"You have to be in the ballpark if you want a chance to hit a home run."
Bru'n Water gets you in the ballpark every time.
Go to: File Download page to download the free version of Bru'n Water
Go to the: Water Knowledge page to learn about brewing water chemistry
Go to the: Bru'n Water donation page hosted by PayPal The Supporter's Version of Bru'n Water is delivered by email with a minimum donation. Version 3.4 is now available, review it's features here.
Like the Bru'n Water page on Facebook for occasional discussions on brewing water chemistry and Bru'n Water operation.
Looking for water, wastewater, and beer fault Consulting Services? Visit Bru'n Solutions, Inc. to link to professional services for professional breweries.
Bru'n Water offers Homebrewers and Craftbrewers a tool to quickly and accurately assess and modify their brewing water to fit their current mash grist. This program provides brewers with the ability to check and evaluate:
There are plenty of brewing water programs that calculate what quantity of brewing minerals to add to produce a desired ion concentration in water, but few tell you: Is it the right thing to do?
Bru'n Water gives a brewer the ability to assess what minerals, acid, or dilution should be incorporated into their brewing water. It also tells the brewer what the effect of those adjustments will be. Bru'n Water is also unique in its ability to assess what effect the Brewer's actual mash grist will have on the mash pH. Mash pH plays an important part in the fermentability and character of the brewer's wort and the taste and perceptions of the finished beer.
Why "If the water tastes good, you can brew with it" won't get you great beer.
Water would have to be very mineralized for it NOT to be usable for making beer. The brewing process is quite tolerant of poor conditions and fermentation will probably occur and beer will probably be produced. However, making great beer does require that the brewing process and ingredients are ideal. Good tasting water is NO guarantee that the beer will be good or great. Good tasting water can still make bad beer.
If we look at this truism: If the water tastes bad, it will make bad beer, we can understand that its difficult to take poor ingredients and create a great product. Especially if that poor ingredient makes up over 90 percent of the product. However, good-tasting water can still have characteristics that can keep a beer from being great. Good tasting water can still make bad beer.
Successful brewers of great beer have learned the tricks, treatments, or limitations of their water source. They don't necessarily stop and do nothing with their good tasting water. They use techniques like pre-boiling their water, acid rests, acid malt or acid additions, and brewing with dark grains as components of their brewing skill and knowledge in brewing great beer. Budding brewers are wise to recognize that water treatment might be a stepping stone to their producing great beer. Good tasting water can still make bad beer!
Why do you need to adjust your brewing water?
Water varies from place to place. Along with hardness, important variation in alkalinity and mineral content affects how a brewer in one location can brew a particular beer style successfully, while a brewer in another location may not. There is no water that is ideal for brewing all beer styles. To brew a wide variety of styles, a brewer has to learn to adjust their water or their brewing practices to create great beer. Understanding these factors is an important step in producing great beer. The old advice of "add a teaspoon of gypsum to your brewing water" is not always good advice. Understanding why that may be poor advice and how to do it right is the goal of Bru'n Water.
Brewers should know hardness and alkalinity are not necessarily bad for brewing. Understanding how they interact to create the conditions needed for good mashing performance is an aspect of brewing water knowledge that Bru'n Water helps present and explain.
How do you learn about Brewing Water Chemistry?
To help develop the understanding and appreciation of brewing water chemistry, a comprehensive introduction to brewing water chemistry is presented on the web page accessed by the Water Knowledge link below. Enjoy the knowledge!
Go to Bru'n Water's: Water Knowledge page
Why doesn't Beer Color provide a better guide for brewing water adjustments?
Many brewers know that darker beers generally need higher Residual Alkalinity and paler beers need less as indicated in Figure 1 below. Although simple concepts like Residual Alkalinity (a function of water hardness and alkalinity) help a brewer grasp the need to adjust their brewing water, the processes that affect mash pH are more complicated than suggested by beer color alone. The malts and grains added to a mash contribute varying degrees of acidity to the mash. Generally, the amount of acidity contributed by a malt or grain increases as its color increases. Darker kilned malts contribute more acidity than paler malts. Beer color, alone, is not an accurate indicator of what Residual Alkalinity the brewer's water should provide to produce a desirable mash pH.
The difficulty in using beer color to define an appropriate Residual Alkalinity for brewing water is largely due to the acidity of Crystal Malts. The higher acidity per color unit of Crystal Malt has the effect of boosting the overall acidity of a grist out of proportion to the beer color produced. Roast Malts such as roast barley, chocolate malt, or black patent provide a relatively consistent acidity contribution that generally remains in proportion to the color they deliver to the beer.
Figure 2 presents examples of how widely the amount of malt acidity can vary while still producing the same beer color. All the results were simulated using Bru'n Water by using identical malt quantities and water to grist ratios. The impact of Crystal Malts on the overall mash acidity should be apparent in the figure below.
To illustrate this variation, Figure 2 presents four differing grist compositions that show how the acidity of a mash can vary even though their beer color is similar. A grist with only base malt and a portion of roast malt has a relatively linear increase in total malt acidity with increasing color (that is shown as the Red line in graph). A grist that includes increasing percentage of dark crystal malt presents rapidly increasing total malt acidity (Blue line in graph). Adding a portion of crystal malt tends to bump the malt acidity up without an increase in color. The figure presents malt acidity results when 10 percent (Purple line) or 20 percent (Green line) Crystal content is added to a grist. Figure 2 below shows that there is a definite increase in total malt acidity of a grist as the crystal percentage increases. Interestingly, the total malt acidity for these Crystal malt percentages tend to parallel the roast malt line as the color exceeds 20 SRM. This is because more roast malt is added to the grist to achieve the darker beer color. Fortunately, most brewers use darker, roasted malt and grain to produce the deeper color they desire in their beer.
Figure 2 - Beer Color vs Malt Acidity
The Blue line extending through the top of the graph presents how the malt acidity rises if a brewer added ONLY 150L Crystal to the base malt to add more color to the wort (you shouldn't do this in practice since the percentage of Crystal malt in a grist should generally be kept under 20 percent). That Blue 150L Crystal line may represent a worst-case example of what total malt acidity could be.
An explanation follows as to how the various results in Figure 2 were calculated. For the Base Malt with Roast and the Base malt with 150L Crystal malt, the color of the grist was increased by increasing the percentage of the colored malt while keeping the overall weight of the grist constant (in this case, 8 lbs total for a 5 gal batch).
In the case of the 10 and 20 percent Crystal malt grists, the weight of crystal malt was held constant at either 10 or 20 percent, respectively. The color rating (L) of the crystal malt was increased to produce the increased beer color. As evidenced by the 150L crystal line, it becomes infeasible to increase the beer color with only crystal malts (line becomes vertical) at higher beer color. Therefore, roast malt (500L) was added to the grist to produce the beer color greater than 20 SRM. That is why the 10 and 20 percent crystal lines become parallel to the roast line when the beer color exceeds 20 SRM.
So as exhibited in Figure 2, the acidity of mashes that produce the same color beer can vary significantly. To neutralize the malt acidity and produce the desired mash pH, the mashing water must have the proper alkalinity. Basing the mashing water alkalinity (or Residual Alkalinity) on only beer color will not always produce a desirable mash pH.
These are reasons why Bru'n Water includes advanced analytical measures to help the brewer get their mash pH right, the first time.
Bru'n Water v. 1.17a now available in a single program that includes US and SI unit settings.
Go to: File Download page
Please note that Bru'n Water has many inputs...you will actually have to read the instructions to succeed! Most users find it easy to use once they understand what the program needs. To get a better understanding of what is involved on brewing water chemistry, visit the Water Knowledge link below.
Go to the: Water Knowledge page
The Bru'n Water program available from this website is Freeware and is supported by Donations from Brewers. Those donations can get you the Supporter's version of Bru'n Water that integrates Liter, Gallon, Hectoliter, and Barrel measurements into the program that makes Bru'n Water suitable for Home and Craft Brewers around the world. That upgraded program also includes an improved user interface, more error checking and guidance, and special settings that make it possible to quickly assess revised brewing techniques that improve mash pH performance. This version also includes CRS acid calculation that is useful for UK brewers. Review the screen shots on the link below to see some of the differences between the free and supporter's versions.
Bru'n Water is an Excel application. If you don't have Excel installed on your computer, LibreOffice software is a freeware program that will allow you to run Bru'n Water.
You can download LibreOffice from the following website: http://www.libreoffice.org/
ALERT: Bru'n Water can also be opened using Google Docs, but the formatting of the program is affected and some display information is lost. Although Bru'n Water does appear to operate in Google Docs, LibreOffice or OpenOffice are recommended over Google Docs for operating Bru'n Water. Of course, a recent version of Excel is the preferred program for Bru'n Water operation.
Learn, Create, Enjoy
Brewing Ingredients in Pictorial
Better Beer starts with your Water!
Snap Shots of the Free-version of Bru'n Water
In addition to a useful water tool, Bru'n Water provides a substantial tutorial on brewing water chemistry and treatment. This program helps brewers to not only adjust their brewing water, but to understand why they're doing it. The images below show the various screens users will see in Bru'n Water. A brief summary of how to download and launch the program is also presented.
Download the Excel spreadsheet, Bru'n Water, from the File Download page. The link to the File Download page is at the bottom of this web page.
The program uses Macros to power the drop-down lists. A standard MS Excel warning regarding macros may pop-up when trying to select the drop down boxes if the macros have not been enabled. The user can review the spreadsheet to assure themselves that the program will be useful before enabling the macros, but to enjoy the full utility of the program, utilities will have to be enabled. Mac computers don't use macros and Excel for Macs invites the user to remove the macros. The program will still work properly on the Mac but probably can't be shared with a PC after that. The program has been reviewed on LibreOffice software and seems to work acceptably. The formatting of text and layout may be altered when using LibreOffice, but the functionality should be maintained.
Users should first adjust the ZOOM setting under the View Tab of either Excel, or LibreOffice so that the size of the work area is maximized to the User's computer screen. Text in some of the cells within the program may be improperly displayed if the ZOOM setting is too small.
Bru'n Water helps a brewer decipher what characteristics the brewing water should have and how to create them. The program is set up with multiple calculation sheets that help organize the brewer's progress through the water analysis and adjustment.
The first step is to evaluate your water supply. The screen shot shown below is the Water Report Input where the brewer enters their water quality data. The Blue cells are where data are entered, Pink cells are Selection boxes, and the Yellow cells are where results are reported. The Water Report Input sheet helps the brewer analyze their water report and evaluate if the water report has errors. Basic results such as the ion balance and alkalinity are also presented. To aid the brewer, some cells throughout the program change their color to help indicate when good or bad results are calculated.
After entering their water supply data, the brewer can then calculate the amount of acid needed to bring their sparging water down to a proper pH. The calculator includes the ability to utilize a variety of acids and strengths so that the proper acid quantity can be estimated. The screen shot below shows the input and output format for the Sparge Water Acidification Calculator. Drop-down boxes provide easy selection of acid type and strength. If the Brewer's water supply is fairly consistent and does not change over time, the Brewer should not have to revisit these first 2 sheets for subsequent brewing sessions.
The Water Profile Adjustment Calculator provides a comprehensive analysis and adjustment tool that is useful for determining the mineral and acid additions needed to produce a targeted brewing water profile. This sheet includes a comprehensive listing of accurate water profiles from historic brewing centers around the world as well as recommended water profiles that are generally based on beer color or style. A variety of mineral and acid additions and water dilution tools are available on the sheet to enable fine tuning of the Brewer's water source to a desired water profile.
Many brewing water calculators provide the utility of the Water Profile Adjustment Calculator above, but few offer the ability to evaluate the performance of that adjusted water with the brewer's actual mashing grist.
The Mash Acidification Calculator allows the Brewer to assess their proposed brewing grist along with important mashing parameters to more accurately predict the total acidity produced by the mash grist and contrast it with the brewing water's alkalinity to more accurately estimate the mash pH. When the predicted mash pH falls outside the brewer's desired range, the brewing water can be readjusted using the Water Profile Adjustment Calculator to bring the pH into the desired range prior to brewing. While the pH prediction is not perfect, it does produce results that are within 0.2 units of the actual mash pH (@ room-temperature). With the developer's ongoing calibration program and assistance from brewers around the world, the pH prediction could be within 0.1 units.
To provide a sheet that the brewer can print for handy reference of water additions for brewing, an Adjustment Summary sheet is included to bring together all the information developed in the rest of the program. The sheet also includes a chart showing how their adjusted brewing water compares to historic brewing water profiles. A screen shot of that Summary sheet is presented below.
The development of Bru'n Water has included thousands of hours of work by the Author and brewers around the world. We hope you will enjoy the fruits of this labor and use the program to help you create better beer. Your comments and recommendations for improvements are welcome.
Although Bru'n Water is freeware, to assist the team in continuing the improvement of this program and to indicate your approval and support, donations through PayPal are welcome. A few dollars are welcome from those that find this program and water knowledge useful. Use the email address firstname.lastname@example.org to forward comments about the program and to direct donations to the development team. For those with a PayPal account, a link to PayPal is provided at the Support Bru'n Water link below. Use the SEND MONEY tool and select the PERSONAL tab to direct a GIFT amount to the developers. The size of your gift is your discretion.
Go to: File Download page
Enjoy and Prost!