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Questions about Bru'n water

I just started playing around with this program tonight and have some questions. I’m sure for each answer, I will have a few more questions.

I use the batch sparge method. With this method, would I only fill in the numbers on the mash accidification chart, and if so, only the amount of water (i use 1.30 quarts per lb) used ofr the mash, or would I also include the additional water used to compensate for for absortion?

Would I also include my water added for the second runnings?

I batch sparge also and although I’m pretty new to Bru’n water myself I’ve gotten pretty good results with it. Anyway, Your mash is your mash regardless of whether you batch sparge or not. I’ve always considered the full volume of water I add for the mash, not subtracting anything for absorbtion or whatever. If you do a mash out you should consider that part of your sparge water.

Sparge ph control is supposedly not as important with batch sparge as fly, but according to Martin there is still benefit to having limiting alkalinity. In the case of my specific water I need to add acid to the sparge to reduce alkalinity. I’ve always used the sparge acidification sheet as is without changing anything despite batch sparging. Again, I consider my mashout to be sparge water.

I don’t claim to fully understand the actual chemistry, but selecting water profiles appropriate for style and then blindly following the spreadsheet has gotten me results I’m happy with. :slight_smile:

Sowould I make make my additions each time I add water?

Example: My mash will consist of 5.85 gallons, so I make my water additions.
At the end of the 60 minute mash I will add and additional 3 gallons for absorption. Do i make more additions then even though the additional 3 gallons will be in the mash less than 10 minutes?

Then I will add six more gallons for the second runnings. do I make additions again?

From what I am seeing, I will mainly be adding lactic acid.

[quote=“Roddy”]Sowould I make make my additions each time I add water?

Example: My mash will consist of 5.85 gallons, so I make my water additions.
At the end of the 60 minute mash I will add and additional 3 gallons for absorption. Do i make more additions then even though the additional 3 gallons will be in the mash less than 10 minutes?

Then I will add six more gallons for the second runnings. do I make additions again?

From what I am seeing, I will mainly be adding lactic acid.[/quote]
Have only been using the system since June, but what I have done seems to be what you are considering. I add my suggested calcium and magnesium salts to the water I use for mashin. However, I do not add them to my sparge water. I do add the recommended acid though.

The water profile concentrations are based on g/gal of each salt, so if you’re trying to match a certain profile adding salts to the sparge and then accounting for concentration due to boiloff is a good way to go. On the other hand, if you’re just shooting for a general calcium concentration and sulfate:chloride ratio (which won’t change in the kettle), you can get the mash pH in line with a little calcium salt and acid, then lower the pH of the sparge to around 6 with more acid, and skip the salt additions to the sparge.

If you are looking to produce a certain level of flavor ions in your overall wort, then you will want to add minerals to the sparging water too. I would consider that second water addition as a sparging addition.

Martin, why wouldn’t you just add those to the kettle while bringing it up to a boil? Some of the additions to the sparge water wouldn’t make it to the kettle through the filter bed, correct?

Martin, why wouldn’t you just add those to the kettle while bringing it up to a boil? Some of the additions to the sparge water wouldn’t make it to the kettle through the filter bed, correct?[/quote]

If his water is particularly out-of-whack, it may need adjustment even for batch sparging.

Martin, why wouldn’t you just add those to the kettle while bringing it up to a boil? Some of the additions to the sparge water wouldn’t make it to the kettle through the filter bed, correct?[/quote]

If his water is particularly out-of-whack, it may need adjustment even for batch sparging.[/quote]
Aye. Good call.

[quote=“Beersk”]
Martin, why wouldn’t you just add those to the kettle while bringing it up to a boil? Some of the additions to the sparge water wouldn’t make it to the kettle through the filter bed, correct?[/quote]

Sure, there is a little loss of calcium via its complexing with phytins, but another thing that it complexes with is oxalate. Dropping oxalate will help the clearing and reduce the potential for beerstone. You don’t really have to worry too much about this, but if your tap water is really low in calcium, it might be something you really do want to add to the sparging water. RO water users, beware.

This is my water report:
The only thing I ended up adding was some lactic acid (5ml to 6 gallons of sparge/second runnings). From what I could interpret from the bru’n water, that was all I needed. I am thinking I probably missed something.
I did do a gravity check today and tasted the sample. In the past my lefse blonde had a bit of a metallic taste. Non was detected tonight.

PH-7.9
total disolved solids-231
Electrical conductivity- 4.3/4.3

PPM
Sodium, NA 5
Potassium,k <1
Calcium, CA 53
Magnesium, Ca 17
Total Hardness. CACO3 203
Nitrate,NO3-N <0.1
Sulfate, SO4-S 10
Chloride, Cl 15
Carbonate, CO3 <1
Bicarbonate, HCO3 197
Total Alkalinity 161
Total Phosphorus, P 0.88
Total Iron, Fe 0.21

Roddy, looking at your water data, it looks like that should be a fine water for a Blonde as long as the excessive alkalinity was neutralized as you did.

Okay, I must have read the program correctly. I was assuming I needed to add more salts, etc. I also thought I would need to do something about my hard water.
When I only saw the lactic acid additions, I thought I must have did/read something wrong.
Where do I find water characteristics for different styles?

[quote=“Roddy”]
Where do I find water characteristics for different styles?[/quote]

That is a million dollar question. I don’t think we should tie water characteristics to styles necessarily. I feel the water characteristics are a matter of personal preference in many respects. The color-based profiles in Bru’n Water are first guesses as to appropriate and modest ion levels. They are sub-divided into flavor nuances that the brewer may want to accentuate.

To get an idea of what a particular beer style’s water MIGHT have been like, you may refer to the City profiles in order to get an idea of the magnitude and assortment of ions that are in those waters. An important qualifier that brewers should use is: Disregard the bicarbonate and calcium levels in those waters. They are likely to be higher than you want or need in your brewing water. A better approach is to review the ‘boiled’ versions of those city profiles. They will provide a better target for most brewing purposes. In most cases, the waters of those cities are modestly mineralized and that is a reason that they can produce fine beers. Don’t overmineralize.

[quote=“mabrungard”][quote=“Beersk”]
Martin, why wouldn’t you just add those to the kettle while bringing it up to a boil? Some of the additions to the sparge water wouldn’t make it to the kettle through the filter bed, correct?[/quote]

Sure, there is a little loss of calcium via its complexing with phytins, but another thing that it complexes with is oxalate. Dropping oxalate will help the clearing and reduce the potential for beerstone. You don’t really have to worry too much about this, but if your tap water is really low in calcium, it might be something you really do want to add to the sparging water. RO water users, beware.[/quote]

I always get confused on this, when to add the sparge salts. Is it better to add to the sparge water or add to the boil? Note, I always add the latic acid to the mash and sparge water.

thanks

tom

I feel it is better to add the minerals that are intended for the sparging volume be added to the sparging water. The increased ionic content of the mineralized sparging water should help reduce the extraction of tannins and silicates from the grain husks. In addition, the calcium added to the sparging water is also available to complex with any oxalates from the mash and that helps reduce the potential for beerstone formation.

Sure, there is some loss of your calcium content when you run the water through the mash bed. But that is a minor price to pay for a higher quality wort. By the way, the anions like sulfate and chloride that you add to the sparging water should make it through the mash grist with very little loss. So don’t worry about that.

Add minerals to the sparging water!

Thanks for the feedback, I enjoy Bru’n Water, but still learning. Making the change to my next brewing session (thursday).

tom

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