Water Question

How to get most out of brewing with your Braumeister? Help others and share your tips/best practices.

Water Question

Unread postby HopSong » Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:18 pm

Anyone understand Bru'n Water or other water software... or just water ?

I need a tutor.. Or just plain help. Some of us old f@rts have a hard time with spreadsheets, etc. :? :oops:

I'm wanting to brew one or two dark beers. I'm hoping to do a 20L batch of Robust Porter from Jamil's "Brewing Classic Styles".

Here is my water: It probably is not perfectly accurate as it is from the 2013 report and we have continuing drought.. so, there might be some more change.. but, it's the best I have at the moment.

Water: pH- 7.5; Ca- 20; Mg-12.5; Chloride- 5.5; SO4- 11.5; Hardness (CaCO3)- 103; Bicarb (CaCO3)- 123; Alkalinity (CaCO3)- 100
All rounded up/down a few 10ths.

Grain Bill for the Robust is:
Base Malts:
American 2-Row- 5.33kg
Munich Malt- 0.68kg

Steeping Grains:
Crystal Malt (40L)- 450g
Chocolate Malt (350L)- 340g
Black Patent (525L)- 227g

Hops:
Kent Golding
Fuggles
Kent Goldings

Thanks for any help..... Bill
Cheers, Bill
Santa Rosa, CA
----------------------------
Hop Song Brewing Co.
User avatar
HopSong
 
Posts: 354
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 4:14 pm
Location: Santa Rosa, CA, USofA
Model: 20 litres

Re: Water Question

Unread postby BrauTim » Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:40 pm

Water chemistry is the most difficult to understand component in brewing IMO, once you understand how to deal with it's actually quite straightforward.

It's good that you have a water report, however alot of brewers (in the UK at least) have noticed that the water can change from brewday to brewday, so it is worth testing the elements that you know could change (and you are capable of testing) and are arguably the most important, that would be alkalinity and calcium. You can easily obtain Salifert test kits to test these two components, other components need more specialised testing equipment.

I have found that the brewers friend water calculator to be the easiest to use for my purposes, other people will have their own favourites. It provides a visual indication about how close you are to the profile you are attempting to recreate, it allows you to blend different water (if you are using bottled for example), it provides an online storage option so you can easily retrieve past profiles, it's not a horrible spreadsheet and you can play with the additions and see instant results.

Have a play, pick a profile and see how you get on.
To brew or not to brew, that would be a stupid question !
User avatar
BrauTim
 
Posts: 595
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:03 pm
Location: England
Model: 50 litres

Re: Water Question

Unread postby HopSong » Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:14 pm

Thanks, I'll start some input..

First question is.. How many gallons (Liters) do I input for a 20L batch. I understand I should try for a no sparge.. at least for the first run.

I'm not sure what my boil-off will be.. but using the BIAB or 3-V it's about 1g/hour(roughly 3.8L/hr) I'd plan on a 90 minute for the first go.. so the boil off would be roughly 5.7L. (plus grain absorption)

So in BF, I'd input whatever number.. (help calculate this for me???) :)

BUT, this might be complicated by the fact that I'd like to use Gordon Strong's method of brewing with dark grains.. IOW, what he does is to steep the dark grains and add the liquor at the end of the boil. So, in my case, I have in addition to the 13.25 lbs of base malts, 2.5 lbs of steeping grains. or roughly 1kg or steeping grains. I guess they could be steeped at the beginning as well as the BM is coming up to the boil... ???
Cheers, Bill
Santa Rosa, CA
----------------------------
Hop Song Brewing Co.
User avatar
HopSong
 
Posts: 354
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 4:14 pm
Location: Santa Rosa, CA, USofA
Model: 20 litres

Re: Water Question

Unread postby Nesto » Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:45 pm

Bill, you might be able to call the water dept in town for a more recent report; they probably test weekly. If you find the right water quality person, they can be helpful if you just have a list of levels you want - Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Chloride, Sulfate, and Alkalinity as CaCO3. Or the other thing, do you know any of the commercial brewers in town? They might do regular water testing. I'm sure Vinnie would ;)

I almost e-mailed this to you, but I thought others might want to see, so here goes (warning, long!)....
Assuming your mash water is 28.5 liters (and more or less water won't have a huge impact), here is EZ Water Calc for your profile. I like this one because it makes sense to me and it's easy. And it has proven to be accurate in 98% of my brews. You can also calculate additions for a separate sparge, but I don't know if you're going to sparge (you know I don't!), so all goes in at once.
EZ_water_calculator_3.0.2_metric_BCS Robust Porter.xlsx
EZ Water Calc - Santa Rosa - BCS Robust Porter
(52.17 KiB) Downloaded 42 times


Your local water profile is entered at the top. I looked up your report and added Sodium and Sulfates. And your malt bill is added.
Screenshot 2015-02-23 13.12.12.png
Water Profile and Malt Bill

I put the Crystal 40L in with the base malt; I've read in a few places that the lower Lovibond crystal malt does fine in the main mash. If it were 120L, then I'd put it with the dark malts. But left the Chocolate and Black Patent out - I think I remember you saying that you don't add those until the end of the mash in your recipe. You'll see why I leave them out of the initial calculation in a bit.

Next you play with the salts to adjust the profile. I stepped through a few ideas and ended up with adding 3g Gypsum and 5g CaCl2 as well as 50g of acidulated malt. You can see that the mash pH is calculated to be 5.59. My preference for porters and stouts is between 5.5 and 5.6. Lighter styles I'd target lower.
Screenshot 2015-02-23 13.12.26.png
Adding Ions and final water profile

And you can also walk through your resulting profile. With adding Gypsum (CaSO4) we raise the Calcium and Sulfate (SO4) levels. By adding CaCl2 we raise Calcium and Chloride (Cl2). The "recommended ranges" are from John Palmer, but I've read other sources that come in pretty similar. And finally, you can also see the Cl2/SO4 ratio - a nice ratio to play with to help emphasize hops or not. Lower ratio better for hoppy beers, higher ratio for malty beers. So I dialed in this ration to be 1.31 - just a little on the malty side of balanced.

You might wonder what the dark malts will do to the pH. So you can add them in after setting up the profile and see the effect.
Screenshot 2015-02-23 13.41.26.png
Adding roasted malts

And you can see if will only change the pH by a small amount.

Do you have a pH meter? I can bring mine if I make it up to brew with you and we can see how close you get. :beer:
___________________________
Check out my brewing blog... http://www.sycamorecreekbrewing.com/
User avatar
Nesto
 
Posts: 790
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:03 pm
Location: Northern California
Model: 20 litres

Re: Water Question

Unread postby Dicko » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:01 pm

I like the Brewers friend Spreadsheet but I am like nesto...I use EZ Water as I find it is the simplest one for me.

:cheers:
The worst thing that can happen if I die is that my wife will sell all my brewing equipment for what I told her I paid for it
User avatar
Dicko
 
Posts: 1179
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:25 pm
Location: Port Lincoln South Oz
Model: 20 litres

Re: Water Question

Unread postby HopSong » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:25 pm

Thanks guys.. I tried BF and really struggled getting every thing green using the London target. I never could get it right. My Na was too high and my HCO was only about half what was recommended. I may not know how to add / subtract etc with it.

EZ has been recommended by a couple of YouTubers.. Ernie, you make it look simple. You did get one number incorrect in my profile.. SO4.. should be 11.5. It did change the Cl/SO4 ratio

Yes, I have a pH meter.. but, it wold be great to see how it compares with yours. Mine is from the ThermoPen folks.

I'm looking forward to getting together with you on the 12th.. if something comes up, I'm generally pretty free.

BTW, I need to give you a call... maybe we can discuss what I need to do to verify things work before I get you up here.. don't want a wild goose chase.
Cheers, Bill
Santa Rosa, CA
----------------------------
Hop Song Brewing Co.
User avatar
HopSong
 
Posts: 354
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 4:14 pm
Location: Santa Rosa, CA, USofA
Model: 20 litres

Re: Water Question

Unread postby Nesto » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:56 am

HbgBill wrote:Thanks guys.. I tried BF and really struggled getting every thing green using the London target. I never could get it right. My Na was too high and my HCO was only about half what was recommended. I may not know how to add / subtract etc with it.

EZ has been recommended by a couple of YouTubers.. Ernie, you make it look simple. You did get one number incorrect in my profile.. SO4.. should be 11.5. It did change the Cl/SO4 ratio

Yes, I have a pH meter.. but, it wold be great to see how it compares with yours. Mine is from the ThermoPen folks.

I'm looking forward to getting together with you on the 12th.. if something comes up, I'm generally pretty free.

BTW, I need to give you a call... maybe we can discuss what I need to do to verify things work before I get you up here.. don't want a wild goose chase.

PM'd you my cell #... Yeah, took a guess which column for the SO4. Didn't make too big a change.

You posted your try with BF while I was composing, but to go back to that a bit... Personally, I think trying to replicate a specific region profile is not the way to go, at least to start with. What I've discovered is that so many of those region profiles aren't really the water that the brewers end up working with. They do their own work arounds for high sulfates or high mineral content. I prefer to keep it simple... Use salts to hit the minimums on Ca and Mg, while keeping Na, Cl2 and SO4 from getting too high. Hit a mash pH of 5.5-5.6 for dark beers and 5.2-5.3 for lighter styles. Low Cl2 to SO4 (0.6-0.8) for hoppy beers, High Cl2 to SO4 for malty beers (1.2-1.4), Balanced (0.9-1.1) for balanced beers.

I think you're fine with a 60 min boil for a porter. No pils malt, so don't really need 90 mins.
___________________________
Check out my brewing blog... http://www.sycamorecreekbrewing.com/
User avatar
Nesto
 
Posts: 790
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:03 pm
Location: Northern California
Model: 20 litres


Return to General / Tips and Tricks

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Onthebrew and 5 guests