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					 Brewing Water,
Residual Alkalinity,
  and Mash pH


      Beer and Loafing
         NHC 2004
       Las Vegas, NV
   The First Rule
Know what your local
  water chemistry is!
 The Second Rule
Know WHY you want
 to adjust your water!
    The Third Rule
If it’s not broken,
 Don’t Fix It!
   Local Water And Beer
Beer Styles came from local brewing
 water
 Burton Ale came from hard, high carbonate
  water
 Vienna Lager came from hard, medium
  carbonate water
 Guinness Stout came from medium hard,
  high carbonate water
 Oktoberfest came from medium hard,
  medium carbonate water.
 Pilsner came from very soft, low carbonate
  water
    Hard vs. Soft Water
“Hard water” refers to the scale that
 forms on pipes, and being “hard” for
 soap to lather.
“Hardness” is a function of Calcium,
 Magnesium, Iron, Mangenese, etc.
“Soft” just means that there is low
 Calcium and Magnesium.
Hard and Soft are only half the
 story, the other half is the Alkalinity.
Param et er            Measure ment
                                         Reading a Water
Alkalinit y as CaCO3   133
Arsenic
Cadm ium
                       .002
                       ND
                                            Analysis
Bicarbo na t e         162                Table 1 - Water Report for
Calcium                72                  Las Vegas Valley WD (2003)
Chlor ide              87                   (All values, except pH, in parts per million (ppm)
                                             (1 ppm = 1 mg/l)
Chromium               .002
                                            17 ppm = 1 grain of hardness/gallon (gpg)
Copper                 1.120 (2-5 RDA)
Hard ness (as gp g)    17
Hard ness as CaCO3     290                        Moderate Bicarbonate
Iro n                  ND                         Moderate Hardness
Lead                   .003
                                                  High Sulfate
Mag nes iu m           26
                                                  Moderate Sodium
Man ga n es e          ND
Nitrat e               458
                                                  Moderate Chloride
pH                     7.6
Zinc                   .145
Sod ium                88
Sulfate                230
          Famous Brewing Waters
   These Numbers are Annual
Wa ter Profiles From Nota ble Brewing Cities
Cit y          Cal cium
               (Ca +2 )
                           Magne sium
                           (Mg +2 )
                                            Bicarbo nate
                                            (HCO3 -)
                                                           Sulfate
                                                           SO4 -2
                                                                     Sod iu m
                                                                     Na +1
                                                                                Chlor ide
                                                                                Cl-1
                                                                                            Bee r Style


Pilsen    AVERAGES!
               10          3                3              4         3          4           Pilsene r
                                                                                            Exp ort
Dor tmu n d    225         40               220            120       60         60
  The averages are probably not
Vienn a        163         68               243            216       8          39
                                                                                            Lage r
                                                                                            Vienn a
                                                                                            Lage r

   representative of real ratios.
Muni ch

Londo n
               109

               52
                           21

                           32
                                            171

                                            104
                                                           79

                                                           32
                                                                     2

                                                                     86
                                                                                36

                                                                                34
                                                                                            Oktob erfest

                                                                                            British Bitte r
Edin burgh     100         18               160            105       20         45          Scott ish Ale
                                                                                            India Pale
Burton         352         24               320            820       44         16
                                                                                            Ale
Dub lin        118         4                319            54        12         19          Dry Stout
Num b ers are give n in p arts p er milli on (pp m) .
These n um bers are ANNUAL A      VERAGES
        Mash pH Ions
Calcium (Ca): 50-150 ppm
 Important for most brewing biochemical
 reactions.
Magnesium (Mg) 10-30 ppm
 An essential nutrient, but usually not
 deficient. Acts similar to calcium.
Bicarbonate/Carbonate
          0-50 ppm for pale beers
          50-150 for amber beers
          150-250 for dark beers
 Balances the natural acidity of the malt.
            Flavor Ions
Sodium (Na) 0-150 ppm
 Accentuates the sweetness of the malt.
 Excess can cause harsh bitterness
 w/sulfate.
Chloride (Cl) 0-250 ppm
 Rounds out the maltiness.
Sulfate (SO4) 50-150 ppm
 Accentuates the hop bitterness, makes it
 crispier. Excess causes harsh bitterness.
Water Adjustment for Extract Brewing
Pre-treatment
  Odors/tastes: Chlorine, Iron, Sulfur, metallic, etc.
  Carbon Filters, Campden Tablets, Water
   Softeners, Green Sand
Flavor Tweaking
  Sulfate for hop bitterness
  Sodium/Chloride for Malt accentuation
Fermentation Issues (Rare)
   Zn, Ca, Mn, Mg = Yeast Nutrition, Beer Haze
  30 Years ago, malt extract was for baking
  Now, mineral levels for mash chemistry
   fermentability have been done for you.
Water Adjustment for Steeping
 (Na, Cl, SO4) Same as for Extract
 (Ca, Mg, HCO3) Steeping pH
   If your water is very high in bicarbonate, you
    may need calcium.
   Use a steeping ratio similar to mash
     2-4 qts/lb.
   Ratio can be more dilute with darker malts
   Astringency is usually due to being too hot.
Water Adjustment for All-Grain
(Ca, Mg, HCO3) Mash pH
  Calcium, Magnesium, and Bicarbonate
   control the Residual Alkalinity.
  Residual Alkalinity combines with the grain
   bill to determine the mash pH
  Mash pH determines fermentability, clarity,
   flavor, etc.
(Na, Cl, SO4) Same as for Extract
 Brewing
           Residual Alkalinity

Mash pH is the net effect of the
 hardness, alkalinity, and the grainbill.
  Residual Alkalinity = alkalinity - (Ca/3.5 +
   Mg/7)
  High RA means you should brew dark beers
  Low RA means you should brew light beers
  Residual Alkalinity Nomograph
Determine your Base Malt Mash pH
                                                                                                           e
                                                                                               Suggeste d B er Color/Style Guide for
                                                                                                   Re sidual Alkalinity Mash pH


                Ma sh pH
                (@room tem p)
               5.1         5.2        5.3              5.4          5.5           5.6             5.7                  5.8              5.9            6.0           6.1        6.2

                 -350      -300     -250        -200         -150         -100         -50             0               50         100           150          200      250        300
                                                                                                                                                        Re sidua l Alka linity
                                                                                                                                                        a s Ca CO3 (ppm )
                            Alka linity as Ca CO3 (ppm )            0      50    100    150     2 00       250     300      350   400    450


                                                                    0     50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500 550                            [HCO3] (ppm )
            [Mg] (ppm )
                             0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 8 0 90 100



                             0             50            100              1 50           2 00                    250              300            350
                                                                                                                                                        Effe ctive Hardness
                                                                                                                                                        Note:Th is is not the s ame as
                                                                                                                                                             Total Hard nes s as CaCO3


                             0 10 20 30 40 50                       100                  150                       200                    250                  300               350     400
             [Ca] (pp m)

 Usa ge Notes:
 1. Assume an e rror of +/- .1 pH due to ind ividual m ash chem istry.
 2. The ac tua l pH of the mash at m ash te mp erature (~ 150°F) is typically .35 pH less tha n it me asure s a t room tem pe ra ture.
Raising RA with Bicarbonate
                                                                                                          e
                                                                                              Suggeste d B er Color/Style Guide for
                                                                                                  Re sidual Alkalinity Mash pH


               Ma sh pH
               (@room tem p)
              5.1         5.2        5.3              5.4          5.5           5.6             5.7                  5.8              5.9            6.0           6.1        6.2

                -350      -300     -250        -200         -150         -100         -50             0               50         100           150          200      250        300
                                                                                                                                                       Re sidua l Alka linity
                                                                                                                                                       a s Ca CO3 (ppm )
                           Alka linity as Ca CO3 (ppm )            0      50    100    150     2 00       250     300      350   400    450


                                                                   0     50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500 550                            [HCO3] (ppm )
           [Mg] (ppm )
                            0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 8 0 90 100
                                                                                            Add 140 ppm HCO3
                            0             50            100              1 50           2 00                    250              300            350
                                                                                                                                                       Effe ctive Hardness
                                                                                                                                                       Note:Th is is not the s ame as
                                                                                                                                                            Total Hard nes s as CaCO3


                            0 10 20 30 40 50                       100                  150                       200                    250                  300               350     400
            [Ca] (pp m)

Usa ge Notes:
1. Assume an e rror of +/- .1 pH due to ind ividual m ash chem istry.
2. The ac tua l pH of the mash at m ash te mp erature (~ 150°F) is typically .35 pH less tha n it me asure s a t room tem pe ra ture.
   Lowering RA with Calcium
                                                                                                          e
                                                                                              Suggeste d B er Color/Style Guide for
                                                                                                  Re sidual Alkalinity Mash pH


               Ma sh pH
               (@room tem p)
              5.1         5.2        5.3              5.4          5.5           5.6             5.7                  5.8              5.9            6.0           6.1        6.2

                -350      -300     -250        -200         -150         -100         -50             0               50         100           150          200      250        300
                                                                                                                                                       Re sidua l Alka linity
                                                                                                                                                       a s Ca CO3 (ppm )
                           Alka linity as Ca CO3 (ppm )            0      50    100    150     2 00       250     300      350   400    450


                                                                   0     50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500 550                            [HCO3] (ppm )
           [Mg] (ppm )
                            0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 8 0 90 100



                            0             50            100              1 50           2 00                    250              300            350
                                                                                                                                                       Effe ctive Hardness
                                                                                                                                                       Note:Th is is not the s ame as
                                                                                                                                                            Total Hard nes s as CaCO3


                            0 10 20 30 40 50                       100                  150                       200                    250                  300               350     400
            [Ca] (pp m)

Usa ge Notes:                                            Add 190 ppm Calcium
1. Assume an e rror of +/- .1 pH due to ind ividual m ash chem istry.
2. The ac tua l pH of the mash at m ash te mp erature (~ 150°F) is typically .35 pH less tha n it me asure s a t room tem pe ra ture.
               Neutralizing Alkalinity
                                                                                                          e
                                                                                              Suggeste d B er Color/Style Guide for
                                                                                                  Re sidual Alkalinity Mash pH


               Ma sh pH
               (@room tem p)
              5.1         5.2        5.3              5.4          5.5           5.6             5.7                  5.8              5.9            6.0           6.1        6.2

                -350      -300     -250        -200         -150         -100         -50             0               50         100           150          200      250        300
                                                                                                                                                       Re sidua l Alka linity
                                                                                                                                                       a s Ca CO3 (ppm )
                           Alka linity as Ca CO3 (ppm )            0      50    100    150     2 00       250     300      350   400    450


                                                                   0     50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500 550                            [HCO3] (ppm )
           [Mg] (ppm )
                            0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 8 0 90 100
                                                                                                      Neutralize 225 ppm Alkalinity as CaCO3

                            0             50            100              1 50           2 00                    250              300            350
                                                                                                                                                       Effe ctive Hardness
                                                                                                                                                       Note:Th is is not the s ame as
                                                                                                                                                            Total Hard nes s as CaCO3


                            0 10 20 30 40 50                       100                  150                       200                    250                  300               350     400
            [Ca] (pp m)

Usa ge Notes:
1. Assume an e rror of +/- .1 pH due to ind ividual m ash chem istry.
2. The ac tua l pH of the mash at m ash te mp erature (~ 150°F) is typically .35 pH less tha n it me asure s a t room tem pe ra ture.
 Neutralizing Alkalinity con’t
Alkalinity can also be neutralized by adding acid
 to the mash.
  Lactic Acid (88% soln.) =           11.8 mEq/ml
  Sulfuric Acid (96% soln.) =         35 mEq/ml
  Phosphoric (86% soln.) =            30 mEq/ml
Divide “Alkalinity As” by 50 to get mEq/L
  225 mg/L ÷ 50 = 4.5 mEq/L
  If mash water volume is 4 Gal (15 L), then
    15 x 4.5 = 67.5 mEq of acid are needed.
  Using Lactic acid: 67.5/11.8 = (6) ml of Lactic Acid
Read New Brewing Lager Beer pp. 60-73 for
 more info
     Acidifying the Sparge
Usually Unnecessary!
Malts have a lot of buffering power, which
 lasts until runnings fall below 1.008
Acidifying the the mash water or sparge to
 5.5 or 6 pH can cause the mash pH to be
 less than 4.5, which inhibits beta amylase
 and will affect the taste.
Batch Sparge and No-sparge techniques
 can ensure that runnings never fall below
 1.016
             Summary
You can adjust your brewing
  water chemistry if:
  You know where you are
  You know where you are going
  You know how to get there
  For more info, see
    How To Brew (Palmer) – Chapter 15
    New Brewing Lager Beer (Noonan) – Chapter
     3

				
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