Water for fermentation

(That's water to the rest of us!) Beer is about 95% water, so if you want to discuss water treatment, filtering etc this is the place to do it!
Post Reply
MillmoorRon
Tippler
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:57 pm

Water for fermentation

Post by MillmoorRon » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:43 am

If I were to top up my fermenter with water after the boil, what are the important characteristics?

Do things like calcium levels, pH and sulphide:chloride ratios still matter at this stage or is that just during the mash and boil?

User avatar
Eric
Under the Table
Posts: 1937
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:18 am
Location: Sunderland.

Re: Water for fermentation

Post by Eric » Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:17 pm

Any topping up will change the result, but only if you top up with large proportions, or the mineral content of that water is vastly different to the profile used to make the beer, will there be any significant difference apart from less flavour. What you need to have concerned about is the buffering properties of the additions, that of most significance being alkalinity.

Wort pH will drop about 0.2 in the boiler to be typically 5.1 +/- 0.2pH at the start of fermentation. You might wish to measure pH at this stage and suitably treat your water to get alkalinity down towards zero. Zero will be somewhere around pH 4.4.
Without patience, life becomes difficult and the sooner it's finished, the better.

User avatar
BenB
Drunk as a Skunk
Posts: 901
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:02 pm
Location: North West London (NW11)

Re: Water for fermentation

Post by BenB » Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:13 pm

It'll depend on why you are topping up. To replace excessive boil off you almost want pure water as that what has been lost. Ashbeck is as close as I get. I'm aware the Homebrew Handbook has a strange brew method that intrinsically involved topping up - suspect that might need to be different as the topping up will be included in the kettle chemistry equations.
Recent brews...

1 ) Greg Hughes Summer Ale (AG)
2 ) Oktoberfest (AG) - gone
3 ) Southern English Brown Ale (AG)- gone
4 ) Old Ale (AG)- conditioning in bottles. 7.5%- nicknamed "short session ale" - drinking
5 ) Barley Wine (AG)- drinking
6 ) Belgian Dubbel (AG) - not pleasant hoping it'll improve
7 ) South African Castle Lager Clone (AG) - mostly gone
8 ) ESB Clone (AG) - drinking
coming soon
9) Boltmaker Clone (AG)
10) some kits (running out of beer)
11) AG Porter (BCS)
12) AG Munich Helles (BCS)

User avatar
Good Ed
Steady Drinker
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:26 am
Location: Birmingham

Re: Water for fermentation

Post by Good Ed » Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:55 pm

I just use Ashbeck water to top up, or "liquor back", although I would only add somewhere between 1-2L in a 23L brew.

Dave S
Even further under the Table
Posts: 2656
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:38 pm
Location: Wirral, Merseyside

Re: Water for fermentation

Post by Dave S » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:23 am

I liquor back routinely as I brew 27L lengths in a GF which will not hold the pre-boil volume to accommodate, (well it will just about but I would end up with huge boil-overs). I calculate for 27L then hold around 5L of the Sparge water back, which has an alkalinity of about 20 and add in gradually from 60 mins into the boil so I end up with the correct volume at the end.
Best wishes

Dave

MillmoorRon
Tippler
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:57 pm

Re: Water for fermentation

Post by MillmoorRon » Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:00 pm

My fermenter can hold 22.7 litres but my kettle is limited (by experience!) to 22 litres without boiling over. I lose about 5 litres during the boil and there are about 2.5 litres of slurry left below the tap after draining, so I only get about 14.5 litres of usable wort. I'd like to get that back up towards the fermenter's capacity. I do like Dave S's suggestion of slowly adding leftover sparge water to counteract boil losses!

Dave S
Even further under the Table
Posts: 2656
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:38 pm
Location: Wirral, Merseyside

Re: Water for fermentation

Post by Dave S » Thu Sep 01, 2016 2:16 pm

The only problem I can see is insufficient sparging with larger grain bills, though I've not had an issue with low extraction rates so far.
Best wishes

Dave

Post Reply

Return to “Brewing Liquor”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests