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Old 19-06-2013, 09:01 PM   #1
oldjiver
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Default Water treatment

Having brewed for almost 40 years with no water (liquor) problems I have moved to a new water area. I did all my PH checking etc when I first started brewing and found that by boiling for 15 minutes and letting it settle before racking the water, then adding gypsum I got the perfect PH. Now in my lodge in a new water area I decided to try CRS (carbonate reducing solution.) We have a wonderful water calculator on this forum, but matching it to the water companys report is very difficult. My last bitter brew I added 15ml of CRS which appeared to be the correct amount, but the beer didnt clear properly although the taste was excellent. Also the PH paper showed 6.00 (clearly wrong).So next brew I added 30 ml and bingo!! spot on!. 5.2 with clear wort after boiling. I have posted the companies water report before but apart from advice to research further I have had no feedback. Might be a good place to start a discussion?
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Old 19-06-2013, 09:10 PM   #2
pittsy
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Default Re: Water treatment

I find the forum water calculator to be way off , you should try brun water https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/ i find the more i understand it the more acurate my results have been , so far spot on the predictions stated and it will take in your grain type and has many more options . I think it is the best water software (and it's free) around.
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Old 19-06-2013, 09:11 PM   #3
dennisking
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Default Re: Water treatment

Are you Essex and Suffolk water. I contacted them and listed the various values I needed and they responded with detailed values. Using the forum calculator my CRS requirement was 27ml and with the other additions my PH is always around where I want it.
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Old 19-06-2013, 09:14 PM   #4
pittsy
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Default Re: Water treatment

p.s lactic acid is a good way to drop your mash ph without upsetting sulphate levels or even using acid malt too , 1% acid malt lowers mash ph by 0.1% but more than 4% may effect beer taste
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Old 20-06-2013, 06:03 AM   #5
troutie
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Default Re: Water treatment

This water thing has me puzzled
we have zero scale in the kettle but cant use the tap water for Star san as it goes cloudy straight away .

also being Yorkshire Water we dont even know where our water comes from with them having the grid to pump water through
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Old 20-06-2013, 07:57 AM   #6
Aleman
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Default Re: Water treatment

First off the forum calculator and Brunwater are trying to do two different things. The forum calculator assists you in getting to an 'ideal' one size fits all water profile for the limited number of beer styles it includes. . . . as such given the very poor quality of input (water reports are next to useless), and the inaccuracies in historical water profiles then the resulting pH is likely not to the the 'perfect' 'ideal' pH of 5.3 . . . but it is more than likely to be in the acceptable pH range for 5.2 to 5.8 . . . just make notes (assuming that your measuring device is accurate and reliable) and adjust next time.

As I have been banging on since 2008 the concept of brewing to an ideal profile is a complete waste of time, all you need to is adjust alkalinity to that required for for your beer style (pale beers <50 ideally 30, up to dark beers 1250-150), then if required add calcium (either as sulphate of chloride depending on the concentration of those ions in your liquor and the flavour profile you want from your beer) to around 100-150.. You should end up in the correct ball park again for pH, if not make a note and adjust next time.

BrunWater takes this approach . . . and massively overcomplicates it, including using Kolbachs work on residual alkalinity from the 1950's, which was a limited run of experiments, testing one or two parameters and was never intended to be extrapolated to the mash tun.

One of the big issues we have is that we don't know what's in our water, and most of us don't know what is in DLS/AWB/CRS, but happily throw it into the liquor, blindly following the results the calculators give us. This is not water treatment, it is witchcraft!!! The problem with this approach is that it is all too easy to 'overmineralise' the liquor and end up with a beer with a harsh back taste.

Do yourselves a favour and get a proper water analysis from Murphy Home brew for 18 quid (The only one you don't get is potassium which is an expensive test - 29 quid). The only issue is that you don't know if the water company changes your supply at any time . . .which is why I always do an alkalinity and calcium tests with the liquor I am brewing with.
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Old 20-06-2013, 10:39 AM   #7
brewtim
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Default Re: Water treatment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleman
Do yourselves a favour and get a proper water analysis from Murphy Home brew for 18 quid


Aleman

I've done this and the results from Murphy's tell me to throw in some DLS/AWB/CRS.

I have an embarrassing lack of knowledge of DLS/AWB/CRS, so I will happily and blindly follow the Murphy's recommendations.

What would be the difference between Murhpys and Bru 'n Water with a local water company analysis then (other than Murphy's means I don't have to calculate anything myself and have done all the hard work for me)?
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Old 20-06-2013, 12:38 PM   #8
Aleman
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Default Re: Water treatment

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewtim
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleman
Do yourselves a favour and get a proper water analysis from Murphy Home brew for 18 quid
I've done this and the results from Murphy's tell me to throw in some DLS/AWB/CRS.
Quote:
Which is what they generally give out as most of thier customers (big breweries) will use thier products. . .If at the time of ordering the analysis you state what beers you predominantly brew, and ask for recomendations using phosphoric / hydrochloric / sulphuric acids (mostly flavour neutral) and calcium sulphate / calcium chloride / magnesium sulphate etc, then that is what you will get, it's just a shame they don't publicise that on the website.

Of course once you have the analysis there is nothing to stop you plugging the values into any other calculator and using that to come up with recommendations for the mineral salts to add

I have an embarrassing lack of knowledge of DLS/AWB/CRS, so I will happily and blindly follow the Murphy's recommendations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewtim
What would be the difference between Murhpys and Bru 'n Water with a local water company analysis then (other than Murphy's means I don't have to calculate anything myself and have done all the hard work for me)?
That's a difficult one to answer, I use Murphys for my analysis (except for alkalinity and Calcium which I measure as I prepare the water for brewing each and every time), but I do not follow their guidelines, as I have my own, very simple, spreadsheet that I use to determine which minerals to add. I have compared it with Bru'nWater, and they agree pretty closely as in the end result pH values are where I want them to be.

I also prefer to use 'native' minerals rather than a blend as I can then control the effect of the flavour ions . . I also prefer not to increase sodium so that limits the calculators I can use as most recommend adding sodium chloride/hydrogen carbonate.

So for me the main difference is that you can control the mineral additions much more closely/appropriately . . but in order to do that you really need to understand, what each of the ions give as part of the flavour profile/mash chemistry. I have posted on this subject quite extensively both here and on JBK . . . I guess one of these days I really need to put it somewhere online, and tie it in to a very simple calculator
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Old 20-06-2013, 03:18 PM   #9
Cpt.Frederickson
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Default Re: Water treatment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleman
I have posted on this subject quite extensively both here and on JBK . . . I guess one of these days I really need to put it somewhere online, and tie it in to a very simple calculator
Top notch as always, Aleman.
I'd love to see this calculator. I've just started playing around with the supporters version of Bru'n Water and you're spot on that it is complex. Excellent, but complex. I've spent literally 10+ hours messing about and tweaking things to fully get to grips with it (I am, admittedly, a spreadsheet geek) but I hope that now I won't have to spend so long tweaking things...somehow, I feel that may be wishful thinking...
One of my main concerns over water adjustment has been the calcium level, just wondered what kit you use for testing this? I've looked at a few but wasn't aware of any others doing this, as well as hearing that most were for saltwater so their range was focussed on higher concentrations. This sounds like an excellent way of really honing in on my water profile and seeing the variations.
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Old 20-06-2013, 06:01 PM   #10
Aleman
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Default Re: Water treatment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt.Frederickson
One of my main concerns over water adjustment has been the calcium level, just wondered what kit you use for testing this?
I've used the Salifert Calcium test kit which despite being for salt water is still usable for our purposes, especially in waters with high alkalinity, which would have a concomitant high level of calcium (>~100ppm). it's not so brilliant with my water at around 20 ppm calcium, but it is a check and balance so that when it suddenly shoots up to 75ppm I know that they are using the borehole again. (I actually have several analyses done by Murphys over the year so can select the most appropriate guesswork based on my current alkalinity and calcium . . .yes I am that sad )

As you say the best thing about measuring teh calcium is that you can check it's in the right area, or the area you want it to be in after treatment. As I aim for a minimum of 100ppm it's within the realm of accuracy of the test kit
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