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EZ Water and Bru'n Water Differ Drastically

Hello all,

I’m planning on brewing an English Dark Mild based off of John Palmer’s (Belladonna Tooks Oaked Mild) recipe. My recipe below is based off an estimated overall efficiency of about 84% which I hit regularly.

5 lbs. Maris Otter
.85 lbs. English Medium
.45 lbs. Special Roast
.42 lbs. Flaked Oats
.42 lbs. Flaked Wheat
.25 lbs. Pale Chocolate

Est. OG 1.038
IBUs 19.6
Color 13 SRM

That being said I am getting two completely different estimated mash pH levels between EZ Water and Bru’n Water. Both factor in a 70% dilution with distilled water off my base water profile.

The EZ water calculations lend a pH range in the 5.5 range where the Bru’n water lends a pH range of 5.0.

My base water profile is:
Calcium 33 ppm
Magnesium 9 ppm
Sodium 12 ppm
Chloride 21 ppm
Sulfate 24 ppm
Bicarb 122 ppm

I am diluting the 2.5 gallon mash with 70% distilled water and then adding 0.8 grams of gypsum and 1.1 grams of calcium chloride per Bru’n waters recommendations.

Any idea why I am getting such a drastic difference?

I can’t explain the difference but I can tell you that I’ve found Brunwater to be much more accurate than EZ. I get the pH readings it predicts and the beer tastes much better.

Well that’s good to know. I will go off of that then and try and nail down the pH level. If I use my existing water profile it puts it into the 5.4 range. Would it be ok to add the entirety of the salts to my boil instead?

Well that’s good to know. I will go off of that then and try and nail down the pH level. If I use my existing water profile it puts it into the 5.4 range. Would it be ok to add the entirety of the salts to my boil instead?[/quote]

Yep, that’s what I’d do.

Well that’s good to know. I will go off of that then and try and nail down the pH level. If I use my existing water profile it puts it into the 5.4 range. Would it be ok to add the entirety of the salts to my boil instead?[/quote]

Yep, that’s what I’d do.[/quote]

Perfect. Thanks again Denny!

I recall Martin saying the difference had to do with something about the different data sets the spreadsheets used to estimate the pH impact from the various malts. Like Denny I find Bru’n Water to better match what I’m actually measuring for pH in the mash. I measured the pH of a bunch of mashes as I was getting comfortable building water and understanding mash pH but Bru’n Water has been so consistently accurate I often get lazy and won’t even measure the pH any more, particularly if it is similar to a beer that I’ve brewed before.

Well that’s good to know. I will go off of that then and try and nail down the pH level. If I use my existing water profile it puts it into the 5.4 range. Would it be ok to add the entirety of the salts to my boil instead?[/quote]

Yep, that’s what I’d do.[/quote]

Have you ever had any difficulties with kettle pH using this method Denny??

I’m assuming that the ‘base’ profile is the tap water. Recognize that with a 70% dilution, the alkalinity of that diluted water is quite low. That and the fact that there is somewhere around 10% medium crystal and a few percent roast could provide the acidity needed to drive the mash pH as low as indicated.

Given the profile of the tap water, I don’t understand why you are diluting in the first place. It is apparent to me that the percentage of dilution needs to be reduced to a point where the predicted mash pH is in range. That tap water is pretty darn good! You are fortunate to have that water supply.

[quote=“mabrungard”]I’m assuming that the ‘base’ profile is the tap water. Recognize that with a 70% dilution, the alkalinity of that diluted water is quite low. That and the fact that there is somewhere around 10% medium crystal and a few percent roast could provide the acidity needed to drive the mash pH as low as indicated.

Given the profile of the tap water, I don’t understand why you are diluting in the first place. It is apparent to me that the percentage of dilution needs to be reduced to a point where the predicted mash pH is in range. That tap water is pretty darn good! You are fortunate to have that water supply.[/quote]

Thanks for your input Martin! An expert like you can’t be beat :smiley:

Not that I’ve found. Admittedly, I don’t check kettle pH for every brew. But when I have checked after adding salts to the kettle the pH is right around where I expect it to be.

[quote=“TFrankMac”]
I guess after looking back and forth between my recipes and your spreadsheet, I was more concerned with using distilled water when brewing my pale ales (in an effort to keep the RA lower) than I was this beer. [/quote]
I really like using phosphoric acid to reduce alkalinity.

I’m a bit envious of your water profile, by the way. My sodium, sulfate and chloride levels are higher than I would like.

[quote=“kcbeersnob”][quote=“TFrankMac”]
I guess after looking back and forth between my recipes and your spreadsheet, I was more concerned with using distilled water when brewing my pale ales (in an effort to keep the RA lower) than I was this beer. [/quote]
I really like using phosphoric acid to reduce alkalinity.

I’m a bit envious of your water profile, by the way. My sodium, sulfate and chloride levels are higher than I would like.[/quote]

Ya I am very happy with our brewing water around here. Great stuff.

Not that I’ve found. Admittedly, I don’t check kettle pH for every brew. But when I have checked after adding salts to the kettle the pH is right around where I expect it to be.[/quote]

Perfect. Thanks Denny! :cheers:

Is there a standard set of values that can be used in Bru’n Water if 100% of the water used is RO, or would the water still need to be tested? I’ve noticed that EZ Water allows the user to enter the percentage of distilled/RO water, but did not see this option in Bru’n Water. Would all of the preset values be zeroed out for RO water, or would that be oversimplifying things?

The dilution water percentage is set on the Water Adjustment sheet in the area with “Dilution Water Profile” at the top. There is a spinner thing that allows you to quickly dial the percentage up or down.

The water profile for RO water varies a bit due to the age and character of the membrane and the profile of the raw water. For the most part, you can assume a water profile for RO water. The RO profile shown in Bru’n Water should be typical of many RO systems.

a-HA! I knew there must have been something I was missing; thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Does this mean that, if using 100% RO water, I would…

  1. Dial up to 100% RO Water in the Water Adjustment Tab
  2. Enter the grain bill in the Mash Acidification tab
  3. Make any final additions in the Adjustment Summary tab

…and not worry about the Water Report and Sparge Acidification tabs (relying on the preset values), or would a water report still be necessary?

Yes, but you do typically have to go back to the Water Adjustment sheet and do some fine tuning with the alkalinity level to dial in the mash pH. The Adjustment Summary is just a sheet that tabulates all the things you’ll need to do on brew day. All the mash and sparge water additions are summarized there. You can’t do any adjusting on that page though. I like to print out that page and bring it with me into the brewery.

Thanks again – and sorry, I realized after the fact that the Water Adjustment tab was the place for the fine tuning (still learning my way around).

Looking forward to learning a great deal by using this program – thanks for making it available!

I’ve found the exact opposite. EZ water is always dead on for me. I haven’t used Brunwater in a couple years though, so maybe it has been updated since the last time I tried it. Since EZ water is working for me I don’t have a lot of desire to switch at this point.

I use RO water and typically add pretty minimal amounts of salts. Just enough to hit my desired pH.

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