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Old 08-17-2012, 02:05 AM   #1
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Default What water additions should I use?

I'm going to be brewing both of these recipes soon (my buddy and I wanted to try both and see which one we like more). What water additions should I add...if any? Both will be AG.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f76/thunderstruck-pumpkin-ale-ag-extract-versions-26699/

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f76/punkin-ale-145060/

pH 8.9
Na 12
K <1
Ca 19
Mg <1
CaCO3 52...hardness
SO4-S 11
Cl 19
CO3 6
HCO3 15
CaCO3 22...alkalinity

Mash pH would be 5.65 and chloride/sulfate ratio would be .58


I've played around with the EZ water calculator spreadsheet to get my water to the "normal" levels". If I add 4 grams of both calcium chloride and epsom salt in the mash water it will bring everything up to...

Ca 67
Mg 16
Na 12
Cl 104
So4 102
Chloride/sulfate ratio 1.02
Mash pH 5.59

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Old 08-17-2012, 02:33 AM   #2
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I'm no expert but the only other thing that I would do if it were my beer is add a bit of lactic acid to bring the pH down to 5.50. I realize you're within the "desired range" at 5.59, but it wouldn't take much to get it in the center of the range, which would give you a bit of a cushion in case your water or grains are off a bit from your estimates. I used to target 5.6, but have noticed a slight improvement in my beers since I started targeting a bit lower. Good luck!

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Old 08-17-2012, 02:48 AM   #3
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Or you could add a few percent acid malt to lower the pH. Water additions are really a personal taste thing, IMO. Besides getting everything in the proper range, of course. For one of those recipies I'd probably lean more towards cacl to accentuate the malty side. Maybe cut back the gypsum 25%.

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Old 08-17-2012, 11:00 AM   #4
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If I add 2oz acid malt it lowers my pH to 5.45.

If I lower the epsom salt addition to 3 grams it raises the pH to 5.5 and it will lower sulfate to 85 bringing the chloride/sulfate ratio to 1.23 which is still in the range of a balanced beer.

Now if I scratched the epsom salt and went with gypsum, my water profile would be...

Ca 97
Mg 0
Na 12
Cl 104
SO4 107
Chloride/sulfate .97

Wouldn't I want some Mg in it?

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Old 08-17-2012, 11:22 AM   #5
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I'd drop the epsom completely b/c malt has enough Mg for a healthy fermentation in it already and doesn't need any added. Also you actually have 33ppm of sulfate and don't need any more with that beer. SO4-S gets multiplied by 3.

Just add enough CaCl2 to the mash to reach 50ppm of Ca+ and you should be golden. I came up with about 4g of CaCl2 to the mash to get pH 5.5. The C60 and Victory will drop pH and you shouldn't need acid. Check a cooled sample of mash pH with a calibrated meter and only add acid if it's above 5.6.

Don't get caught up in trying to match chloride/sulfate ratios. It doesn't really work like a 1:1 ratio. It took me a couple of overdosed-on-salts batches (tasted like alka-seltzer) to figure out that sometimes less is just the right amount.

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Old 08-17-2012, 11:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCCOLA View Post
I'd drop the epsom completely b/c malt has enough Mg for a healthy fermentation in it already and doesn't need any added. Also you actually have 33ppm of sulfate and don't need any more with that beer. SO4-S gets multiplied by 3.

Just add enough CaCl+ to the mash to reach 50ppm of Ca+ and you should be golden. I came up with about 4g of CaCl+ to the mash to get pH 5.5. The C60 and Victory will drop pH and you shouldn't need acid. Check a cooled sample of mash pH with a calibrated meter and only add acid if it's above 5.6.

Don't get caught up in trying to match chloride/sulfate ratios. It doesn't really work like a 1:1 ratio. It took me a couple of overdosed-on-salts batches (tasted like alka-seltzer) to figure out that sometimes less is just the right amount.
I agree. No MgSo4 at all, and just a bit of CaCl2. No gypsum. You want to keep chloride under 100 ppm anyway, and you don't need an increased sulfate at all.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCCOLA
I'd drop the epsom completely b/c malt has enough Mg for a healthy fermentation in it already and doesn't need any added. Also you actually have 33ppm of sulfate and don't need any more with that beer. SO4-S gets multiplied by 3.

Just add enough CaCl+ to the mash to reach 50ppm of Ca+ and you should be golden. I came up with about 4g of CaCl+ to the mash to get pH 5.5. The C60 and Victory will drop pH and you shouldn't need acid. Check a cooled sample of mash pH with a calibrated meter and only add acid if it's above 5.6.

Don't get caught up in trying to match chloride/sulfate ratios. It doesn't really work like a 1:1 ratio. It took me a couple of overdosed-on-salts batches (tasted like alka-seltzer) to figure out that sometimes less is just the right amount.
Yeah I did know about having 33 SO4. That is what I entered into the EZ water calculator spreadsheet.

I'll have to check again but if I remember correctly adding just CaCl+ didn't lower my mash pH enough. When I go home after work I'll plug in just 4 grams of CaCl+ to see what happens.

All this water stuff confuses me lol. There are just too many variables and too many different opinions. I guess it is one of those things where you need to experiment and take notes.

I think right now I'm more interested in making sure my pH is correct. I do also add some yeast nutrients near the end of the boil which I think has some of these minerals as well...like Mg.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper

I agree. No MgSo4 at all, and just a bit of CaCl2. No gypsum. You want to keep chloride under 100 ppm anyway, and you don't need an increased sulfate at all.
Will this be true for most styles I brew or will it change drastically?

At this point I have gotten good at the brewing process. Now I need to tweak the little things to make my beers come out better...like mash pH and water profile.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h22lude View Post
Yeah I did know about having 33 SO4. That is what I entered into the EZ water calculator spreadsheet.

I'll have to check again but if I remember correctly adding just CaCl+ didn't lower my mash pH enough. When I go home after work I'll plug in just 4 grams of CaCl+ to see what happens.

All this water stuff confuses me lol. There are just too many variables and too many different opinions. I guess it is one of those things where you need to experiment and take notes.

I think right now I'm more interested in making sure my pH is correct. I do also add some yeast nutrients near the end of the boil which I think has some of these minerals as well...like Mg.
The salts are not really supposed to help you hit your pH, as they don't really move the pH that much. They are for flavor and yeast health (and calcium helps with flocculation). They do help a little, so sometimes a recipe with crystal malt and some added CaCl2 WILL be in the proper pH, though. Malt has plenty of magnesium, and "less is more" is good. It can enhance hops bitterness, but a bit too much and it gets sharp and tart. It's not that much that is "too much" so I almost never use it.

If you need to adjust pH after the salt additions, use phosphoric or lactic acid or acid malt in the mash.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper

The salts are not really supposed to help you hit your pH, as they don't really move the pH that much. They are for flavor and yeast health (and calcium helps with flocculation). They do help a little, so sometimes a recipe with crystal malt and some added CaCl2 WILL be in the proper pH, though. Malt has plenty of magnesium, and "less is more" is good. It can enhance hops bitterness, but a bit too much and it gets sharp and tart. It's not that much that is "too much" so I almost never use it.

If you need to adjust pH after the salt additions, use phosphoric or lactic acid or acid malt in the mash.
When I go home I'll check to see what CaCl does to my profile and mash pH and see if I need any lactic acid or acid malt to lower my pH.

So I guess having less than 1ppm of Mg in my water is actually a good thing.
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