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BeerTools Discussion Forum • View topic - Water questions and suggestions

Water questions and suggestions

Physics, chemistry and biology of brewing. The causes and the effects.

Moderator: slothrob

Postby kevponce » Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:05 pm

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Postby Legman » Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:25 pm

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Re: HCO3

Postby slothrob » Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:45 am

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fermentation vs water

Postby slothrob » Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:30 am

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Re:HCO3

Postby Legman » Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:13 pm

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Re: HCO3

Postby kevponce » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:34 pm

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Postby kevponce » Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:05 pm

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Postby slothrob » Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:42 pm

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Re: HCO3

Postby Legman » Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:44 am

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High SRM and 300 RA

Postby slothrob » Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:38 pm

I found time to listen to the 4th water podcast again and reread Chapter 15, and I think I've worked my way out the confusion. No guarantees I've got this right, but I think I might. :?

I believe the upper limit is 250 - 300 RA, not ppm CaCO3.

RA is non neutralized alkalinity, which is HCO3- in brewing. When you add CaCO3, only some becomes available as HCO3- because of the complexities of CO3 chemistry in water. In Palmer's text, he mentions a HCO3- limit of 250 ppm. I think this is the same as saying an RA limit of 250, not the same as saying a CaCO3 limit of 250 ppm.

In the podcast, Palmer says an RA of 250 is maximal for most very dark beers and maybe 300 for the darkest of dark Imperial Stouts. He says that this is because of a plateauing of the pH drop above a certain SRM. He says that a recipe made entirely of Black Malt isn't going to push the pH much lower than a pound or two has already pushed it.

The result, if I have understood this correctly, is that you can add as much CaCO3/NaHCO3 as you need to get to an RA of 250, if that's what your recipe calls for. If your SRM calls for a bit lower than 250, you're probably safe with either sticking with 250 or going a little higher. For myself, I think if I go above 250, I'll let the actual pH of the mash dictate adding more HCO3-.

Edit: When Palmer talks salts, he means the concentration for all the pre-boil water. His method is to add the needed salts to the mash, then an amount proportionate to the sparge water to the boil.
Last edited by slothrob on Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE:High SRM and 300 RA

Postby Legman » Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:20 pm

That sounds more logical to me. I went back and read Chapter 15 several times and that's what I kinda got out of it, even though it wasn't that specific.

I haven't been able to listen to the podcast yet.....My sound card is on the fritz. :cry:

But any rate, that's good to now and clears up a few things. :)
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Postby Suthrncomfrt1884 » Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:39 am

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Postby jawbox » Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:59 pm

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Water Dept.

Postby Legman » Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:17 pm

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Postby Suthrncomfrt1884 » Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:46 pm

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