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Old 06-12-2008, 10:19 PM   #1
cactusgarrett
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Default water question

Sorry for another water chemistry thread, but i couldn't find the answer to the questions i have:

1) How does the addition of table salt affect the pH of mash water? I was kicking around in John Palmer's water excel spreadsheet last night and there isn't a spot for the addition of NaCl. I want to bring a profile up in Na+ and Cl- and need to add about 4g but don't want it to throw it off pH-wise.

2) Given all the other ions are either where i want them or i don't care where they're at, how does a high Alkalinity as carbonate and adding only lactic acid to lower the mash pH affect the beer? Specifically, for example, if i partially DWHAHB and only add 2mL lactic acid, I'll still have an Alkalinity as carbonate around 350ppm, but should be hitting a desired pH. What would this do?

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Old 06-13-2008, 12:02 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cactusgarrett View Post
Sorry for another water chemistry thread, but i couldn't find the answer to the questions i have:

1) How does the addition of table salt affect the pH of mash water? I was kicking around in John Palmer's water excel spreadsheet last night and there isn't a spot for the addition of NaCl. I want to bring a profile up in Na+ and Cl- and need to add about 4g but don't want it to throw it off pH-wise.

2) Given all the other ions are either where i want them or i don't care where they're at, how does a high Alkalinity as carbonate and adding only lactic acid to lower the mash pH affect the beer? Specifically, for example, if i partially DWHAHB and only add 2mL lactic acid, I'll still have an Alkalinity as carbonate around 350ppm, but should be hitting a desired pH. What would this do?
Re 1) NaCl has little or no effect on mash pH AFAIK. Why do you want to add NaCl in the first place? Sodium is not required for mashing and if it's the chloride you want it would be far better to use calcium chloride IMO.

Re 2) What are you making? Adding acid is not the best way to control mash pH IMO. If your water is high in carbonates and you are mashing a light colored beer the best thing to do is dilute it with RO/distilled to bring the carbonate alkalinity down to the right level. Given water with the right mix of ions the mash pH will take care of itself.
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Old 06-13-2008, 03:59 AM   #3
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Re: Re: 1) I was just wanting to add Na+ and Cl- to match London's water profile. I didn't think it had much to any effect on pH, i just wanted to be sure. Upon diluting my base water with the appropriate amount of distilled, i would still be lacking Na and Cl and i was curious as to how it would affect flavor. I've read that getting the proper Na ranges will help me get the malty profile i'm looking for, too. Then i was just curious how adding NaCl to get flavor would affect pH. That was my line of thinking.

Re: Re: 2) I plan on making a lighter version of an old ale. Lighter as in lighter SG and ABV with an SRM of 11. I do plan on diluting my base water, but i was just hypothetically thinking of how the scenario i described would play out. This is because my base water is extremely hard and i was just wondering for ANY beer i make what would hypothetically happen.

FWIW, from what i've been told, next to dilution with distilled water, adding acid is the easiest way to bring the alkalinity/pH of my mash down.

Thanks for the input.

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Old 06-13-2008, 12:57 PM   #4
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Make sure you don't use "table salt". You need to use "canning salt". Table salt typically has iodine, an anti-caking agent, and sometimes sugar (to hide the taste of the bitter anti-caking agent). Canning salt is plain sodium chloride.

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Old 06-13-2008, 03:55 PM   #5
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Where did you find that excel file? Is there a link to it?

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Old 06-13-2008, 04:49 PM   #6
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http://howtobrew.com/section3/Palmers_Mash_RA_ver2b.xls
for standard

http://howtobrew.com/section3/Palmer...c_RA_ver2b.xls
for metric
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Old 06-13-2008, 04:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menschmaschine View Post
Make sure you don't use "table salt". You need to use "canning salt". Table salt typically has iodine, an anti-caking agent, and sometimes sugar (to hide the taste of the bitter anti-caking agent). Canning salt is plain sodium chloride.
Sweet! Thanks for the heads-up.
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Old 06-13-2008, 05:09 PM   #8
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I believe Kosher salt also is iodine free.

Thanks for the excel file! It confirms my beersmith calcs that I should do 3-1 dilution with distilled for the bohemian pils. Off to work on my Munich Helles water.

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Last edited by nathan; 06-13-2008 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 06-13-2008, 05:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I believe Kosher salt also is iodine free.
I'm pretty sure that has anti-caking agent in it though.
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:12 PM   #10
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sea salt...is that 'pure' NaCl?

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