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Diving in to water - any advice?

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Cptn_Needa

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OK the time has come to start looking to to water treatment.
Apologies in advance for the post length...

I've been reading up on it quite a bit starting with the amazing posts from @strange-steve here and also using Gordon Strong's Brewing Better Beer book.

I haven't go the Salifert kits yet (I will get them ordered this week) so this is just going off the Bristol water report for now. I figured that I could run through an example using these figures an then adjust when I get the true readings.

I'm using the Brewfather app and aiming for an American IPA style.

This is the water report. It's pretty detailed and (as Strange-Steve points out) will be an average but I've used it for the basis of understanding what I'm doing.
Bristol Water Report.png


I plugged all these figures in to the BF app, set the salts and acid I had ordered and got back some auto-generated results (decided on no salts for sparge, just using acid).
BF Water 1.png
BF Water 2 Orig.png


Using Gordon Strong's suggestion I wanted to aim for mash pH of 5.3 so was a little high.
I added more calcium and tried to keep the ratio in the Slightly Bitter region. I also added some acid to drop it to 5.3.
BF Water 2.png


After all of that:
  • Have I don't the right thing here?
  • Should I be using salts for sparge too rather than just acid?
  • Have I missed anything?
  • The HCO3 level is still outside the range. Is that problem?
  • Should dilute with Ashbeck to reduce the HCO3 level?
As I say this is the first outing for me and am really trying to apply the theory that I've read and tried to understand so any pointers would be really appreciated.
 

chthon

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For the sparge water, I always make all my water in one go. If you wouldn't add minerals to your sparge water, then you would dilute the actual mineral content in your beer.
 

Cptn_Needa

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For the sparge water, I always make all my water in one go. If you wouldn't add minerals to your sparge water, then you would dilute the actual mineral content in your beer.
Yes that's a very good point thanks @chthon

I went in and had a little play around with the sparge settings in the app and it seems that when you turn the sparge setting on a small portion of the salts move from the mash water to the sparge water. It seems that when you have sparge option off the app assumes that you will be making your water in one go and when you have it on the app is showing you the additions for making separate mash/sparge water. End result is the same amount of salts (have attached some pics)

Anyone got any thoughts on Ashbeck dilution or any adjustments to this?
 

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foxy

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I have read GS's book over and over. Follow his advice with the non fermentables being added at mash out. The salt additions add up to closely the same every brew, even brewing a stout. One of the best pieces of brewing advice I have read.
 

Cptn_Needa

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I have read GS's book over and over. Follow his advice with the non fermentables being added at mash out. The salt additions add up to closely the same every brew, even brewing a stout. One of the best pieces of brewing advice I have read.
Thanks for the advice, it's a really interesting book and have a feeling I'll be going over that book more than once.
By non-fermentables you're talking about those grains that can be steeped?
I'll take another look at that section athumb..
 

foxy

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Thanks for the advice, it's a really interesting book and have a feeling I'll be going over that book more than once.
By non-fermentables you're talking about those grains that can be steeped?
I'll take another look at that section athumb..
Yes look at his recipes, he only mashes the base malts and adds the non fermentables at mash out.
 

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