New Giveaway - Wort Monster Conical Fermeneter!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Distilled with minerals same as Tap Water?




Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-14-2013, 03:34 AM   #11
ajdelange
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 5,199
Liked 452 Times on 371 Posts
Likes Given: 13

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnyboy1012 View Post
Also, how do you guys feel about adding salt to the boil? London water profile has sodium at 100ppm via Ray Daniels book Designing Great Beers and he recommends adding some salt to the boil. Suggestions?
I'm very much for it if it improves the beer and very much against it if it doesn't. The difficulty in answering here is that 'improves' is a subjective impression of the drinker. Soup is improved, in most peoples opinions, by the addition of salt but the amount they think should be added differs. That's why the shaker is on the table. Now there are those who will tell you that adding salt is an insult to the chef - that he knows better than you how much salt you like. That's one viewpoint. Another is that it is a matter of personal taste. Here we are talking about salt salt i.e. sodium chloride but similar comments apply to the other salts as well.

Clearly you can add salt to finished beer and when I was younger there were salt shakers on all bars for exactly this purpose. But it's not so usual to see people salting their beer these days and you are taking upon yourself the role of the chef in the fancy restaurants where they do not put salt on the table under the assumption that setting its level is the chef's job (as the proprietor of one establishment I used to patronize frequently would remind me if he ever saw me reach for the salt). I think the answer must be determined by experiment. You need to brew the beer with different levels as decide what level gives you the best beer. As with the other salts you can experiment in the glass and then apply the results when brewing.

Another aspect relates to the definition of 'improves' which can mean several things. There is only one thing it means in the opinion of a commercial operator and that is that the beer sells better and as a home brewer it sort of means the same thing which is, effectively, that it pleases your 'customers' more. Your main customer may be you in which case all you have to do is adjust until it tastes best to you. But your customers may be your spouse, her mother or a panel of unknown beer judges in which sense 'improves' means 'wins more competitions'.

So I've turned a relatively simple question into a rather complicated one. Such is the nature of brewing (and, of course, many other things).


__________________
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2013, 12:30 PM   #12
mabrungard
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Carmel, IN
Posts: 2,504
Liked 157 Times on 135 Posts
Likes Given: 24

Default

While AJ and I were assisting John Palmer with the water book, John conducted a rudimentary assessment of sodium in beer by dosing a commercial beer with salt. His conclusion was that it can be beneficial to flavor even at a dose that I consider excessive (150 ppm). Daniel's recommendation of 100 ppm is much more tolerable in my opinion.

My feeling is that the sodium concentration is best limited to a more moderate level than 100 ppm due to the potential for antagonistic flavor interaction from other ions. You can get away with higher sodium, but just be careful.

Looking at the data from historic brewing cities, most have very modest sodium levels that are typically less than 50 ppm. In the case of London, it is a large city that draws water from a number of sources. The city is in the tidal plain and it is possible to get salt-water intrusion in wells in those lowlands if you pump them hard enough. So 100 ppm or more could be seen in some areas. So it's not unreasonable to assume that a London profile might contain high sodium.

As AJ points out above, if the sodium improves the beer flavor, then do it. I do recommend modest sodium levels in the Bru'n Water profiles. I think it does add a sweetness and roundness when dosed at modest levels. Don't be afraid to try higher levels, but be aware of that potential for interaction at high sodium level.



__________________

Martin B
Carmel, IN
BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook for occasional discussions on brewing water and Bru'n Water

mabrungard is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2013, 03:00 PM   #13
ajdelange
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 5,199
Liked 452 Times on 371 Posts
Likes Given: 13

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
.... John Palmer ... water book...conclusion was that it can be beneficial to flavor even at a dose that I consider excessive (150 ppm). Daniel's recommendation of 100 ppm is much more tolerable in my opinion.
This speaks volumes. Three workers/authors; 3 opinions. This only reinforces my assertion that it is a matter of personal preference which was the theme of my last post.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
As AJ points out above, if the sodium improves the beer flavor, then do it. I do recommend modest sodium levels in the Bru'n Water profiles. I think it does add a sweetness and roundness when dosed at modest levels.
I'm pretty sure, but of course cannot prove, that it is the chloride ion that provides the roundness, sweetness and body. A pretty convincing argument for this is that adding calcium chloride gives these effects as does adding sodium chloride. For example, I don't have any sodium (other than whatever sneaks through the RO membrane) in my brewing liquor but I do use calcium chloride and get more or less of those effects depending on how much I use.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
Don't be afraid to try higher levels, but be aware of that potential for interaction at high sodium level.
The obvious problem with excess NaCl is that the beer will begin to taste salty in the sense one usually thinks of as salty. If one uses high levels of calcium chloride then the beer gets salty too but it is a different kind of salty. More minerally than sharp/sour. Of course anyone who wants to explore this can easily do so by taking a neutral beer and adding varying amounts of calcium chloride and sodium chloride during tasting.
__________________
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2013, 10:09 PM   #14
Johnnyboy1012
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Hackensack, NJ
Posts: 152
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Excellent info guys! Thank you for your help on this matter. I will have to experiment and find out what I like best. What do you think about adding baking soda to increase sodium levels? That way you can keep chloride under 100ppm, sulfates low so they do not create a harsh bitterness, and calcium at about 50ppm. All of this of course if the recipe and mash pH dictates the need for it. Would adding two minerals that raise mash pH and one that lowers mash pH be harmful? For example, adding gypsum, calcium chloride, and baking soda to the mash. Just thinking out loud here about how to hit the proper mash pH and get all the flavor minerals in the mash.

I can't wait for the water book. You guys are the rock stars of the brewing water world.

__________________
Johnnyboy1012 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-15-2013, 01:33 AM   #15
mabrungard
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Carmel, IN
Posts: 2,504
Liked 157 Times on 135 Posts
Likes Given: 24

Default

Don't add baking soda unless your mash pH is too low. Its a poor way to add sodium unless you also need that bicarbonate to raise mash pH.



__________________

Martin B
Carmel, IN
BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook for occasional discussions on brewing water and Bru'n Water

mabrungard is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Water Quality minerals Grady1346 Brew Science 3 03-22-2011 12:44 AM
Five Star 5.2 and water minerals aggieactuary All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 39 02-12-2011 04:58 PM
Source for Water Minerals nealperkins Brew Science 4 04-08-2010 12:41 AM
Minerals, water, and extract neuron555 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 2 01-22-2010 07:53 PM
Adjusting Minerals in Water? Johnny5 General Techniques 3 06-29-2007 10:02 PM