Adjusting water

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Josh Hughes, Jan 4, 2021.

  1. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    Josh, I would pay attention to Nosybear’s question/concern about not adding both acid and bicarbonate. Some recipe programs will give that result (BS3) and that’s a software red flag. I use Bru’n Water for water additions, but it’s a bit complicated at first, although very educational.

    With RO water you may find a need for a small amount of acid to reduce mash pH on light colored beers, unless it’s an American IPA with say over 100 ppm of calcium, which may get your pH in the desired range without acid. Darker beers will likely require bicarbonate to increase pH, which is why it’s good to keep calcium low around 50 ppm.

    Like mentioned above, managing pH is really all about alkalinity. Have fun with this and take it a step at a time. It’s easy to get caught up in the details and forget the big picture (great tasting beer).:)
     
  2. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I believe that the simplest way to work on your water profile for a recipe is when in edit mode on the recipe.
    When in edit mode your target and theoretical water ion values are shown.

    Begin Rant
    It absolutely slays me that Brewers Friend does not show this when not in edit mode, and does not show it when you print your recipe.
    Yet there are updates to how we search for recipes, and other non brewing software related "improvements"
    Sorry @Pricelessbrewing, your efforts in making sure updates work, and improving the rollout of updates has been stellar, but for me the software is still very clunky.
    To be honest, I got sick of asking about this, and have been using Brewfather, but I digress.
    End Rant

    The key to what I am getting at is in the bottom screen shot.
    Select your source water, Distilled, or RO, close enough.
    Select your desired water profile.
    Add, and edit your salts and see your results as you make adjustments.
    This takes your malt bill, and water volumes into account.
    Mini rant: Of course it is promptly hidden from view once you save and go back to view mode.

    Malt Bill
    Fermentables.JPG

    Mash/Water info
    Mash.JPG

    Other ingredients section
    (I haven't used the software for ages, has "canning" or "pickling" salt been added? Why on gods green earth is table salt even in the ingredients list?) - Another mini rant, sorry
    Table salt is iodized = bad for beer
    Other Ingredients.JPG

    Resulting water report, and mash pH prediction
    Note that I use acidulated malt, I'm not that smart, and too often forget to add lactic to the mash
    Water Chemistry.JPG
     
  3. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I concur, either acid, or baking soda, pretty much never both
     
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  4. Pricelessbrewing

    Pricelessbrewing QA Software Tester
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    Appreciate the feedback @Craigerrr. We've been re-aligning the priorities to be more focused on the recipe builder as much as possible.

    In a recent survey, the two biggest points of opportunity were the mash guidelines/volumes and the water chemistry. I've asked for these to be take precedent, of course there will always be small patches/tweaks but I hope we will have some updates to those two key components of the recipe builder soon to better align with a better user experience.

    As far as the canning vs table vs pickling salt, aren't they all sodium chloride? Canning salt exists in the recipe builder, as does slacked lime if that's what you're looking for instead?
     
  5. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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    Gotcha so lower the gypsum so don’t need the baking soda? @Craigerrr ive been going through a few recipes and messing with it Like you suggested. Thanks to everyone. Back to the books for me
     
  6. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    #26 Group W, Jan 4, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2021
    Most target water profiles are light on Calcium (50 ppm Cl & SO4). Fermentation likes a minimum of 40 ppm Ca. If brewing a Amber or darker beer, increasing Ca significantly above 50 ppm decreases pH along with the darker malts and often requires more baking soda. They work against each other like lactic acid and baking soda.

    When you start getting a handle on water treatment, download the free version of Bru’n Water, for nothing more than a different way of looking at water treatment. Also, look at the Brewing Science section of HomeBrewTalk (HBT). It will make your head spin, but good information from experts on the topic. It will all make sense soon. Cheers!
     
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  7. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Glad to help bud! Personally, I leave the acid/acid malt, or baking soda until I have my profile set how I want it. I almost always need a bit if acid, and almost never need any baking soda. It is a little intimidating at first, but you're an educator...
     
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  8. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Sorry @Pricelessbrewing , I should have kept my thoughts to myself. I love Brewers Friend for the forum, and the community, but for recipes etc I have moved on. I switched to Brewfather back when the program here started causing me grief. When it seemed that things were back in order I came back, but went back to Brewfather because I just find it so user friendly, and intuitive.
     
  9. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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    So from what I’m reading/gathering I add gypsum and calcium chloride, varying one or the other depends if I’m doing hoppy vs malty. Add lactic acid or baking soda IF needed only. Get the Ca to about 50 unless I’m shooting for some other water profile. Whatever I do use sparingly. Putting everything in the calculator with my recipe. With 3 gallons of total water used it had gypsum and calcium chloride at about a gram each.

    sound like a start for treating was brew 1?
     
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  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Without looking at your base water report, sounds about right.
     
  11. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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  12. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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    The reports I’m seeing for my water are not much of a help. I got the ph and seems everything else is negligible. Looking at most profiles it has Ca higher than 50 ppm so I’ll roll with it and see where it goes!
    thanks to everyone. I’ll keep reading stuff and working with calculators. I also will try some tasting test from @Nosybear article in BYO if I can get some “tasteless” beer
     
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  13. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    From your earlier post it looks like you are using basically RO water, which is close enough to zeros across the board.
    Here are a couple (approximate) profiles that I use.

    Light colored and Hoppy

    Hoppy.JPG

    Dark and Malty
    Malty.JPG

    These are approximates, and they work for me, YMMV!
     
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  14. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Weird, the chloride to sulphate ratios in those two are nearly the same.
     
  15. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Both look like malty profiles to me.
     
  16. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    They're both roughly 3:1 sulphate:Chloride ratios which I understood as being more bitterness heavy.
     
  17. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    You're right, i miss-stated. Both look bitter, the second one may not have enough sslts to make much of a difference.
     
  18. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Yeah it's really odd. I'm not sure where those numbers are being generated.
     
  19. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Geez!
    Now that I look at it my dark and malty isn't so suited for dark and malty...
     
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  20. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Some of us are blessed with water that's pretty close to RO out of the tap, you may just be another member. Lets us brew nearly anything.
     
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