Author Topic: "Tricking" the water profile - Will this work?  (Read 1733 times)

Offline RizingFenix

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"Tricking" the water profile - Will this work?
« on: February 11, 2018, 07:17:45 AM »
My question involves water chemistry and "tricking" the BeerSmith2 Water Profile so the tool is effective with my water. I am new to water chemistry but reading like a mad fool to try and get this right so hoping someone in the community can tell me if I am on the right path.

The reason I feel I need to "trick" BeerSmith is that my area of the US has high pH, 9.6. As a result, carbonate (CO3), not just bicarbonate (HCO3), adds to the alkalinity of my water. Because BeerSmith only accepts bicarbonate in the water profile and assumes carbonate doesn't matter (and it doesn't if your pH is 9 or less) it throws off the calculations for:

* Alkalinity
* Effective Hardness
* Residual Alkalinity

My actual water report says: CO3=14.2, HCO3=59 and Alkalinity as CaCO3=70. If I just enter 59 in BeerSmith's water profile for Bicarbonate it provides values that don't agree with my test results from Ward Lab or Martin Brungard's Bru'N Water. To trick BeerSmith, I enter a value for HCO3=85. This causes Alkalinity, Effective Hardness and Residual Alkalinity to match John Palmer's formulas and Martin Brungard's. It also seems to match the info Brad blogged about in the following article:

http://beersmith.com/blog/2016/02/23/residual-alkalinity-and-ph-for-all-grain-beer-brewing/

I am just not sure though how BeerSmith uses all those values so is there a risk in me putting fake data in HCO3 to get the other values to come out correctly? It seems smart but would like to someone with an IQ higher than mine to confirm.  ;)

Cheers

Offline brewfun

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Re: "Tricking" the water profile - Will this work?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2018, 08:04:48 AM »
Alkalinity as CaCO3=70.
<snip>
To trick BeerSmith, I enter a value for HCO3=85. This causes Alkalinity, Effective Hardness and Residual Alkalinity to match John Palmer's formulas and Martin Brungard's.

You're not actually "tricking" BeerSmith. When the alkalinity value is entered into Bru'n Water (water input, cell A28), the result is HC03 of 85.

Quote
I am just not sure though how BeerSmith uses all those values so is there a risk in me putting fake data in HCO3 to get the other values to come out correctly? It seems smart but would like to someone with an IQ higher than mine to confirm.  ;)

The answer is "pretty much nothing."

The mineral additions in the recipe don't influence the estimated pH the same way they do in Bru'n Water. Acid additions don't make any changes, either.

Using Bru'n water as a guide, you can establish baseline mineral additions for pale malt plus minimal specialty malt recipes that achieve your flavor goals (i.e: hoppy ales, most lagers, dark ales). These additions can go into BeerSmith water profiles as mineral additions. BeerSmith will auto calculate the amount based on your batch size, so it's best to add water to a recipe after everything else is settled. BeerSmith doesn't recalculate minerals when volumes are changed, except through the scaling function.
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