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Old 10-21-2011, 01:33 AM   #1
MilesLong
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Default Spring water for Stout

I have a question about brewing water for a stout. I have been using bottled spring water(Deer Park).

I assume this would be considered fairly "soft" from the published report...

http://www.nestle-watersna.com/pdf/dp_bwqr.pdf

from Yoopers primer -

Baseline: Add 1 tsp of calcium chloride dihydrate (what your LHBS sells) to each 5 gallons of water treated. Add 2% sauermalz to the grist.

For beers that use roast malt (Stout, porter): Skip the sauermalz.

The Calcium chloride is too lower the PH, I am assuming the darker roasted barley is unmalted and increases the mash PH?
So, my question is would simply adding a tsp of Calcium Chloride to the water provide a detectable improvement over just the bottled spring?

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Old 10-21-2011, 01:39 PM   #2
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I'd want to have a PH meter to check the numbers before adding anything.

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Old 10-21-2011, 01:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesLong View Post
The Calcium chloride is too lower the PH,
The calcium chloride is really there to provide calcium for the yeast and chloride to smooth the beer. While it is true that the calcium does lower the pH a bit its contribution to this is small compared to that of the roasted barley.

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I am assuming the darker roasted barley is unmalted and increases the mash PH?
Originally it was used to lower the pH but, of course, it is now the keystone to the style and while its pH lowering properties are important it does not, in fact, by itself, lower the pH as far as we usually like even in very low alkalinity water. Nevertheless, the pH realized in moderately alkaline water is usually low enough to result in a good beer. Using sauemalz in a stout just doesn't seem right to me though if you really want to hit mash pH of 5.4 you might need some.



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So, my question is would simply adding a tsp of Calcium Chloride to the water provide a detectable improvement over just the bottled spring?
The only way to know the answer to that is to brew the beer with and without the addition and compare. The bottled spring water is fairly variable (bicarb ranging from 0 - 150 mg/L, calcium from 1 - 44) so you would have to be sure you were doing the experiment with the same water in each case. With 0 bicarb and 0 calcium the supplement would be necessary - that is soft water. With 44 mg/L calcium and 150 mg/L it would not and the water would not be considered soft.
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:48 PM   #4
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from Yoopers primer -
Just a quick note here to point out that while I stickied the post, AJ Delange wrote the entire article in the primer. I'm a water chemistry moron- he is the expert.
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Old 10-22-2011, 03:24 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies,
AJ, that is exceptional feedback.

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Old 10-26-2011, 03:37 AM   #6
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AJ,

How would you recommend to proceed if roasted grains are added at the end of mash? What do you think of this technique? If the mash was adjusted for proper pH by acidification, would the roasted grain addition at the end depress the pH too much for the finished beer? What would be an ideal boil pH and how would you recommend to adjust it? Ca(OH)2?

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Old 10-26-2011, 01:08 PM   #7
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Reserving the more acidic dark grains and crystal grains for addition at the end of the mash is an acceptable alternative to creating a too acidic mash. There are many brewers that do reserve some or all of these grains from the main mash. It can produce very good beer too.

Pickling lime is an acceptable control measure for mash pH control, but it must be handled and dosed very carefully.

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Old 10-26-2011, 07:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangehero View Post

How would you recommend to proceed if roasted grains are added at the end of mash? What do you think of this technique? If the mash was adjusted for proper pH by acidification, would the roasted grain addition at the end depress the pH too much for the finished beer?
If you reach the proper mash pH the pH's for the rest of the process generally fall in line though some brewers add acid to the kettle to get kettle pH down into the 5.0 < pH < 5.2 range. I suppose it follows then that if you get mash pH correct and then add additional acid that the pH will go lower than it would if you just used the dark malt as a source of acid. So I question as to why someone would want to do that. I've seen it talked of before and always interpreted it as a desperation measure for those who have no control over mash pH or who want to use inordinate amounts of dark/black malts in their beers. Dark beers are not, AFAIK, traditionally made that way.

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What would be an ideal boil pH and how would you recommend to adjust it? Ca(OH)2?
I've always seen the range I mentioned earlier. It is usually necessary to add acid to obtain this range though apparently some lowering can be obtained with calcium salts (excluding, of course, the carbonate and hydroxide whose alkalinity more than offsets and pH lowering effect of the calcium). I'm not speaking from experience here. I find that a properly managed mash pH always leads to reasonable kettle, fermentor and beer pH but I do know that some commercial operators do add acid to the kettle.
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