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Old 02-06-2012, 09:20 PM   #1
Marshi
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Jan 2012
San Francisco, CA
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Hey ya'll,

I understand that one adds different minerals to water to achieve different types of water, which might cater to a particular style (i.e. if you're brewing a Weiss beer, you alter your water to mimic the water from a particular region of Germany).

BUT, my question is, where and when do these minerals come into play in the brewing process? Do they have an effect only in the mash (i.e. change mash efficiency), or do they effect the yeast during fermentation? I'm confused what exactly different minerals do and what part of the brewing process they affect. Sorry I can't be more specific about which minerals, but to rattle off a few calcium chloride and sodium chloride (I think... again, sorry for being vague).

YEE!

 
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:34 PM   #2
Sarrsipius
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Feb 2009
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I recomend you read this

There isn't a simple answer to your question but the link will get you on your way to understanding water chemistry for brewing.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:01 PM   #3
ajdelange
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Aug 2010
McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshi View Post
I understand that one adds different minerals to water to achieve different types of water, which might cater to a particular style (i.e. if you're brewing a Weiss beer, you alter your water to mimic the water from a particular region of Germany).
That used to be the philosophy that ruled and many still do it that way but the trend is definitely away from that and towards supplying ions levels that produce good quality beer with some recognition for stylistic conventions. For example, Bohemian Pilsners would be brewed with very soft water and Burton ales with very hard (permanent) water. But good lager brewers will probably boost chloride relative to Pilsen water and good ale brewers will suppress sulfate relative to Burton's levels both because they produce better beers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshi View Post
BUT, my question is, where and when do these minerals come into play in the brewing process?
The top level answer is that they are influential throughout the brewing process but that most of home brewers' concerns are focused on the mash tun. To give a detailed answer here is out of the question. I can point you to the Primer here which, while it doesn't really answer you questions, does give a prescription for what to do when first starting out in water treatment.

 
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