Step Mash Water Chemistry

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InspectorJon

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I plan to make Miraculix Best. I plan a step mash 144F for 30 min, 161F for 30 min, 170F for 15 min. I plan on adding boiling water to raise the temperature for the second and third steps. For a 3.5 gallon batch with 5.5 lbs of grain Brewers Friend recommends 10.25 qts of water for the first step, 4.2 qts for the second step and 3.3 for the last step. I am doing a full volume BIAB mash. Based on the total water volume 4.5g of Gypsum, 3g of Calcium Chloride and 1g of table salt gives me a water profile I think should be good for an English Best Bitter. My starting water is very soft. In PPM: 3 Calcium, 1 Mag, 6 Sodium, 2 Chloride, .2 Sulfate, 23 Bicarbonate, Alkalinity 19 (BrunWater), pH 7 based on municipal water report.

Question 1: Should I treat all the water and then split it up for the separate additions or add it all to the first step or . . .

Question 2: Brewers Friend's water calculator likes the pH at 5.38 with these additions. BrunWater wants me to add a gram of baking soda to get up from 5.13 to 5.36. Who to believe? I don't have a pH meter.
 

McMullan

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If you add all the salts in step 1 the initial steps are going to be mistreated. For your mash profile I'd treat all water the night before then drain off volume for steps 2 and 3 before mash-in.
 

marc1

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I plan to make Miraculix Best. I plan a step mash 144F for 30 min, 161F for 30 min, 170F for 15 min. I plan on adding boiling water to raise the temperature for the second and third steps. For a 3.5 gallon batch with 5.5 lbs of grain Brewers Friend recommends 10.25 qts of water for the first step, 4.2 qts for the second step and 3.3 for the last step. I am doing a full volume BIAB mash. Based on the total water volume 4.5g of Gypsum, 3g of Calcium Chloride and 1g of table salt gives me a water profile I think should be good for an English Best Bitter. My starting water is very soft. In PPM: 3 Calcium, 1 Mag, 6 Sodium, 2 Chloride, .2 Sulfate, 23 Bicarbonate, Alkalinity 19 (BrunWater), pH 7 based on municipal water report.

Question 1: Should I treat all the water and then split it up for the separate additions or add it all to the first step or . . .

Question 2: Brewers Friend's water calculator likes the pH at 5.38 with these additions. BrunWater wants me to add a gram of baking soda to get up from 5.13 to 5.36. Who to believe? I don't have a pH meter.

I'd add the salts to all of the water first.

The recipe gives a suggested water profile that specifically says "Lowest alkalinity possible."

I'm not convinced that a non-dark beer would need alkalinity added anyway. Are you sure you entered it in the spreadsheet correctly? Is that pH based on adding all the salts to the initial mash, and then adding your very soft water for the step mash?
 
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