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Old 05-04-2009, 04:14 PM   #1
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Default Water Additions

Hello All,

On Saturday I attended the AHA Big brew and brewed with another 5 guys all at the same time. I was making a simple pale ale and was adding my water adjustments when this debate came up.

I was making a 7.5 gallon pale ale that used 12 gallons of water total. I started with distilled water so I made my adjustments to the mash water for 12 gallons. So here is the question:

Can you add all of the minerals/salts directly to the mash or should you add them to the mash and sparge water proportionately. I have read previously on this site to add them all to the mash as they mix much better in the mash water and then when the sparge comes in you end up with the right amounts in the final water. Others argued that adding them all the the mash throws off the PH. I can tell you that I measured my PH and it was right on at 5.3. I figure that because you are adding the minerals in proportions with each other the PH should be the same regardless of the amounts.

So ... anyone have any comments.. Thanks, Tom

BTW, the other brewers who added the salts to the sparge had salts sitting at the bottom of the HLT after sparging.

Keg 1: Tenaya RIS
Keg 2: Tenaya RIS
Keg 3:Pliny the Younger
Keg 4: Blind Pig
Keg 5: Empty
Keg 6: Empty
Keg 7: Empty
On Deck: Empty

Cheese 1 Farmhouse Cheddar
Cheese 2
Cheese 3
Cheese 4
Cheese 5
thdewitt is offline
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Old 05-04-2009, 04:35 PM   #2
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On the latest broadcast of Brew Strong, John Palmer suggests to add your total salts in two additions:
1) during the mash, and
2) during the boil

His reasoning/process (as i understand it) is this:
Figure out the TOTAL salts you need for a target, then split the addition in two.
1) add enough salts during the mash to get your pH, Residual Alkalinity, etc. in line for a decent conversion, then
2) add the remaining salts to make up the difference to reach your target to the boil in order to hit the right flavor profile. Specifically Cl:SO4 ratio.

Palmer mentions adding salts to the bulk water before doing anything, nor adding salts to sparge water won't be as beneficial because of the relative insolubility of most of the salts.

For what that's worth...


~~ Malted barley wants to become beer. ~~

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