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German Brewing • Water for Marzen
Page 1 of 2

Water for Marzen

Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:59 am
by lhommedieu
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.

Re: Water for Marzen

Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:55 am
by Ancient Abbey
Needs a touch more calcium. I like the CL:SO4 to favor chloride on malty beers, but not too imbalanced.

Re: Water for Marzen

Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:55 am
by lhommedieu
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?

Re: Water for Marzen

Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:19 pm
by Ancient Abbey
Once you pass 2:1, you pass balanced. In taste testings, once the profile passes 3:1, folks can detect it.

Re: Water for Marzen

Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 1:25 pm
by lhommedieu
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.

Re: Water for Marzen

Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:45 pm
by mabrungard

Re: Water for Marzen

Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 3:17 pm
by Roachbrau
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

Water for Marzen

Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:57 pm
by Ancient Abbey
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.

Re: Water for Marzen

Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:58 pm
by mchrispen
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.

Re: Water for Marzen

Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:24 pm
by Roachbrau
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