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iralosavic

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marzen water profile said:
ppm

Ca 70
Mg 15 sufficient Ca and Mg to ensure good lager ferm.
Na <30
Chl 70
Sulf 55

C:S ratio in the 1.1 to 1.3 range, balanced to low malty.

Can someone please help me figure out how to manipulate my water to suit the Marzen style water profile I found in teh Google? I've tried endless combinations of salt additions and have been struggling to get close to the guidelines above. Cheers
 

manticle

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What water are you starting with? Is that the first table?

Are those values the value of the water you want (not the best way of working things out to my mind) or the mineral levels and pH of the mash? The pH will change depending on your malt bill.
 

iralosavic

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What water are you starting with? Is that the first table?

Are those values the value of the water you want (not the best way of working things out to my mind) or the mineral levels and pH of the mash? The pH will change depending on your malt bill.
G'day Manticle. The first table is my local water (almost completely devoid of minerals). The second quote is the desired water mineral levels - the pH was not specified, but I'm petty sure the Marzen water style was of above average alkalinity, if that helps.
 

iralosavic

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The biggest issue I run into is that by trying to increase Magnesium, I throw out the chloride to sulfate ratio, because the only way to increase it is through Gypsum which increases sulfates significantly. What if I used medicinal magnesium separately? Surely there's an easier way... is magnesium that essential if I use yeast nutrient?

EDIT: I can get close - not including magnesium - with the following:

1.5g CaSo4 - Gypsum
2.7g CaCl2 - Calcium Chloride
2g CaC3 - Chalk (Calcium Carbonate)
 

tiprya

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Magnesium isn't that important as far as I'm aware, I'd concentrate on the others.
 

iralosavic

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Ok, great. I'll just leave the magnesium at 0 and use yeast nutrient.


Some people add mineral/salt additions at both mash and the boil. Just curious what the reason for this is? All I can think of is that the total mineral levels desired could not be reached in the mash without the pH being outside of the range needed to convert staches to sugars, so the rest is added afterwards? I could be totally wrong though, of course. Anyone care to clarify?
 

manticle

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Main reason as far as I understand is that salts are used to alter the mash pH and in the boil will affect yeast health and final flavour.

Some people disagree but I am generally not a fan of carbonates, especially not in beers that aren't black* (reading supports this). Thinking about it logically, the pH is dropped by the calc chloride and calc sulphate and naturally dropped and buffered by the mash. Calc carbonate raises the pH and works against that (and its flavour contribution isn't great either.

Work for a mash pH of between 5.2 and 5.4 using just the calc chloride and sulphate and see how far away from your intended profile.

Personally I'd just work with those two to get the malt/hop profile you want and forget about a possibly dodgy, incorrect or redundant water profile. Some people suggest sulphates don't work well with noble hops. I haven't noticed this but need to try a side by side. You could then use an acid addition (lactic, citric, phosphoric etc) or a small amount of acidulated malt to get the pH down along with the calc chloride.

* I don't put them in black beers either.
 

iralosavic

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Main reason as far as I understand is that salts are used to alter the mash pH and in the boil will affect yeast health and final flavour.

Some people disagree but I am generally not a fan of carbonates, especially not in beers that aren't black* (reading supports this). Thinking about it logically, the pH is dropped by the calc chloride and calc sulphate and naturally dropped and buffered by the mash. Calc carbonate raises the pH and works against that (and its flavour contribution isn't great either.

Work for a mash pH of between 5.2 and 5.4 using just the calc chloride and sulphate and see how far away from your intended profile.

Personally I'd just work with those two to get the malt/hop profile you want and forget about a possibly dodgy, incorrect or redundant water profile. Some people suggest sulphates don't work well with noble hops. I haven't noticed this but need to try a side by side. You could then use an acid addition (lactic, citric, phosphoric etc) or a small amount of acidulated malt to get the pH down along with the calc chloride.

* I don't put them in black beers either.
Thanks for your advice, Manticle.

With 2.2g Gypsum and 3.8g Cal Choloride, I can get the correct ratio, although total chloride and sulfates are higher than suggested, but still on the lower end of Palmers suggested ranges.

90ppm Chloride isn't going to impart a medicinal flavour, is it?
 

iralosavic

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Cool. Seems like that's that then. The salt addtions don't really bring pH down much, but the ez water guide shows it to be in the appropriate range (5.5 at room temperature). I'm assuming this will work out at ~5.2 at mash temps. I could easily split the additions in half for mash and boil without taking mash pH out of range, but I'm not sure it's worth it not really understanding how it affects flavour.
 

manticle

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At the most basic level, calc chloride will push malt and calc sulphate will push bitterness and hop profile.

Read this for the simplest explanation I've found (written about Melb water which is soft like yours):

http://melbournebrewers.org/images/stories...20treatment.pdf

If the water is harder or contains amounts of horrible ions, it becomes a matter of removing those elements first before building with salts but you (and I fortunately) don't need to worry about that.
 

iralosavic

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Thanks for the link, mate. Twas a good read and cleared up a fair bit for me.

It seems that based on a full Pilsner grist, I will need more than a calcium addition to achieve a suitably acidic pH. I do own ph5.2 stabiliser, so I guess I could first add the flavour/style mineral additions and then use the buffer to fine tune the mash pH... assuming it works propery - I have my doubts. I'll have to get some pH test strips to confirm/deny and then move on to lactic acid if need be.
 

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