Water Chemistry

Help Support The HomeBrew Forum:

m_kc

Active Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2021
Messages
87
Reaction score
45
Location
Oxford
I do 5L batches BIAB with full water so work out what water profile I want for that volume (typically 8L). When I boil down to 5L is the water profile the same (locked in) or reduced e.g. does Calcium or Magnesium get evaporated off.

Guessing it's locked in as haven't seen any apps that account for this.
 

UKSkydiver

Brew-ha-ha
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
627
Reaction score
398
Location
Oxfordshire
Do you use a brewing app, such as Brewfather? Certainly BF can help you calculate salt additions. But you also need these:

Do you have an idea of your starting water profile?

Do you have an idea of your target water profile?

Also, have you read Strange-Steve’s excellent sticky thread on basic water treatment?
 

m_kc

Active Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2021
Messages
87
Reaction score
45
Location
Oxford
Do you use a brewing app, such as Brewfather? Certainly BF can help you calculate salt additions. But you also need these:

Do you have an idea of your starting water profile?

Do you have an idea of your target water profile?

Also, have you read Strange-Steve’s excellent sticky thread on basic water treatment?
Do you use a brewing app, such as Brewfather? Certainly BF can help you calculate salt additions. But you also need these:

Do you have an idea of your starting water profile?

Do you have an idea of your target water profile?

Also, have you read Strange-Steve’s excellent sticky thread on basic water treatment?
Yes using brewfather although a little unsure what do when: preparing a high gravity 5L batch then dilute to make 10L. If I start with 8L + water additions then boil to 5L then add 5L.

Is my 8L starting water chemistry the same as the boiled 5L
 
Last edited:

UKSkydiver

Brew-ha-ha
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
627
Reaction score
398
Location
Oxfordshire
Blimey. Talk about making it hard (I appreciate you are, i think, restricted in your equipment)

I see what you're trying to do, but not sure how you plumb that in to BrewFather.

If I get the chance I will try and take a look. You will be looking at 'fermenter top up' or something like that, using your source water.
 

BackToBasics

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 6, 2013
Messages
104
Reaction score
38
If I get the chance I will try and take a look. You will be looking at 'fermenter top up' or something like that, using your source water.
There's a fermenter top up option in the brewing equipment section. No idea if it'll adjust the water treatment additions but I assume it would.
 

BackToBasics

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 6, 2013
Messages
104
Reaction score
38
There's a fermenter top up option in the brewing equipment section. No idea if it'll adjust the water treatment additions but I assume it would.
Just had a play in brewfather with a recipe I'd got saved as a 23l batch.

Changed it to 46l with a 23 top up and recalculated the water additions. It did scale things up but not in the linear fashion I expected. Gypsum addition went from 7.8g to 9g for the same target profile so not sure what's going on there. Hopefully someone else will be able to explain either what's happening or what I'm doing wrong.
 

Hazelwood Brewery

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
7,169
Reaction score
11,707
Location
Maidstone, Kent
As TETB noted only the water gets boiled off leaving the salts behind.

Water profiles do two things; they help achieve the mash pH you’re looking for, and they help achieve the flavour/mouthfeel you’re looking for.

Mash pH is usually the most important and you work out what quantity of salts is required for the volume of mash water you start with. You can also treat your sparge water if you wish but of course the mash is done by this time so if you treat the sparge water it’s either to deliver the profile you need for flavour/mouthfeel or it’s to give the sparge water some buffering capability to make sure it stays acidic and minimise extracting tannins from the grain as you sparge.

You can add even more salts in the boil if you want more for flavour/mouthfeel but I don’t know if anyone actually does this.
 

Sadfield

Landlord.
Joined
Oct 8, 2016
Messages
3,021
Reaction score
1,873
Location
Macclesfield
There's a multitude chemical reactions going on in the mash and boil, so gypsum, for example, added to your water won't remain as gypsum in the end beer. Less is needed in the top up water as there will be less chemical reactions, taking place from there on through fermentation, than for the whole process.
 
Last edited:

The-Engineer-That-Brews

Tinkering around
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2020
Messages
2,611
Reaction score
2,378
Location
St Albans, Herts
Download and get your head around this, your beer will love you for it. Cheers
Yes this is the tool that I use too. Just be prepared to ignore its warnings about unacceptably high levels of e.g. sulphates - it doesn’t really understand the mineral levels used in brewing a traditional UK bitter.
 
Top