When to add brewing salts

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46andbrew

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So we were wondering if we were adding our brewing salts at the right time and if it even matters. We have had great results with our IPAs. We took a gold in Virginia with our DIPA. So we r using ph stabilizer in our mash to achieve 5.2 and adding our salts to the wort after the sparge before the boil begins.
 

TheHappyHopper

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If you are having great results with what you are doing, then personally I wouldn't change it...

I make my water additions all at the same time - I use the EZ Water spreadsheet and my city water report to figure out how my RO water + tap water I need for the entire batch, collect that in a bucket, and then add my mineral additions before ever starting to heat water. Of course, this works out great for me since I am doing 5 gallon batches (or less).
 

wardens355

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I use vended water (RO, TDS around 5-10 ppm) and use Bru'n Water to come up with my mineral and acid additions to maintain pH between 5.2-5.5. I am currently operating without a real sparge, so I mash at normal thickness, then fill the tun with enough mashout water to runoff my entire pre-boil volume. I will generally add minerals & acid (if necessary) twice, once during the mash, and once during mashout. If your mineral additions are for controlling mash/sparge pH, then obviously you need to add them when mashing/sparging. If your mineral additions are only for flavor, then I don't think it matters, adding to the kettle is fine.
 

BryceL

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I always add my salts directly to the mash while I'm mashing in. Some things like chalk will not dissolve in water and will get left behind in the HLT. Depending on my calculations, I may or may not also add salts to the boil.
 

Natdavis777

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There are too many variables to accurately say when they should be added. Different variables such as source water, grain bill, style, etc can affect when the minerals should be added.

Programs like Bru'n Water are superb for this kind of question.

Caveat: If your beer is winning awards, by all means, keep on keeping on.

Minerals are used for flavor profiles and also effect the pH of the beer. Say you want to brew a DIPA and desire 350ppm sulfate and 70ppm Cl, adding all minerals to the mash could drive your mash pH down too far, past the desired range.

If brewing a darker beer, say porter or stout, and you want some chloride (say around 70ppm) to accentuate the maltiness, and you add all to the mash, you could again drive down the pH too low due to the acid contribution from the malt and from the CaCl.

Using a program like Bru'n Water (I use and user friendly) or Brewer's Friend figures out what mineral contribution, calculates mash pH, and allows you to hit the overall profile you are trying to achieve.

And I would +1 on the skipping of the 5.2 stabilizer. It doesnt automatically set your mash to 5.2
 

DurtyChemist

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I add them to the water before I add malt. I BIAB but if I was 3 vessel I'd add them to strike and sparse water.
 

adixon3

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I've heard several people recommend Bru'n water to figure out the mineral and acid additions but I find Bru'n water extreamly hard to use so i use the EZ Water speadsheet. It turns out that the pH of your mash has a huge impact on the mashing process as well as taste of your finished beer. The pH of the mash is very important for proper conversion of sugars during the mash and also due to its effect on finished beer. Mashing should always take place at a pH between 5.1 and 5.3. However, its important to note that we are talking about the pH of the mixed mash, so it also depends on the color and quantity of malts added to the beer. In most cases the mixed mash will be slightly alkaline (pH above 5.3) and require an acidic addition or buffer to bring it down to 5.2. so like everyone is saying the 5.2 stabilizer will not bring your mash down to a 5.2 pH
 
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