Author Topic: PH Estimation with water profiles!!!!  (Read 2773 times)


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PH Estimation with water profiles!!!!
« on: February 17, 2019, 09:14:34 PM »
So I've been using other PH estimation software and checking it with my PH meter to ensure I'm getting accurate results and I'm always pretty close. But never right on the money with them. I'm sure my PH meter is calibrated and I always take the reading at room temp. I just recently decided to use the BeerSmith Water tool, and had a question about making a custom water profile. I'll try to explain this without being confusing. I'll use pictures. So I input my home water profile into the system and add what I normally do to balance out my water. I make it the total water for the particular beer I'm brewing. Picture below:

I click on the "Save Totals" button and get this screen:

The PH that is shown on the screen above does not change when I adjust the ingredients (Gypsum, Calcium Chloride, ect.), it just stays at 7.00. So I tested it and added my original water profile with no additions and then a new profile with additions to the same recipe and I get two different Estimated PH readings, obviously.

So I get that it is taking the additions to the water into account but is it also taking the 7.00PH into account from the second picture when I go to create a new water profile with my original water plus additions?? Do I have to mix up a batch of water, add my additions, then take a PH reading to input that into the new water profile with additions? I hope this doesn't sound too confusing, I'm almost confusing myself. I only ask because when I used the updated water profile with additions it's telling me if I want to get down into the 5.2 range I would need almost 7.5ml of Lactic Acid which seems like a lot. I know I could use more Gypsum in the mix to lower the PH and try to balance out the Sulfate/Chloride Ratio after that, but if the water PH isn't updating to reflect the the additions when I "Save Totals" and create a new profile it's going to throw the Estimated Mash PH off. Well hope someone can decipher what I'm trying to ask here. Thanks in advance. Cheers!!

Almost forgot, I'm using a Blichmann BrewEasy so I use a BIAB profile when calculating my beers so the additions are for the total volumes needed for the brew, that's why it's 8.57gal total water.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 09:08:53 PM by BeerSmith »

Offline Oginme

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Re: PH Estimation with water profiles!!!!
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2019, 06:07:06 AM »
Your pictures did not come through on the post, so it is hard to follow some of your description.

I will comment on how I use the water tool in BeerSmith.  First, I enter my well water in the 'water ingredients' as it has been tested with the mineral, salt, and pH reading from my test sheet.  I save this profile as my starting water.  Next, I go to the water profile tool and starting with my water at the top and an average amount of water for a typical recipe, I build the profiles I want for the different styles of beer as I want to brew them.  I save each profile with the mineral additions with a separate name to reflect the specific mineral balance of that profile.  My approach is pretty simple with 5 profiles of varying Sulfate to Chloride rations to represent the different flavor contributions I want to make. 

Note at this step, the water tool does NOT predict the effect the minerals and salts will have on your water pH.  For purposes of mashing, your native water pH really has a very, very small influence and only reflects the balance of species of Carbonate which exist in the water at the start.  So ignore the water pH.

Next in the recipe as I am planning out my brew day, I go to the 'water' tab and enter the my native water as an ingredient.  Next, I click on 'match a target profile' and select the water profile which I created in the profile tool.  The software will now scale the additions for the exact amount of water which is entered as an ingredient of that recipe.  Again, pay no attention to the pH of the water itself.

I will then go to the 'mash' tab and look at the predicted pH for the mash.  If it is higher than my target, then I usually add acidulated malt to bring it down. You can also use acid for this but before you follow the recommendations from the software please read the sticky message on 'Important Note on pH Model in BeerSmith' in the advanced brewing section. If it is lower than my target, I will go back and add baking soda to bring it up to match target.

Caveat on water pH models:  the influence of malt acidifies the water to pretty much within a favorable range for mashing -- depending upon the water you start with.  No model is perfect and they all have some variability.  If you are expecting pH predictions to the hundredth place, then let go of that dream.  At best they will be within a tenth or two of your target.  Since much of the influence is dependent upon the malts and malts vary between malt house, variety, locale of growing, kilning processes, and annual weather during growth season, it is hard to get a closer estimation consistently across a wide variety of styles.  Note that for me and my process, BeerSmith always comes in about .15 to .20 pH units higher than my actual readings at the end of the mash.  Using this information, if I want a mash pH of 5.4, my target in BeerSmith is 5.55 to 5.60.   Doing this offset, the program is remarkably consistent.  I do have to make slight changes when I get a new lot of grain in, but never more than a few hundredths of a pH unit.

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