, I always enjoy your videos. In part two, you talk about the amount of mash and sparge water required and you only talk about adding salts based on the amount of mash water. The application also shows salt additions for the boil, are you not adding any salts as shown on the app to your boil? Also in part one I have watched it maybe a dozen times and every time I look at part one the gallon of milk is still on the counter. Don't you think you should put it away.

tom
 
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Bobby_M

Bobby_M

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Hey Tom, I think the chatter about the mash/boil additions was cut out of part two but I'm pretty sure I mention it in part 3, which is yet to be edited. I'll make sure I put that in there or at least annotate the video somewhere.

That milk jug is empty and it's my job to put it in the recycle bin in the garage. However, instead of doing what I'm supposed to, I sit here making videos for you guys ;-)
 

-TH-

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Bobby, I spent the 10 bucks and got a domain name for the spreadsheet. It is: www.EZWaterCalculator.com. Maybe you can update your videos and signature if its not too late. Soon I will put a link on the website to your videos.

Cheers!
 

mgo737

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TH, can you take your spreadsheet one step further and have it convert the grams to teaspoons of each salt? That would be so helpful... Love the program otherwise!
 
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Bobby_M

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TH, no problem. I'm glad I didn't put the URL in the video render itself.

mgo737, I figured out the volume to weights on most of the salts last night and added it as a formula on the raw text output worksheet. I don't have it in front of me at the moment but IIRC, the fine powders like chalk and gypsum were 1/4 tsp per gram and epsom salt and baking soda were 1/8 tsp per gram. Those were lightly packed and level screeded amounts. I'll verify when I go home. I would caution that you'll be accepting a small level of error depending on how much moisture the salt has absorbed and how fine the powders are. I think calcium chloride has quite a large grain structure but it might be finer than yours and that would throw off the weight per volume. It's not rocket science though, I suppose.
 

mgo737

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Well, I know what the adjustments are. I just feel the online calculator would be the absolute bomb if it converted grams to teaspoons on a separate line automatically...

This page has the conversion factors:
http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter15-4.html

Thanks,
Mike

P.S. Bobby M and everyone else who helped, I just had my first bottle of the first beer I brewed using salts. It was far and away the best beer I ever brewed! I previously was stupidly using RO water with no adjustments and getting mediocre to bad beer. Thanks all!
 

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I noticed several times during the videos that the amounts were "close enough."

How close is close enough? Is there some sort of guideline or just whatever the brewer finds acceptable? If one is going through the trouble of making the adjustments, how close should he try to get?
 
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Bobby_M

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It's preference of course. I mean, when you're crafting a recipe and you were thinking of bittering to 40 IBU, but a bunch of 1oz additions gives you 38 IBU, do you add another .05 ounces to the 60 min addition or let it ride?

My primary goal with water mods is making sure none of the levels are horribly deficient or excessive in relationship to the average water profile used for brewing. For example, my 53ppm Cl to 15 SO4 is nearly a 4:1 ratio and no brewing water profile I've ever seen has Cl higher than the SO4. Even though 1:1 seems to be labeled "balanced", I think it's more likely the "malty" baseline.

I tend to think "close enough" especially on the RA because I'm more worried about overshooting the mash pH.
 

AScott

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Makes sense. I'm really new to this and didn't want to miss anything.

Great videos. Very helpful.
 

martinworswick

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thanks for the videos, i thought it was complicated but the spreadsheet and videos have made it clearer.
one question though, what do you do when a target profile is out of the recommended brewing ranges? go with the profile or the recommendations?
cheers
martin
 

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Wow, excellent job, and IMHO you never rambled... all good info.

What's your best solution for high pH... I'm over 8.0

Thanks for demystifying a difficult subject, keep makin' more videos!

:cheers:
 
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Bobby_M

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thanks for the videos, i thought it was complicated but the spreadsheet and videos have made it clearer.
one question though, what do you do when a target profile is out of the recommended brewing ranges? go with the profile or the recommendations?
cheers
martin
That's a really good question way outside of my level of understanding. I have seen people speculate that the brewers in Pilsen probably add some calcium. Who knows. I'm gearing up for a Bohemian Pils myself and I'm targeting 20ppm calcium but keeping everything else quite low like the supposed Pilsen profile.
 

bhamripper

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What water profile did you use for your Pale ale? I didn't see it in the target profile drop down list.
 
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Bobby_M

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I used a profile I found in Randy Mosher's Radical brewing or maybe it was one I found in Brewater3.0. I added that profile to the drop down by writing it into one of the custom slots on the second workbook.
 

samc

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Always enjoy your videos - great job as usual. I do find however that using Brewater 3.0 is a much easier way to start with water adjustment. The trial and error is frustrating at first until you get a feel for what each addition will do to the final water profile. I always shake my head at how lame the water adjustment in BTP is.
 
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Bobby_M

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I tried using brewater but my perception was exactly opposite. I felt that hitting the auto calculate function completely took the learning out of it. I also wanted to see the residual alk effects and Cl:SO4 ratio rather than just targeting a profile.

Totally agree on the lameness of BTP for water. That's why I paste the spreadsheet output into the notes.
 

Daddymem

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Thanks a ton for this...it really makes things a little clearer. One question though, what does the "Best for this Style" section mean? You show in video 2 that when you adjusted for a Pale Ale it changed to "very bitter." Would this affect your recipe formulation for hops? Or would the "very bitter" indication just be used as an guide that if you were shooting for a malty beer, you probably still want to adjust things to get that to "malty".

Bobby, can I pm you with my water issues? I too was told my water is fine, just brew with it. My water is more or less a blank slate (very low mineral content) with a manganese and a pH problem (acidic). I know it needs adjustment. We did an IPA group brew at one guys house and months later the same recipe at my house, and the results are night and day. My bare water profile indicates "malty" which matched what we got.
 
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Bobby_M

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You can always PM me but posting things publicly means smarter people will chime in.

I think of Cl:S04 ratio as which direction the accentuation is going to go. It's more of a perception thing. You can hop to the same IBU, but the one with the "malty" ratio is going to have a murky/dull bitterness. I've only brewed one pale ale with boosted sulfates since learning about this stuff but it's clearly better than previous attempts.
 

Daddymem

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"You can hop to the same IBU, but the one with the "malty" ratio is going to have a murky/dull bitterness."

That IS a perfect description of the difference between the two brews. The one with city water had a sharp hop bite, the one with my well water had a murky flavor. We did 20 gallons going home in 5 gallon batches for individual yeast and fermentation procedures and they all came back with that murky flavor.

I'll bite, I'll post up my questions and examples. First, here is my water profile:

As you can see, this water is extremely low in minerals and is very soft. There is also a pH problem. I've gone through 2 packages of bad pH strips and have a third coming so I don't know what my mash pH typically is yet. Manganese is also present above recommended levels, but noone has been able to tell me how that may react in a beer environment.

Here is what I get when I punch it into the spreadsheet with no modifications (the way I normally brew is to add 5.2):
Starting Water (ppm):

Ca: 2
Mg: 1.1
Na: 6.5
Cl: 8.4
SO4: 4.1
HCO3: 11

Mash / Sparge Vol (gal): 7 / 0
Dilution Rate: 0%

Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:
CaCO3: 0 / 0
CaSO4: 0 / 0
CaCl2: 0 / 0
MgSO4: 0 / 0
NaHCO3: 0 / 0
NaCl: 0 / 0
HCL Acid: 0 / 0
Lactic Acid: 0 / 0

Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 2 / 2
Mg: 1 / 1
Na: 7 / 7
Cl: 8 / 8
SO4: 4 / 4
CaCO3: ERROR / ERROR

RA (mash only): -2 (5 to 10 SRM)
Cl to SO4 (total water): 2.05 (Very Malty)


I brew in a bag so no sparge water. You can see it is very deficient in sulfate, calcium and magnesium. The problem I am having is fiddling with the salt additions to raise what I need without throwing others out of whack. I'll post later when I can how far I am with making adjustments for IPA and Pale Ale styles.

Hope this isn't too long and will be informative and helpful for others too. Everyone I talk to about my water just state that this is beautiful water for brewing and I think your spreadsheet just enforced an opinion I had that it really isn't. It isn't horrible, but does need some adjustment.
 

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I've caught an extra couple minutes here so I'll post up my Pale Ale adjustment:

This page can be used for copying and pasting

Starting Water (ppm):
Ca: 2
Mg: 1.1
Na: 6.5
Cl: 8.4
SO4: 4.1
HCO3: 11

Mash / Sparge Vol (gal): 7 / 0
Dilution Rate: 0%

Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:
CaCO3: 0 / 0
CaSO4: 13 / 0
CaCl2: 0 / 0
MgSO4: 4 / 0
NaHCO3: 1 / 0
NaCl: 1 / 0
HCL Acid: 0 / 0
Lactic Acid: 0 / 0

Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 113 / 113
Mg: 15 / 15
Na: 32 / 32
Cl: 31 / 31
SO4: 337 / 337
CaCO3: ERROR / ERROR

RA (mash only): -90 (0 to 3 SRM)
Cl to SO4 (total water): 0.09 (Very Bitter)


I think there is an error in the spreadsheet. I22 uses a value in L3. L3 is either "true" for Bicarbonate or "false" for Alkalinity but the equation in L3 looks for a value of "1" or "2". Change 1 to true and 2 to false in the equation and it appears to work:

This page can be used for copying and pasting

Starting Water (ppm):
Ca: 2
Mg: 1.1
Na: 6.5
Cl: 8.4
SO4: 4.1
HCO3: 11

Mash / Sparge Vol (gal): 7 / 0
Dilution Rate: 0%

Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:
CaCO3: 0 / 0
CaSO4: 13 / 0
CaCl2: 0 / 0
MgSO4: 4 / 0
NaHCO3: 1 / 0
NaCl: 1 / 0
HCL Acid: 0 / 0
Lactic Acid: 0 / 0

Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 113 / 113
Mg: 15 / 15
Na: 32 / 32
Cl: 31 / 31
SO4: 337 / 337
CaCO3: 38 / 38

RA (mash only): -52 (1 to 6 SRM)
Cl to SO4 (total water): 0.09 (Very Bitter)


Does it look like I am on the right track? These additions aren't enormous...that's what I get for the IPA. I'll post that later.
 

-TH-

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I think there is an error in the spreadsheet. I22 uses a value in L3. L3 is either "true" for Bicarbonate or "false" for Alkalinity but the equation in L3 looks for a value of "1" or "2". Change 1 to true and 2 to false in the equation and it appears to work:
I'll chime in real quick here on the spreadsheet error. On my spreadsheet L3 is either "1" or "2" depending on whether you choose Bicarbonate or Alkalinity. What version of Excel are you using? I could change the equation to look for either 1 OR true, and 2 OR false, but I first want to find out more about what you are using. I noticed that your results use the 11ppm as Alkalinity(CaCO3) instead of Bicarbonate(HCO3) like it should. If I plug in your data, my resulting Alkalinity shows 31 (which is what it should be) and not 38 like yours. I can get it to show 38 if I change the 11ppm to be Alkalinity(CaCO3) instead of Bicarbonate(HCO3).
 

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Here's my IPA using the Burton profile:

Starting Water (ppm):
Ca: 2
Mg: 1.1
Na: 6.5
Cl: 8.4
SO4: 4.1
HCO3: 11

Mash / Sparge Vol (gal): 7 / 0
Dilution Rate: 0%

Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:
CaCO3: 7 / 0
CaSO4: 28.5 / 0
CaCl2: 0 / 0
MgSO4: 6.5 / 0
NaHCO3: 3.25 / 0
NaCl: 0.25 / 0
HCL Acid: 0 / 0
Lactic Acid: 0 / 0

Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 352 / 352
Mg: 24 / 24
Na: 44 / 44
Cl: 14 / 14
SO4: 700 / 700
CaCO3: 258 / 258

RA (mash only): -8 (5 to 9 SRM)
Cl to SO4 (total water): 0.02 (Very Bitter)


Everything hits the target well except for the Sulfate. I'm stuck on how to raise that without raising the other salts. Also, the Burton profile seems really high from other profiles I've seen for IPAs. I don't have Mosher's book, I've borrowed it before. Is there somewhere online with some basic water profiles?
 

Daddymem

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I'll chime in real quick here on the spreadsheet error. On my spreadsheet L3 is either "1" or "2" depending on whether you choose Bicarbonate or Alkalinity. What version of Excel are you using? I could change the equation to look for either 1 OR true, and 2 OR false, but I first want to find out more about what you are using. I noticed that your results use the 11ppm as Alkalinity(CaCO3) instead of Bicarbonate(HCO3) like it should. If I plug in your data, my resulting Alkalinity shows 31 (which is what it should be) and not 38 like yours. I can get it to show 38 if I change the 11ppm to be Alkalinity(CaCO3) instead of Bicarbonate(HCO3).
I'm using Open Office. I use the 11 alkalinity from my water test sample. Would the Bicarbonate value be 9.5 as Hardness in my water test sample?
 

-TH-

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I'm using Open Office. I use the 11 alkalinity from my water test sample. Would the Bicarbonate value be 9.5 as Hardness in my water test sample?
OK I see. You entered correctly - I was thinking your 11 was HCO3 because of your copy and pasted data showed 11 as HCO3. But that page of the spreadsheet is also looking at L3 to show the label HCO3 or CaCO3 depending on the value of L3.

I will see if I can download open office and fix the glitch for future users. Looks like you have your copy working properly.

Thanks!
 

Daddymem

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Ah yes, sorry, I was flipping back and forth between Alkalinity and Bicarbonate since the numbers were so close. Just wanted to get a ballpark. Forgot to change it back when I copy/pasted.
 

Yooper

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OK I see. You entered correctly - I was thinking your 11 was HCO3 because of your copy and pasted data showed 11 as HCO3. But that page of the spreadsheet is also looking at L3 to show the label HCO3 or CaCO3 depending on the value of L3.

I will see if I can download open office and fix the glitch for future users. Looks like you have your copy working properly.

Thanks!
When I use the web version, it works fine. But when I use the Open Office version, I also have the same issue. When I use the "alkalinity" as CaCO3, it gives me a very strange (wrong) value for RA. The web version gives me a RA of 151. But the spreadsheet in open office gives me a RA of -56 and "error" in the alkalinity box in results.
 

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This thread is awesome! I don't think I've been this excited since I saw my first girlfriend naked!

I felt I was ready to start into the business of my water profile, and I contacted my water company last week. I didn't have a clue what I would do with the report when i got it, and had envisioned a lot of fruitless searching. This is a great video series and a terrific spreadsheet utility. You two guys have created a masterpiece between you!

I'm just so stoked now for getting my water report and trying to do something with it!

A couple of quick noob questions.

A) for the salts. Would my local pharmacy be the best source to buy?
B) The water report from the water company. Is that a constant? Or does it change over time. I guess I can always ask him, but what the hell, I'm all excited right now! :)
 

LeeF

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I made a modification to the spreadsheet so it converts the grams to teaspoons and looks like this. I found it useful since I'm using teaspoons to measure my salts.
After posting, I didn't realize it would look so small.(That's what she said)

ez.jpg
 

Daddymem

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Nice LeeF. Just a thought, maybe work backwards. Enter teaspoons and have it convert to grams above. That way you can use sensible quantities like 1/8 ths of teaspoons. That'd be slicker than a green bean.
 

LeeF

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That is a good idea. Just have the teaspoon amount feed into the grams cell. I've got 1/8th and 1/16th(pinch and dash) spoons and adjust the grams until I got close to a nice even 1/16th number in the teaspoon cell.
 

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So I just got my gypsum from AHS and on the package it says use to harden water (I need) and lower water pH (Mine is already pretty low, I could use it higher). So with those adjustment quantities I posted, should I be concerned how much lower my pH would go? I use 5.2, as long as that can still handle it, I'd be ok?
 
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