It is currently Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:39 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Palmer's chart question.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:03 pm 
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:21 pm
Posts: 388
Location: Grass Valley, CA
I don't know if this is the correct place for this. It is a water question but the "excel chart thread" is in the all grain section.. :roll: .
Any how, I have water for pale beers:
Source Water
Calcium (ppm)14
Magnesium (ppm) 4
Alkalinity as CaCO3 49
Sodium 8(ppm)
Chloride (ppm)1
Sulfate (ppm)8
Water pH 6.1
(Effective Hardness) 12
Residual Alkalinity as CaCO3 37
Est. SRM (Low)8
Est. SRM (High)13
Chloride to Sulfate Ratio Very bitter
Per the excel chart.
I am brewing JZ's Oatmeal Stout SRM 36 ish.
I CAN"T GET THERE FROM HERE!!! :evil:
It seams that no mater what I input to try to get the correct RA sets one or more of the resulting #'s are out of whack i.e. Na is +150ppm. or the Na to Cl ratio is bitter not malty (stout) Can any one help me, I am shooting for a RA of @325 with the others in line for this style. Thanks for any help, information or education you can provide.
Thanks
Tim


Top
 

 Post subject: Re: Palmer's chart question.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 3:15 pm 
 Profile

Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 9:18 am
Posts: 1385
This isn't a water soley for pale beers. In fact it's pretty nice water for a whole range of beers. Though you can certainly do some pale beers without treatment using it (e.g. Helles, Maibock, Bohemian Pils) you would want mineral supplementation for others such as Export, Burton ales etc. You can certainly do darker beers such as VMO, Bocks and stouts with this water probably without treament. You are very fortunate to have this water. It should handle most styles of beer. Forget the chloride to sulfate ratio. At these levels the sulfate isn't going to give you any appreciable hops augmentation and the chloride isn't going to enhance roundness or fullness.

You certainly do not need an RA of 325 to brew a stout!. The two profles I have for Dublin water, for example, show RA's of respectively 25 and 150. I don't do a lot of stouts but when I do I use untreated well water with an RA of about 50 and generally get a mash pH of around 5.5 for beers whose SRMs measure between 60 and 80. You have an RA of less than 50 and that's a) good news and b) about all you need to know about RA for most applications. Go ahead and brew the stout without worrying about the water chemistry. I'm sure you will be pleased with the results. If you can, check the dough in pH. That is really what you need to control, not the RA. RA is pretty good for comparing water sources but not a whole lot beyond that (IMO).

If you eventually get to the point where you wish to shoot for ultimate authenticity then you will want to modify the water for particular ion profiles that are representative of the cities of origin for the style being brewed. That's another story completely and you will, in that event, worry about RA and a whole host of other parameters. RA's for the usual group of brewing centers of reknown span the range of perhaps +150 to - 75 or so.


Top
 

 Post subject: Re: Palmer's chart question.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:23 pm 
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:21 pm
Posts: 388
Location: Grass Valley, CA
Oh and this is for a 11G batch (two 5G and 1G in kettle) so I use 7.4 G and my mash volume. and will use 8G of strike water.


Top
 

 Post subject: Re: Palmer's chart question.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:31 pm 
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:21 pm
Posts: 388
Location: Grass Valley, CA
ajdelange,
Are you saying to not use the Palmer excel work sheet for this beer? I have used it for some of my other beers in the pale and amber range and had notable improvements. I have not been stoked about my stouts in the past a thought by altering the water might do the trick.
Thanks
Tim


Top
 

 Post subject: Re: Palmer's chart question.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:13 am 
 Profile

Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 9:18 am
Posts: 1385
I think you have really answered you own question. Use of the spreadsheet caused you to conclude that you should have an RA of 325. To get this from your water would require 482 mg/L NaHCO3 (14.6 g in 8 gal with a resulting Na level of 132 mg/L). This assumes your water pH is really 6.1. After the bicarb addition it would rise to 6.95. By the time you got around to measuring the water out, and putting it into a vessel CO2 will escape (I assume you are on a well), the pH will rise appreciably and the pH of the treated water will be higher. Or you could use 28.9 grams of CaCO3 and 19 mL of 23 Be' hydrochloric acid to get it to dissolve which would leave you with 395 mg/L Ca++ and 277 mg/L Cl-. In the later case I went for a pH of 8.3 for the water. At lower pH even more salt would be wanted. Given my experiences with stout an RA of 325 would result in a mash pH well above what is desired. Now if you are doing something with huge amounts of black/patent malt perhaps the story would be different.

There is a correlation between beer color and the water used to make it but it is a very loose one and you can be lead astray by assuming that a beer with a certain SRM requires a particular level of RA. This is, apparently, one of those cases. Another would be Pilsner. I see people putting up similar posts in which they want highly negative RA in order to brew Pils because it is light in color. Pilsners are brewed with water with slightly positive RA. The acidity required to get mash pH into the proper range comes from sauermalz - not calcium/phytine/inorganic phosphate reaction.

It is certainly OK to use color to get a rough idea as to what kind of water is suitable for a stout (you know that Burton water wouldn't be, for example) but if you are determined to modify your water you really need to do further research into what kind of water was/is available to the brewers of stout and how they treated it. In the previous post I gave the RA's of a couple of water profiles I have for Dublin. One was slightly positive and the other quite positive at 167. I tend to believe this higher number is the better one both because you can be sure that the reason the roast barley was in put into the formulation was to overcome appreciable positive RA and because the profile with this RA passes the electric balance test (the other does not). To conclude that because Guiness has an SRM of 54 it is brewed with water with RA > 325 will, IMO, lead you astray.

Were I to approach a stout with your water I would up the sulfate and chloride somewhat with gypsum and calcium chloride and not worry about the RA though I would do a pH check of he mash. If I wanted "authentic" Dublin water I would do both those things and I would dissolve some calcium carbonate with CO2 to get the RA up. I'm guessing the sulfate and chloride would have a bigger influence than the RA change because both those ions effect flavor. I do understand that you are not necessarily trying to duplicate Dublin water so look at the data I'm presenting as representative of a way to procede rather than instructions to be followed.

For further insight into stouts, in particular, I recommend Micahel Lewis's monograph in the Classic Beer Style Series. Dr. Lewis is of the view that one ought not to fiddle with water unless necessary. This is in the book and is what he teaches (if he is still teaching) his students. That he states in the book that most breweries he surveyed do not treat their water or of they do treat in minimally. He does note that pilot brews done with gypseous waters (negative RA) resulted in mash pH as low as 4.9. So don't add too much gypsum if you choose to enhance hops via sulfate. Check mash pH ( I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record).


Top
 

 Post subject: Re: Palmer's chart question.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:02 am 
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:21 pm
Posts: 388
Location: Grass Valley, CA
Cool, thanks for taking the time to explaine all the info. I think I get it.. :wink:

Tim


Top
 

 Post subject: Re: Palmer's chart question.
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:27 am 
User avatar
 WWW  Profile

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:07 pm
Posts: 171
Location: Atlanta, GA
I've listened to the Brew Strong water shows about 4 or 5 times now. I worked with Palmer's RA spreadsheet and think that I now have a pretty good handle on it.

Now, I'm confused again.

ajdelange:

My water is pretty low in everything. Calcium=4, Magnesium=1, Alkalinity=22, Sodium=9, Chloride=5, Sulfate=7, Ph=9.

I feel like I have a blank slate to work with. I've been making additions following Palmer's spreadsheet for the last several brews I've done. However, I haven't done any really dark or light beers yet.

I may not be understanding what you're saying, but it seems like your advice is running counter to what Palmer says. I know Palmer says that this is all "arm waving at it's finest." Is it better to just use the spreadsheet for middle of spectrum type stuff, and not the extremes (i.e. pilsner or stouts)?

_________________
Stabwell Brewing

BN Army Corporal

On Tap:
American Brown Ale
Milk Stout
Janet's Brown Ale
Murphy's Over the wall Amber
American Wheat

Primary:
Citra Hop IPA


Top
 

 Post subject: Re: Palmer's chart question.
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:24 am 
 Profile

Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 9:18 am
Posts: 1385
What I am saying is that you cannot use an average to draw a conclusion, other than a broad one, about an individual member of the set from which the average was calculated. If we consider 4 light beers, Export, Burton ale, Helles and Pils and look at the RAs of the waters of the cities from which they come we have Dortmund at approxiamtely -50, Burton at -75, Munich at +12 (Munich water untreated has a higher RA but it is decarbonated prior to brewing Helles) and Pilsen at about + 12. The average is -25 which tells us that light beers tend to be brewed with less carbonaceous waters and this is useful information but is not the whole story. If we conclude that all light beers should be brewed with water with an RA of -25 we wouldn't probably be too far off but Burton ales aren't brewed with waters with RA of -25 and neither are Export, Pils or Helles. The first two are brewed with waters with larger negative RAs and set their mash pH by the reaction of calcium and phosphorous/phytate in the mash (i.e. they rely on the negative RA to do the job). The latter are brewed with waters with slightly positive RAs and set their mash pH by inclusion of sauermalz in the grist or the addition of sauergut to it. Further research into the styles would reveal the extra information about the way these beers are brewed and I am trying to encourage people to do the additional research rather than just accept the "average" value and design based on that.

The color/RA correspondence is not, of course, a simple average. While I don't know exactly what John did I assume he collected color and RA data and did a "curve fit". This introduces additional uncertainties especially when one considers that most available ion profiles are bogus and the problem seems to lie in the alkalinity/bicarbonate dimension. So people need to be cognizant of what is a reasonable and what is not reasonable from a "model". If you look at tree ring temperature data and the Medieval Warming period and Little Ice age are missing then something is wrong with the model. If you look at color and find that the RA is more than 150 or less than -100 you should similarly recognize that something is wrong. One can compute "error bounds" from the original data and it would help if the spreadsheet gave that information. For the simple example of the 4 beers I gave above a fuller statement is "Light beer is brewed with water that has RA -25.25±38.3 meaning that the RA of a light beer's source water is between -68.55 and +13.05 with 68% (subject to various standard assumptions) probability. If I told you that rather than just the average value at least you would have an idea of what the variability is and seeing the range would probably ask "Well, where in that range should I be for Pilsner beer?" This would, we hope, encourage you to do the further research. One final point. If I brew 2 Pilsners using the same water, one using triple decoction and a 2 hour boil and a portion of Munich malt that Pils will be a lot darker than a second done with only a small portion of carapils, a step infusion and a 1 hour boil.

It would really be nice if it were as simple as being able to plug in a color and take out a water chemistry but it isn't.


Top
 

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

Powered by phpBB © 2009 phpBB Group