Briess Extract Water Analysis

Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:08 pm

I contacted briess to get the water analysis used for creating the Liquid Malt Extract products. I got an attached pdf with the water analysis, and the following response. "I have attached our water analysis. This is what we use for water
profile since all of our extracts are made using this water, all we do
is adjust the pH to 5.5 - 6.0. " Would be nice to know what changes are made to the water.

When I asked how much water went into creating say, a pound of LME, I got a classic response from sales "Our extracts are 80% solids." Great... I'm not sure how to figure out concentration with that response.

I still appreciate the info I've gotten so far.

Anyway, since I can't attach a pdf to this post, I copied out some relevant information


Drinking Water Analysis for Briess Extract Plant from National Testing Laboratories
(sample taken 06/10/08 and analysis completed 07/01/08)

Analysis Performed | MCL (mg/L) | Det. Level | Level Detected
Calcium | --- | 2.0 | 24
Magnesium | --- | 0.10 | 22
Sodium | --- | 1 | 160
Zinc | 5 | 0.004 | 0.026
Alkalinity (total as CaCO3) | --- | 20 | 370
Chloride | 250 | 5 | 29
Hardness (suggested limit = 100) | | 10 | 150 *
pH | 6.5-8.5 | --- | 7.0
Sulfate | 250 | 5 | 66

* The MCL (Maximum Contaminant Level) or established guideline has been exceeded for this contaminant.


So does this mean
Magnesium is 22 ppm
Calcium is 24 ppm
Sodium is 160 ppm
Chloride is 29 ppm
Sulfate is 66 ppm
And Alkalinity is 370?

Does anyone have a better contact for technical information at Briess?

I'm attempting to understand why the hops are muddled my jamil american amber ale, made with distilled water, and no modification or burtonizing. And yes, I've listened through BrewStrong Water-Ganza I-IV.

If anywone wants the entire PDF, let me know I'll forward it on.
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Re: Briess Extract Water Analysis

Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:06 am

This is quite interesting. That is terrible brewing water with a whopping 340 RA (ppm as CaCO3) or 6.8 mEq/L. To get that to a pH of 5.7 would take about 5.7 mEq/L of acid. If they used hydrochloric for all of it that would bring chloride to 232 mg/L. If they did it all with sulfuric that would bring the sulfates to 340 mg/L. Half of each acid would give chloride at 130 and sulfate at 203. When the wort is evaporated most of these ions will stay with the extract and so if it is reconstituted with distilled water to about the strength to which it is brewed these same levels would be approximately reproduced. Reconstitution with water at higher levels of minerals would, of course, result in wort with higher levels than these. As neither chloride nor sulfate runs that high in typical municipal water (but there are exceptions) I'd expect the minerals in the extract to dominate. This certainly limits one's choices as to what sort of beers could be brewed with this extract though most ales, stouts, porters etc. should certainly be OK.

80% solids means just that. 1 kg of the syrup would contain 800 grams of "extract" which includes the sugars and minerals and 200 grams of water. Thus if you mixed 1 kg of the syrup with 5 L of water you would have .8 kg of extract in 1 + 5 = 6 kg of solution and the strength would be 100* (.8/6) = 13.333 °P or 1.05400 SG. The metric system just makes things easier to see (I guess that's the beauty of it). To use English units the formula is the same: °P = 0.8*Weight_of_extract/(Weight_of_extract + Weight_of_Water). Water weighs about 8.36 pounds per gallon at room temperature (20 °C). To convert to SG use S = 1 + °P/(258.6 - 0.8796*°P) or your favorite formula or just multiply °P by 4, divide by 1000 and add 1. In the above example 4*13.333 = 53.332 so SG would be 1.05332 which is pretty close to the exact answer.
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Re: Briess Extract Water Analysis

Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:03 am

Thanks for the insight.

I've been doing further research, and listened to a BBR podcast with Bob Hansen from Briess on 8-25-05. He mentions that they create a higher gravity wort between 1.064 and 1.072, and then condense it to the 80% solids syrup from there. I'm going to go ponder the math for a while. This may mean that the ion concentration may not be as high.

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