Sanity check- first go with Bru'n Water

(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!
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Aleman
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Re: Sanity check- first go with Bru'n Water

Post by Aleman » Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:30 pm

barneey wrote:Anyone know what this white sludge maybe after water treatment with phosphoric acid?
Please Sir, Please Sir, I know :D

it is 'a' calcium phosphate known as apatite . . now the one thing you don't want to do is strip calcium out of the liquor . . . if you are trying to increase it anyway :D

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Re: Sanity check- first go with Bru'n Water

Post by Goulders » Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:33 pm

Swot :-p

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Re: Sanity check- first go with Bru'n Water

Post by sladeywadey » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:09 pm

barneey wrote:
Guess the mineral content of Bud :wink:
Same as piss? ;)

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Re: Sanity check- first go with Bru'n Water

Post by Eric » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:36 pm

sladeywadey wrote:
barneey wrote:
Guess the mineral content of Bud :wink:
Same as piss? ;)
And there was me thinking mineral content would be the only means of telling those two apart. #-o
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Re: Sanity check- first go with Bru'n Water

Post by Dennis King » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:57 pm

The way I see it Ben you either take the advice of Martin, an American with probably little experience of English or European beers and so it seems has used some science of a dubious nature or the advice of Aleman, WallyBrew and Eric three highly regarded English members who between them have a vast experience with water in brewing. I know who's advice I would take.
I too have Mike Tyson hard water and one big improvement I found was moving from CRS, a blend of acids, to sulphuric acid only.

millmaster

Re: Sanity check- first go with Bru'n Water

Post by millmaster » Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:56 am

There is an alternative to adding the various products mentioned in the many threads on water treatment. That is to use the slaked lime treatment as per http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?ti ... laked_lime

This lets you remove the excess alkalinity ( shown by a Salifert test ) that you may have in your water, then you can add salts, typically gypsum - calcium sulphate - and calcium chloride - in the quantities you want to reach the water profile that suits the beer you want to brew

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Re: Sanity check- first go with Bru'n Water

Post by wezzel01 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:09 am

I live in the London area and have produced my best beers ever using Bru n water but, hey, what do I know.

BenB

Re: Sanity check- first go with Bru'n Water

Post by BenB » Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:17 am

For my first brew of this Summer Ale I'm going to go for a mid-way point of a sulphates of around 150. Then if I like the beer I'm going to brew two in one day- one with a low mineral count and the other with the same sulphate:chloride ratio but with a higher ppm (e.g. sulphates of 250). That should sort it once and for all! Watch this space :D

Thinking about it logically salts will enhance the flavour whilst perhaps taking away some of the refreshing lightness of a low mineral beer. The sulphate:chloride ratio will control the flavour balance but the mineral levels might adjust flavour impact. So there is likely to be no "correct" answer as it will depend partially on personal taste. As said already a high mineral count will make the flavour sings but might cause it to feel less refreshing.

It's a bit like the water we brew from. I don't like some mineral waters because they taste dry and over-minerally. Equally I just tasted some distilled water (whilst calibrating my pH meter)- very refreshing and light but diddly squat flavour.

It will be an interesting experiment.

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Re: Sanity check- first go with Bru'n Water

Post by Aleman » Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:35 pm

wezzel01 wrote:I live in the London area and have produced my best beers ever using Bru n water but, hey, what do I know. Image
Conversely I am making better beers by completely ignoring all the complexity around water treatment and just simply following 'my' three simple rules.

1. Adjust alkalinity to that appropriate for the style.
2. Adjust calcium levels to a minimum of 100 to 125 if required.
3. Get the sulphate to chloride ratio where I want it to be using appropriate acids and/or treatment salts in 1 and 2.

Funnily enough using this treatment my mash pH naturally tends to fall in the correct range . . Bru'n water tells be it won't and gives me loads of warnings about my mineral levels. I know enough to ignore that . . . But there are a lot of people out there who are confused by water treatment and take what is stated as gospel . . . Then get even more confused when different calculators give different results.

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Re: Sanity check- first go with Bru'n Water

Post by Goulders » Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:36 pm

+1 Aleman! 3 steps rule!

AnthonyUK

Re: Sanity check- first go with Bru'n Water

Post by AnthonyUK » Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:42 pm

Conversely Aleman I also follow that mantra but due to the existing makeup of my local water I use BruNwater to assist in getting there.
I assume your issue with it is following blindly what it recommends not its use as a tool.
Much like anything really, a small amount of knowledge can be dangerous.

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Re: Sanity check- first go with Bru'n Water

Post by barneey » Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:48 pm

Was the TDS calculation ever corrected / been corrected in the latest version?

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Re: Sanity check- first go with Bru'n Water

Post by Aleman » Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:17 pm

AnthonyUK wrote:Conversely Aleman I also follow that mantra but due to the existing makeup of my local water I use BruNwater to assist in getting there.
If you have an accurate analysis of your liquor, and don't worry about the perfect profiles, and the warnings, then I can see that a tool would be useful to follow.
AnthonyUK wrote:I assume your issue with it is following blindly what it recommends not its use as a tool.
Yeah, I'm not convinced that a lot of the recommendations are valid, or lead down a MacDonalds approach (I'm sorry, I don't care what you say, it is neither Big, nor Tasty!!) to beer. Across the UK we have a rich and varied history of beer and beer styles, which were brewed with water from local sources from the ultra soft stuff in Scotland and the North west, to the ultra hard stuff in Hampshire, and even Eric's weird stuff in the North East :D. To turn round and say that excessive mineralisation produces inferior beer is just wrong. When I visit my mates in Lovedean I come away with 25L of the local water, I can't produce a Pompey Royal 'Brickworks' Bitter Or a Gales Beer without it. Knowing how to treat your local water to produce good beer is one aspect, but sometimes you cannot beat actually using the water from elsewhere to produce a 'better' clone. The same also applies to European beers as well, low mineral content for a 'pale lager' . . . well Dortmunder manage, and how about a Helles . . .they are not all produced in Munich, and a lot of the breweries in the region are not using that 'perfect' historical profile . . . And in the Czech republic they are actually adding minerals to low mineral content liquor as it makes a difference to the beer.
AnthonyUK wrote:Much like anything really, a small amount of knowledge can be dangerous.
True, unfortunately it's also not knowing enough to spot, when you might be being led down a potentially inferior dead end.

It is also the reason why I prefer to use individual acids and salts rather than magic liquids and powders. The fine control it gives is much better, but I do accept that there may be more than one way to skin a cat

Mr. Dripping

Re: Sanity check- first go with Bru'n Water

Post by Mr. Dripping » Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:31 am

I've used Bru'n'Water very successfully for the past 2 years or so and my beers have improved enormously as a result. For me, it has helped me understand what I need to do to get the mash pH in to the desired range and the spreadsheet has been a fairly good indicator of the actual mash pH.
But.....I too do not agree with the American approach to low mineral content or the profiles that come with Bru'n'Water......beers that I have made with low mineral levels do tend to be a bit bland.

B'n'W is a handy tool to use to get your desired mineral profile.

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Re: Sanity check- first go with Bru'n Water

Post by Matt in Birdham » Sun Jan 24, 2016 4:04 pm

millmaster wrote:There is an alternative to adding the various products mentioned in the many threads on water treatment. That is to use the slaked lime treatment as per http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?ti ... laked_lime

This lets you remove the excess alkalinity ( shown by a Salifert test ) that you may have in your water, then you can add salts, typically gypsum - calcium sulphate - and calcium chloride - in the quantities you want to reach the water profile that suits the beer you want to brew
This is what I do and (usually) it works very well. I reduce my alkalinity from a measured 240ish to 50 every time, with nothing added. I then use the EZ water spreadsheet to calculate gypsum, CaCl and acidulated malt additions. It usually gets me in the ballpark for mash ph.

I do also agree though that the US view w.r.t. low minerals can seem a bit dogmatic - I have been experimenting with higher chloride levels recently and a recent brew with 5g of table salt added was extremely good - noticeable more "savoury" / rounder, in a good way. I'll be trying it again.

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