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Negative Bicarbonates in Bru'n Water

Hello Everyone,

I’m brewing an Apricot Blonde next week and am using Bru’n Water to get my mash water in order.

So far, to achieve a mash pH of 5.3, the numbers look like this (“Yellow Malty” profile target numbers in parenthesis):

Calcium: 56.8 (50)
Magnesium: 2.6 (5)
Sodium: 8.0 (5)
Sulfate: 55.5 (55)
Chloride: 70.3 (70)
Bicarbonate: -22.2 (0)

What worries me is the negative bicarbonate reading, which I’ve never run into before. Since the bicarbonate target is zero could the negative estimate be discounted or would it adversely affect the mash?

Originally, I was at a pH of 5.4, and then factored in some lactic acid in the mash to lower the pH, which took the bicarbonate level from 16 down to -22. Would I be better off leaving the lactic acid out and going with the higher pH and bicarbonate level?

Should be ok, it’s just an indication of added acid in the water. ... ic=15647.0

Yep, the negative bicarbonate reading is just another way of showing that an acid is added to the water. In many grists that include mainly base malts, the water is likely to need to be acidified in order for the mash pH to drop low enough. This includes low alkalinity waters like RO and distilled.

Don’t worry!

Thanks to you both – and thanks again, Martin, for producing such a great program. My beers have certainly benefitted from using it!

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