Match target water profile?

Discussion in 'Calculator Support Forum' started by =DCB=, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. =DCB=

    =DCB= New Member

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    It seems I'm all thumbs when it comes to the water profile calculator. In Beersmith 3, there is a button I can hit called 'match target profile' that gives me the additions I need to get as close as possible to my target water. Is there something like that in BF that I'm missing?
     
  2. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Really short answer is

    Nope . . .

    You can find some official response here
     
  3. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    Correct. We've found that 'matching' a profile may mean adding some items that may not make the best beer (like alkalinity in the form of chalk to match the calcium and bicarbonate). The other issue is that you don't know what a brewer in that area where the profile comes from did to their water to change it up. Often, a brewer with hard water and lots of alkalinity would boil the water and then decant the water before using- that changes the profile so much that it's not even the same water.

    I've seen programs like the one mentioned above that have additions that counteract each other to match this artificial profile- like in one case, baking soda to raise the bicarbonate and sodium (and of course that raises the mash pH) and then lactic acid to reduce the pH! Those two additions mostly cancel each other out, but not always. Therein lies the problem when attempting to hit a certain profile.

    That's why we encourage our users to use their own common sense when making those additions by offering a quick way to see the results of each addition, learning pages on brewing water, and tool tips in the water calculator to help you avoid common water chemistry pitfalls.

    Please let me know if you have specific questions, and I'll be happy to help out!
     
  4. =DCB=

    =DCB= New Member

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    My problem is that I have no real basis for common sense! I've read, and continue to read, about water chemistry, but it's a LOT to take in (either that or I'm really dumb). So I'm currently left with a situation of where I use Beersmith for that or put in somewhat random numbers in BF to see if I can get close. Both may result in the scenario you mention above.

    Maybe that means I should just ignore my water for now (even though I really can't, as my municipal water supply has already screwed me once). But I just wish there was some place in between where I could crawl on my own, before attempting to run in the BF profile calc.

    It sure seems like there should be a way to get close programmatically. Ideally, maybe offer multiple water chemistry options. From there, I could research and determine which one might be best.

    In the end, maybe my only solution is time.
     
  5. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    I understand the frustration. And I definitely understand wanting to have an "easy button". The issue is that it just doesn't work. I've seem some crazy (actually, unobtainable) profiles from computer generated matches.

    One thing that may help is to just continue to read, read, read. Pretty soon it all becomes clear and you'll find that you'll have this down pat.

    There are really only a couple of important things in water chemistry. First, mash pH. That's the most important. And second, remember "less is more". Think of water additions as "seasonings", just like you add spices to spaghetti sauce.

    Tomato sauce is pretty good right away, but adding some garlic and some oregano may make it go from good to great. Adding too much may make it fairly inedible, though.

    The same is true with water chemistry and beer. You can add a little gypsum and calcium chloride and bring a very good beer to great. You can add too much and make a very good beer fairly undrinkable. You will never make a bad beer good with water additions, but hitting your mash pH may make a not-too-good beer better.

    For some very basic water chemistry info:
    https://www.brewersfriend.com/2017/11/19/brewing-water-basics-part-1/
    https://www.brewersfriend.com/2017/11/19/brewing-water-basics-part-2/
    https://www.brewersfriend.com/2018/02/13/brewing-water-basics-putting-it-all-together/
     
    Trialben likes this.
  6. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I have become pretty comfortable with treating my water, the links above are extremely helpful.
    It will take time to educate yourself, but it is time well spent.
    I am no expert, but have learned enough to come up with suitable profiles for the different styles I brew.
    Are you starting with RO water?
    What are you planning to brew next?
     
  7. =DCB=

    =DCB= New Member

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    Yes, starting with RO water. And no idea what I'm brewing next. May try my hand at a kettle soured beer.
     
  8. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm, no idea what kind of water profile works for a sour, not a fan.
     
  9. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Not a fan of sours either :D
     
  10. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    I keep it neutral for the kettle sours. Some calcium and balance the sulphites and chlorides. You won't really notice much else.

    From the profiles on the water calculator I use the balanced profile.
     

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