Add Water Treatment to Mash or Sparge or Both?

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triangulum33

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Is it important to include additions like Gypsum, CaCl, table salt, etc. to the mash and the sparge?
Or can I add it all to the mash and be done with it?
 

eric19312

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for me it depends on the style. I have very soft water so when I brew a light colored beer I will tend to put all the salts in the mash. Hoppy beers get enough salts (typically 12 grams gypsum and 3 grams calcium chloride in 11 gallon batch) to bring my mash pH to just about 5.4. For less hoppy light beers that will get little to no salts I usually have to adjust the mash with lactic acid. For these light colored beers I will acidify the sparge water but that is a really small lactic addition, I think usually about 2 mL.

I don't brew dark beers that often and will check a water calculator when I do. Brewers Friend has a radio button for selecting adding all the salts to the mash. Brun Water assumes all the water is treated.
 

ajdelange

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I suppose the best answer is that you must be aware of what the additions do in both phases and arrange them so that you get the desired effect in each. The most important aspect of this is pH control. If you add a total of a gram of sodium chloride it doesn't matter whether you put it all in the mash, all in the sparge of split it between the two. Your beer will wind up with a gram of sodium chloride in it. Calcium salts are a little different in that they have an effect, though a minor one, on the pH of mash and wort. Divide them up to get the desired pH in each. The same is true of acids and bases and their effect on pH is much more profound.

IMO the simplest thing to do is treat the entire volume of water to be used on a brew day the same if you can do that while meeting the requirements given above.
 

Homercidal

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As AJ says, use them where they will do what you want. Some of them have an affect on pH as as such you want to be sure you aren't adding more in the mash than what you need to get to yoru target pH.

Likewise with the sparge, a high pH can cause issues, so you want to be sure to be below something like 6. As long as the pH is less than your target, you can add the remainder in there.

Or you can add any additional salts in the boil kettle so you don't upset the pH requirements for the mash and sparge.
 
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