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Old 10-17-2012, 01:44 PM   #1
splashmike
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Default Need Help with Water Salt Additions

I am calculating water salt additions for an upcoming Best Bitter using the EZ Water Spreadsheet Calculator. It divides the additions into mash additions and sparge additions, but says that the sparge additions can also be added to the boil kettle in lieu of sparge water. I follow a batch sparge process.

So my question is this: first, does it matter if I add the "sparge" addition to the batch sparge or just throw that portion into the boil kettle. If it is necessary to bring the mash ph down, then I'm not sure why it would not all go into the mash as opposed to the kettle. I'm also not sure why it would not all go into the "mash" addition since I've heard that is where the ph adjustments need to be made. By the time you get to sparging, the ph level is less important.

Second question is in this case, with a bitter being brewed, I want to add some gypsum to the boil. Is this in addition to the gypsum that has already been calculated for the mash/sparge/boil additions or have I effectively taken care of it by adding gypsum to the mash/sparge/boild additions.

If I am adding additional gypsum to the boil, is there a rule of thumb as to how much?

Many thanks for guidance.

Mike

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Old 10-17-2012, 05:52 PM   #2
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I am calculating water salt additions for an upcoming Best Bitter using the EZ Water Spreadsheet Calculator. It divides the additions into mash additions and sparge additions, but says that the sparge additions can also be added to the boil kettle in lieu of sparge water. I follow a batch sparge process.

So my question is this: first, does it matter if I add the "sparge" addition to the batch sparge or just throw that portion into the boil kettle. If it is necessary to bring the mash ph down, then I'm not sure why it would not all go into the mash as opposed to the kettle. I'm also not sure why it would not all go into the "mash" addition since I've heard that is where the ph adjustments need to be made. By the time you get to sparging, the ph level is less important.

Second question is in this case, with a bitter being brewed, I want to add some gypsum to the boil. Is this in addition to the gypsum that has already been calculated for the mash/sparge/boil additions or have I effectively taken care of it by adding gypsum to the mash/sparge/boild additions.

If I am adding additional gypsum to the boil, is there a rule of thumb as to how much?

Many thanks for guidance.

Mike
Salts in general (CaCl2 & CaSO4) are not added to significantly change the pH of the mash but for adding a nominal amount of calcium for the mash & yeast and Cl & SO4 to taste. It's easy to look at what's in your water and determine for all water how much salt weight/gallon is required to get the concentrations you want. Add the mash salt quantities (salt weight/gallon * mash water volume) to the mash. Calculate the sparge salt quantities (salt weight/gallon * sparge water volume) and that can either be added to the sparge or the boil kettle.

You can also completely skip the sparge salts but what you added during the mash will be diluted. It's also possible to add all the mash & sparge salts together in the mash but I've never done that. It's also possible to add all the mash & sparge salts together in the boil if your water has Ca in it for the mash but I've never done that because of the lack of Ca in RO water. There's no 1 right answer, the easiest in my mind is to treat all the water the same for Ca, Cl & SO4 and add acid when needed for pH.

I did 4 bitters in 2011/2012 and was happiest with brewing water from RO with about 60ppm Ca, 40 ppm Cl & 100 ppm SO4. Adding 0.67 g CaSO4/gallon and 0.33 g CaCl2/gallon of brewing water to RO water will get you there.

Acid may need to be added to the mash to set the pH. Sparging should be done with low alkalinity water or with water treated with acid so the pH set in the mash doesn't rise much.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:31 PM   #3
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Great reply. Thanks. I'm assuming that as to the additional gypsum for the best bitter recipe that additional gypsum is not needed if its already part of the mash/sparge water additions.

Mike

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Old 10-17-2012, 08:52 PM   #4
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The gypsum addition in the boil kettle is ok if you're mashing/sparging with tap water and just want to increase the SO4 in the beer. That's the only way to increase SO4 in an extract batch. All grain brewers have more places to add it.

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Old 10-22-2012, 08:51 PM   #5
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DSmith, this might not be the single best post to fire this question off, but you seem knowledgable and you're here (gracias, oh interweb god, Shiva).
Is there agreement on a general chemistry or mineral quantity for brewing water? I've been wondering for a while about water additions - as I use straight tap water direct from the hose (sexy, I know). Do you feel strongly about aspiring home brewers going out and getting their water tested, then spooning salts into the mash/boil?

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Old 10-22-2012, 11:04 PM   #6
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Great reply. Thanks. I'm assuming that as to the additional gypsum for the best bitter recipe that additional gypsum is not needed if its already part of the mash/sparge water additions.

Mike
They may have suggested splitting the additions if Carbonates were involved (Chalk). To raise the hardness (carbonates) you would add to the kettle NOT the mash. You do not want to add carbonate to your mash, it will cause your pH to increase.

The Calcium additions to the mash water do help lower pH by reacting malt phytin (an organic phosphate), precipitating calcium phosphate and leaving the hydrogen ion in solution thus helping to lower pH.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:44 AM   #7
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They may have suggested splitting the additions if Carbonates were involved (Chalk). To raise the hardness (carbonates) you would add to the kettle NOT the mash.
Palmer states that chalk would have to be used in the mash because of its limited solubility. It may have something to do with the chemistry of the mash that causes it to solubilize.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:52 AM   #8
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By the time you get to sparging, the ph level is less important.
I'm not sure if this is correct. This is why people use acids in their sparge water. You want the sparge to have a PH of around 6 in order to keep the mash from drifting from its 5.2-5.6 PH range. I'm sure it would have less of an affect in batch versus fly sparging due to the time of the sparge. But if say your mash was right on or slightly above the recommended threshold and you start sparging with highly alkaline water I would imagine you'd get noticeable tannins regardless of sparge method.
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