Water hardness & ph-levels.

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Water hardness & ph-levels.

Unread postby Ijerry » Wed May 28, 2014 7:50 am

Hi,

Do people know the water profile they are using (caco3 & mg & ca)
What about the mash PH.
How do you test ( equipment / method)
How do you rectify according to the recped (tools / method)

Thanks ?
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Re: Water hardness & ph-levels.

Unread postby cpa4ny » Wed May 28, 2014 10:27 am

Ijerry wrote:Hi,

Do people know the water profile they are using (caco3 & mg & ca)
What about the mash PH.
How do you test ( equipment / method)
How do you rectify according to the recped (tools / method)

Thanks ?


Hi Ijerry,

Get a "Water" book - it will answer all of the above in great details: http://www.amazon.com/Water-Comprehensi ... r+kaminski

- Check your municipality's water report or - better yet, send a sample to Ward labs: https://producers.wardlab.com/BrewersKitOrder.aspx (by the way, I don't get paid for saying this! :wink: )
- Mash pH @ room temp should fall within 5.2-5.6 range
- Get a pH meter (I personally find even the best pH strips ColorHast hard to read and imprecise).
- Input your water data into a brewing water calculator - many people like EZ Water; however I personally prefer Bru'n Water as it considers more water parameters.
- Select the type of beer you are brewing (ex. amber ale)
- Get necessary chemicals (ex. gypsum, Epsom Salts)
- Get a high precision measuring scale
- Adjust the brewing liquor according to the calculator's "recommendation"
- Phosphoric or lactic acid or acidulated malt may help as well, depending on your water condition.
- ~20 mins after mash-in, scoop out a bit of wort with a small cup and stick it into the freezer. 5-10 minutes later it will be safe to put the pH probe into it without scorching it. If the pH is not reached, adjust accordingly.

That's probably as concise as it gets. :beer:
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Water hardness & ph-levels.

Unread postby BrauTim » Thu May 29, 2014 10:53 am

+1 to all that. Take into consideration that lactic acid and acidulated malt can add sour taste over around 5% (desired on some styles) whereas other acids are taste neutral.

The simplest form of water treatment ( and probably easiest to understand for a beginner) is to adjust alkalinity first then adjust calcium and check mash pH is within range.

When I started doing water treatment I had mash pH ranges too low until a few brews later I understood it all (I think) and I'm getting each aspect of water treatment under control. Even with a low mash pH 4.7-4.9 I was still making good beer!
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Re: Water hardness & ph-levels.

Unread postby Sportyone » Thu May 29, 2014 2:19 pm

Hi,

Not knowing a lot about water, I sent a sample off to Murphy & Son labs for testing.
They sent back this report with recommendations for treating the water for different types of beer.

Does this keep my ph within the recommended levels.
Water analysis.pdf
Water analysis from Murphy & Son's
(416.6 KiB) Downloaded 122 times


Please feel free to comment on contents of report, may help me to fully understand it. :drink:

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Re: Water hardness & ph-levels.

Unread postby BrauTim » Thu May 29, 2014 2:29 pm

Sportyone wrote:Hi,

Not knowing a lot about water, I sent a sample off to Murphy & Son labs for testing.
They sent back this report with recommendations for treating the water for different types of beer.

Does this keep my ph within the recommended levels.
Water analysis.pdf


Please feel free to comment on contents of report, may help me to fully understand it. :drink:

Stephen


Murphys report is a start, it's how I got started, but you have to realise that it is only a point In time report. My alkalinity changes almost every brew day and has ranged from 170-398ppm at different times of the year depending on where the water company has sourced the water.

Ideally you need to test alkalinity every brew day to ensure you will be treating the water correctly. I use the salifert kit to test alkalinity and from that I work out the calcium content and treat with CRS(AMS) and DWB and other salts accordingly.

Don't forget the humble campden tablet for removing chlorine and chloramines also.
Last edited by BrauTim on Thu May 29, 2014 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Water hardness & ph-levels.

Unread postby Luis Coentrao » Thu May 29, 2014 6:14 pm

Murphys report is a start, it's how I got started, but you have to realise that it is only a point I'm time report. My alkalinity changes almost every brew day and has ranged from 170-398ppm at different times of the year depending on where the water company has sourced the water.

Ideally you need to test alkalinity every brew day to ensure you will be treating the water correctly. I use the salifert kit to test alkalinity and from that I work out the calcium content and treat with CRS(AMS) and DWB and other salts accordingly.



Hi,
Do you measure, every brewday, the chemical profile of your water? Calcium, Chloride, Sulphate, Bicarbonate?
Or you just measure the pH,
1- of the water, and treat the water with Calcium chloride / Calcium sulphate?
2 - of the mash at the beggining, and treat accorddingly with Calcium chloride / Calcium sulphate?
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Re: Water hardness & ph-levels.

Unread postby BrauTim » Thu May 29, 2014 10:15 pm

Luis Coentrao wrote:
Murphys report is a start, it's how I got started, but you have to realise that it is only a point I'm time report. My alkalinity changes almost every brew day and has ranged from 170-398ppm at different times of the year depending on where the water company has sourced the water.

Ideally you need to test alkalinity every brew day to ensure you will be treating the water correctly. I use the salifert kit to test alkalinity and from that I work out the calcium content and treat with CRS(AMS) and DWB and other salts accordingly.



Hi,
Do you measure, every brewday, the chemical profile of your water? Calcium, Chloride, Sulphate, Bicarbonate?
Or you just measure the pH,
1- of the water, and treat the water with Calcium chloride / Calcium sulphate?
2 - of the mash at the beggining, and treat accorddingly with Calcium chloride / Calcium sulphate?


1 yes & yes (Crs in liquor and dwb in grains)
2 ph after 30 mins, usually no more adjustment needed.
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Re: Water hardness & ph-levels.

Unread postby cpa4ny » Fri May 30, 2014 1:13 am

BrauTim wrote:
Don't forget the humble campden tablet for removing chlorine and chloramines also.



Good point on chlorine / chloramine removal; can also use a carbon filter to remove those (instead of a campden tablet).
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Re: Water hardness & ph-levels.

Unread postby Luis Coentrao » Sat May 31, 2014 12:38 pm

1 yes & yes (Crs in liquor and dwb in grains)
2 ph after 30 mins, usually no more adjustment needed.


Hi Brautim,
1. How do you measure the chemical profile of your Water every brewday?
2. Sorry, what do you mean with "Crs in liquor and dwb in grains"?
3. If I understood, When you measure the pH at 30 mins of the mash you are just confirming that is the pH is ok (pH=52.)?
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Re: Water hardness & ph-levels.

Unread postby BrauTim » Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:18 am

Luis Coentrao wrote:
1 yes & yes (Crs in liquor and dwb in grains)
2 ph after 30 mins, usually no more adjustment needed.


Hi Brautim,
1. How do you measure the chemical profile of your Water every brewday?
2. Sorry, what do you mean with "Crs in liquor and dwb in grains"?
3. If I understood, When you measure the pH at 30 mins of the mash you are just confirming that is the pH is ok (pH=52.)?



This is my method for treating my water:

I originally got my water tested by Murphys that gave me all the essential profile components - alkalinity, Ca, Cl, SO4 and others that I don't worry about. Murphys provide recommended dosages of AMS which is the same as Brupaks CRS which is a blend of acids and salts mixed with the liquor and DWB which is the same as Brupaks DLS which is a blend of salts mixed with the grains.

After a few brews I noticed that something was wrong with the mash pH and did some research and found that alkalinity can change, so I started measuring alkalinity with a salifert kit every brewday, from that I adjust the amount of CRS and DWB i use and my mash falls within the range 5.2-5.7.

The calculations are not easy and the online calculators don't work very well for my profile, there is a correlation between alkalinity and Ca and the information to work that out is available on the Brupaks website. Now I've used this method a few times I am more happy that my treatments are getting close to correct as the beer is starting to taste more according to style.

I have also started to add a teaspoon of gypsum at the beginning of the boil if I want a more hoppier/bitter profile for my bitters as my water needs more sulphate adding to get a higher sulphate to chloride ratio for the bitter style.

I also use calcium chloride and table salt for other styles such as wheat beers and porters etc.

Water treatment is complex at first, if you don't have a professional brewing profile to work from, then alkalinity and calcium are the only two things that you can adjust to begin with as long as you test alkalinity you will be able to adjust these.
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Re: Water hardness & ph-levels.

Unread postby Luis Coentrao » Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:00 am

Brautim,

Thanks a lot for the usefull information :D
I just went to Brupaks website, ebay and brewuk to look for the information you send me.
I´ve ordered the alakalinity kit, CRS/DLS and campden powder. Quite cheap.

I've read in Brupaks that DLS should be added in 2 stages (into the grains and after at the commencementof the boil)
Do you use just like this?

Until today, I've used the information of my city's water profile published every 3 months in the net.
Afterwards, I added calcium chloride and calcium sulphate powders to mash water using John Palmer's algorithm (How to Brew book).
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Re: Water hardness & ph-levels.

Unread postby Sportyone » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:32 am

Hi Tim,

Got the salifert test kit yesterday, did a quick test on my water(95) in comparison to Murphy's report(88)

Considering that there is no significant difference, would it be reasonable to follow the recommendations on their report.

As you have stated, that this is a "moment in time" report, and I understand that if there was a bigger variance in alkalinity I would have to make the necessary adjustments.

One point I noticed on the report was that when it comes to Stouts Porters etc I actually have to raise my alkalinity.

Ha, all this and I've yet to do a brew, had to order a ph meter yesterday, as without it, one would be flying blind.

The "ONE" to be obeyed say's, if I spend any more money, flying blind will be the least of my worries lol.

Stephen :beer:
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Re: Water hardness & ph-levels.

Unread postby HopSong » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:45 pm

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/lamotte-brewlab-basic-water-testing-kit.html This kit is supposed to be quite good. Lamotte also sells one with a pH meter. However, $98 US is very good for ~50 tests. That's about $2.00 per test. Great for folks whose water changes quite a bit. This kit has had some discussion on HBT. AJDelange, one of the resident water experts found something initially lacking with the kit and contacted LaMotte about it. That lack seems to have been resolved.
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Re: Water hardness & ph-levels.

Unread postby Dicko » Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:15 am

Ijerry wrote:Hi,

Do people know the water profile they are using (caco3 & mg & ca)
What about the mash PH.
How do you test ( equipment / method)
How do you rectify according to the recped (tools / method)

Thanks ?


I live in an area where the town water is extremely high in minerals and is virtually useless for brewing.

To solve this problem I purchased a small Reverse Osmosis water filter which provides me with an absolute "blank canvas" with which from there, I can "build" my brewing water.

I find this method gives me the same results each time rather than worrying about the varying alkalinity levels of water supplies.

The RO filter was not that expensive...it was about half as much again as the cost to have my town water analysed and it has other uses apart from brewing.

Before brew day I filter around 40 litres of water which I store in a 60 litre fermenter and on brew day I measure the exact amount of water required into my BM and treat this water with Calcium Chloride, Calcium Sulphate, Magnesium Sulphate and Phosphoric acid to achieve the required result.
I do not add Calcium Carbonate to any mash as the addition of this can be quite unpredictable.
If I am brewing a beer with dark grains, I steep them separately and add them to the mash towards the end of the mash time. In this way I am only treating a mash with light coloured grains.
I vary the amount of additives to achieve the correct PH of the mash and to suit the style of the beer.
I do not try to replicate the water profile of the region that the style of beer originated.
I also find from my records that my results are becoming quite predictable.

There are also many brewers in Australia that use rain water in the same manner as I am using the RO water. If the area you live is clean and the collection point (generally your roof) is clean then you may treat it as a blank canvas as well.

Cheers :cheers:
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Re: Water hardness & ph-levels.

Unread postby Ijerry » Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:44 pm

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