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Old 01-31-2013, 07:43 PM   #1
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pjj2ba's Avatar
Jul 2006
State College, Pennsylvania
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I'm ready to start messing even more with my water than I already do. I've got the residual alkalinity in a good range, now I want to mess with chloride and sulfate. Can this be tested successfully POST fermentation, or do these have a large impact in the mash tun, kettle and fermentor? My gut says these steps will have little affect, or at least not enough to prevent me from getting in the ballpark I want. I can only brew up so many beers and brewing up a bunch of batches would take a while. If I can mess with this in the glass, then I could brew up the beer with the best adulterated water and have it be relatively close to the small scale test sample

So what I'm thinking is that I can make up some stock solutions of CaCl2 and CaSO4 such that I can add 20 ppm of either in just 200 ul of solution added to a 4 oz tasting sample. This would allow me to have minimal impact on the volume (<1%) when adding up to 100 ppm of either.

I would set up a bunch of tasters with varying amounts of the salts. I'd probably start one salt at a time and then try them mixed. For the mixed, I'd start with the best concentration from the single salt additions and adjust from there. Of course this will have to be repeated for each beer style/recipe. I might even have some friends over and do this in a triangle format. Actually I probably will do that - if the folks here think this would be a valid experiment

OK, did a quick check, and based on the solubility, I'll have to double the volume I dissolve the CaCl2 in. CaS04 is going to be more problematic due to it's low solubility. I might resort to weighing a bunch of aliquots out at work and then dissolve them directly in the test beers.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:54 PM   #2
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Jun 2006
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Sounds like a great idea to me! I think that's a great experiment.

Although they are normally added to the mash and/or BK, they don't really change the pH that much and are really for flavor anyway (once minimal amounts of calcium are met).
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:50 PM   #3
Nov 2009
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I have a recipe that the pH comes in pretty much at 5.4. I just did a batch and added some calcium supplements to the kettle. More krausen than the last batch. Won't know about taste for a while though.

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Old 01-31-2013, 10:08 PM   #4
Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by pjj2ba View Post
Can this be tested successfully POST fermentation, or do these have a large impact in the mash tun, kettle and fermentor?
Yes, absoultely. Colin Kaminsky does exactly that at Downtown Joe's. If he can do it, you can do it. This can be expected to give you a general idea but not precise data on what a beer brewed with the extra salts would taste like.

Originally Posted by pjj2ba View Post
I might resort to weighing a bunch of aliquots ...
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:28 AM   #5
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Feb 2011
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It will work. I do note that gypsum does take some time to dissolve. CaCl is pretty quick though.
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