HOMEBREW Digest #5818 Sun 03 April 2011

[Prev HBD] [Index] [Next HBD] [Back]

		Digest Janitor: pbabcock at hbd.org


        Logic, Inc. - Makers of Straight A Cleanser

    Support those who support you! Visit our sponsor's site!
********** Also visit http://hbd.org/hbdsponsors.html *********

DONATE to the Home Brew Digest. Home Brew Digest, Inc. is a 
501(c)3 not-for-profit organization under IRS rules (see the
FAQ at http://hbd.org for details of this status). Donations
can be made by check to Home Brew Digest mailed to:

HBD Server Fund
PO Box 871309
Canton Township, MI 48187-6309

or by paypal to address serverfund@hbd.org. DONATIONS of $250 
or more will be provided with receipts. SPONSORSHIPS of any 
amount are considered paid advertisement, and may be deductible
under IRS rules as a business expense. Please consult with your 
tax professional, then see http://hbd.org for available 
sponsorship opportunities.

  Brewing Water Tools ("A.J deLange")

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Beer is our obsession and we're late for therapy! * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * NOTE: With the economy as it is, the HBD is struggling to meet its meager operating expenses of approximately $3500 per year. If less than half of those currently directly subscribed to the HBD sent in a mere $5.00, the HBD would be able to easily meet its annual expenses, with room to spare for next year. Please consider it. Financial Projection As of 28 Mar 2011 *** Condition: Green & Healthy *** 501(c)3 at risk Projected 2011 Budget $3671.04 Expended against projection $1180.53 Projected Excess/(Shortfall) $1899.30 As always, donors and donations are publicly acknowledged and accounted for on the HBD web page. Thank you Send articles for __publication_only__ to post@hbd.org If your e-mail account is being deleted, please unsubscribe first!! To SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE send an e-mail message with the word "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" to request@hbd.org FROM THE E-MAIL ACCOUNT YOU WISH TO HAVE SUBSCRIBED OR UNSUBSCRIBED!!!** IF YOU HAVE SPAM-PROOFED your e-mail address, you cannot subscribe to the digest as we cannot reach you. We will not correct your address for the automation - that's your job. HAVING TROUBLE posting, subscribing or unsusubscribing? See the HBD FAQ at http://hbd.org. LOOKING TO BUY OR SELL USED EQUIPMENT? Please do not post about it here. Go instead to http://homebrewfleamarket.com and post a free ad there. The HBD is a copyrighted document. The compilation is copyright HBD.ORG. Individual postings are copyright by their authors. ASK before reproducing and you'll rarely have trouble. Digest content cannot be reproduced by any means for sale or profit. More information is available by sending the word "info" to req@hbd.org or read the HBD FAQ at http://hbd.org. JANITORs on duty: Pat Babcock (pbabcock at hbd dot org), Jason Henning, Spencer Thomas, and Bill Pierce
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2011 11:55:11 -0400 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Brewing Water Tools Yes, HBD was, in its glory days, the place to go for water profile data and discussion. IIRC it really got kicked off when Dave Draper published a set of water profiles for all the famous brewing spots in the world e.g. Pilsen, Munich, Dublin... There had, of course, been discussions about water chemistry prior to that but I remember this list because it occurred to me, new to all this at the time, that I could write software that would calculate the salt additions that could be added to low ion water to produce those profiles and I did that. I'd load up my Mac of the era with a set of profiles and kick it off before I went to bed at night and by next morning, I'd have the recipes. They are still on my website at www.wetnewf.org. I think there are 21 of them and, if you believe in the profiles, they are still valid. In the course of doing this I noted a few important things about the profile collection (to which I have added from other sources over the years). First, pH is never given. Second, there is no consistency in how bicarbonate is reported. Third, no hypothesis about what the number labeled "bicarbonate" or "carbonate" means will give, in the majority of cases, an electrically balanced ion profile unless one assumes a ridiculously high pH. IOW, most of the profiles list more cations than anions and one can only balance them by raising the pH to the point where there are enough OH- ions to effect the balance. Fourth, when nature puts bicarbonate into water she does so by dissolving limestone with carbonic acid so that if one wants to simulate a particular carbonaceous water he must do the same. Thus all the profiles I generated call for a certain amount of carbon dioxide. Naturally people back then did not want recipes based on distilled water - they wanted to know how much of what to add to their water to duplicate the water of the Isar. Sounds like an obvious job for an Excel (which everyone has) spreadsheet and those have proliferated. Just do a search on "water spreadsheet" on the net and you will find several of them to choose from. The emphasis today seems to be not so much on how much of what to add to get Isar as it is to predict mash pH and this is, of course, very important and the water chemistry is a big part. None of the spreadsheets of which I am aware (except mine) models alkalinity correctly. If a spreadsheet isn't asking you what the pH of the source water is and what you want the pH of the treated water to be and isn't giving you the opportunity to add CO2 (not that you would want to be bothered with that in most cases) then it isn't modeling the carbonate chemistry correctly. However, there is some good news. If source and target water pH is less than 8.3 you can get away with approximations and that's a good thing. If you download and compare some of the spreadsheets to mine (also at wetnewf) you will see how much complexity complete modeling requires. One caveat with the spreadsheets: if a spreadsheet advises the addition of calcium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate to mash or water don't do it. See Step 5 in the list below As we get older and wiser our philosophy about things changes. Today, as noted by an earlier poster, the tendency is not so much to duplicate the water of the Isar (if you could you would have to know how the brewers treated it, if at all when they made their beers in order to achieve an "authentic" Helles or Bock) as it is to produce a good beer. That turns out to be much simpler than duplicating Isar water with the CO2 bottle requirement, complex calculations. The procedure is: 1. Start with the lowest mineral content water you can. RO systems are now relatively inexpensive and produce low enough mineral content unless you have really nasty feed water. 2. Add enough calcium chloride (food grade from LHBS) to get the calcium content up to around 50 ppm. 3. If brewing from Pilsner base malt add 3% sauermalz to the gist, and if from ale malt 1.5%. In very dark beers don't use sauermalz. Other acids can be used in place of sauermalz but . sauermalz is just easy to estimate (1 % for each 0.1 pH drop desired) easy to measure out and available from most HB suppliers. 4. Check mash pH! Use a meter. The strips read consistently low. This is extremely important. pH should be around 5.4 5. If mash pH is too high then add more acid. If it is too low then add base (carbonate, bicarbonate, slaked lime). This is the only situation in which base should be added to mash. You will have less of a chance of undershooting (low pH) if you add the sauermalz in portions only adding the later portions if the meter reading shows them to be necessary. If increasing mash pH then add only small amounts of alkali, stir, wait and remeasure. This will get you a good beer. Now it is up to you to figure out how to make it better. Find out whatever you can about the style you are interested in. If you know that the beer you want to brew is traditionally brewed with high sulfate water then brew this beer again substituting gypsum (food grade from LHBS) for some of the calcium chloride and brew it again. If the beer you are shooting for tastes salty (Export), add some (non iodized) table salt. Etc. Take careful notes and keep experimenting. Only you can decide what combination of salts give you the flavor character you desire. But you must have proper mash pH. Get that right and proper pH will be realized throughout the rest of the process. Let it go too high and all flavors become flat and the beers dull. In summary I think I am saying, despite all the effort I have put into understanding the chemistry so that I can match a profile to fractions of a percent that you should forget about profiles except as a general source of information about the water from which a beer was originally brewed. There is tons of discussion of this at various places on the net. Search "brewing water". So what do you need? 1. A source of low ion water. Cheap RO unit from home improvement store or reef aquarium supplier. Or, if you want to see if I'm telling the truth or not before spending money on one of those, RO water from the health food store. If you are blessed with something like Portland water, you don't need RO. 2. Calcium chloride, calcium carbonate (you won't use it often), calcium sulfate (gypsum). All should be food grade. LHBSs have these in small quantities and they are not expensive 3. Sauermalz or lactic or phosphoric acid or, if you live in the UK, CRS (a blend of food grade hydrochloric and sulfuric acids). All from the HBS. 4. A pH meter. This is the biggie for many. Decent ones are now available for less than $100 but that's still an appreciable outlay for many. Don't use the strips. They will trick you into adding salts when you don't have to. 5. Knowledge. This is the tough one. There is a lot of misinformation floating around out there and the only way to separate wheat from chaff is to understand enough of the actual chemistry. I have (again at the wetnewf site) a couple of monographs on alkalinity and a paper on what is involved in establishing mash tun pH. These cover the ground but may be a "drink from a fire hose" for someone just starting out. If so, and you are motivated enough, get a basic chemistry text, learn the fundamentals (about atoms, molecules, ions, moles, equivalents etc.) and then bore in on law of mass action and chemical equilibrium (the part of the course we all hated in college). If they name it as such, the Henderson-Hsselbalch equation is the powerhouse in brewing water chemistry (it's used to calculate how bicarbonate behaves). This is usually thoroughly discussed in biochemistry texts. A.J. Return to table of contents
[Prev HBD] [Index] [Next HBD] [Back]
HTML-ized on 04/03/11, by HBD2HTML v1.2 by KFL
webmaster@hbd.org, KFL, 10/9/96