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My first Bru'nWater attempt

I plan on making an IPA (Dead Ringer kit) if the weather ever allows me to get outside and do that. This will be my first foray into making water adjustments. I just want to know if this looks like I know what I’m doing. I didn’t get a screen shot of the Mash Acidification tab but estimated room temp pH is 5.4

Thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated.

Personally I never mess with Epsom salts. You get plenty of Mg from the grain IMO. Now, Martin can correct me… :wink:

Also, I think the baking soda is at cross purposes with what you;re going for. Again, someone correct me of I’m wrong.

Too much going on. IMO get rid of the baking soda and lactic acid. Focus on 2 things for an IPA. Mash pH 5.4-5.6 and sulfate to 300ppm+. Using gypsum 2g/G should hit both. That’s how I do it and our water is very similar. Acidify sparge (I prefer phosphoric) to mash pH or no higher than 5.7 and add gypsum destined to sparge to boil kettle.

Hoping to get an IPA done this week too…

In other words, you guys are saying that I’m trying too hard to get exact numbers on the desired water profile and I should be focusing more on what those minerals’ purpose are in the finished product of the beer?

2.00 g/gal puts me at 328 sulfate and 5.5 room temp pH. I was a little nervous putting that much gypsum which was why I had my sulfate at about half the suggestion.

Yep, adding both baking soda and acid is counteracting. You may need some alkalinity in the mash due to the large amount of calcium added via the gypsum, but you shouldn’t have to add both the acid and baking soda. Add one or the other, not both. Try dialing back the acid totally and then dial back the baking soda until the pH is correct. If the pH is still too high after you’ve removed all the baking soda, then start adding the acid. Remember, in a hoppy beer, 5.4 is a good target.

Magnesium is not such a bad thing to have in brewing water. AHA members will see in the next issue of Zymurgy that Mg is typical in Bavarian waters and they make pretty good beers there…even malty ones. But their Mg level is typically below 20 ppm. I feel that adding a modest concentration of Mg in hoppy beers is very helpful to flavor. More importantly, adding epsom salt boosts sulfate without adding too much calcium. Although ale yeast are relatively tolerant of calcium, I do think we use a bit too much in some brewing. Calcium is certainly detrimental to lager yeasts and should be kept relatively low in most cases. The 50 ppm minimum calcium mantra does not apply to lagers.

By the way, the Supporter’s version of Bru’n Water automatically alerts the brewer when they are adding both an acid and an alkaline mineral to the mash.

OK, now I’m totally confused. Why would adding more gypsum decrease the pH? Is Gypsum acidic?

[quote=“mattnaik”]In other words, you guys are saying that I’m trying too hard to get exact numbers on the desired water profile and I should be focusing more on what those minerals’ purpose are in the finished product of the beer?

2.00 g/gal puts me at 328 sulfate and 5.5 room temp pH. I was a little nervous putting that much gypsum which was why I had my sulfate at about half the suggestion.[/quote]

You got it, buddy! 300ppm sulfate is fine for an IPA, but you may want to back it down into the 200 range for an APA.

[quote=“mattnaik”]In other words, you guys are saying that I’m trying too hard to get exact numbers on the desired water profile and I should be focusing more on what those minerals’ purpose are in the finished product of the beer?

2.00 g/gal puts me at 328 sulfate and 5.5 room temp pH. I was a little nervous putting that much gypsum which was why I had my sulfate at about half the suggestion.[/quote]

Sounds perfect to me!

Adding gypsum lowers the mash pH because it contains calcium. Ca combines with phosphates in the malt creating an acidic reaction driving pH down.

[quote=“zwiller”][quote=“mattnaik”]In other words, you guys are saying that I’m trying too hard to get exact numbers on the desired water profile and I should be focusing more on what those minerals’ purpose are in the finished product of the beer?

2.00 g/gal puts me at 328 sulfate and 5.5 room temp pH. I was a little nervous putting that much gypsum which was why I had my sulfate at about half the suggestion.[/quote]

Sounds perfect to me!

Adding gypsum lowers the mash pH because it contains calcium. Ca combines with phosphates in the malt creating an acidic reaction driving pH down.[/quote]

I really need to read that Water book by Palmer. It’s queued up after I finish Mitch Steele’s IPA book.

[quote=“mattnaik”][quote=“zwiller”][quote=“mattnaik”]In other words, you guys are saying that I’m trying too hard to get exact numbers on the desired water profile and I should be focusing more on what those minerals’ purpose are in the finished product of the beer?

2.00 g/gal puts me at 328 sulfate and 5.5 room temp pH. I was a little nervous putting that much gypsum which was why I had my sulfate at about half the suggestion.[/quote]

Sounds perfect to me!

Adding gypsum lowers the mash pH because it contains calcium. Ca combines with phosphates in the malt creating an acidic reaction driving pH down.[/quote]

I really need to read that Water book by Palmer. It’s queued up after I finish Mitch Steele’s IPA book.[/quote]

Have you read the water knowledge section of the Bru’nwater website? That’s kinda the short course from the water book.

I read the section on pH and skimmed the rest of it. So much knowledge and so little time to absorb it!

Haven’t read the Water book but agree that bru’n water has the info you need. For various reasons I have some reservations of Palmer’s work. Noonans Brewing Lager Beer is where I paid my tuition. That, and Kai’s site. I really regret not making it to Fatheads to get a signed copy of IPA on his book tour. Interesting trivia: Dave Line covered water treatment for homebrewing quite well back in the 70’s…

Dave Line also said if you had pets you had to get rid of them or every beer you made would be infected…

Can’t say I own everything he wrote but that’s new to me. Made me dig some of it out and look for it. :smiley:

Dave Line also said if you had pets you had to get rid of them or every beer you made would be infected…[/quote]
Maybe he just didn’t like the family cat…

Personally, I’d bump the gypsum to boost both the sulfates and the calcium and hit that profile a bit closer.

I used that profile two batches back (building from RO water) and came in darn close to all the numbers. Like you, I was nervous about adding so much gypsum. But I did it, and it was really tasty. That keg kicked fast!

FWIW, Martin has posted on the AHA forum about some research he’s been doing on Ca levels. He has found that recommendations for higher Ca levels may not be universally true. IIRC, he’s found that levels around 20 ppm for lager yeast and 50 ppm for ale yeast may be the most beneficial. AFAIK, though, it’s still work in progress.

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