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EZ Water3.0. vs. Bru'n Water

Ok - so, I have been trying to find time to start utilizing a spreadsheet for my brewing water. I have been just making my additions off of 4 or 5 “model” beers I constructed using Palmers book. Pilsner, pale ale, amber, brown, stout type templates and some gypsum/CaCl2 additions for each, along with RO dilution.
I had been looking through the Bru’n water page and fiddling around with the spreadsheet a little, but there seems to be a lot to it. I was looking at EZ Water yesterday - http://www.ezwatercalculator.com/
and it seems like a real breeze. I love that everything is right there on one page for you. So, that leads to my question - is there a major difference between the two in regard to “quality.” What are others’ experiences. I am thinking I would like to use EZ water just because it is sooooo simple. Any opinions would be appreciated. Any to look at besides these two? Keeping in mind I want good solid accuracy and simplicity.

Thanks

Downloaded v3.0 of EZ from your link and ran a couple of quick trials on it - it’s better than v2.0 (it now has slaked lime), but I don’t like that it assumes a pH for the base grain rather than calculating one from the actual Lovibond. For ease of setup, it’s a winner, though.

I’ve been using Bru’n water for a while now and have been very happy with its accuracy and found that once you get the hang of it it’s also quite simple to use. I fooled around with EZ water a bit when I first started looking into water additions and decided on Bru’n water(so I’ve never actually brewed with EZ water). If you’re just looking for something simple to keep you mash ph in line then EZ water should be fine assuming others who’ve used it can vouch for its accuracy. But if you’re like me and building your water using RO/distilled or are interested in getting your water to a specific profile then I think Bru’n water is the way to go as it’s much more robust in that area.

I find Bru’nwater to be much more accurate than EZ. It’s really not all that difficult to learn, either. If I can do it, anyone can do it!

My main concern is to deal with my high bicarbonate water (260ish) - especially in the mash. I am not necessarily trying to mimic any precise water source, just trying to have water that does not ruin my pale hoppy beers. My darker amber, brown, black, malty beers are cooperative. Hoppy, amber or lighter, not so much.

I am sure I could learn to use Bru’n water, but free time is in short supply for the next 2 months, and I “learned” how to use EZWater in about 3 seconds:) Will EZwater get me pretty close, until I have more time to devote to it?

Based on my few uses of EZ, I think that water like yours is where it has problems.

Hmmmmm . . . . back to the books, er . . .webpage, then:) Just need to schedule some time to sit down and go through it for an afternoon and get it set up.

Thanks for the input.

One recommendation I have for Bru’nwater is to use the color/flavor profile (“like amber malty” for instance) rather than a city profile. I think Martin put the city profiles in there because people expect to see them, but as he has pointed out, there’s really no way of knowing how accurate those are.

+1

I haven’t directly compared the same recipe in both programs (mostly because I’m lazy) but I’d agree with Denny that Bru’n water gives me accurate results. EZ water was giving me higher mash pH numbers than what I was actually seeing. It takes a little time to walk through and understand how Bru’n works but once you get it setup up for your water profile it is easy to use. My last few brews have been within .1 pH (both mashes were .1 lower than calculated) which is plenty close enough for me.

Also as a guy with hard water (bicarbonate is ~280) it is most certainly effecting your beers. Made a giant difference in my beers (particularly anything lighter) once I started to understand water chemistry and probably most, mash pH. I have to use a fair bit of RO water to get my water to work out and end up adding some salts back.

As Denny mentioned I’ve had very good results just using the loaded profiles, I pick a match for what I’m brewing (eg. - hoppy amber) and adjust my water to match it. Doesn’t take more than a couple minutes to use get what I need from Bru’n water now.

Home brewers obsess about water to the point that it’s nearly pathological. (Hi Pot, I’m Kettle.) Any of the calculators will get you close.

FWIW I’ve used EZ Water for quite some time with great results and have just recently started using Bru’n Water.

baratone - What are your bicarbonate levels like?

165

I just recently switched to Bru’n water after finally figuring out how to use it after a year of failed attempts. Before that, I had used Palmer’s RA Spreadsheet with enough success. But Bru’n water recommends a lot less acidity to achieve the ideal mash pH and it is coming in on target. So I’m sticking with it. Got a bit of an efficiency jump.

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