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Old 02-14-2009, 11:28 PM   #1
sdbrew1024
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Default Adding chemicals to water

Yesterday I tried adjusting my water to match the beer I was making. To do this I used a mix of distilled water and local tap water, and added chemicals to the water before I started my mash. I used beersmith to calculate what to add to the water. My problem was that most of the chemicals that I added didn't dissolve in the water, they just sunk to the bottom of the pot! What am I doing wrong here?

Second, I have read here that it is a good idea to use filtered water, as a brita filter will remove chlorine compounds. Does using filtered water change the levels of any important brewing chemicals?

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Old 02-15-2009, 01:14 AM   #2
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What chemicals did you put in the water? Calicium sulphate (gypsum) will partially dissolve and calcium carbonate will not dissolve at all in cold water. Adding brewing salts to the mash and/or the brew kettle is a better way to get them incorporated. Basic filtering is not going to remove dissolved ions in water AFAIK, only particulate matter and chlorination if the water was treated with elemental chlorine but not chloramines*.

*not 100% sure on the chloramines

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Old 02-15-2009, 02:52 AM   #3
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Adding the chemicals to the mash makes sense, rather than while i'm heating the water, however I was under the impression that proper water will aid in conversion during the mash as well, so adding them to the boil would be too late, is that incorrect?

Another question I have is assuming I have built up my target water via these chemical additions how much do I need to worry about PH, and should I still use a product like 5 Star 5.2 PH stabilizer?

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Old 02-15-2009, 03:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdbrew1024 View Post
Adding the chemicals to the mash makes sense, rather than while i'm heating the water, however I was under the impression that proper water will aid in conversion during the mash as well, so adding them to the boil would be too late, is that incorrect?

Another question I have is assuming I have built up my target water via these chemical additions how much do I need to worry about PH, and should I still use a product like 5 Star 5.2 PH stabilizer?
You can add to the boil but not exclusively. The mash mixture of grain and water should have the required brewing water ions to insure good conversion and runoff. Mash pH (small p, big H ) should take care of itself if the brewing water is balanced for the beer.
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Old 02-15-2009, 03:46 AM   #5
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Even if they don't dissolve in the water, they will remain in suspension long enough for you to get them into the mash tun if you stir them up shortly before transferring the water to the mash tun. I prefer this method as this will ensure a very even distribution of the salts. The latter may be difficult to accomplish if your mash is rather thick.

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