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Old 04-13-2012, 02:29 PM   #1
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Default Going to LHBS, what salts/minerals should I get

I have a friend who is driving through St. Paul this weekend and is going to stop at Northern Brewer for me. What salts/minerals for adjusting water do you guys keep on hand? I know it would help if you knew what my water profile is but I haven't received it back from Ward labs yet.

Right now I have him getting Calcium Chloride for my next Pilsner (with RO water). Should I have him get anything else while he's there? Or is it pointless without my water analysis back? It's just that the minerals and salts are so cheap.

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Old 04-13-2012, 02:34 PM   #2
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I use gypsum on most hoppy beers. They are pretty cheap so maybe you could include it also. The water report would obviously help.

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Old 04-13-2012, 02:35 PM   #3
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  • Calcium Chloride
  • Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate)
  • Chalk (Calcium Carbonate)
  • Lactic Acid (to acidify mash)
I use those 4 exclusively.

But I'm on Chicago water, very soft from Lake Michigan. If using WI well water, I'd expect it to be much harder. Chalk (CaCO3) is probably unnecessary.

EDIT: What he said below. He's smart.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:09 PM   #4
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I can give a +3/4 to Ty, but I don't recommend chalk. Its too inconsistent for adding alkalinity unless you're going to the extra step of dissolving it with CO2. Pickling Lime is preferrable to chalk for alkalinity addition, but it is pretty potent stuff and needs careful measurement and dosing. Pickling Lime probably won't be stocked at the LHBS but might be at the grocery store in the home canning section. If brewing with low alkalinity water, then equipping yourself with pickling lime is a good step if you plan on brewing good dark beers. If you brew with high alkalinity water, you don't need to worry about adding alkalinity. Then you need to be ready with an acid. Lactic acid works great if the alkalinity isn't too high. If it is very high, then going to a more flavor neutral phosphoric acid is recommended.

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Old 04-13-2012, 03:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TyTanium View Post
[LIST]
If using WI well water, I'd expect it to be much harder.
Oh golly man, you tink everyone here up nort here gets der water from da well? We do have sum' cities her in Wisconsn', doncha know.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:17 PM   #6
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Haha, yeah, I'm from WI and jealous of all the well water. I'm stuck with Chicago city water (which really isn't bad at all).

You on city water? If so, also pick up some campden (sodium / potassium metabisulfite) to remove chlorine / chloramines.

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Old 04-13-2012, 03:31 PM   #7
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Haha, yeah, I'm from WI and jealous of all the well water. I'm stuck with Chicago city water (which really isn't bad at all).

You on city water? If so, also pick up some campden (sodium / potassium metabisulfite) to remove chlorine / chloramines.
Yeah, I'm on city water. I've got a handful of campden tablets, that I use every time. Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:39 PM   #8
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I get my pickling lime from walmart.

Pat

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