Calcium Carbonate

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hopbrad

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does calcium carbonate have much flavor impact?

i ordered a lb of gypsum and calcium chloride.
about 5 batches later, i just realized they sent me carbonate instead. DOH!
I havent noticed a difference in my IPA, maybe b/c i go heavier on the gypsum in the mash than calcium chloride.
However I just brewed a big batch of a lower gravity ale about a week ago. split into a saison and sour ale.
grain bill was 70% Pilsner, 25% Wheat and 5% oats. and added what i thought was Chloride to the mash but it was really Carbonate. and i did not add any gypsum.
I use RO water FYI.
my efficiency wasnt terrible, about 5% below normal, like 68%. so i added some table sugar to get my gravity to 1.049

so just wondering if it will have much of an impact on the final product. not too concerned with the saison, but a year+ invested into a sour id be bummed.
 

ajdelange

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The obvious problem is with the sour which depends on acid for that tart taste and calcium carbonate neutralizes acid thus your beer may not taste nearly as sour as you had expected.

The more subtle problem with calcium carbonate (which home brewers used to heap into their beers) again relates to its acid absorption property. By absorbing acids in the mash the mash pH rises to higher levels than are desirable. Beyond this, it reacts very slowly so that the acid neutralization may continue into the lauter tun, kettle and even the fermenter. The processes that take place there are all dependent on reduced pH. I would taste these beers frequently to be sure they are worth saving.
 
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hopbrad

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yea my main concern is with the sour. would it be worth putting anything in the fermenter to counter act this? its only been fermenting for 4 days.

Also, the calcium carbonate was bought at a LHBS, put into a little baggy and written in marker. It very well could be chloride and the merchant just had a brain fart when writing it down on the baggy. I also have chloride on hand. would there be a taste difference if i pop a little of each in my mouth? they both look like little styrofoam
 

ajdelange

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Put a bit of the questionable material on a plate and leave it out overnight. If on inspecting it the following day you find a puddle of syrupy liquid it was calcium chloride. Or a quicker test: Put a teaspoonfull in a small glass and add an inch or 2 of water. If it dissolves and gets warm that's calcium chloride. If it neither dissolves nor gets warm it is calcium carbonate.

Yes, technically you could add acid to the beer to convert the calcium carbonate to CO2 gas. The problem would be in determining how much acid to add. If you could monitor the pH you might be able to do something with that.
 

trentm

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You got the answer from A.J. But let me add something about chloride in sour beers and saisons. Because sour beers are often thin due to very high attenuation chloride will give you a perception of body and a nice mouthfeel. I use ~60ppm. For saisons (clean) you may want the perception dryness so back off the chloride and maybe (if you like the harshness) bump up the Sulfate. If the saison has Brett, go with the higher chloride.
 
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hopbrad

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Put a bit of the questionable material on a plate and leave it out overnight. If on inspecting it the following day you find a puddle of syrupy liquid it was calcium chloride. Or a quicker test: Put a teaspoonfull in a small glass and add an inch or 2 of water. If it dissolves and gets warm that's calcium chloride. If it neither dissolves nor gets warm it is calcium carbonate.

Yes, technically you could add acid to the beer to convert the calcium carbonate to CO2 gas. The problem would be in determining how much acid to add. If you could monitor the pH you might be able to do something with that.
Calcium Chloride it is. Thanks for the information A.J.
After adding the tsp to some water, it slowly dissolved and the temps rose quite a bit. The highest it hit was 112.

I'll be brewing a pale ale tomorrow. can i save the calcium chloride/water mixture for the mash? cover it? just let it sit out? or toss it.
 
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