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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2007 * Archive through April 17, 2007 * Water additions help please < Previous Next >

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greg from winnipeg
Junior Member
Username: Greg_winnipeg

Post Number: 63
Registered: 02-2002
Posted From: 24.77.131.4
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 03:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey all.

I've procured a decent pH meter for my next brew (Sunday, April 15th) and have a few questions about water additions and pH since I'm not much of a chemist.

My recipe is a variation of Company #1 Red from the Promash author.

Grain
72.2 25.00 kg. Pale Malt(2-row) 1.036
14.4 5.00 kg. Munich Malt 1.033
2.9 1.00 kg. Crystal 1.033
4.3 1.50 kg. Cara-Pils Dextrine1.033
4.3 1.50 kg. Wheat Malt 1.038
1.9 0.65 kg. Roasted Barley 1.028

Hops
85g. Centennial 10.50 19.6 60 min.
85 g. Cascadele 5.75 2.1 10 min.
165 g. Goldings EK 4.75 3.0 5 min.

I generally do a single-infusion mash. My water needs are something like this:

mash: 67 liters @ 168F to settle out at 151F
This is a bit of a thick mash, but that is necessary to fit in my mash tun.

I'm going to try a batch approach to sparging.
sparge: first batch 50 liters, second batch 50 liters (100 liters total)

I have lactic acid and hope to buy some gypsum.

Questions:
1. What type of additions (gypsum, salts etc) for the mash water?
2. I will use the meter, but how much (if any) lactic acid should I anticipate using?
3. To what degree should I acidify the sparge water? Will it be more important to acifidy the second batch than the first given the reduced
buffers in the grains?

I've had fairly consistent problems in the past with a mild chill haze in my beer. I wonder if I have used too much acid in the past? I've added up to 6 ml of lactic acid (80%) to 80 liters of sparge water.

Winnipeg's water:
http://www.winnipegbrewbombers.ca/WinnipegWater.htm

Thanks,
Greg
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 6919
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 04:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm surprised at Winnipeg's water; it's better than I thought. I'm guessing the source must be Lake Winnipeg rather than the Red River. The calcium level is missing from the link you provided, but it can be calculated (value of 22.4 mg/L) by way of the total hardness and magnesium values. At any rate, the residual alkalinity, the relevant value for brewing, is 59.5 mg/L and the "ideal SRM," a rough approximation of the color that can be brewed with this water, is 14 SRM, right in the area you are seeking for an amber ale.

The bottom line is that I wouldn't use any brewing salts at all. I suppose you could add a little gypsum if you wanted to accentuate the bittering, but my own inclination is to use a little more hops and leave water adjustment alone. I predict your mash pH will have no problem falling into the proper range of 5.2 - 5.6 (I will go out on a limb and predict 5.4).

As for the sparge water, I acidify it to a pH 5.7 - 5.8 (in reality anything between 5.0 and 6.0 is likely close enough) with lactic or phosphoric acid, but this is of much less importance if you batch sparge. Again I suspect you would have no problems if you did nothing.
 

Bill Tobler
Intermediate Member
Username: Billt

Post Number: 424
Registered: 08-2001
Posted From: 24.175.41.69
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 05:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill, do you use lactic acid to adjust pH in normal type beers? I always thought it would impart a tart, sour flavor. I believe its produced using a bacterial fermentation, and is used in some stiles, like Lambics and Berliner Weisse. I have enough bacteria in my brewery without adding it intentionally. When I adjust the sparge water, I use phosphoric.
Bill Tobler
Brewing Great Beer in South Texas
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 6921
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 05:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The lactic acid available to homebrewers is stronger (typically 88 percent) than phosphoric acid (10 percent) so you can use less. There is no danger of lactobacillus infection because the pH of the acid is far too low (about 2.0) to harbor bacteria (moreover, the bacteria produce the acid rather than the other way around). As for flavor, the amount for pH adjustment is too small to have an effect. Of course I don't mean to suggest there's anything wrong with acidifying the sparge water with phosphoric acid.

On a slightly different issue, I don't recommend (and neither does John Palmer) direct phosphoric acid addition to the mash. It can react with calcium in the malt to produce insoluble calcium phosphate and change the entire pH balance. Use another acid (or brewing salt additions) for mash pH adjustment.


(Message edited by BillPierce on April 13, 2007)
 

KeepBrewing
Intermediate Member
Username: Kb7

Post Number: 257
Registered: 05-2002
Posted From: 24.184.80.79
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 05:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I set my sparge water to a pH of 5.7 at room temperature then forget about it. I use a meter by Hanna to measure the pH. I prefer phosphoric acid but I also use lactic. I will not use lactic in light beers such as pilsners or lager beers. You could just add a little at a time to your water and stir it in and take small samples. If you under shoot just add a little more water to bring it back up. With your meter you should be able to hit your target with no problem. When I mash a pH of 5.2 is my target and I test this by drawing off small extract samples with no husk in the sample. I use a mason jar and then place the mason jar in a pot of ice water to swirl the extract to under 75 degrees. I test under this temperature in hope of preserving the meters life even though it is heat resistant. After each test the meter is swirled in clean water right away.
 

Bill Tobler
Intermediate Member
Username: Billt

Post Number: 425
Registered: 08-2001
Posted From: 24.175.41.69
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 05:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, that's good to know. I don't use lactic because I don't know much about it. I have a small bottle of 88% lab grade phosphoric I got from a lab buddy and I dilute that down to a 50:1 solution and use it. My mash water usually does not need adjustment as I dilute the city water with RO, either 3:1 or 4:1, depending on style. It's hard to brew good coffee with this South Texas water, never mind beer.
Bill Tobler
Brewing Great Beer in South Texas
 

greg from winnipeg
Junior Member
Username: Greg_winnipeg

Post Number: 64
Registered: 02-2002
Posted From: 24.77.131.4
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 10:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

All:
I'll let you know how the mash pH turns out. And I'll acidify my sparge water to 5.7 or so.

Bill (Pierce):
Regarding Winnipeg water, it actually comes all the way from the Manitoba-Ontario border. Shoal lake is connected to the west end of the Lake-Of-The-Woods system 155 km away. An aqueduct was built in 1919 when Winnipeg was booming. It is still adequate for our needs today.

Link with a map:
http://www.winnipeg.ca/waterandwaste/water/waterfront/challenges.htm

Thanks for everyone's input.

Greg
 

Jeff Preston
Intermediate Member
Username: Jeffpreston

Post Number: 259
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 142.161.179.66
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 10:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill Pierce,the water for Winnipeg comes from a lake in Ontario called Shoal Lake. Greg, if it's of any value I add .25 tsp. of 88% phosphoric acid to 44 litres of sparge and I get 5.8 to 6 PH. I generally add .5 to 1 tsp. of gypsum to my mash but not always. No chill haze here.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 6923
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2007 - 12:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm not too surprised to hear that Winnipeg's water is from the Ontario-Manitoba border. It's not terribly different from that of Lake of the Woods or Lake Superior, or for that matter, all of the Great Lakes. My own Lake Ontario water is a long way from Winnipeg but the values are in the same general range.
 

greg from winnipeg
Junior Member
Username: Greg_winnipeg

Post Number: 65
Registered: 02-2002
Posted From: 24.77.131.4
Posted on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 10:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well I endured a stuck mash today which just didn't want to get unstuck.

I ended up removing the entire mash from the tun, clearing out the grains next to my bazooka screens, adding some water, and dumping the mash back in.

Coupled with the fact that I still hadn't calibrated the pH meter, I ended up just taking a few samples to measure later.

I found out that my mash pH was right where BP predicted, 5.41 to be precise.

I think I should have spend some time checking out the sparge water since it metered the same as tap water (7.2). I added 2 ml of lactic acid (88%) for the first 50 litres and 3 ml for the second 50 litres. I will investigate more thoroughly next brew.

My last runnings were 1.012 with a pH of 5.8. Seems OK.

Greg