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Old 11-11-2009, 08:48 PM   #1
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Default Sodium Bisulfate

So I went looking for salts to use in my brewing and picked up some Epsom Salts and some Hydrochloric Acid. I ended up at the Pool Store and bemoaned the fact that nobody carries anything less than 1 gallon jugs of HCL. The store guy asked what I was using it for, and when I told him, he said he has some stuff to reduce the PH in pool water. Sodium BiSulfate.

I wasn't about to just buy it and try it, but when I got home I looked it up and Wiki has this to say:

Sodium bisulfate is used primarily to lower pH. For technical grade applications it is used in metal finishing, cleaning products, and to lower the pH of water for effective chlorination, including swimming pools. Sodium bisulfate is also AAFCO approved as a general use feed additive, including companion animal food. It is used as a urine acidifier to reduce urinary stones in cats. Sodium bisulfate is considered GRAS by FDA and meets their definition of a natural product. The food grade product meets the requirements set out in the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC). It is denoted by E number E514ii in the EU. Food Grade sodium bisulfate is used in a variety of food products, including beverages, dressings, sauces, and fillings. It is also widely used in meat and poultry processing and most recently in browning prevention of fresh cut produce.

So I wondered if anyone knows about this. It didn't come up in my research of common additives, but seems safe based on the little looking that I did online. The bottle that the guy had in the store said 100% Sodium Bisulfate.

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Old 11-11-2009, 08:58 PM   #2
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you can also use starsan for mash pH adjustment... might consider that.

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Old 11-11-2009, 09:21 PM   #3
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But do you want sodium (Na) and SO4 in your mash?

Besides the pH adjustment use, consider that you are adding minerals that are contained in the acid you choose.

Phosphoric acid is a common brew adjustment acid, but HCl adds chlorine, and helps the Cl/SO4 ratio, so, for me, HCl is where I am headed (when I can brew again).

Phos is readily available in a 10% solution in some large online HBS's.

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Old 11-11-2009, 09:39 PM   #4
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I'll probably end up collecting all different kinds of salts. My reason for posting was to entice discussion of the pros and cons of this relatively unknown salt.

My SO4 is pretty low, so I could add CaSO4, but if I want to keep the RA down, the Ca is not helping. I could use MgSO4, but my Mg is already pretty high. It just seemed like a good choice to get Sulfate and lower RA without adding Magnesium.

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Old 11-11-2009, 09:44 PM   #5
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Yeah, even though you add very little of an acid to amend the pH, the basic chemicals contained in them make them contribute, sometimes detrimentally, to the desired overall mineral levels.

z987k, thanks for catching that-I'm supposed to be sleeping but can't and ain't thinking too good.

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Old 11-13-2009, 04:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
I'll probably end up collecting all different kinds of salts. My reason for posting was to entice discussion of the pros and cons of this relatively unknown salt.

My SO4 is pretty low, so I could add CaSO4, but if I want to keep the RA down, the Ca is not helping. I could use MgSO4, but my Mg is already pretty high. It just seemed like a good choice to get Sulfate and lower RA without adding Magnesium.
If you want to keep the RA down, Ca would help...
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Old 11-13-2009, 05:10 AM   #7
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Homercidal,

Be especially careful in the storage of the muriatic acid in relation to the epsom salts. If they mix together, it will evolve large volumes of hydrogen sulfide gas which can kill you. Japanese teens were doing this last year as a popular method of suicide.

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Old 11-13-2009, 12:38 PM   #8
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If you want to keep the RA down, Ca would help...

Ah, you are right. I must have been thinking of the CaCO3 which raises it. Anyway, I'm still curious to find out if this stuff could be useful or at least not dangerous. I'm no chemist. It just seems like there is a product for adjusting just about everything in just about any combination. This "looks" like it would add some sodium and sulfate.

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Homercidal,

Be especially careful in the storage of the muriatic acid in relation to the epsom salts. If they mix together, it will evolve large volumes of hydrogen sulfide gas which can kill you. Japanese teens were doing this last year as a popular method of suicide.
The HCL stays in the garage, the epsom salts probably will stay in the bathroom cabinet. Good point though.
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