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Old 06-24-2011, 03:06 AM   #11
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May I recommend Pale Ale by Terry Foster. He gives recommended water profiles for the recipes in the book. For each recipe, he recommends the required calcium, sulphate, and chloride, and I've found this informatory invaluable.
For a Special Bitter, he recommends Ca 50 - 100 ppm, S04 100 - 200 ppm, and Cl 20 ppm.
You may also need additional treatment to adjust the mash pH, but with my fairly soft water, I am fortunate. Adding some gypsum and a small amount of CaCl brings the pH within range and also matches Foster's recommendations.

-a.

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Old 06-24-2011, 03:36 AM   #12
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4 grams of gypsum is too much. Two grams (in the mash) is fine. Grain has some calcium in it. I'd not go with sulfate that high- it makes the beers taste kinda harsh and weird.

I feel like an idiot, but it seems to me you're telling me to do two opposite things.

If I add 4 grams to 9.25 gallons that's about .43 grams per gallon, so in a 2.75 gallon mash (if I treated it separately) I'd be adding 1.2 grams.

If 1.2 grams in the mash is too much, then how will adding 2 grams instead (.71 grams per gallon) going to be better?

Or am I completely misunderstanding you?
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:58 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by SqueegeeBob View Post
I feel like an idiot, but it seems to me you're telling me to do two opposite things.

If I add 4 grams to 9.25 gallons that's about .43 grams per gallon, so in a 2.75 gallon mash (if I treated it separately) I'd be adding 1.2 grams.

If 1.2 grams in the mash is too much, then how will adding 2 grams instead (.71 grams per gallon) going to be better?

Or am I completely misunderstanding you?
I'm finding that I love IPAs, APAs, and other hoppy beers. But I'm not loving high sulfate water for them. I'd add the salts to the mash to get the pH in range, and then not add any other salts. I meant two grams total, not divided up and added in the sparge water as well.

I've been sort of following ajdelange's posts on water, and I like my beer much better with far less salts.

If you want to match a profile, that's up to you of course. I'm just saying that it's not my preference.
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Old 06-24-2011, 03:47 PM   #14
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So what you're basically saying (please correct me if I'm mistaken) is that I could dilute my total volume of water with 75% distilled, and then treat my 2.75 gallons of mash water with 2 grams of gypsum, giving me a mash water profile like this:
Ca = 56
Mg = 7
Na = 40
Cl = 51
SO4 = 137
pH ~ 5.3 to 5.4 (@ room temp)

And then sparge with the other 6.5 gallons of 75% distilled (and untreated) water, giving me a combined mash + sparge water profile in the boil that looks like this:
Ca = 25
Mg = 7
Na = 40
Cl = 51
SO4 = 62

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Old 06-24-2011, 03:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SqueegeeBob View Post
So what you're basically saying (please correct me if I'm mistaken) is that I could dilute my total volume of water with 75% distilled, and then treat my 2.75 gallons of mash water with 2 grams of gypsum, giving me a mash water profile like this:
Ca = 56
Mg = 7
Na = 40
Cl = 51
SO4 = 137
pH ~ 5.3 to 5.4 (@ room temp)

And then sparge with the other 6.5 gallons of 75% distilled (and untreated) water, giving me a combined mash + sparge water profile in the boil that looks like this:
Ca = 25
Mg = 7
Na = 40
Cl = 51
SO4 = 62
Yeah, that's what I meant. But now that I see the S04 in the mash, I think it's too high! I'd rather see less S04. What happens with no gypsum?
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:48 PM   #16
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75% distilled, no additions
Ca = 13
Mg = 7
Na = 40
Cl = 51
SO4 = 30


75% distilled, 1 gram gypsum in 2.75 gallon mash
Ca = 34
Mg = 7
Na = 40
Cl = 51
SO4 = 83


75% distilled, 1 gram gypsum in 2.75 gallon mash + 6.5 gallons of 75% distilled sparge
Ca = 19
Mg = 7
Na = 40
Cl = 51
SO4 = 46

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Old 06-24-2011, 06:16 PM   #17
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One other option I am mulling around is diluting the local water with 59.4% distilled water and adding .324 grams of gypsum per gallon of water. That yields the following profile:
Ca = 40
Mg = 11
Na = 65
Cl = 82
SO4 = 97

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Old 06-24-2011, 11:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SqueegeeBob View Post
75% distilled, no additions
Ca = 13
Mg = 7
Na = 40
Cl = 51
SO4 = 30


75% distilled, 1 gram gypsum in 2.75 gallon mash
Ca = 34
Mg = 7
Na = 40
Cl = 51
SO4 = 83


75% distilled, 1 gram gypsum in 2.75 gallon mash + 6.5 gallons of 75% distilled sparge
Ca = 19
Mg = 7
Na = 40
Cl = 51
SO4 = 46
I like this last one. I'm confused because it seems like the mash profile is changing weirdly. Are we looking at JUST the mash profile here? It's weird because the middle and bottom are different, but still with 2.75 gallons for the mash and 1 gram of gypsum. I'm so confused!
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Old 06-25-2011, 12:04 AM   #19
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Right, sorry, the middle and bottom one are the same batch, the bottom set of numbers just reflects the combination of treated mash water and untreated sparge water.

In other words, the middle set is the mash, and the bottom set is the mash + sparge while ignoring any minerals gained from the grain in the mash, or if I were to treat the entire volume of water with a single gram of gypsum.

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Old 06-25-2011, 02:16 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Right, sorry, the middle and bottom one are the same batch, the bottom set of numbers just reflects the combination of treated mash water and untreated sparge water.

In other words, the middle set is the mash, and the bottom set is the mash + sparge while ignoring any minerals gained from the grain in the mash, or if I were to treat the entire volume of water with a single gram of gypsum.
Ah! Thanks for clarifying. I'd just look at the mash for now, and talk about lowering the sparge pH (with the RO or distilled water and lactic acid if needed) later. Usually, "sparge additions" are not actually in the sparge water, but instead added to the boil kettle for flavor.

I just treat my mash water to get a nice pH, and then acidify my sparge water a bit because I have very alkaline water.
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