Water chemistry noob question

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ScotianHobo
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Water chemistry noob question

Post by ScotianHobo » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:40 pm

So. I don't know how much to add of what stuff to get to where I want to be.

I'm taking my first swing at trying to hit a target water chemistry and I'm hitting my head against the wall. I've tried using various calculators but they aren't idiot proof enough to tell me what to add when. Hoping someone here can nudge me towards the light?

This is for a straight up pilsner/wheat 23L Berliner Weisse mashing for 60m @63C, Decocting for a hop boil for 15min, 20m @72C, mashing out at 78 and pasteurizing at 98. Lactic acid and white labs lacto blend for souring and some dry hopping later on in case of that matters.

If I've read my water report right my current values out of the tap (+target and delta values of the profile I'm shooting for:)

Ca+2 = 3.8ppm (target =60, delta = 56.2)
Mg+2 = 0.4 (target 5, delta = 4.6)
Na+ = 13.7 (target 10, delta = 3.7)
SO4-2 = 7.5 (target 55, delta = 47.5)
Cl- = 8.5 (target 95, delta = 86.5)
Hardness as CaCo3 11.3ppm

Question therefore is: now what? I've read too much and understand far too little but I am hellbent at trying, even if I fail, to "get it". Can anyone point me towards the better pint I know is at the end of this journey and/or do what my high school Chemistry teacher failed so miserably at (not at all my fault of course...) :-D

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Re: Water chemistry noob question

Post by Hub Brewer » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:31 pm

Some calcium chloride and Epsom salts (MgSO4) are going to get you pretty close to where you want to be. What's your Ph? And have you tried bru'nwater and/or the beersmith water calculator? Both let you input your existing water and make calculations for your target profile.

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Re: Water chemistry noob question

Post by ScotianHobo » Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:07 pm

Hub Brewer wrote:Some calcium chloride and Epsom salts (MgSO4) are going to get you pretty close to where you want to be. What's your Ph? And have you tried bru'nwater and/or the beersmith water calculator? Both let you input your existing water and make calculations for your target profile.
Ph 7.3, shooting for 4.5 (I think). Been using BeerSmith 3 app on my phone and no water calculator there but used a few others - just can't figure the quantities with any degree of confidence. I'll check out bru'nwater to see if it gets me there...

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LiverDance
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Re: Water chemistry noob question

Post by LiverDance » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:30 am

A pH of 4.5 is great for souring the beer but not so much for mashing. Adjusting it post mash with some phosphoric or lactic acid will get it down to 4.5 nicely without screwing with the mash pH
"Twenty years ago — a time, by the way, that hops such as Simcoe and Citra were already being developed, but weren’t about to find immediate popularity — there wasn’t a brewer on earth who would have gone to the annual Hop Growers of American convention and said, “I’m going to have a beer that we make 4,000 barrels of, one time a year. It flies off the shelf at damn near $20 a six-pack, and you know what it smells like? It smells like your cat ate your weed and then pissed in the Christmas tree.” - Bell’s Brewery Director of Operations John Mallet on the scent of their popular Hopslam.

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wcturnedec
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Re: Water chemistry noob question

Post by wcturnedec » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:46 am

ScotianHobo wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:07 pm
Hub Brewer wrote:Some calcium chloride and Epsom salts (MgSO4) are going to get you pretty close to where you want to be. What's your Ph? And have you tried bru'nwater and/or the beersmith water calculator? Both let you input your existing water and make calculations for your target profile.
Ph 7.3, shooting for 4.5 (I think). Been using BeerSmith 3 app on my phone and no water calculator there but used a few others - just can't figure the quantities with any degree of confidence. I'll check out bru'nwater to see if it gets me there...

Sent from my SM-N950W using Tapatalk
Don't mess with the mobile app for Beersmith 3, the water calculations are non existent! Get on the desktop version, it has a much more in depth water calculator and allows you to match your current water profile with a target profile (ie: yellow/dry, yellow/balanced etc). It will automatically calculate the salts needed to achieve the target water profile and will calculate an estimated mash pH. Bru'N Water is probably the most in depth calculator but I was too lazy to figure it out! :cheers2:
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ScotianHobo
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Re: Water chemistry noob question

Post by ScotianHobo » Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:02 am

Desktop Beersmtih. Noted. Just assumed it was the same as the app.
4.5 post mash. Good catch. I didn't include any acidulated malt so was a little uncertain on timing of that step.
Calcium chloride & Epsom. Noted.

I'll try and do the calcls myself but what would be a ballpark just so I have a frame of reference?

1g of each would add approximately what - 50-200ish ppm?

So whatever amount I need to hit the target ppm multiplied by the volume of water being treated gives me the total amount of the addition? Is that the gist? I know the calculator will tell me but I want to "get it" so it becomes intuitive and so I get a feel for ho to manage going forward.

Awesome tips folks. Thank you! :rockin:

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Re: Water chemistry noob question

Post by LiverDance » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:33 pm

Not exactly a linear thing as each addition affects more than one ion. Calcium chloride would up the calcium and chloride but gypsum would up the calcium and sulphate, epson would up the magnesium and sulphate...etc
"Twenty years ago — a time, by the way, that hops such as Simcoe and Citra were already being developed, but weren’t about to find immediate popularity — there wasn’t a brewer on earth who would have gone to the annual Hop Growers of American convention and said, “I’m going to have a beer that we make 4,000 barrels of, one time a year. It flies off the shelf at damn near $20 a six-pack, and you know what it smells like? It smells like your cat ate your weed and then pissed in the Christmas tree.” - Bell’s Brewery Director of Operations John Mallet on the scent of their popular Hopslam.

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