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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Forgot to add Campen to sparge water
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:07 PM   #1
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I mashed with RO water adding the necessary salts. I ended up sparging with 5.5 gal water that has chloramines in it. Is it worth it to add them to the boil? I don't smell any chloronation, but that might just be the FWH covering it up.

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Old 01-21-2013, 12:42 AM   #2
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Anyone?

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Old 01-21-2013, 12:50 AM   #3
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Anyone?
Sorry- I just don't know for sure. My understanding is that it won't dissipate after mashing/sparging, but I don't know my chemistry well enough to even speculate.

I think for next time, the reverse would be better- mash with treated water, and sparge with RO water. I always sparge with RO water, no matter what beer I'm making, and it gives great results!
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:52 AM   #4
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Sorry- I just don't know for sure. My understanding is that it won't dissipate after mashing/sparging, but I don't know my chemistry well enough to even speculate.

I think for next time, the reverse would be better- mash with treated water, and sparge with RO water. I always sparge with RO water, no matter what beer I'm making, and it gives great results!
I have been using treated RO (deionized) water for the mash, then tap for the sparge, since my tap has a good amount of bicarbonates in it. You're saying you would do the opposite?

I used the the treated RO for the mash since I figured that would be be the most important since the conversion process is taking place then. I have read that during the mash is where the chloramines can do the most damage.

I'm kind of looking forward to that new book release by Palmer on water. Maybe he discusses more of this.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:07 PM   #5
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As an update, beer turned out AOK.

In the future, I'd like to use straight tap water for sparging... but I would be too scared. All is not lost if you use sparge water with chloramines.

As an FYI, I batch sparge, and didn't let the sparge water sit too long.

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Old 01-24-2013, 07:06 PM   #6
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Hey BreezyBrew, Thanks for the update. I usually figure no news is good news, but it’s better to know.

I wouldn’t count on being lucky with the chloramine. It’s my understanding that chlorophenols are hit and miss. Also, some people are much more sensitive to phenols than others.

Mashes needs some calcium, so the tapwater would be better for that.

Definitely I would use the RO for sparge, it has to do with pH. For example, I don’t acidify my strike water and I mash at 5.4. I do acidify my sparge water, because of moderate alkalinity.

The three things to watch on sparge are
1. pH should be under 6.0
2. Gravity on the runnings should be less than 1.010
3. Sparge water should be less than 170F

If your water has a lot of bicarbonate, you could easily sparge above 6.0 and extract tannins, another kind of phenol. This is more critical for lighter beers, both because it’s more noticeable and light colored mashs are less acidic.

The quick and easy answer for that is to sparge with RO. I tried that on a whim and the difference was amazing. That got me started on the long journey to learn about water chemistry.

You might check the primer sticky on Brew Science and also read MABrungard’s ‘Water Knowledge.’ https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

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Old 01-24-2013, 11:39 PM   #7
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As Wynne points out, some people are more sensitive to chlorophenols than others. I find in my years of judging that once a judge becomes aware of that chlorophenol taste and aroma, they can't stand it in their beers.

It is still wise to perform the campden treatment for all your brewing water.

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Old 01-25-2013, 07:08 AM   #8
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I'd like to use straight tap water for sparging

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Old 01-26-2013, 01:07 PM   #9
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Thanks for all of the good information! I must have missed where the information states that sparge needs to be under 6. I do, in fact have water high in bicarbonates, which is great for stout, but not much else.

Point of clarification.... When you said you sparge with RO, you mean treated RO, right?

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Originally Posted by Wynne-R View Post

The quick and easy answer for that is to sparge with RO. I tried that on a whim and the difference was amazing.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:58 PM   #10
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No you don’t need to treat the RO sparge. That’s why it’s quick and dirty. If you suspect you may be getting some astringency it’s worth a try. No water test, no spreadsheet. I didn’t realize I had astringency before I tried this. Afterward, I could barely drink the older beers. Like Martin said, once you identify that flavor, it gets really easy to spot.

After that, you may want to get scientific. You know, water test, pH, all that.

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