### Help Support Homebrew Talk:

#### Bobby_M

##### Vendor and Brewer
Really great spreadsheet, thanks for creating it and for also making it available for download. Also, thanks Bobby for the great videos.

One question on the initial numbers for mash water volume and sparge water volume. For example purposes let's say I mash with 5 gallons, sparge with 3 for 8 total preboil and expect a post boil volume of 6. The mash water one is easy--just the volume of water that is used in the initial mash (5). But, for the sparge water? In Bobby's videos, he uses the full amount of the sparge water (the additional 3 in my example) to get additions for the full pre-boil volume--so we're adding enough minerals to get the right ppm for 8 gallons. After thinking about this, doesn't the boil remove water but leave the minerals behind? (I'm not a scientist so not sure if the minerals would evaporate with the water vapor) So should the mineral additions calculate off of how much minerals we want with the finished beer (6 gallons vs. preboil of 8)

Thanks
I had the same concerns when I first started with this and thought about the concentration of minerals. The explanation that satisfied me was that we're trying to make water that you'd find in famous brewing cities. They start with that water and also concentrate the minerals down in the boil. When you're simply trying to dial in minimum levels, it's probably reasonable to undershoot a bit for that reason. I'm still learning.

#### weetodd

##### Well-Known Member
Fair point and I agree. I am going to do a little research and let you know if I come up with anything interesting that would sway it either way. I tend to take the approach that it's probably not going to really matter that much as long as you have things straight for the mash.

#### RonRock

Slightly off topic, after using the spreadsheet and creating water to match the brew, would I still want/need to use 5.2 mash stabilizer? Or would that defeat the purpose?

#### LeeF

##### Well-Known Member
I believe it defeats the purpose. 5.2 alone will get the mash pH where you need it but does not manipulate the Cl:SO4 or other minerals considered important to the yeast/beer. This spreadsheet and brewing salts also gets the mash pH where you need it but also gives you a better knob for fine tuning the mineral content.

OP

#### -TH-

##### Well-Known Member
...I tend to take the approach that it's probably not going to really matter that much as long as you have things straight for the mash.
Bingo. The salts added to the boil are strictly for flavor purposes so I doubt you would be able to detect the difference of a few ppms in either direction - especially if you are within the recommended ranges. And besides, regardless of whether or not the ppms change after boiling, the recommended ranges pertain to the starting (or pre-boil) water levels and not post-boil levels.

#### Homercidal

I just want to pipe in here and tell you that I really like the EZ Calculator. I've been reading up on water for a while and trying to wrap my mind around the nomographs and chemistry, and this thing has at least gotten me able to comprehend what I need to do to adjust my water, and a basic understanding of what's going on.

Hopefully it will be the start of a more complete understanding, but for now it's a great tool to get me going.

#### oloroso27

##### Member
TH,

I'm confused though about the RA calculation on the bottom. When using your spreadsheet, it seems as though a REALLY high mash water RA is needed for dark beers. I was brewing an Irish Stout yesterday (34 SRM), and came up with the following adjustment using your spreadsheet:

____________________________________________________________
Starting Water (ppm):
Ca: 5.8
Mg: 5.2
Na: 11
Cl: 0.9
SO4: 1.9
HCO3: 57

Mash / Sparge Vol (gal): 4 / 3
Dilution Rate: 0%

Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:
CaCO3: 7 / 0
CaSO4: 1 / 0.75
CaCl2: 1.5 / 0
MgSO4: 0.8 / 0.6
NaHCO3: 4 / 0
NaCl: 0 / 0
HCL Acid: 0 / 0
Lactic Acid: 0 / 0

Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 233 / 142
Mg: 10 / 10
Na: 83 / 52
Cl: 49 / 28
SO4: 59 / 59
CaCO3: 431 / 266

RA (mash only): 258 (26 to 31 SRM)
Cl to SO4 (total water): 0.48 (Very Bitter)
___________________________________________

It seemed strange to have a CaCO3 level of 431 in my mash water (which is what I needed to have for the spreadsheet to calculate an adjusted mash RA of 258 *best for 26 to 31 SRM*. Isn't this excessive? If I were in Dublin using their water (which is supposedly ideal for the style), wouldn't I only have a mash water RA of 175, giving me a spreadsheet calculated adjusted mash RA of 83 *best for 12 to 27 SRM.*

Maybe I am totally missing something? I guess I'm confused.

OP

#### -TH-

##### Well-Known Member
TH,

I'm confused though about the RA calculation on the bottom. When using your spreadsheet, it seems as though a REALLY high mash water RA is needed for dark beers. I was brewing an Irish Stout yesterday (34 SRM), and came up with the following adjustment using your spreadsheet:

____________________________________________________________
Starting Water (ppm):
Ca: 5.8
Mg: 5.2
Na: 11
Cl: 0.9
SO4: 1.9
HCO3: 57

Mash / Sparge Vol (gal): 4 / 3
Dilution Rate: 0%

Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:
CaCO3: 7 / 0
CaSO4: 1 / 0.75
CaCl2: 1.5 / 0
MgSO4: 0.8 / 0.6
NaHCO3: 4 / 0
NaCl: 0 / 0
HCL Acid: 0 / 0
Lactic Acid: 0 / 0

Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 233 / 142
Mg: 10 / 10
Na: 83 / 52
Cl: 49 / 28
SO4: 59 / 59
CaCO3: 431 / 266

RA (mash only): 258 (26 to 31 SRM)
Cl to SO4 (total water): 0.48 (Very Bitter)
___________________________________________

It seemed strange to have a CaCO3 level of 431 in my mash water (which is what I needed to have for the spreadsheet to calculate an adjusted mash RA of 258 *best for 26 to 31 SRM*. Isn't this excessive? If I were in Dublin using their water (which is supposedly ideal for the style), wouldn't I only have a mash water RA of 175, giving me a spreadsheet calculated adjusted mash RA of 83 *best for 12 to 27 SRM.*

Maybe I am totally missing something? I guess I'm confused.
All I can say is that the spreadsheet uses Palmer's formula and nomograph. You are not the first to notice that on darker beers it seems the RA needs to get really high. I have seen others here post that they have had good success with leaving the RA a little below recommended on such beers. I am tempted to adjust the spreadsheet a bit but I am leery to veer from Palmer without doing a little more scientific research first.

#### kozydogg

##### Active Member
I'm sure this has been asked, but I can't find it. It gives "recommended" ranges, but most of the area specific profiles (london, munich...), have ranges outside of the recommended range. Which should i follow?

And where can I find recommended water profiles for many different styles of beer?

THanks

#### GilaMinumBeer

##### Half-fast Prattlarian
I'm sure this has been asked, but I can't find it. It gives "recommended" ranges, but most of the area specific profiles (london, munich...), have ranges outside of the recommended range. Which should i follow?

And where can I find recommended water profiles for many different styles of beer?

THanks
If you are trying to adjust your local water to a style specific benifit, you'd follow the recomended ranges as shown. However, if you are trying to match a regions profile then you try to match that profile as best as possible.

But there is no harm in trying to emulate a profile and tweaking it for the balance you seek.

Many regions are known for the style of beer they brew but, ironically, often the water is not ideal. And many breweries adjust their water accordingly. the profiles you will find won't be brewery profiles. They'll be water source profiles. And, as the brewery would, you'd adjust that to suite your desired results. For example, for Pilsen, you'd calculate to match profile and then adjust that to the proper RA balance.

#### GilaMinumBeer

##### Half-fast Prattlarian
Okay. The spreadsheet as is adjusts based on 33%HCl (Hydrochloric Acid) or 88%C3H603 (Lactic Acid) and adjust RA accordingly.

BUT, I use a 75% H3PO4 (Phosphoric Acid). What do I need to change in the formulas to calculate this addition properly? Or, to just add H3PO4 as an option of the acids?

OP

#### -TH-

##### Well-Known Member
Okay. The spreadsheet as is adjusts based on 33%HCl (Hydrochloric Acid) or 88%C3H603 (Lactic Acid) and adjust RA accordingly.

BUT, I use a 75% H3PO4 (Phosphoric Acid). What do I need to change in the formulas to calculate this addition properly? Or, to just add H3PO4 as an option of the acids?

"I do not recommend the use of Phosphoric Acid because it removes calcium from the water as well, and changes the water profile that you are trying to adjust. The amount of calcium removed is complex and I dont have a feedback loop in the spreadsheet to accommodate the effect."

I may have to avoid this one as well. However if you want to dig up some more info on the subject and it turns out to be not too complicated, I could possibly incorporate it.

#### GilaMinumBeer

##### Half-fast Prattlarian

"I do not recommend the use of Phosphoric Acid because it removes calcium from the water as well, and changes the water profile that you are trying to adjust. The amount of calcium removed is complex and I dont have a feedback loop in the spreadsheet to accommodate the effect."

I may have to avoid this one as well. However if you want to dig up some more info on the subject and it turns out to be not too complicated, I could possibly incorporate it.
Yeah. My problem is that my starting pH is so base that the amount of Lactic or Citric Acid I need to balance it results in a sour twinge to the water.

Thought about HCl but, too many here were too adamant about Phosphoric and I had troubles finding a good product for brewing. So, I settled on a gallon of the ole' H3PO4. I can always add Calcium.

#### hopvine

##### Well-Known Member
I'm starting with RO water. The Bicarbonate and Alkalinity levels of the water are both 0, however depending on whether I have Bicarbonate or Alkalinity selected in my "Starting Water Profile", my Residual Alkalinity changes drastically (from 87 with Bicarbonate set to zero, to 129 with Alkalinity set to zero). Why does this change? Which value should I believe?

OP

#### -TH-

##### Well-Known Member
Thank you hopvine! There was indeed a calculation error. I have fixed it now so please re-download and try again.

#### RonRock

Thank you hopvine! There was indeed a calculation error. I have fixed it now so please re-download and try again.

Does this effect all users of the spreadsheet? Should we update?

#### ShortSnoutBrewing

##### Kwanesum Chinook Illahee
Uh oh...brewed a batch this weekend starting with RO water and this spread sheet....

OP

#### -TH-

##### Well-Known Member
Does this effect all users of the spreadsheet? Should we update?
I would recommend all users update. The spreadsheet was miscalculating the alkalinity of the salt additions if you had "Alkalinity from CaCO3" checked in the starting water. If you had "Bicarbonate" selected (the default), there was no error.

#### gxm

##### Well-Known Member
Thanks for the spreadsheet, TH. This makes much more sense to me than the nomographs

OP

#### -TH-

##### Well-Known Member
1-21-10: I re-wrote the instructions and changed the labels & colors of some of the fields to make things a little easier to understand for first-time users. But those of you who already use it might want to check it out too. If not, at least make sure you are at Version 1.6 or higher because there was a bug in previous versions.

#### bctdi

##### Well-Known Member
This thread is helping me as I live in Atlanta where the water is very soft like pilsen .... Been wondering why my beer seems to be lacking something... Quick question if anyone knows.... Does using a carbon filter change the mineral content even further ... In other words can I use the water report from the water co as is or do I need to account for the Brita carbon filtration?

#### Bobby_M

##### Vendor and Brewer
It removes a couple ppm of each ion and drops total alk by about 8ppm.

#### bctdi

##### Well-Known Member
Ok so it shouldn't affect it enough to worry about it. Thanks.

#### djt17

##### Well-Known Member
Quick question; are the Mash Additions in grams/gal of mash? Or is it the total amount added to the mash? Thanks.

OP

#### -TH-

##### Well-Known Member
Quick question; are the Mash Additions in grams/gal of mash? Or is it the total amount added to the mash? Thanks.
Quick answer: it is the total added to the mash (NOT grams/gal).

#### djt17

##### Well-Known Member
Quick answer: it is the total added to the mash (NOT grams/gal).
Thanks for the quick response & for this very useful tool.

#### JLem

##### Well-Known Member
I just received the water report for some store-bought spring water (Arcadia Water, Stop & Shop). It includes Alkalinity (79 mg/L), Bicarbonate (79 mg/L) and Hardness as CaCO3 (110 mg/L). Which one do I use to determine my RA?

#### Bobby_M

##### Vendor and Brewer
You need all the other stuff like calcium, magnesium, etc to figure RA.

#### JLem

##### Well-Known Member
You need all the other stuff like calcium, magnesium, etc to figure RA.
I have all that too - just wondering which of the ones I mentioned I need as well - Alkalinity (79 mg/L), Bicarbonate (79 mg/L) and Hardness as CaCO3 (110 mg/L).

#### Bobby_M

##### Vendor and Brewer
Either total alkalinity or bicarbonate is fine. Either one can be entered into TH's sheet.

#### ddknight

##### Well-Known Member
Is there a way to figure out the bicarb if I do not have it already? I only ask b/c I have all the other info but the water company did not have the bicarb level. I tried to also enter my data into Beersmith and it asks only for the bicarb not a choice of entering Alkalinity. Just thought I'd see if anyone had any suggestions.

The spreadsheet is awesome by the way and it is making understanding the water calculations much easier. Thanks for all the hard work!

#### Bigscience

##### Well-Known Member
Big fan of the EZ, makes water calcs less painful. I do have one question however. I notice that the sparge additions are being calculated off the mash amounts. The mash amount is calculated per gallon and then multiplied by the sparge volume.

(Mash grams/Mash Vol)x Sparge Volume=Sparge grams

Since the sparge water itself is not treated and the additions are added to the kettle, wouldn't this be incorrect though since the sparge volume does not all make it to the kettle? This would cause an over treatment.

Wouldn't it be more correct to have a mash volume and a preboil volume and only treat the difference for the sparge?

Example: I have a 7.5gal mash and use 10.8gal of sparge water to make a preboil volume of 14.2gal (based on grain absorption and other losses). If I treat all this water this way I get:

Starting Water (ppm):
Ca: 10.48
Mg: 0.4
Na: 1
Cl: 2.6
SO4: 1.2
CaCO3: 18.9

Mash / Sparge Vol (gal): 7.5 / 10.7
Dilution Rate: 0%

Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:
CaCO3: 0 / 0
CaSO4: 2 / 2.853333333
CaCl2: 5 / 7.133333333
MgSO4: 3 / 4.28
NaHCO3: 0 / 0
NaCl: 0 / 0
HCL Acid: 0 / 0
Lactic Acid: 0 / 0

Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 74 / 74
Mg: 10 / 10
Na: 1 / 1
Cl: 88 / 88
SO4: 82 / 82
CaCO3: 19 / 19

RA (mash only): -40 (2 to 7 SRM)
Cl to SO4 (total water): 1.07 (Balanced)

If I were to treat the mash the same but only add salts to the remaining wort in the kettle (14.2preboil - 7.5gal mash = 6.7gal "sparge") I'd treat 4 gallons less and end up with this:

Starting Water (ppm):
Ca: 10.48
Mg: 0.4
Na: 1
Cl: 2.6
SO4: 1.2
CaCO3: 18.9

Mash / Sparge Vol (gal): 7.5 / 6.7
Dilution Rate: 0%

Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:
CaCO3: 0 / 0
CaSO4: 2 / 1.786666667
CaCl2: 5 / 4.466666667
MgSO4: 3 / 2.68
NaHCO3: 0 / 0
NaCl: 0 / 0
HCL Acid: 0 / 0
Lactic Acid: 0 / 0

Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 74 / 74
Mg: 10 / 10
Na: 1 / 1
Cl: 88 / 88
SO4: 82 / 82
CaCO3: 19 / 19

RA (mash only): -40 (2 to 7 SRM)
Cl to SO4 (total water): 1.07 (Balanced)

If I do it the original way BUT put in the correct &#8220;sparge&#8221; and hardcode the initial values that were calculated I get this. I think this is actually what the water would be if all salts were added to the kettle based on the total sparge volume:

Starting Water (ppm):
Ca: 10.48
Mg: 0.4
Na: 1
Cl: 2.6
SO4: 1.2
CaCO3: 18.9

Mash / Sparge Vol (gal): 7.5 / 6.7
Dilution Rate: 0%

Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:
CaCO3: 0 / 0
CaSO4: 2 / 2.9
CaCl2: 5 / 7.1
MgSO4: 3 / 4.3
NaHCO3: 0 / 0
NaCl: 0 / 0
HCL Acid: 0 / 0
Lactic Acid: 0 / 0

Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 74 / 93
Mg: 10 / 13
Na: 1 / 1
Cl: 88 / 111
SO4: 82 / 105
CaCO3: 19 / 19

RA (mash only): -40 (2 to 7 SRM)
Cl to SO4 (total water): 1.06 (Balanced)

Here are the side by side results

Mash Water / Total water (ppm) Current Way/ Other Way
Ca: 74 / 74 / 93
Mg: 10 / 10 / 13
Na: 1 / 1 / 1
Cl: 88 / 88 / 111
SO4: 82 / 82 / 105
CaCO3: 19 / 19 / 19

Please let me know if I&#8217;m missing something here and again, thanks for your hard work on this valuable tool.

OP

#### -TH-

##### Well-Known Member
Big fan of the EZ, makes water calcs less painful. I do have one question however. I notice that the sparge additions are being calculated off the mash amounts. The mash amount is calculated per gallon and then multiplied by the sparge volume.

(Mash grams/Mash Vol)x Sparge Volume=Sparge grams

Since the sparge water itself is not treated and the additions are added to the kettle, wouldn't this be incorrect though since the sparge volume does not all make it to the kettle? This would cause an over treatment.

Wouldn't it be more correct to have a mash volume and a preboil volume and only treat the difference for the sparge?

Example: I have a 7.5gal mash and use 10.8gal of sparge water to make a preboil volume of 14.2gal (based on grain absorption and other losses). If I treat all this water this way I get:

Starting Water (ppm):
Ca: 10.48
Mg: 0.4
Na: 1
Cl: 2.6
SO4: 1.2
CaCO3: 18.9

Mash / Sparge Vol (gal): 7.5 / 10.7
Dilution Rate: 0%

Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:
CaCO3: 0 / 0
CaSO4: 2 / 2.853333333
CaCl2: 5 / 7.133333333
MgSO4: 3 / 4.28
NaHCO3: 0 / 0
NaCl: 0 / 0
HCL Acid: 0 / 0
Lactic Acid: 0 / 0

Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 74 / 74
Mg: 10 / 10
Na: 1 / 1
Cl: 88 / 88
SO4: 82 / 82
CaCO3: 19 / 19

RA (mash only): -40 (2 to 7 SRM)
Cl to SO4 (total water): 1.07 (Balanced)

If I were to treat the mash the same but only add salts to the remaining wort in the kettle (14.2preboil - 7.5gal mash = 6.7gal "sparge") I'd treat 4 gallons less and end up with this:

Starting Water (ppm):
Ca: 10.48
Mg: 0.4
Na: 1
Cl: 2.6
SO4: 1.2
CaCO3: 18.9

Mash / Sparge Vol (gal): 7.5 / 6.7
Dilution Rate: 0%

Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:
CaCO3: 0 / 0
CaSO4: 2 / 1.786666667
CaCl2: 5 / 4.466666667
MgSO4: 3 / 2.68
NaHCO3: 0 / 0
NaCl: 0 / 0
HCL Acid: 0 / 0
Lactic Acid: 0 / 0

Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 74 / 74
Mg: 10 / 10
Na: 1 / 1
Cl: 88 / 88
SO4: 82 / 82
CaCO3: 19 / 19

RA (mash only): -40 (2 to 7 SRM)
Cl to SO4 (total water): 1.07 (Balanced)

If I do it the original way BUT put in the correct sparge and hardcode the initial values that were calculated I get this. I think this is actually what the water would be if all salts were added to the kettle based on the total sparge volume:

Starting Water (ppm):
Ca: 10.48
Mg: 0.4
Na: 1
Cl: 2.6
SO4: 1.2
CaCO3: 18.9

Mash / Sparge Vol (gal): 7.5 / 6.7
Dilution Rate: 0%

Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:
CaCO3: 0 / 0
CaSO4: 2 / 2.9
CaCl2: 5 / 7.1
MgSO4: 3 / 4.3
NaHCO3: 0 / 0
NaCl: 0 / 0
HCL Acid: 0 / 0
Lactic Acid: 0 / 0

Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 74 / 93
Mg: 10 / 13
Na: 1 / 1
Cl: 88 / 111
SO4: 82 / 105
CaCO3: 19 / 19

RA (mash only): -40 (2 to 7 SRM)
Cl to SO4 (total water): 1.06 (Balanced)

Here are the side by side results

Mash Water / Total water (ppm) Current Way/ Other Way
Ca: 74 / 74 / 93
Mg: 10 / 10 / 13
Na: 1 / 1 / 1
Cl: 88 / 88 / 111
SO4: 82 / 82 / 105
CaCO3: 19 / 19 / 19

Please let me know if Im missing something here and again, thanks for your hard work on this valuable tool.
Since I do no-mashout batch sparging, the amount of water I sparge with does make it into the kettle. For example I might dough in with 4 gal of water, but first runnings might produce 2 gallons of wort in the kettle. I would then batch sparge with the amount of water needed to give me the desired pre-boil volume. So for example if I sparged with 5 gallons I would end up with very close to 7 gallons in the brew kettle. Now I suppose the sparge water mixes with the water that is in the dead space of the mash tun, and when drained, some portion of the actual sparge water is indeed left behind, but I think if we tried to compensate for that, we might be making things more complicated that what is necessary. After all, we are shooting for some fairly large ranges here. Also keep in mind that sparge/boil salt additions are strictly for the purpose of enhancing flavor, which means the ranges we are targeting are subjective to begin with.

Short answer: It probably doesn't matter much either way.

#### Bigscience

##### Well-Known Member
Since I do no-mashout batch sparging, the amount of water I sparge with does make it into the kettle. For example I might dough in with 4 gal of water, but first runnings might produce 2 gallons of wort in the kettle. I would then batch sparge with the amount of water needed to give me the desired pre-boil volume. So for example if I sparged with 5 gallons I would end up with very close to 7 gallons in the brew kettle. Now I suppose the sparge water mixes with the water that is in the dead space of the mash tun, and when drained, some portion of the actual sparge water is indeed left behind, but I think if we tried to compensate for that, we might be making things more complicated that what is necessary. After all, we are shooting for some fairly large ranges here. Also keep in mind that sparge/boil salt additions are strictly for the purpose of enhancing flavor, which means the ranges we are targeting are subjective to begin with.

Short answer: It probably doesn't matter much either way.

I dont think the issue is the sparge water that is left behind, its that the salt that was in the initial mash water that was held back is being rinsed to the kettle by the sparge. This would work if the actual sparge water was being treated but since the salts are going in the kettle, youre adding the salt for 9 gallons into 7 and are off at the end by ~+20%.

While I agree about the flavor aspect of the non-mash salts, I think a more accurate way of calculating the sparge addition would be:

(mash grams/mash volume) x (preboil volume  mash volume)

This way we are only treating the water that is making it to the kettle. Just a thought.

#### jmo88

##### Well-Known Member
I've been trying to find the answer to this same problem for a while, Bigscience. The problem I see is, how can we be sure the sparge is fully rinsing the salts from the grain? If so, how much water does it take to fully rinse the salts from the mash? Are all salts rinsed at the same rate? etc. There are many variables. So I've always worked under the assumption that the salts that are retained in the mash, stay in the mash. No one seems to be able to answer this question in my research.

EDIT: re-read the post and realize my issue is different. The problem is not with the spreadsheet but the way we treat the kettle additions. Since there is water retained by the grain, we actually add salts to the beer for more than the initial boil volume. I'll often add salts for 4 gallons of strike and salts for 6 gallons to the kettle while my initial boil volume is 7 gallons.

OP

#### -TH-

##### Well-Known Member
Keep in mind we are trying to modify our water to match the water which would be best for the beer we are brewing. So if Smallsville Michigan had perfect water for an IPA, I would try to match that. And I would want to adjust for the total amount of the water I was going to use, say 9 gallons, just like if it were perfect to begin with. Mash water is adjusted during the mash, so I want to adjust for all of my mash water, even though some of that water is left behind. Sparge water is adjusted in the kettle, but since most of that water is not left behind, I want to adjust for all of it as well. Therefore making it very similar to if you had perfect water to begin with.

#### Bigscience

##### Well-Known Member
I've been trying to find the answer to this same problem for a while, Bigscience. The problem I see is, how can we be sure the sparge is fully rinsing the salts from the grain? If so, how much water does it take to fully rinse the salts from the mash? Are all salts rinsed at the same rate? etc. There are many variables. So I've always worked under the assumption that the salts that are retained in the mash, stay in the mash. No one seems to be able to answer this question in my research.

EDIT: re-read the post and realize my issue is different. The problem is not with the spreadsheet but the way we treat the kettle additions. Since there is water retained by the grain, we actually add salts to the beer for more than the initial boil volume. I'll often add salts for 4 gallons of strike and salts for 6 gallons to the kettle while my initial boil volume is 7 gallons.

Keep in mind we are trying to modify our water to match the water which would be best for the beer we are brewing. So if Smallsville Michigan had perfect water for an IPA, I would try to match that. And I would want to adjust for the total amount of the water I was going to use, say 9 gallons, just like if it were perfect to begin with. Mash water is adjusted during the mash, so I want to adjust for all of my mash water, even though some of that water is left behind. Sparge water is adjusted in the kettle, but since most of that water is not left behind, I want to adjust for all of it as well. Therefore making it very similar to if you had perfect water to begin with.
Heres the scenario:
Assumptions - total dissolution of all salts. i.e. everything dissolves in the mash and doesnt stick to the grain or precipitate out of solution. The absorbtion factor of the grain does not change after subsequent batch sparges.

Preboil amount required 14.3 gallons

20lb of grain with a 0.12gal/lb absorption at a 1.5qt/lb mash ratio

Strike water is at 7.5 gallons and 10 grams of a salt is added.

2.4 gallons of water will be held in the grain due to absorption. (Im assuming the most efficient system with no other dead space or hold back volumes for simplicity sake)

5.1 gallons of run off will make it to the kettle and bring with it 6.8 grams of salt. (10/7.5*5.1)

3.2 grams of salt will be left in the mash with the 2.4 gallons of water. (10-6.8)

Now is where things can get a little trickier. For a batch sparge, the remaining salt will get diluted with each sparge. For a fly sparge, if you are adding the water at the same rate you are removing it AND you are sparging in a reasonable amount of time (not over 12 hours), a gradient will form and the saltier water will be replaced by the fresh untreated water from above. Im not sure of a mathematical way to describe it but Id bet >95% would be removed. Again, this is an unqualified statement. (As Ill show below, for a 2 batch sparge, 96% will be removed.)

Back to the batch sparge. This we can describe.

After the first runnings, 3.2 grams of salt are left in 2.4 gallons stuck in the grains. To achieve the 14.3 gallons of preboil volume required, we need 9.2 gallons of sparge water that will be divided into 2 batches. After the first addition, we have 3.2 grams in 7 gallons total in the mash. When we drain away the 4.6 gallons to the kettle, we have 2.4 gallons left with 1.1 grams of salt left in it. When we repeat for the second batch, this salt is diluted out again. Once weve collected the 14.3 gallons of wort, there will be 2.4 gallons of water stuck in the mash with 0.376 grams of salt in it.

So of the 10 grams we started with, 9.6 made it to the kettle with batch sparging. To keep the same concentration we had in the mash water in the final kettle volume we need a total of 19.1 grams salt. (10/7.5) x 14.3 So to add to the kettle to get this concentration, we need to add 9.4 grams to the kettle. If we use the EZ method wed add 12.3 grams. By doing this, wed adding 29% more salt than we should be to the kettle. In the final concentration, were off by 2.8 grams or 15% of the total concentration.

While some may say that 15% may not be that big of a deal for a water profile, I would say, why not be as accurate as we can?

This may also be an issue like religion or bbq. Everybody has their way of doing it and are convinced theirs is the only way. But then again, math is math.

#### LeeF

##### Well-Known Member
First, I would like to say this spreadsheet is great. I've been using it over the past year and my beers have improved. Thanks TH.

Second, I don't think you have to try and hit the gnats ass with this spread sheet. Use it as a guide but rely on your experience to modify the next batch. This is assuming you try the same recipe again. I've done this with an APA and played with the Gypsum additions and found what I like. As many have said...don't go overboard on any salt, keep the additions simple by using just enough to achieve the effect you're aiming for and don't try to over think. Trust me...I've screwed up a batch by not taking my own advice.

#### jmo88

##### Well-Known Member
I hear ya, but until someone has some documentation suggesting "all mash salts end up in the kettle" or "x% of mash salts end up in the kettle for xminutes of fly sparge", the kettle additions seem to be a crap shoot. Something along these lines has to have been published...

#### Bigscience

##### Well-Known Member
I hear ya, but until someone has some documentation suggesting "all mash salts end up in the kettle" or "x% of mash salts end up in the kettle for xminutes of fly sparge", the kettle additions seem to be a crap shoot. Something along these lines has to have been published...
If we assume that a front is maintained that works its way down the mash tun as untreated water is added to the top and treated water is removed from the bottom, we can use residence time calculations to determine how long it takes for the fresh water to make it to the exit of the system.

For a keg mash tun with 20lb of grain, 1.5qt/lb ratio, the mash volume would be 9.2 gal or 11.25 inches in depth. With a flow rate of 1qt/hr, the residence time would be 36.7 minutes. Given the 48 minute sparge time, the first drop of sparge would have left the mash 11 minutes prior. This is the no mixing side of the coin that is probably the most accurate representation.

For the other side:
If we assume that as each drop is added to the top of the mash, the entire mash equilibrates to a homogeneous concentration, the same mash would end up with 20.7% of the original salt remaining in the mash. This will be the MAX salt that could be left in the mash. The following graph shows how the mash ratio affects the remaining salt levels. Note that the starting amounts have changed to maintain the same starting concentrations. For a 1:1 mash, 9.6% is left after 48 minutes, 1.25:1, 15.2%; 1.5:1 20.7%; 1.75:1 25.9%; 2:1 30.6%.

So to circle back around and hit that dead horse one more time:

With a 2 batch sparge, 3.8% of the salt will remain in the mash. For fly sparging, the amount remaining depends on the mash ratio and how much you believe the fresh water added to the top mixes with the treated water at the bottom (I believe very little and by the time it does, most of the salts have been removed). If we draw parallels between wort extraction, fly sparging is more efficient that batch sparging so the amount left would be less that that in the batch scenario.

Bottom line, since mash ratio, grain amount and preboil volume will all affect the total sparge water required (and thus the salts called for in the EZ spreadsheet), we should try to be as accurate as we can with the kettle additions so we can reproduce a specific water for later brews if there are any recipe changes.

Rant=off