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Old 10-10-2012, 09:34 PM   #1
triangulum33
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Default Add salts to Mash & Sparge water?

I've been modifying my water around the beer style as opposed to trying to match a certain regions water.

Should I be treating my mash AND sparge water? I have been fwiw.

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Old 10-10-2012, 10:01 PM   #2
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Short answer, yeah. It depends on your circumstance. I treat my mash water and use RO for the sparge.

Chances are, if your mash needs treatment, your sparge does too.

I understand Bru’nwater deals with that. I don’t know myself, it won’t run on Quattro Pro and my laptop is full and I don’t have room for another spreadsheet program. I got a pH meter instead of a six year newer laptop.

I love the Hemingway quote.

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Old 10-10-2012, 10:28 PM   #3
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The spreadsheet I use, EZ Water Calculator 2.0, gives adjustments for mash water and sparge water, with the instructions that the "sparge" salts are to be added to the boil, not the sparge. So why do they call 'em sparge salts? I don't know.

And for the record, I notice that your avatar doesn't match your name. Ha!

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Old 10-10-2012, 11:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frazier View Post
And for the record, I notice that your avatar doesn't match your name. Ha!
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:52 PM   #5
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It's ideal to have a pH of less than 6 or so during sparging. Higher pH's tend to extract tannins from the grain which can cause off flavors. You can add lactic acid or phosphoric acid to your sparge water to adjust the pH down if you have highly alkaline water.

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Old 10-11-2012, 01:53 AM   #6
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I feel that mashing and sparging water should generally be treated the same. The only difference is the amount of alkalinity in each water. The alkalinity in the mashing water should be keyed to the needs of the grist, while the sparging water should always have low alkalinity. In those cases where the mash water alkalinity had to be higher, I typically use pickling lime. The lime adds calcium to the mash. To achieve a similar calcium concentration in the sparging water, you would have to bump up the additions of calcium chloride and gypsum. Bru'n Water has the option of automatically adding those 2 minerals to make up for the calcium that was included in the mash water but is not allowed in the sparge water since it would increase the sparging water alkalinity. That feature increases the calcium chloride and gypsum in proportion to the mash water chemistry to keep the sulfate/chloride ratio the same in the sparging water.

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Old 04-11-2013, 05:59 PM   #7
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Martin,

I read somewhere where A.J. suggested adding the calculated salt additions for both mash and sparge water altogether when you mash in. In brunwater, the additions for mash and sparge are calculated separately. Is it suggesting adding the salts separately to the mash and then to the sparge water? I am aware that some salts will only sink to the bottom. Additionally, is it acceptable to calculate salt additions only for the mash, then using only lactic acid to my sparge water to bring the pH from 9.25 to below 6?

I have soft water with the following ions. Ca=4, Mg=2.0, Sodium=11, Alkalinity=22, sulfate=8, Chloride=5, pH=9.25.

Many thanks!

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Old 04-11-2013, 09:12 PM   #8
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In general, AJ's advice is sound for some beer styles. Any beer that needs a bit more alkalinity in the mashing water is where that advice falls apart. Then you need to treat each water component separately. A case in point is your water with its very low alkalinity. To mash the typically more acidic grist of a dark beer, this water needs more alkalinity. Since you never want elevated alkalinity in the sparging water, these components need differing treatment or additions. That is why the 'default' presentation in Bru'n Water shows separate treatment measures for the mash and sparge. Excepting for the alkalinity producing minerals, Bru'n Water does treat the mashing water and sparging water the same.

The only mineral that is not very soluble is chalk and I highly recommend avoiding its use. Lime or baking soda are better alternatives for adding alkalinity to the mash. All other minerals typically used in brewing are quite soluble. Gypsum looks like it doesn't dissolve instantly, but if you keep stirring it, it will fully dissolve.

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Old 04-11-2013, 09:27 PM   #9
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I treat my mash and sparge with lactic for pH only. I then add salts to the kettle for adjusting the Sufate:Chloride ratio.

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Old 04-14-2013, 08:38 PM   #10
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Thank you very much for the reply. I am new to brewing water chemistry and still trying to wrap my head around it. It seems from what Cluckk is suggesting, you can acidify the mash to hit certain pH then add all your mineral contributing salts in the kettle. I have always assumed that minerals are also important for enzymes activities during the mash. Or is the main goal is to get the pH into range which can be achieved through the use of acid?

I recently brewed a pale ale, I hit 5.32 versus estimated 5.4 by brun'water which was very close. But I hit 5.76 vs estimated 5.4 on my Tripel. I think it is because I use mostly pilsner malt in the grain bill with only 2% aromatic 20L. So, in the case like this where I do not want to add anymore minerals but still need to lower the mash pH further, can I just use lactic/phosphoric to lower the pH?

Many thanks again!

Existing Water Profile 4 2 11 8 5 27
Finished Water Profile 101 15 11 207 69 27
Recommended Ranges 50 to 150 5 to 30 0 to 150 0 to 350 0 to 100 as needed

Mash Parameters
Batch Volume (gal) 2.50 Hardness (ppm as CaCO3) 315 RA (ppm as CaCO3) -59
Estimated Mash pH 5.4 Alkalinity (ppm as CaCO3) 22 SO4/Cl Ratio 3.01

Additions Total Mash Water Vol (gal) 2.05 Total Sparge Water Vol (gal) 2.90
Mash Dilution Vol (gal) 0.00 Sparge Dilution Vol (gal) 0.00
Mash Water Additions Sparge Water Additions
Mineral (grams) (grams)
Gypsum (CaSO4) 2.1 2.9
Epsom Salt (MgSO4) 1.0 1.5
Canning Salt (NaCl) 0.0 0.0
Baking Soda (NaHCO3) 0.0 Not Recommended
Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) 1.0 1.5
Chalk (CaCO3) 0.0 Not Recommended
Pickling Lime (Ca(OH)2) 0.0 Not Recommended
Magnesium Chloride (MgCl2) 0.0 0.0
Acid (mL) (mL)
Lactic 88.00 % 0.0 0.4

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