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Old 05-24-2011, 06:10 PM   #1
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Default Kosher salt?

Hello, I am dipping my smelly toes into adjusting my water, and let me tell you, for someone who last took chemistry many, many moons ago it has been a struggle.

I dumped my recipe into the EZ water calculator for the AHS Anniversary Blonde I plan on brewing this weekend. The values it spits out at me are Calcium 101, Magnesium 18, Sodium 10, Chloride 25, Sulfate 31, Chloride to Sulfate ratio .81 and PH 5.51. Since my last two beers have been a bit more bitter than I like, I would like to raise the Chloride to Sulfate ratio a bit. On the easy water calculator, it allows for adjustments using non iodized salt, which would allow me to raise my ratio to 1.0 without affecting anything else.

So after that set up, the question is can I just use kosher salt to make that adjustment or do I need to drive to the LHBS?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 05-24-2011, 07:01 PM   #2
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Any non iodized salt (such as Kosher salt) will do. Iodine is poisonous to yeast.

If you want to reduce harsh hops reduce the sulfate rather than increasing the chloride. The idea that the ratio controls this is obviously absurd at very high and very lows levels and, therefore IMO, suspect elsewhere as well.

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Old 05-24-2011, 08:02 PM   #3
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Thanks, I appreciate it. As far as lowering the sulfates, I am getting a value of 31 on the water calculator which is below the recommended range - are you saying drop it further? If so, how?

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Old 05-24-2011, 08:20 PM   #4
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You didn't mention whether you are adding any salts or not in order to obtain the ion profile you listed. If you are, just reduce the amounts of calcium sulfate (gypsum) or magnesium sulfate (epsom salts). If the 31 ppm sulfate is that of your untreated water then the easiest way to reduce it is to dilute your water with low ion (DI, RO) water. Diluting 1 part source water with 1 part DI water cuts all ion concentrations in half. One part source and 2 parts DI water cuts things to 1/3 etc.

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Old 05-24-2011, 11:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFP51 View Post
Since my last two beers have been a bit more bitter than I like, I would like to raise the Chloride to Sulfate ratio a bit.
I like tinkering with water as much as the next guy, but when you only have a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail.

If I made a beer and I thought it was too bitter, I would use less bittering hops the next time.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:03 AM   #6
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Make sure you measure by weight. Different salts have wildly different densities, so a teaspoon of kosher(ing) salt is nowhere near as heavy as a teaspoon of table salt, for instance. All experts I've seen state to keep sodium levels fairly low. Meaning, if you have to add too much salt to get the chloride levels where you need them, I'd start by diluting with distilled/RO water as others have suggested.

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Old 05-25-2011, 03:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remilard View Post
I like tinkering with water as much as the next guy, but when you only have a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail.

If I made a beer and I thought it was too bitter, I would use less bittering hops the next time.
Yeah, ain't that a fact. I figured I would try to adjust the water this time since I have a kit and then work the recipe
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuldTuborg View Post
Make sure you measure by weight. Different salts have wildly different densities, so a teaspoon of kosher(ing) salt is nowhere near as heavy as a teaspoon of table salt, for instance. All experts I've seen state to keep sodium levels fairly low. Meaning, if you have to add too much salt to get the chloride levels where you need them, I'd start by diluting with distilled/RO water as others have suggested.
I am talking about adding a gram or less, which I assume is not too much.

Thanks for the reply
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
You didn't mention whether you are adding any salts or not in order to obtain the ion profile you listed. If you are, just reduce the amounts of calcium sulfate (gypsum) or magnesium sulfate (epsom salts). If the 31 ppm sulfate is that of your untreated water then the easiest way to reduce it is to dilute your water with low ion (DI, RO) water. Diluting 1 part source water with 1 part DI water cuts all ion concentrations in half. One part source and 2 parts DI water cuts things to 1/3 etc.
Nope, no adjustments at all other than maybe adding the kosher salt
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:46 PM   #10
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I'm with the rest here. If your mineral content isn't too low on the important things, then consider diluting with DI/RO and adjusting back from that (or not adjusting).

If your beer was too bitter, like remilard says, then maybe you actually just have to reduce the bittering hops.

OR, give it a few weeks. I know that bitterness will drop a fair amount in the few weeks after it should be ready.

But if you want to play with water more (I suggest you keep up on it) then you don't need a chemistry degree to make it work. Just keep reading and listening to podcasts (Like Kai's on BasicBrewing.com) and it will sink in. Then you can make adjustments easier and really don't have to understand the actual ions from this and that.

And I tried the EZ water spreasheet and found the more I learned, the less I liked it. I am currently using the Bru'nWater spreadsheet and like it a lot. I think it works more like my mind works and can really give some good information.

I think it might be more helpful to adjust water for pH than for RA and CL/SO4 ratio. once you have the pH, then maybe tweak the CL/SO4 ratio. It can help to take pH samples at different stages to see what's going on.

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