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Bru 'n water vs. Beersmith2

So I’m making a second attempt at a Vienna Lager and want to make mash water adjustments to reflect Vienna’s water. I’ve been using the Bru 'n Water spreadsheet for adjusting the water for the last couple of batches but I’m considering using Beersmith2’s for this beer. Here’s the problem: Bru 'n water has a water profile for Vienna with the following:

Ca 75
Mg 15
Na 10
SO4 60
Cl 15
HCO3 225

Beersmith has this water profile:

Ca 200
Mg 60
Na 8
SO4 125
Cl 12
HCO3 120

My water:

Ca 37
MG 12
Na 9
SO4 29
CL 14
HCO3 123

As you can see Bru 'n Water & Beersmith Vienna water profiles differ quite a bit. Beersmith has me adding a hefty dose of CaCl when Bru 'n Water does not. This has got me worried enough that I’m thinking of not making ANY adjustments. Any thoughts?

The profiles are pretty useless without also knowing how the brewers in that area are treating their water. I would use bru’nwater to build the profile based on the SRM and the malt:hop balance you want to achieve. You might find it easier to start with DI water or else cut your water 50:50, giving you more room to adjust.

Brunwater is written by a professional water engineer who does work for breweries. I would definitely trust it. Brad does a great job with Beersmith, but I prefer something written by a person who has that specific knowledge. And I think that even Martin (the author of Brunwater) would tell you that city profiles vary widely, depending on when the water was tested. You’ll likely have better luck using one of the profiles for color and flavor (like “brown, malty” for instance).

Thanks guys. My Vienna Lager color is only 8.1 SRM and bitterness is 24.2 IBU’s so I used “Amber Malty” and my target profile was almost right on the money as it is. I think it’s best I just leave my water alone for this one and see what my mash PH comes out to.

P.S. kind of the same topic. I used the yeast starter calc. tool on Beersmith and then I compared it with MrMalty. Not even close. Beersmith is telling me that 1 smack pack of 2206 with a 1.5 liter starter is sufficient for a 1.055 OG lager w/stir plate. Mr. Malty says 2 smack packs with the same sized starter. But both are indicating I need 400 billion yeast cells. ???

That’s quite the difference and kind of alarming actually. I’ll stick with MrMalty.

For something malty, I’d add a little CaCl2 to boost the Cl and drop the RA a bit. Otherwise your water looks pretty good.

+1

+1 Shade Tree and Denny. Many breweries treat their water and it doesn’t matter if you use the water profile for Vienna or Dublin if it is treated correctly.

I have been using Bru’n water excusively since it was released (Thanks so much again Martin). I have been extremely satisfied with my finished product and have found it dead on. Initially, it is difficult to learn but after you get the hang of it, easy as pie.

So my Mash PH (wort chilled to room temp.) came out to 5.7. Seems a little high. My grain bill was mostly Pilsner, Munich and Vienna so maybe not?

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks.

That would be ~5.4 at mash temp, so you’re good.

Is there any reason that I should cool the wort to do a test? Will 152F wort damage my meter sensor?

[quote=“Gopher Brewmeister”]Is there any reason that I should cool the wort to do a test? Will 152F wort damage my meter sensor?[/quote]Depends on the meter, but in general, yes, mash temps will degrade the sensor. I eventually broke my Milwaukee 600 meter by reading directly in the mash, so I now just put a small glass bowl in the freezer at the start of the brew day and then use it to rapidly cool the wort for pH readings.

Thanks. One more thing:

Should I keep my sensor moist between brew days? The Milwaukee 600 instructions don’t really say.

[quote=“Gopher Brewmeister”]Should I keep my sensor moist between brew days?[/quote]It will prolong the life of the sensor. I cut a piece of cotton pad to fit the bottom of the cap and pour a small amount of storage solution into the cap, then slide the meter in and close tightly (solution will squirt out). Then store it with the cap end down.

Just to add my $0.02

I haven’t yet bit the bullet and bought a pH meter so visual signs of proper pH are all that I have to go by. Ever since switching to Bru’n Water, I’ve seen much better hot break (egg drop soup), have better eff. (as high as 88%), and my beer has finished crystal clear with very little help. I still plan on buying a pH meter, but I feel much more confident on brew day ever since making the switch.

You can get 100 ColorpHast strips for ~$20, and even cut them in half. Personally, I don’t see the need for a pH meter if you brew only occasionally (less than a few times a month).

You can get 100 ColorpHast strips for ~$20, and even cut them in half. Personally, I don’t see the need for a pH meter if you brew only occasionally (less than a few times a month).[/quote]

I agree! I use EZ water and it has been very accurate at predicting PH. I got a meter for Christmas, but have not been feeling the need to mess with it.

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