Water treatment stages

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Brewer #88351, May 13, 2017.

  1. Brewer #88351

    Brewer #88351 New Member

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    Hi there,

    I want to treat my water to bring the mash to the correct PH and I'm not exactly sure of the process for this.

    Am I supposed to put the acid in my mash water or sparge water (or both)?

    How do I input this into Brewers friend?

    Thanks
    JT
     
  2. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I add my acid to the mash tun and I add it to sparge water as I've herd too high ph in sparge water can extract tannins. Now brewersfriend have a acid addition section in the water calculator. Upload this from your recipe so it preloads your grist therefore taking in a more accurate ph measurement. You can also preselect an PH range so it will automatically give you the amount of acid needed to adjust the mash with. I usually measure my mash ph around 10 minutes into the mash I've found brewersfriend is pretty much on the money with its estimates. Good luck.
     
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  3. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    and you really need a ph meter, they have cheap $12 meters on ebay and amazon, normal you either add phosphoric acid or lactic acid, you can even add Acidulated Malt but that can get tricky for a new brewer. for a typical 5 gallon batch I personally just add 1/2 teaspoon of phosphoric acid to my 8 ph water, along with the grain that usually bring it down into the 5.5 range
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    There's also a water chemistry calculator on this site. The key predictor of your mash pH is your water's residual alkalinity: The lower the RA the lower the mash pH. Get your hands on a water report for your area or have your water tested, then use the calculator. You'll have to guess at the salts and acid, it doesn't make a prediction, but once you have your mash pH in the right range (about 5.2-5.5 for "normal" beers), you can add the salts and the prediction is fairly good. If it sounds complex, it is. And if you're new, I wouldn't worry about it just yet, just another variable that makes a marginal increase in quality to really good beers. Work on your sanitation and fermentation management first, that's where you'll get the greatest return.
     
  5. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I think there is no harm in working on your water profile though. I think personally it's made a great difference to the quality of my hombrewed beers outcomes. Now I can brew a Pilsner which has a nice crisp Finnish which I'd say is due to correct mash ph and mineral additions according to my base water profile. I think it gives your beer that extra edge and props it up toward what the pros can do if that makes sense. I'm a big fan of getting your sulphate to chlorides ratios right I think the 2:1 chloride does give you a maltier beer and reversed a dryer more hoppier beer. I tend to like the latter of 2:1 sulphate to chloride or I guess it just suits my water profile better. plenty beers I'll just add equal amounts usually small 4g each of calcium chloride and sulphate and just treat the mash and sparge water with lactic.

    I use a syringe from the chemist to measure out the tiny amounts of lactic needed to correct my mash ph my water sits at neutral 7 and I usually need only 3 mills to get a 5.3-4 ph. But yea get a PH meter as Ozarks said then you know if your on the money or not.

    Remember I've only stuck my toe in the brewing water chemistry department but that's my 2c worth:).
     
  6. das alte

    das alte Member

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    Yes, acidify the mash and sparge water.
    I"m not familiar with Brewersfriend so no advice.
    If you are not certain of the pH that enzymes work at there is a chart that I believe can be found in the Journals of the IOB. The chart matches mash pH to the rest temperature.
    When the brewing process is single infusion and the malt is modern, high modified malt only a single pH and a single temperature are needed. The enzyme in the malt that is powerful enough to do anything is Alpha. Mash pH should be adjusted to be optimum for Alpha when the enzyme is resting at optimum temperature. Optimum temperature for Alpha is 153 to 162F. There are two types of Alpha, Alpha II, 153 to 158F and Alpha I, 158 to 162F.
    When a higher grade of brewing malt is used the brewer adjusts mash pH throughout the brewing procedure to be in the optimum range for the enzyme that is being activated. Higher grade brewing malt is rich in enzymes and it contains high enzyme content. Weyermann floor malt is a good grade of malt.
    It is better to establish mash pH prior to enzymes becoming active.
     
  7. m.mihai

    m.mihai Member

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    I use EZ Water and works great. I use bottle water, which comes with a water analysis and that is very helpful.

    I usually only add lactic acid to the mash water and it has always worked great.
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I use the Brewer's Friend calculator. The Recipe Builder gives me the RA range I need to hit and I determine how to hit it using the water calculator. My tap water is a bit light on calcium - 36 ppm or thereabouts - and has 116 mg/l alkalinity. I contribute calcium with calcium chloride and sulfate with epsom salts. I never try to imitate some famous brewing water, too much effort for too little return. If I'm brewing a very light beer, I'll either cut our water with distilled at 50% or use only distilled water and build up the ions to where I think they need to be. If I think I need acid, I'll either use acidulated malt or I'll use some 10% phosphoric acid, no reason for choosing phosphoric over lactic, the flavor threshold for lactate is very high. The picture on the left is representative of my results. Water is an area that's very easy for homebrewers to over-think and if you're a beginner, there are many other factors that have a much greater influence on the outcome of your beer.
     
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