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Thread: Salt addition SOP

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Southwest, VA, USA
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    Salt addition SOP

    Interested in how people are adding water treatments to their mash. Currently we're adding a combo of Gypsum, Calcium Chloride, Chalk, Baking Soda, and Epsom. Generally I try to mix them in hot water prior to addition to help dissolve them to make sure the mix in well, and add periodically throughout mashing. I noticed if baking soda is added it tends to foam up temporarily. Is it ok to mix them all together, or am I creating a reaction that will affect their constitution? I've not seen a problem concerning pH in the mash or wort in the kettle. Just want to make sure I get them to be as effective as possible. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Northern CA
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    My process for adding mash salts is more or less the same

    Why are you adding so many different salts? Are you starting from RO or something? For my water I'm only adding CaCl2, CaSO4 or both. I've never seen/found the need to add any other salts at any of the breweries I've worked for over the years.
    Manuel

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Grand Rapids, MI
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    78
    I'm still on start-up phase - but on my 1BBL homebrew system, when I prepare baking soda with other salts - it certainly foams. Offhand I don't know the chemical reason for this, but I will tell you that I believe it is perfectly normal.
    Ryan
    Viridian Brewing Company
    [Brewery-In-Planning]

  4. #4
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    Brewmaster, Minocqua Brewing Company
    tbriggs@minocquabrewingcompany.com
    "Your results may vary"

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Briggs View Post
    I use Bru'n water too. Great software/shareware. Send him a little $ and you'll get a more complete version. Totally worth it, IMO.With my water profile (super soft water), I pretty much use only calcium sulfate and calcium chloride. For porters/stouts I do have to add some baking soda. I mix in a 2 gallon bucket with a whisk and add at intervals while mashing in. For a 7bbl system, it works just fine and PH is where it should be.
    Dave Cowie
    Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Company
    Nevada City, CA

  6. #6
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    I also use Bru'n water - and am a supporter. Great software, very intelligent brewer that made it.
    Ryan
    Viridian Brewing Company
    [Brewery-In-Planning]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Novosibirsk, Russia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viridian View Post
    I also use Bru'n water - and am a supporter. Great software, very intelligent brewer that made it.
    Hi! Could you share with link of web site?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Kent, WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andreyz View Post
    Hi! Could you share with link of web site?
    LMGTFY: https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    Chesterfield, UK
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    I don't understand why you (or bru'n water for that matter) are adding buffering agents in the form of calcium carbonate and baking soda as these will raise the water pH, not reduce it, and then adding gypsum and calcium chloride to reduce the pH in the mash. And as for adding Epsom salts - why add at all?

    I agree that even using RO water, or some of the water around here and Manchester which is virtually mineral free - CaCl2 and CaSO4 are all that is required, though a little NaCl sometimes is useful for chloride addition whilst keeping the calcium level lower than would otherwise result if you only used CaCl2

    Easiest way to add though is with the malt if you are using bagged malt - just split everything as dry salts evenly across all the bags, and that gives good results - perhaps sprinkling dry salts on the grist as well just before start of sparging if you want really large additions of calcium salts.
    Last edited by dick murton; 03-06-2018 at 12:26 PM. Reason: Added method of salts addtion
    dick

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Carmel, IN
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    The only reason that baking soda would effervesce, is if the water supply was acidic. This can be the case in areas with either direct rain runoff or hard rock (non-carbonate) geology. Employing an alkali in the mashing water could be a necessary component for brewing some styles in order to produce an acceptable pH. An overly low pH (say <5.2 (room temp)) tends to favor proteolysis activity and the wort tends to result in thinner body and mouthfeel.

    Since calcium has been shown to adversely affect the metabolism and flocculation of some yeast, it can be helpful to limit the calcium content of brewing liquor by supplanting magnesium sulfate for a portion of the gypsum, when elevated sulfate is desired in the liquor. The effect of magnesium in the liquor can be beneficial in well bittered beers, since it also aids in that effect.
    WaterEng
    Engineering Consultant

  11. #11
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    "Since calcium has been shown to adversely affect the metabolism and flocculation of some yeast......."

    I have never heard that one before. Do you have some references to this happening with brewers yeasts, or does this refer to yeasts of all types - brewers and non standard or completely non brewers yeasts?

    Thanks
    dick

  12. #12
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    Nov 2010
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    Carmel, IN
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    50
    Although I'm a BA member, I can't seem to find the archive of old issues of The New Brewer. So I can't point you to the exact issue.

    In an issue from about 3 years ago, there is a technical article on the requirements for magnesium and calcium in brewing. There is a large listing of references that support the contention that calcium is not always desirable in brewing water.
    WaterEng
    Engineering Consultant

  13. #13
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    OK

    Thanks
    dick

  14. #14
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    Mar 2018
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    Los Angeles, California
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    Thanks

    Found this thread really helpful. Thanks!



    www.cadeauwarenshop.nl

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    Not being able to access The New Brewer, (non member), the only article I have found referring to adverse effects of calcium are a couple of Heriot Watt papers from one of which I have taken the following

    "Calcium ……with inhibition of yeast growth occurring in excess of 1000 ppm" and a bit later (though no repeat of 1000 ppm!!)

    "Figures 1 and 2 show the decrease in gravity produced by both ale and lager strains when used to ferment both normal and high gravity wort, in the presence of added magnesium (500 ppm) or calcium (800 ppm)"

    These are ridiculously high as the anions (e.g. SO4 and Cl2) required to balance the Ca at those levels would produce other horrible flavours. There was no indication of what anions were associated with the Ca, and although a learned institution, I do wonder if the levels of anions might have had just as great, or perhaps even more of an effect as the calcium ions themselves

    I'm still interested in more details of what level the adverse effects of calcium kicks in.

    Cheers
    dick

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