|New Chemistry Tools :)|
|Faucet from RO filter|
Since Conway doesn't provide enough detail in their water report for brewers, I felt more in control by starting with RO water. However, with some testing I have determined that Conway water is low in alkalinity (26ppm as CaCO3). This makes sense because in order to brew a good brown ale for example you need higher alkalinity (50-150ppm) in the water in order buffer the mash and not allow the pH drop too low.
I targeted a water profile that would be right in the middle for a medium OG brown ale (in ppm.. Ca-75, Mg-5, Na-25, Cl-65, S04-75, Alkalinity-125). I used 3.75g Gypsum, 2g Epsom, 5g Calcium Chloride, 4.5g Calcium Carbonate, 4.25g Sodium Bicarbonate and got relatively close (in ppm.. Ca-82.9, Mg-5.2, Na-30.7, Cl-63.7, S04-75.9, Alkalinity-124.9). Calcium Carbonate (chalk) doesn't dissolve almost at all in pure water with out the presence of dissolved CO2. So I kegged and carbonated 2 gals of RO water then mixed in the minerals (I managed to get most if not all the chalk to dissolve). The online calculator actually predicted the mash pH within 0.01 (predicted 5.49, actual 5.5). Had I known it would be that accurate I would have tweaked the mineral concentration to pull closer to 5.2 but instead I used phosphoric acid additions to slowly bring the pH down to 5.2. With all the additions that need to be made to the mash in order to pull the pH to target, it has gotten harder to maintain the mash temperature. Eventually I will build and move to an electric RIM system in order to maintain temps while testing pH but until then I may use a method like this http://www.cedarcreeknetworks.com/heatstick.htm to maintain mash temps. At any rate the temperature did manage to stay above 150 for the 60 min mash. I have brewed this same recipe previously with my tap water. So I should be able to tell if there is a significant difference between the two beers.
|RIMS Tube I would like to build|
|RIMS System Diag|