Water for Marzen

Brewing water, and water profiles

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lhommedieu

Water for Marzen

Postby lhommedieu » Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:59 am

Suggestions for Marzen?

My water profile:

Ca 19.3
Mg 3.9
Na 9.8
SO4 5.8
Cl 18.5
HC03 64.0

Alternatively, I could use RO water.

Thank you.
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Ancient Abbey
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Re: Water for Marzen

Postby Ancient Abbey » Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:55 am

Needs a touch more calcium. I like the CL:SO4 to favor chloride on malty beers, but not too imbalanced.
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Re: Water for Marzen

Postby lhommedieu » Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:55 am

Adding 11 g of Calcium Cholride to 25 gallons of water gives me the following profile:

Ca 51
Mg 3.9
Na 9.8
SO4 5.8
Cl 74.6
HC03 64.0

CL:SO4 is approximately 12:1. Is that too high - or for these concentrations will it matter?
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Re: Water for Marzen

Postby Ancient Abbey » Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:19 pm

Once you pass 2:1, you pass balanced. In taste testings, once the profile passes 3:1, folks can detect it.
- The best do the basics better -
lhommedieu

Re: Water for Marzen

Postby lhommedieu » Sun Feb 07, 2016 1:25 pm

Thanks for helping me to suss it out. My only experience wtih altering water chemistry has been to add gypsum to my base water to brew Brittish bitter.

Adding 11g of Calcium Choride and 5.3 grams of Gypsum to 25 gallons of water gives me the following profile:

Ca 64
Mg 3.9
Na 9.8
SO4 37
Cl 74.6
HC03 64.0

Edit: Adding 12 g of Calcium Choride and 7 grams of Gypsum to RO water gives me the following:

Ca 51.8
Mg 0.0
Na 0.0
SO4 41.3
Cl 61.2
HC03 0.0

I'd consider bumping the values up but my sense is that Marzen favors soft water and low minerality. There probably won't be much difference between the two profiles if I use sauer maltz to lower pH during the mash.
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Re: Water for Marzen

Postby mabrungard » Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:45 pm

lhommedieu wrote:My water profile:

Ca 19.3
Mg 3.9
Na 9.8
SO4 5.8
Cl 18.5
HC03 64.0


That tap water is almost ideal for Marzen as-is. Just a bit more Ca and Cl and maybe a touch more SO4 is needed. Since you should be brewing with lager yeast, there is no need to bring the Ca content to 50 ppm. In fact, lager yeast can be hampered by elevated Ca content. However, you should try and obtain about 40 ppm Ca in the mashing water.

I find the preferred method for lager brewing is to add calcium salts ONLY to the mashing water in order to bring that Ca content to 40 ppm. The sparging water should have little mineralization and serves to dilute the final wort to less than 40 ppm Ca.

AJ DeLange has reported that about 20 ppm Ca and 30 ppm Cl are what he prefers. I generally agree, but prefer something like 10 or 20 ppm SO4 in there too (of course, the Ca or Mg needs to go up in order to supply that SO4). Don't be too afraid of Mg at low levels (<20 ppm) since it is common at about that level in most Southern Bavarian waters.
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Re: Water for Marzen

Postby Roachbrau » Sat Apr 30, 2016 3:17 pm

Your base water is pretty similar to mine.
Ca 26
Mg 9
Na 13
SO4 12
Cl 28
HCO3 63

I very rarely do anything to mine. I've brewed everything from light American lagers to dunkels with my base water, just varying the acid malt percentage. Sometimes I throw a little gypum in for pilsners or pale ales, but that's it.

Also, with my standard addition of 100mg/L of sodium metabisulfite, I would be looking at something like
Na 37
SO4 88
if all of the sulfite (SO3) was converted to sulfate (SO4) and none was driven off as sulfur dioxide (SO2), which I feel is almost never the case, since my sulfite test strips typically show 30-40 ppm SO3 at the end of the mash.

Any thoughts on this, Martin? I don't pretend to understand the chemistry that's happening, just going off the calculations of others
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Water for Marzen

Postby Ancient Abbey » Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:57 pm

Exactly, count on getting 25-50 ppm of sulfate from the SMB, depending on how well your system is sealed against leaks and how quiescent your dough-in.
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Re: Water for Marzen

Postby mchrispen » Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:58 pm

Sulfate or sulfite?

Sulfite compounds can degrade to sulfate but may be exhausted by free O2 before hydroxide reactions. Free O2 would be more plentiful, but hydroxide is more reactive. I have been trying to estimate these reactions with redox calcs, but my chemistry knowledge is limited. The hydroxide reaction may explain the additional acidity phenomena. Sulfites sequestering free O2 doesn't - certainly not in wine or mead must. Or I am missing something.
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Re: Water for Marzen

Postby Roachbrau » Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:24 pm

Sulf... ate? I really don't know. I was under the impression that the sulfite we're adding as SMB is binding with the oxygen that makes it's way into the mash to form sulfate, thereby effectively increasing the so4 content of the water profile

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