I have been playing around with these two water chemistry programs and I was wondering if any of you great brewers have used these programs. I have tried the Bru’n Water program, it is to much for this old man to comprehend. From what I can understand with that program my water isn’t balanced. When I put the same information into the EZ Water & Brewer’s Friend programs they tell that my water is balanced. The only thing they both say that the Sulfate is low but not a problem. The Sulfate in my water is 24.4. These two programs seem a little easier for me to understand, But this whole water chemistry thing is to much for me to understand.
I have said in the past that I wasn’t interested in moving up to all grain but after doing a 3 gal. BIAB kit and everything went ok I’m thinking about trying it again when the weather warms up. This water chemistry thing is the only thing I’m worried about.
No expert here but EZwater has worked well for me so far. Haven’t tried Brewers friend yet. Bru’n water is a great source of info but is a little beyond my level at present. You Tube has some good videos on water additions for home brewing. Worth a look.
I appreciate Martin for his work and his depth of knowledge, but I recommend the Brewer’s Friend tool as the interface isn’t nearly as intimidating. With the Brewer’s Friend tool, it’s about as close to plug-and-chug as a precise pH calculation can get. I don’t recommend EZ Water, as (last I checked) it used a much simpler approach and gave me much different results than either Martin’s or Kai’s tools.
Folks, those other programs don’t tell you a thing about whether the data you input is balanced or not. Sorry to tell you, but if you’ve got data and Bru’n Water tells you that something seems unbalanced, switching to another program isn’t going to solve the problem for you.
Ignorance is NOT bliss. Bru’n Water is just alerting you that something is wrong with your data or the input. A poor program is just going to let you move ahead. Remember the famous computer term: Garbage In = Garbage Out. I’m just trying to help you out.
Depends what you mean by ‘balanced’, like the water profile you enter is balanced for cation/anion or isn’t desirable for a certain beer style? If it is the former, Martin is most certainly correct, something is off in the water profile you’re entering.
Other than the initial learning curve I’d have a hard time going away from Bru’n water. Sure there is some learning about water to be able to enter stuff but it seems like that’d be stuff you’d have to understand anyway to effectively adjust it. I use Bru’n Water because after lots of batches and testing I know I can trust it blindly to end up with the correct mash pH. That could also be the case if I used one of the other tools but I’ve already integrated Bru’n Water into my brewing work flow.
[quote=“mabrungard”]Folks, those other programs don’t tell you a thing about whether the data you input is balanced or not. Sorry to tell you, but if you’ve got data and Bru’n Water tells you that something seems unbalanced, switching to another program isn’t going to solve the problem for you.
Ignorance is NOT bliss. Bru’n Water is just alerting you that something is wrong with your data or the input. A poor program is just going to let you move ahead. Remember the famous computer term: Garbage In = Garbage Out. I’m just trying to help you out.[/quote]
I assume by “other programs”, you’re referring to EZ Water, and not Kai’s tool?
[attachment=0]2015-02-05 10_41_24-Mash Chemistry and Brewing Water Calculator _ Brewer’s Friend.png[/attachment]
I’ve spent most of my afternoon reading all the links posted here
The Bru’n water walkthrough link was extremely helpful. I ran through it with some examples and it seemed to make more sense just playing around with it a little. I need a Ward Labs test of my tap water, because the report provided by the utility department does just a smidge more than nothing (at least it reports pH and Sulfate).
For my last brew, I used R/O water and the primer from the link posted above. I learned that the pH strips definitely don’t work well, and that I will need to invest in a good meter. Overall, I believe I was pretty close, as the beer tastes good, and the color is spot on. I am sure it could be better, so I’ll keep working
You can also contact your water utility and ask them for the results relevant to beer making. I did, and they not only happily provided my with the results and answered my question as to whether they used chlorine or chloramines, they included a write-up about brewing water in the next city newsletter!
[quote=“jazzman”]I was just looking for a balance between malty and bitter. That is the types of beers I brew.
Sorry to bother you[/quote]
Once you dig into one of the programs I think you’ll find that you create a water profile for each of those types Jazzman. Some salts will accentuate the hops where others accentuate the malt.
Whichever tool you choose will take some figuring out. Just like any other aspect of this hobby you have to decide which one works for you. Better water chemistry will definitely improve your beer.
Thanks for the link to the walkthrough. I like to think I’m relatively clever, but water treatments always get the best of me. Seriously, it seems like every time I try to read about it, the folks in the know say “It’s simple… just measure ppm titration of anhydrous emulsion of jibber jabber jargon and bob’s your uncle.” Probably my own block, though. I have managed to use EZ Brew the past few times, and now it looks like I might be able to figure out Brunwater (at least enough to sort of get the idea, although the sparge acidification tab still has me lost). I’ll probably try both a few times and see what the differences are for me.
See I look at it very differently. I’m by no means knowledgeable about water/chemistry, and I find Bru’n Water very easy to use. You simply input your water composition. Pick a profile (I chose by color then by hoppy/balanced/malty) and add the salts to match that profile. The ions that each salt adds are highlighted to make it even easier. Click on the pH page and make sure its where I want it and in range. Easy as that.
Martin will probably be pissed when I say this but I still haven’t read all the informative stuff on there. Personally I don’t care about chemistry or WHY it works, just that it DOES.
@jazzman - I think your post took a left turn when you were looking for guidance or encouragement. You certainly don’t need to apologize, the purpose of this forum is to gain a better understanding from others through their experience.
Don’t let the water adjustments keep you from going all grain. Technically, you don’t have to worry about it at all, and it’s certainly not a prerequisite to making good beer. Lots of brewers, if not most (including all-grain brewers), don’t even mess with their water, and many contributors of the home brewing community proclaim that if your water’s good enough to drink, its good enough to make beer. But that’s not what you were asking, was it?
I’ve talked to many people here on NB that the water thing eludes me. I just don’t get it and know a lot of us don’t. My suggestion is to use what your comfortable with, and as you get the hang of going all grain then maybe progress towards BW. Maybe water adjustments will take your good beer and make it great! It’s a journey, and it’s supposed to be a fun one at that.
I switched to BW recently and I like how intuitive it is, but wish it was easier to understand and I would love if it was integrated into Beersmith. How cool would that be!
Don’t let the water adjustments keep you from going all grain. Technically, you don’t have to worry about it at all, and it’s certainly not a prerequisite to making good beer. [/quote]
Well, I wish that statement were true for all brewers. Unfortunately, some people have water that is unsuited enough such that all they can say is they make beer…not even good beer. That is pretty discouraging. And in many cases, the water tastes fine. It just doesn’t make good or great beer. It’s those brewers that I’m worried about.
With all that said, most people don’t worry about their brewing water and they like their beer. I just submit the point that if brewers want to take their beer up a notch, messing with their water is a good step. Hopefully, Bru’n Water makes that step easy.
Josh: Not pissed at all. This is a hobby. Get into the things that interest you and make you happy. That is all we should concern ourselves with. You are doing it right!
Josh: Not pissed at all. This is a hobby. Get into the things that interest you and make you happy. That is all we should concern ourselves with. You are doing it right![/quote]
Martin, just don’t want you thinking all your hard work isn’t appreciated. I always tell people to use Bru’n water as I find it to be much better than any other program.