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Old 10-29-2012, 09:42 PM   #491
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When is the ideal time to add salts to water? Dough in or to strike water? is there an ideal Ph for sparge water? I've only heard the less than 6 rule of thumb. Also to those that are more experienced, is there a pH meter that has a replaceable electrode and is one of the better money can buy? Need to buy one soon.

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Old 10-29-2012, 10:10 PM   #492
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To me it is easiest to treat the water as I load it into the HLT. I need 2 HLT's full of water for most brew days. The HLT is 35" deep when filled and so I put all the salts I need into 35 mL of solution (time 2). Dump the first 35 mL into the first HLT full and then as I add water to it during the rest of the brew add 1" of solution for each inch of water added. What is easiest for you will depend on the size of your HLT etc. You shouldn't be using chalk and as everything else is soluble it should be simpler to add it to the HLT. It's tough enough getting malt and water mixed thoroughly without having to worry about getting the salts mixed in too.

I'm sure sparge water at pH 5 will extract less phenols that sparge water at pH 6 but the general feeling is that pH 6 is adequate. You may very well not need to acidify your sparge water unless your alkalinity is appreciable.

Yes, many, even the inexpensive meters have replaceable electrodes. Often with these the cost of a new meter is $79 and the cost of a replacement electrode $69 so that's something to think about. Higher end meters always have replaceable electrodes which connect to the meter via cable and connector (traditionally BNC but fancier connectors are being used now as more smarts are being put into the probes which talk to the meters digitally).

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Old 10-31-2012, 03:41 AM   #493
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There's a saying out there about how no matter how simply something is explained, someone will get it muddled. I'm a muddler. So my question is: Are these additions cumulative? For example, for an IPA, I would add, in total, 40g Magnesium to 5 gallons of brew water. If it were not cumulative, I would add 20g.




A.J.'s Results (Starting water + Additions) for 5 gal of water (in ppm)
Calcium Magnesium Sodium Sulfate Chloride SO4/Cl2
Baseline 69 20 20 20 108 0.23
Pils, Heles, Hefes 45 20 20 20 64 0.38
Stouts, Porters 69 20 20 20 108 0.23
British / Light Ales 119 20 20 138 108 1.60
IPA, Export, Burton Ales 217 20 20 256 196 1.68

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Old 10-31-2012, 12:37 PM   #494
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The Primer does not call for any magnesium additions.

The base line is 1 tsp of calcium chloride per 5 gallons. The key words are 'deviate from the baseline'. If you are doing a British beer you can replace that with 1 tsp of gypsum or you can add 1/2 tsp each of calcium chloride and gypsum or you can add 1 tsp of each. In the first 2 cases the calcium addition level is about the same. In the latter case it doubles. For 'minerally beer' you can double chloride and/or sulfate. That's lots and lots of minerals. You should experiment around these guidelines looking for the additions that give you the beer you find best before going to 2 tsp of each. Try adding them in the glass to a less aggressively salted beer before you brew with those levels.

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Old 10-31-2012, 05:40 PM   #495
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
The Primer does not call for any magnesium additions.

The base line is 1 tsp of calcium chloride per 5 gallons. The key words are 'deviate from the baseline'. If you are doing a British beer you can replace that with 1 tsp of gypsum or you can add 1/2 tsp each of calcium chloride and gypsum or you can add 1 tsp of each. In the first 2 cases the calcium addition level is about the same. In the latter case it doubles. For 'minerally beer' you can double chloride and/or sulfate. That's lots and lots of minerals. You should experiment around these guidelines looking for the additions that give you the beer you find best before going to 2 tsp of each. Try adding them in the glass to a less aggressively salted beer before you brew with those levels.
Thank you!
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:58 AM   #496
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AJ I wanted to thank you for this primer and the continued posting to it. I do have a question. I have only brewed 6 batches (2 extract 4 AG) and used 100% RO water for all of them with no additions (used 5.2 stabilizer on 2 batches before reading here that it was a fraud so it got trashed). My finished products have all been bland and just lacking flavor and complexity that I was expecting with my brews. Would having no minerals in my water and pH less than optimal cause such blandness or should I look elsewhere? My last brew I did adjust my water per your primer and although its only 10 days in primary the flavor is much better compared to the others. (Its a porter so I omitted the sauermalz and just treated all my water per your instructions) so I wanted to thank you for the instructions.

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Old 11-03-2012, 12:24 PM   #497
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Originally Posted by TNTgill View Post
Would having no minerals in my water and pH less than optimal cause such blandness or should I look elsewhere?
Quite possibly and yes. In other words to try using the supplements suggested, including sauermalz (if required) and, if possible, check mash pH first as these are easy fixes. If the problem is solved, enjoy the beer. If not you will have to look further at things like pitch rate, oxygenation, choice of yeast strain, fermentation temperature, grist composition and the height of tides in the Red Sea.

In general I find that a minimum level of chloride and proper mash pH will 'turn on' the flavors but beer is so diverse that I can't declare that as a universal panacea.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:26 PM   #498
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Thanks again AJ, I learned on my first batch the importance of proper fermentation temps (green apple beer is not good!). I use a stir plate to start any liquid yeast and pitch dry and liquid per Mr. Malty. Oxygenation could be better as I do not yet have a stone but I usually pour from the kettle to the bucket a few times and stir until I have a good 6-8 inches of foam and fermentation usually kicks off well within 4-6 hours (had one bubbling like mad in an hour and a half). I have been using mostly kits from Midwest and 1 or 2 I found here with great reviews so grist composition should be fine. I truly think (at least hope) that my use of 100% RO water has negative impact on my beer flavors. Time will tell on the porter that I racked onto a pound of toasted coconut today and the saison I have planned for monday. Thanks again.

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Old 11-08-2012, 07:19 PM   #499
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I've been using the EZ water calc spreadsheet for a while now, and it just occurred to me that I might be using the sparge water input incorrectly. Where it asks for sparge water volume, I've been using [pre-boil volume - mash volume] to get my number. Should I be entering the total sparge water volume in the HLT instead? It would alter the ppm dilution of any sparge mineral additions, so I'm not sure which is the correct way to use that part of the spreadsheet.

I searched, and could not find an answer, so sorry if this has already been addressed.

Thanks,
TB

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Old 11-08-2012, 07:40 PM   #500
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiber_Brew View Post
I've been using the EZ water calc spreadsheet for a while now, and it just occurred to me that I might be using the sparge water input incorrectly. Where it asks for sparge water volume, I've been using [pre-boil volume - mash volume] to get my number. Should I be entering the total sparge water volume in the HLT instead? It would alter the ppm dilution of any sparge mineral additions, so I'm not sure which is the correct way to use that part of the spreadsheet.

I searched, and could not find an answer, so sorry if this has already been addressed.

Thanks,
TB
I enter the total sparge water volume as you suggested, as that is the actual water that I am adding my sparge/kettle salts to.
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