Water treatment in mash, hot liquor, mash liquor, or boil?
When treating water for desired mineral levels, is it best to treat the mash liquor, the sparge liquor, or even directly in the boil?
My understanding was that mineral levels are important for the mash, which would mean the boil is too late to treat. Teating the mash directly would work, but in the case of "burtonizing" liquor, would it not add perhaps too much to the relatively low volume of mash liquor?
I currently treat both mash and sparge liquor with different minerals and acids, but I wonder if this is the best practice.
If you have an on-line, on-demand hot liquor system with a continuous feed, you really have no choice, absent a dosing system (which is likely prohibitively expensive). Even if you have a batch type of hot liquor system, as with a combi-vessel brewhouse, I'd avoid treating liquor directly and simply treat the mash and, if desired, the kettle. The precipitates formed by acidification and mineral treatments may eventually foul the liquor tank fittings and transfer lines. I'd recommend adding minerals to the mash tun, based on the total expected volume of wort going in to the kettle, and acidification, if any, either in the mash tun solely, or split between the mash tun and kettle (based on optimal wort pH at cast-out).