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Old 06-24-2013, 09:05 PM   #1
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Default How do I increase my Na levels?

I am trying to brew a Hefeweizen and have found my Na level of 1ppm in my otherwise acceptable finished water profile (below) seems low. Is it really as simple as adding some table salt (NaCl) or would that throw my Chloride levels out of whack?

This is one of the only profiles I cannot seem to get correctly so any input is very much appreciated.

Thanks!

Starting Water (ppm):
Ca: 25.5
Mg: 7.56
Na: 4.74
Cl: 9
SO4: 31.2
CaCO3: 79

Mash / Sparge Vol (gal): 5.478 / 7.39
RO or distilled %: 100% / 50%

Total Grain (lb): 16.0

Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:
CaSO4: 0 / 0
CaCl2: 1 / 0
MgSO4: 1 / 0
NaHCO3: 0 / 0
CaCO3: 0 / 0
Lactic Acid (ml): 0
Sauermalz (oz): 7

Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 13 / 13
Mg: 4 / 4
Na: 0 / 1
Cl: 23 / 12
SO4: 19 / 17
Cl to SO4 Ratio: 1.24 / 0.74

Alkalinity (CaCO3): -266
RA: -278
Estimated pH: 5.62
(room temp)

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Old 06-25-2013, 02:36 AM   #2
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Sure you can simply add salt to your beer, but IMHO salt is one of the worst possible flavors in beer. Gives a warm rounded taste that is truly awful. You'd have to point me to a real expert or technical reference before I'd believe that ANY salt could help a beer. Maybe very small amounts, but I'm skeptical.

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Old 06-25-2013, 03:12 AM   #3
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I don't think you want to add table salt. It is usually iodized, and iodine doesn't seem like something you want in your beer. If you really want to add sodium get some sea salt, which shouldn't have iodine.

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Old 06-25-2013, 12:35 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice, I was actually going to get canning salt but now I am wondering if it is really necessary. I know too much salt is not good but 'just enough' does enhance flavors.

If I didn't add any canning salt, would a Na level of 1 really degrade the flavor of the Centennial Blonde I am making?

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Old 06-25-2013, 01:03 PM   #5
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Is the "starting water" listed above your tap water? Looks pretty darn good to me! I don't see much reason to use 50% or 100% RO if you have that. But honestly I can't figure out exactly what you're doing.

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Old 06-25-2013, 01:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedYellow View Post
Is the "starting water" listed above you tap water? Looks pretty darn good to me! I don't see much reason to use 100% RO if you have that.
I read that getting the cholride and sulfate levels down is key for brewing a Hefeweizen so I had to add distilled water to do that. My tap water isn't bad, its just not the best for this type of beer.
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:14 PM   #7
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So your plan is to reduce Cl, SO4, and just accept the minimal Calcium (13) that results from that strategy? I'm not so sure that's a great idea, since it's recommended to keep Ca at least 30 or so, and at least 50 if possible.

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Old 06-25-2013, 01:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedYellow View Post
So your plan is to reduce Cl, SO4, and just accept the minimal Calcium (13) that results from that strategy? I'm not so sure that's a great idea, since it's recommended to keep Ca at least 30 or so, and at least 50 if possible.
I was looking at the Pilsen style in BruWater and it had its Calcium levels at 7ppm so I hadn't thought that was an issue. Increasing Calcium would be fine but my options are adding CaSo4 and/or CaCl2 so that just makes my So4 and Cl ppm increase.

I have never had an issue getting close to my desired profile like this so I am happy for any feedback, I have made a similar Hefe with my existing water and the following water profile and it came out 'so so' this is why I wanted to try lowering these amounts.

Previous Hefeweizen that was OK:
Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 81 / 81
Mg: 11 / 11
Na: 2 / 2
Cl: 96 / 96
SO4: 87 / 87
Cl to SO4 Ratio: 1.10 / 1.10
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:24 PM   #9
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Cl of 96 and SO4 of 87 looks high for a Hefe, and surely some of the experts will chime in. I'd definitely expect your plain tap water to be better than that. And I wouldn't worry about the Cl/SO4 ratio for your tap water either since both levels are pretty low.

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Old 06-25-2013, 02:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barhoc11 View Post
I was looking at the Pilsen style in BruWater and it had its Calcium levels at 7ppm so I hadn't thought that was an issue. Increasing Calcium would be fine but my options are adding CaSo4 and/or CaCl2 so that just makes my So4 and Cl ppm increase.

I have never had an issue getting close to my desired profile like this so I am happy for any feedback, I have made a similar Hefe with my existing water and the following water profile and it came out 'so so' this is why I wanted to try lowering these amounts.

Previous Hefeweizen that was OK:
Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 81 / 81
Mg: 11 / 11
Na: 2 / 2
Cl: 96 / 96
SO4: 87 / 87
Cl to SO4 Ratio: 1.10 / 1.10
Not bad, but I'd dilute that water with some RO water to reduced the S04. Ignore the Cl to S04 ratio.

Keep the ca at 50 ppm or thereabouts, target a mash pH of 5.3-5.5 (room temperature) and don't add epsom salts.
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