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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > When to add water additions
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:33 PM   #1
sauerj67
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Default When to add water additions

Good morning everyone
Well I am very happy this morning to be still alive, meaning the world did not come to an end, and I have a brew day planned for today. My question is about water additions, this will be my first all grain batch I am adjusting my water and I was wondering if it is OK to treat all of my water that I am going to use(12gal) or do I treat just the mash water, or just the sparge water?

Thanks and have a great day
WE'RE ALIVE!!!! HAHAHA

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Old 12-21-2012, 02:47 PM   #2
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treatment for chlorine/chloramine may need to be done a day in advance

But for salts I think it's fine to treat all your water or even add them all to the mash.

This is your first AG, don't over-think it too much.

Kai

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Old 12-21-2012, 03:01 PM   #3
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Thanks Kaiser
I have been doing all grain for about 5 years now, so it isn't my first, it is just the first one I have started playing with the water.
What about the chalk addition?
My additions are:
6g of Epsom Salt
8g of Baking soda
9g of Chalk
this is all calculated for 12 gallons of water based on the water report I got of my water tested.

Thanks

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Old 12-21-2012, 03:26 PM   #4
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What treatment you do and when you do it depends on what is convenient for you. If you find it convenient to treat the whole volume of water at one time treat it all at one time. If your treatment vessel is too small to hold the whole volume treat it in increments. One trick I talk about often is to measure out all the salts needed for the entire volume and dissolve them in a convenient small volume of water. If you treat 2/3 the water for mashing add 2/3 the solution to the mash water. Etc.

This won't work with chalk because chalk does not dissolve in water but then you shouldn't be adding chalk to your water/mash anyway (except under unusual circumstances). Nor should you be adding baking soda in most cases. Unless you are brewing something with lots and lots of black malt and/or high color crystal 9g of chalk and 8 g of baking soda in 12 gal of water will doubtless have a prominent negative effect on the beer.

As for chlorine/chloramine treatment: that can be done instantaneously by adding a crushed Campden tablet to the water (see Sticky). If the water is chlorinated only (no chloramine) it can be adequately treated by heating in the HLT (with some aeration) or by being allowed to stand over night. Can't smell chlorine? It's gone.

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Old 12-21-2012, 03:29 PM   #5
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Why are you adding all those alkalinity-increasing minerals? Even for a stout, those additions seem high. One good thing is that adding the chalk won't do anything in the mash since its ineffective. But the baking soda will add alkalinity. And you don't need to add magnesium to your water unless you want the sour, bittering effect that it provides in your beer. Mg is fine for some beers, not not for all. What reference is guiding those additions?

You never add alkalinity to sparging water...NEVER. So treating all the brewing water the same is not appropriate here. I suggest that you visit the Water Knowledge page on the Bru'n Water website to learn about the limited need for alkalinity in brewing. For the most part, alkalinity is detrimental to brewing. Its only needed to the degree necessary to keep mash pH from dropping too low.

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Old 12-21-2012, 04:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sauerj67 View Post
6g of Epsom Salt
8g of Baking soda
9g of Chalk
I didn't know that you were going to add these salts. As the others said, they are either unnecessary or even undesired. AJ has a good primer about basic water treatment here http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/bre...primer-198460/ which should be all you need for your first AG.

There is also some water info here: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php...age#Ingedients

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Old 12-21-2012, 04:55 PM   #7
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How much of a negative effect are we talking here guys?

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Old 12-21-2012, 06:46 PM   #8
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That depends on a lot of things such as the ion concentration of the water you start with and the grain bill. The problem with chalk and baking soda are that they are both alkalis. That is, they neutralize acid and raise pH when in fact in most beers you need something to lower the pH to which the grist naturally want's to go. Chalk is unusually problematical in that it dissolves/reacts slowly and, because of this, is not reacted completely by the time you check mash pH. You think you are OK because you got a good meter reading but there is still quite a bit of undissolved chalk mixed in with the grain. Over the remaining half hour or hour of the mashing period it continues to dissolve and raise pH and it is even quite possible that it gets carried over into the fermenter and beer. This means higher pH than is wanted in all these steps (mash, lauter, kettle, fermenter, finished beer) and the usual effects of high mash pH are dull flavored beers. But with the chalk there is another effect which I have had described to me as 'chalky tasting' or 'tastes like Alka Seltzer.'

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Old 12-21-2012, 06:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sauerj67 View Post
How much of a negative effect are we talking here guys?
That depends on the water you are starting with and the type of beer you are brewing.

Kai
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