Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

NB Bavarian Helles AG Kit

Will this taste anything like Spaten Premium Lager? Any suggestions to make it so?
Thanks

Yes. It will make the round and malty Bavarian everyday drinking beer similar to Spaten and most other Munich breweries.

Those of you that have brewed this, what mash schedule would you recommend?

If single infusion I would hit around 151F they state in the directions. If you want a slightly drier-crisp finish drop to 148F.
They include carapils malt in this recipe which adds the body/ mouthfeel needed to offset a low FG.
I have brewed this recipe many times around 150F as a single infusion and it comes out great. A few things will determine the outcome of your Helles. Remember to pitch the correct amount of yeast + nutrients if you have them + aerate your wort if using liquid yeast. Maintain correct ferment temps including diaecytl rests if needed for strain.

If you were using 100% pils malt then a 153F single infusion or two step mash of 145F-/+(30min) and 158F-/+(30min) would be appropriate.

Is it necessary to add acidulated malt? I will be using distilled water.
Some say to add calcium chloride and some say gypsum.
Thanks

4-6oz of acid malt is what I typically use for RO water with calcium chloride. For helles, you definitely want calcium chloride over gypsum.

In this recipe you will require no acid malt if using distilled water.
If you intend on brewing many more all grain recipes in the future and have aims of doing everything possible to make great beer including amongst many things water, yeast, style, PH’s etc… You will want to do yourself a favor and learn Bru n water sooner than later and the FREE spreadsheet will answer many of these question/s approached in this thread in a nutshell. Not to say I don’t enjoy helping brewers through the learning curve. So with the next set of hints I will give you, take those ideas and punch it into bru n water and actually see why I advise it and then make tweaks on your own from there and then use it confidently in the future.

Some of the statement given above has merit but it doesn’t actually help you understand why your throwing this or that at a beer which will confuse you more and just have you ask even more question/s now trying to sort it all out. Which is why I am going to tell you what I would use, let you punch it into the FREE spreadsheet and make it all come together so that you can start making more advanced decisions on water, PH etc… because you actually understand parts of the process.

If you didn’t gather it above. FREE, FREE and FREE bru n water spreadsheet is what I am stressing here today as it eliminates guesswork and puts more brewing answers in your own hands.
In the past a brewer would have to take hints about a pinch of this and that a little acid malt or acid to the weight of n and such and you would still need to fool about on your own to see what worked or not with your own mash and PH meter and make many adjustments on the fly anyways. Bru n water elimates ALL/ most all guesswork. Yah Dig.

  1. Download Bru n water.

  2. Make sure all minerals are zero in the water report input screeen
    [attachment=2]water input.JPG[/attachment]

  3. Enter 0.40 grams/gallon of both gypsum and calcium chloride on tab (#3) “water adjustment”. Make your mash water volume 3.5 gallons on this tab. This will show you that you will add 1.4 grams of both gypsum and calcium chloride to the grist before mashing in.
    [attachment=1]water adjustment 1.JPG[/attachment]

  4. Enter the grist on the (#4) tab labeled “mash acidification” Which is 9# Pilsner malt / 2SRM
    0.5# Carapils/ 2SRM both are to be left as basemalts. Also while on this screen make the mash volume 3.5 gallons which gives a water to grist ratio of 1.5 then make the batch size 6 gallons.
    The batch size is more about srm than Ph so 5.5-6.5 is what I gather you will have post boil.
    [attachment=0]Mash.JPG[/attachment]

Results:
A. Your mash PH will be 5.6 if sampled at room temp which equates to a PH of 5.3 at the reaction temps of the mash. This is an optimal mash PH.
B. Your calcium level is now 53ppm up from zero.
C. Your sulfate level is 59ppm and your chloride level is 51ppm both up from zero. This gives you a balanced SO4/CL profile.
D. Your bicarbonate and alkalinity remain at zero which is a goal in this light style.

Going back to the posters reply on sulfate. Where he is right is that brewers find that too high of sulfate levels in brewing liquor tends to accentuate harshness when using noble hops. But this is relating to levels approaching or zooming over 100ppm so a light hand is all that has ever been emphasized, not to avoid its use altogether. Which if you followed that posters advise you would need 2.5 grams of CaCl to hit 50ppm calcium but you would be left with 89ppm chloride and zero sulfate which would leave a very heavy cloying malty finish. Whereas by using moderate amounts of both you get a balanced profile. I have used this exact recipe of minerals and always have beautiful, clean tasting helles.
Sorry for the long post, but hopefully this will help you and other newer brewers start latching onto bru n water and learning a whole lot along the way in one post, so that you and others can enable themselves with a very powerful tool never before accessible to homebrewers.

Last but not least is, I have given you all you need for this particular recipe within the realms of YMMV. In the future to understand more of the whys and wherefores it is mandatory to instruct you to read Martins summary in the instructions tab. He covers virtually every question you will have now or in the future within that one page. If you dont understand or something is still cloudy after all this, please post another question and Myself or others will gladly help you along, and many times Martin(Bru n waters creator) will chime in also.

Well, after all that I realized you posted another same/similar question about this topic.
So this is a follow up then to my above posted. HERE is the amounts I advise using your formula of 7.7gallon BIAB. Again it is in line exactly with what I told you above just accounting for 7.7 g.
Use or enter the same .40 grams per gallon of gypsum/ CaCl which will show you to use 3.1grams of gypsum and CaCL now (just remember to make the mash amount 7.7 gallons in both tabs as instructed above.) Just punch these numbers into the spreadsheet as instructed and it should all come together for you.

Now don’t come back saying, Hey Ive got this other recipe now what amounts can someone tell me to add etc… As Martin has given a huge gift of this free spreadsheet and these simple hints I’ve given along with his great instructions. I feel will give you the boost you need to understand it all. Now on the other hand if you do some tinkering after learning bru n water and want feedback or confirmation of your resulting choices, this methodology is highly encouraged as it will finalize the learning curve if you don’t get it all right away.

Now all of this being said if you still just dont get the jist. Then it is possible that the problem is that online discussion/s just aren’t / will not sink in and as advised in the other thread by another peer, you may want to talk to brewers locally that use the software and are advanced brewers. Just maybe throw up a shout out on this forum to any locals that would be willing to help a guy through the process firsthand or look to local clubs etc… Again that is if you don’t see it all come together after today’s discussion. Which I think you will.

ITsPossible,
You went to a lot of trouble to help me out with this. I will do my best to try to make sure you did not waste your time. People like you are what makes this forum great. I wish you were a Senator.
Thank You

I was under the impression that pH discussion (measurement, ideal range…) all was with the assumption that it pertains to room temp. That is what the Bru’n water tab seems to imply when you put the cursor on the pH box too.

So, if I understand correctly, even though pH changes with temp, the estimate in the Bru’n water, as well as the recommended range, all pertain to room temp, and the OP would then want to consider lowering from 5.6 down to 5.3 (or thereabouts).

Is this correct?

I was under the impression that pH discussion (measurement, ideal range…) all was with the assumption that it pertains to room temp. That is what the Bru’n water tab seems to imply when you put the cursor on the pH box too.

So, if I understand correctly, even though pH changes with temp, the estimate in the Bru’n water, as well as the recommended range, all pertain to room temp, and the OP would then want to consider lowering from 5.6 down to 5.3 (or thereabouts).

Is this correct?[/quote]

No,

Bru N water is telling you the room temp estimated PH to be sampled.
All PH samples should be taken at room temp for consistency of samples and life of the probe.
That being said there is a PH shift at differing temps.
So for example, I suggest to the OP that he would like to see a room temp sampled PH of 5.6 for the mash. He is actually at/ or around 5.3 PH at the reaction temp of 140-162. So his true mash PH would then indeed be 5.3 which will be optimum for most general uses.

Many studies have been done that suggest the temperature shift will show the PH to be increased 0.25 to 0.35 PH when measuring a mash cooled to room temp for sampling.

Here is an example:
If you were to assign a room temp estimated mash PH of 5.3 in bru n water. The true mash PH would actually be -/+ 5.0 PH which may or may not be a desired PH depending on type of beer being made.

Bru n water is saying in the hovered comment the following:
The acceptable pH range is 5.2 to 5.8 when measured at room temperature.
(Yes this is true, but again this would mean that the true mash PH will be 4.9/5.0 to 5.5 ) See the highlighted paragraph below to confirm this would be the case per Martin’s quote from bru n water.

The following statement quoted from Briggs in malting and brewing science and placed in the hovered comment in bru n water is stating the PH of optima at reaction temp. The sample would be taken at room temp as always, But the sample PH would be adjusted for the known temp shift.
The optimum mash pH range is reportedly 5.3 to 5.5 (Malting and Brewing Science, 1981)

Here is a quote from Martin in the instructions tab of bru n water making more light of the PH shift and making his intentions clear:
“The results of the analyses are sumarized as the Net Water Alkalinity, Total Mash Acidity, and Net Mash Acidity. For proper pH drop during mashing, the Net Mash Acidity is typically between 0 and 25 mEq. This should produce an appropriate pH drop into the desired mashing range (5.2 to 5.8 when measured at room temperature) or (4.9 to 5.5 when measured at mash temperature). If the net mash acidity does not fall within this range, minor adjustment to the water alkalinity through either mineral or acid adustment should be performed. A message is displayed if the Net Mash Acidity falls well outside the preferred range. BE SURE THAT ALL THE CORRECT GRAIN TYPE SELECTIONS ARE MADE FOR EACH GRAIN LISTING. IT MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE IN THE RESULTS!”

This again emphasizes my past recommendations to all newer brewers starting to understand this topic. It is essential to read Martins entire summary as he will answer many past, current or future questions within that one instruction page. He has done a tremendous job compiling many different data sources many of us have seen and used as home brewers over the last 20-30+ years from many old school message boards, forums, the older Brewing techniques magazine, brewing scientists, AJ Lange, Himself and others like Kai and John Palmer’s own knowledge and many other sources I am surely forgetting into a one page rundown and a easy to use water spreadsheet.

I was under the impression that pH discussion (measurement, ideal range…) all was with the assumption that it pertains to room temp. That is what the Bru’n water tab seems to imply when you put the cursor on the pH box too.

So, if I understand correctly, even though pH changes with temp, the estimate in the Bru’n water, as well as the recommended range, all pertain to room temp, and the OP would then want to consider lowering from 5.6 down to 5.3 (or thereabouts).

Is this correct?[/quote]

No,

Bru N water is telling you the room temp estimated PH to be sampled.
All PH samples should be taken at room temp for consistency of samples and life of the probe.
That being said there is a PH shift at differing temps.
So for example, I suggest to the OP that he would like to see a room temp sampled PH of 5.6 for the mash. He is actually at/ or around 5.3 PH at the reaction temp of 140-162. So his true mash PH would then indeed be 5.3 which will be optimum for most general uses.

Many studies have been done that suggest the temperature shift will show the PH to be increased 0.25 to 0.35 PH when measuring a mash cooled to room temp for sampling.

Here is an example:
If you were to assign a room temp estimated mash PH of 5.3 in bru n water. The true mash PH would actually be -/+ 5.0 PH which may or may not be a desired PH depending on type of beer being made.

Bru n water is saying in the hovered comment the following:
The acceptable pH range is 5.2 to 5.8 when measured at room temperature.
(Yes this is true, but again this would mean that the true mash PH will be 4.9/5.0 to 5.5 ) See the highlighted paragraph below to confirm this would be the case per Martin’s quote from bru n water.

The following statement quoted from Briggs in malting and brewing science and placed in the hovered comment in bru n water is stating the PH of optima at reaction temp. The sample would be taken at room temp as always, But the sample PH would be adjusted for the known temp shift.
The optimum mash pH range is reportedly 5.3 to 5.5 (Malting and Brewing Science, 1981)

Here is a quote from Martin in the instructions tab of bru n water making more light of the PH shift and making his intentions clear:
“The results of the analyses are sumarized as the Net Water Alkalinity, Total Mash Acidity, and Net Mash Acidity. For proper pH drop during mashing, the Net Mash Acidity is typically between 0 and 25 mEq. This should produce an appropriate pH drop into the desired mashing range (5.2 to 5.8 when measured at room temperature) or (4.9 to 5.5 when measured at mash temperature). If the net mash acidity does not fall within this range, minor adjustment to the water alkalinity through either mineral or acid adustment should be performed. A message is displayed if the Net Mash Acidity falls well outside the preferred range. BE SURE THAT ALL THE CORRECT GRAIN TYPE SELECTIONS ARE MADE FOR EACH GRAIN LISTING. IT MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE IN THE RESULTS!”

This again emphasizes my past recommendations to all newer brewers starting to understand this topic. It is essential to read Martins entire summary as he will answer many past, current or future questions within that one instruction page. He has done a tremendous job compiling many different data sources many of us have seen and used as home brewers over the last 20-30+ years from many old school message boards, forums, the older Brewing techniques magazine, brewing scientists, AJ Lange, Himself and others like Kai and John Palmer’s own knowledge and many other sources I am surely forgetting into a one page rundown and a easy to use water spreadsheet.[/quote]

I apologize for being thick-skulled here, but when I read the Bru’n Water quote that you provided, in particularly what is highlighted in bold, it reads to me that my original thought is correct. That is, room temp measurements are the standard, and that you should shoot for the ideal mash range of 5.2-5.8 under room temp conditions, and that you should do so, knowing that there will be an additional shift in pH at mash temp.

Ok, ITsPossible, I re-read your post and maybe we are both saying the same thing with regard to mash pH range (all measurements and ideal range pertain to room temp). But you were making the additional point, pertaining to the OP’s recipe, that he may not wish to go below 5.6 and therefore not need to acidify his mash.

Don’t mean to hijack the thread. Just trying to wrap my head around the concept so I can apply it correctly.

ITspossible,
I did as you said and got the results as you described so I must have done it correctly.
I have a few questions, though. I put zero for the water PH, was that right? Or should I have put 7?
I don’t understand how you came up with the .4 gm./gal nor how you determined that the resultant water was
good for the style. I appreciate your help but I am afraid I have neither the intelligence, time or the patience to
absorb all that information on brewing water chemistry. One other question. Why did the resultant profile not match
any of the profiles that are in the spread sheet? Yellow malty for example?
Thank You

[quote=“1tun”]ITspossible,
I did as you said and got the results as you described so I must have done it correctly.
I have a few questions, though. I put zero for the water PH, was that right? Or should I have put 7?[/quote]

#1 The PH of your water will not matter in this exercise as you do not need to figure anything out as we know your alkalinity and bicarbonate are at/ close to zero. These two factors are what we want to concentrate on as the mash PH is the important key not the water PH. So we use bru n water with the two things that matter which is:
(A.mineral content/bicarbonate,carbonate,alkalinity of our base water source.) and (B. Our grist profile.) With these two info sources we can then accurately adjust our mash final PH primarily with additions of acid malt or measured liquid acid additions such as lactic, phosphoric, citric etc…In this case you needed no additional acidity to lower PH as the upped calcium content alone dropped the 0.10 PH point I wanted. Then we can also adjust the profile of the minerals by addition of needed minerals or dilutions with RO or distilled if needed.

[quote=“1tun”]I don’t understand how you came up with the .4 gm./gal nor how you determined that the resultant water was
good for the style.[/quote]

#2 This is my off the cuff adjustment since I know the suite I can adjust the grams per gallon needed .10 at a time until I find the calcium and SO4/CL ratio I desire and it so happens that .40 of each mineral is what I arrived at to get the beer into a balanced SO4/CL ratio of 1.3 and bring the calcium level up to around 50ppm and also still have a mash PH I desire. Now you really don’t need any Na or Mg, you can bring those up also if you really desired but I have found in my own source water of 10 ppm Na and average ppm of 5 Mg is all I would ever want or need, so zero on this beer is just fine. Calcium does many things including lowering the PH of the mash in of itself and improving conversion and a host of other beneficial aspects and we also want the boil concentration to be around 50ppm for positive hot/cold break and healthy fermentations for example. Then depending on beer type you adjust SO4 or chloride to get the aspect ratio you need. In a Pils you are seeking slightly malty to balanced. So a ratio of .075 to 1.3 is what you are looking for. If you were making an IPA you may want a ratio of 2.0+ towards a highly bitter profile.

[quote=“1tun”] One other question. Why did the resultant profile not match
any of the profiles that are in the spread sheet? Yellow malty for example?
Thank You[/quote]

Au Contraire my friend. Like I said I threw this together for you just on my knowledge of what I would want in this style. It just so happens my bru n water was preset with yellow balanced when I opened the suite to make these calculations and snapshot it, for what you see above. I do not follow any “preset” profile like these. But they can be used as a learning tool to make whatever type of beer your doing. Martins recommendations will be spot on depending if you yourself choose the right profile for the beer your making. It just so happens that my off the cuff adjustment does indeed match a yellow balanced suggested profile as seen in that snapshot.
IE: Suggested Calcium for yellow balanced is 50ppm we hit 53ppm
" " Magnesium for " " is 7ppm we hit zero which again you see now you could bring it up if really desired.
" " Sodium for " " is 5ppm again I choose to hit zero.
" " Sulfate for " " is 75 ppm we hit 59 because that is all we need to find the balance with chloride.
" " Chloride for " " is 50ppm we hit 51.
Then the yellow balanced profile calls for zero alkalinity and bicarbonate we were able to mirror this goal.
So the bottom line is the profile calls for a cation to anion of 3.3 for each. We were able to keep it at 2.7 for each and find the balanced ratio of 1.3 the yellow balanced profile is seeking.

Bullpucky. Yes, it is a huge topic to absorb. But believe me when I tell you that myself and many other savvy brewers on the board had to do it with some serious blinders on in the past without this type of tool or the amount of great info at your fingetips instead of half arsed info we had to rely on back then. As here every clue you need to make water adjustments is either in Martins text or the spreadsheet. Let the process you just did to make this beer soak in a little more and it will start to make sense where you can use this tool confidently in the future. It does take a bit o study but its not so heavy you cant absorb it. And by all means use the suggested profiles in a few of the next beers you intent to make, You can do this in your spare time by looking up the NB kit you desire and flip on a suggested profile that matches it.

Here is what you should do, the next beer you want to make please fiddle around a bit with the suite and add minerals/acids slowly at .05-.10 at a time and come up with what you think is appropriate in general or to mirror a suggested profile as I suggested earlier and Myself or (others please jump in by all means) to give you the feedback/s needed to complete your learning curve.

As soon as my helles is brewed, I will be brewing NB’s Irish Red Ale AG kit. I will see what I can do with my water or distilled water but am in doubt about which Brunwater pre-set profile to shoot for. Can you help me out here?
Thanks

I would shoot towards an amber balanced. This kit will yield a low IBU red ale and I would want it either balanced to malty in SO4/CL profile.

ITspossible,
Can you help me out again? Below is my hard water report. I Input it into Brunwater and selected amber balanced. If I did it right, it would need to be diluted with 95% distilled water to even get close so I may as well just build the water from scratch. It’s for NB’s Irish Red.
Thanks

ph 7.5
Sodium 63
Potassium 2
Calcium 71
Magnesium 21
Total Hardness, CaCo3 265
Sulphate 15
Chloride 71
Carbonate <1
Bicarbonate, HCO3 255
Total Alkalinity, CasCO3 209

My water’s pretty similar to that. I’ve ended up just bagging trying to use it at all any more and just modify RO water. Unless I’m making a dry stout.

Let me ramp this red ale with your existing water once and see where your sitting. I will post back in a bit.

The water is not all that bad actually. In response to the second poster I wouldn’t bag it yet,it is not a total loss. Some people have ridiculous profiles with high hardness, over 100ppm sodium plus in many case high iron and/or other bacterial loads that are completely unworkable as/is. So consider yourself lucky as this water has a great calcium content and the other items are well within reason.

If your making delicate bitters or pilsners, Yes you will need RO/distilled. But anything ranging from 8-30SRM will work quite well with harder water such as this. The only issue I have with your water is the higher than normal sodium content. Is this water report you listed post softened water? Also is this a well, or municipal supply? The reason I ask is if it were me I would want to know the iron content of the well water before using it in my brews. So that being said if it is a well report do you have the iron ppm?

If this is simply your base tap water, the sodium is not a deal breaker. But I would consider using a percentage of RO/distilled to cut it a bit, I have tasted beers that had close to 40ppm and they had no off tastes. But maybe others can chime in if they have personally used/ tasted beers with a ppm closer to 100.

Edit: I started looking at the spreadsheet and I am drawing a conclusion that the number you listed for sodium is wrong either by your hand or the hand of wherever you got it. The reason why is because your balance is really sideways when I punch it in as listed above with 63ppm Na.
If I reduce this to around 25ppm the numbers all balance. Also 25ppm(-/+) Na is what I have seen in most all reports I have ever come across.

If you think this number was correct it might be time to find consult with the expert Martin Brungard on this topic.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com