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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: bendbrew on September 18, 2010, 10:29:32 PM

Title: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: bendbrew on September 18, 2010, 10:29:32 PM
I want to make an Oatmeal Stout (Jamil's McQuaker's Oatmeal Stout from Brewing Classic Styles).  All grain, 1.5 qt per pound and batch sparging. The water in Bend is quite soft: 

Calcium CA 6
Total Alkalinity CaCO3 42
Magnesium Mg 4
Sulfate SO4 <1
Sodium Na 8
Bicarbonate HCO3 51
Chloride Cl 2
Total Hardness CaCO3 32

I tried to use Palmer's nomograph but am not quite clicking in on it.

Any suggestions regarding what I should aim for and what additions (gypsum vs. alternatives).

Thanks everyone.
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: Norm! on September 18, 2010, 11:10:56 PM
I prefer the EZ water calculator, it was much easier for me to understand, It's available at the following link.
http://www.ezwatercalculator.com/
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: brushvalleybrewer on September 18, 2010, 11:25:40 PM
+1 on norm’s link. Once I get my head around that, then I can see that the nomograph is telling me the same thing.

How about this for the mash... a gram each of Gypsum, Calcium Chloride, and Chalk, and two grams of Baking Soda. I think that should get you a pH of 5.2 and a balanced Cl:SO4 ratio using that recipe, but there are lots of ways to skin a cat. Play around with the spreadsheet.

Your starting Cl and SO4 are low enough that I don’t know if I’d bother adjusting the sparge.
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: bendbrew on September 18, 2010, 11:48:39 PM
Brush Valley Brewer-

Thank you for those numbers.  I would assume that I would double your recommended amounts for a ten gallon batch.  I have looked over the spreadsheet and will need to spend time with it.  I am guessing I have to manually play with water additions to get the right balance.  That is my (well, one of my) weaknesses.  How do you choose between gypsum, chalk, sodium chloride and baking soda?

Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: brushvalleybrewer on September 19, 2010, 12:29:11 AM
Yes. Double the amounts for 10 gallons.

How do I decide which to use?

First I put in the water report values.

Then I picked a hypothetical mash/sparge (5g/3.5g) size.

Then I put in the recipe values. Total grain, caramels, roasts, and color.

It’s a dark beer and will acidify your water. You’ve got really soft water and if you enter your numbers this far it will calculate a mash pH of 5.12, which is a bit on the acid side.

The other thing to notice is that you’re a little shy on Calcium. Yeast likes Calcium. Helps with flocculation.

Given those two things I looked at what raises pH. The choices are Baking Soda and Chalk. Chalk doesn’t dissolve very well, so I used some of both and more of the Baking Soda. I started with small numbers and changed them around until the pH seemed reasonable.

If you wanted a really malty stout, you could leave out the Gypsum and Calcium Chloride. The BU:GU ratio on the recipe makes me think it should emphasize the hops as much as the malt, so I wanted to get the Chloride to Sulfate ratio down to around 1. Gypsum adds Sulfate, Calcium Chloride adds Chloride, they both add Calcium. I started with 1 g of each and was happy with the numbers that resulted.

…on second thought I might bump that to 2.5 g of Baking Soda instead of 2. (I added up the grain weights wrong the last time).  :-[
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: Norm! on September 19, 2010, 01:56:41 AM
The other thing I did to help myself understand was to use RO water and not rely on chemical tests or the inconsistent water supply's in my area...
RO is available at my grocery store for about 30 cents a gallon and is a very stable starting point. That being said it becomes a "constant" in your brewing experiments!
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: thcipriani on September 19, 2010, 01:27:15 PM
This thread is great - we started with water that doesn't exist and a beer with an unknown SRM and we've figured out salt additions to achieve a mash pH with an accuracy of 1/100th of a unit. I see no problems with this logic.
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: bendbrew on September 19, 2010, 02:31:57 PM
The recipe I mentioned is from Jamil Zainasheff & John Palmer's Book "Brewing Classic Styles"; pages 169-170.  The stated SRM is 35.  I don't know how to respond to you non existent water question as I listed my city's water report. 
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: brushvalleybrewer on September 19, 2010, 02:51:39 PM
I might guess that thcipriani put your water report into AJ Delange’s Nearly Universal Brewing Water Spreadsheet and found that it didn’t balance. That happens sometimes.

It comes down to your personal philosophy. Some people are Scientists and collect data to make theories. If the data isn’t right, the theory is worthless. Other people are Engineers who collect data to make things. If the data isn’t right you still have a thing. I assumed you were trying to make beer, not a theory about beer. I gave the best response I could with the information available using that assumption.

There’s no fault with either philosophy, without both of them we wouldn’t have either.

As I said, there’s lots of ways to skin a cat.

No harm. No foul.
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: bendbrew on September 19, 2010, 03:18:17 PM
Once again, thanks Brushvalleybrewer.  The water in Bend, OR is incredibly soft but I would assume with those numbers, fairly easy to manipulate.  I will be practicing with the spreadsheet and Palmer's nomograph.  Then back to Palmer's book and the Water episodes of Brewstrong. 

I have had some tell me that they add chalk to the grain bill prior to mashing in as that is one way to get the chalk to dissolve. 


Thanks for your help.

Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: brushvalleybrewer on September 19, 2010, 06:43:20 PM
Don’t forget the corresponding episode of the Jamil Show (2/11/08).

I really enjoyed this beer, though I made it as a partial mash.

Let us know how it turns out!
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: mabrungard on September 22, 2010, 06:37:03 PM
For the case of brewing a darker beer with a soft water (which includes RO and distilled water), I recommend increasing the alkalinity of the mash water to avoid excessively low mash pH. 

Since the brewer is aiming to create an Oatmeal Stout, I think that a rounder and fuller perception of the malt sweetness is preferred.  For that reason, I would not be inclined to add gypsum to boost sulfate content.  The main things I would aim for is alkalinity for the mash and chloride for flavor roundness.  Some sodium could be welcome too. 

Since this stout would probably end up in the 30 to 40 SRM range, I'd aim for a residual alkalinity of at least 100 to keep the mash pH in a reasonable range.   You could also push this RA to as high as 180, but that may not be necessary.  At a RA of 100, the mash pH might end up a little low and the fermentability of the wort may be higher than desired, possibly producing a thinner and more alcoholic result.  Bumping up the RA will smooth the mouthfeel and reduce the wort fermentability.

For the soft water this brewer has, adding about 0.6 to 0.8 grams of chalk per gallon of mash water will produce a RA within the range above.  I do not recommend that any chalk be added to the sparge water since alkalinity is not desirable there and it would be tough to dissolve in the sparge water anyhow.

Another option would be to use baking soda, but this brewer's water is already lower than desired for Ca content and yeast health and hot break performance might suffer.  Please note that chalk adds slightly more alkalinity per gram than baking soda (1 gm/gal of chalk = 188 ppm RA increase while 1 gm/gal baking soda = 156 ppm RA increase). Adding a bunch of baking soda would also push the sodium content kind of undesirably high.

I do recommend adding a combination of table salt and calcium chloride to the sparge water to create an appropriate flavor profile for the water.  I would add about 0.5 gram of CaCl per gallon of total wort runoff.  Add all of the CaCl to the sparge water volume since adding that calcium to the mash water would reduce the RA and be counterproductive to the work done with the chalk.  I would add about 0.1 gram of table salt per gallon of wort runoff too in order to further round the flavor.  The salt could be added to either the mash or sparge water since it doesn't affect the RA.

Don't get too carried away with high accuracy with respect to these recommendations since there are plenty of variables at play here. But, do be able to measure what you add to your beers and write it down so you can assess what changes you would make next time. 

Martin Brungard
Carmel, IN
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: zorch on September 22, 2010, 10:42:31 PM
I do recommend adding a combination of table salt and calcium chloride to the sparge water to create an appropriate flavor profile for the water.  I would add about 0.5 gram of CaCl per gallon of total wort runoff.  Add all of the CaCl to the sparge water volume since adding that calcium to the mash water would reduce the RA and be counterproductive to the work done with the chalk.  I would add about 0.1 gram of table salt per gallon of wort runoff too in order to further round the flavor.  The salt could be added to either the mash or sparge water since it doesn't affect the RA.

When adding salts for flavor/"seasoning" purposes (as opposed to mash pH purposes), is there a reason not to simply toss them directly into the boil kettle, instead of adding them to the sparge water?
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: brushvalleybrewer on September 22, 2010, 10:59:23 PM
When adding salts for flavor/"seasoning" purposes (as opposed to mash pH purposes), is there a reason not to simply toss them directly into the boil kettle, instead of adding them to the sparge water?

Typically you would indeed add these salts to the boil kettle. The amount of the addition is based on the amount of sparge water, since the mash water is already salted, hence they are called sparge additions, even though you add them in the boil.

Also, I agree with everything mabrungard said. Personally, my wife and I are hop heads, so I tend to lean away from malt emphasis. Also, I don’t need any more sodium in my life, but I recognize it has a similar flavor contribution to Chloride.
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: bendbrew on September 23, 2010, 01:11:35 AM
Excellent advice.  Let me follow up by stating, in case I didn't earlier, I batch sparge.  I tend to add 12 gallons to the mash resulting in approximately 8 gallons in the kettle.  I then sparge with 7 to 7.5 to bring up total of 14 with an eventual 6 gallons going into the primary.  (Still working on whether I need a 14 gallon preboil or 13 with an eventual 5.5 in the fermentor).

I am also a hophead; however not in this style.

I have tried to use the Window's based calculator on my Mac-not great. 

Would the above information (i.e. batch vs continuous) alter the additions?  I have tended to add half to the mash and half to the kettle.

Thanks,

Bill
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: denny on September 23, 2010, 01:23:07 AM
You need 14 gal. preboil to end up with 6 in the fermenter?  Am I misunderstanding?
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: bendbrew on September 23, 2010, 01:38:19 AM
Denny-

You are absolutely correct.  My thoughts are whether I need 6 gallons in the fermentor (based on the style of beer).

Bill

P.S.

Denny, you'd be interested to know that our community college in Bend, OR cancelled their Intro To All-Grain class due to this interpretation of the law.
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: denny on September 23, 2010, 01:56:20 AM
Denny-

You are absolutely correct.  My thoughts are whether I need 6 gallons in the fermentor (based on the style of beer).

Bill

You're going to boil 14 gal. down to 6?  Excuse me for asking again, but that just doesn't seem right.
P.S.

Denny, you'd be interested to know that our community college in Bend, OR cancelled their Intro To All-Grain class due to this interpretation of the law.

I'm pretty sure they could brew, they just couldn't drink.  I've been working with the state sen. in charge of writing the new law, and there's little doubt it'll pass.  But even with no snags, it will likely be April before it works its way through the process.
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: bendbrew on September 23, 2010, 02:18:48 AM
Denny-

I should have specified-split the batch into two fermentors; i.e. 6 gallons each.

I haven't had a chance to discover the specifics as to why it was cancelled other than it is related to the latest interpretation of the law.  How these classes have been handled in the past is that the class "work" is offered at a community center building.  The brewing class had been done at a local homebrew supply shop.  The school is informing enrollies that they are d/c the class on the advice of their staff/attorneys until this is settled.  I am disappointed because the syllabus looked excellent and touched upon topics I would have loved a one to one on.
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: tschmidlin on September 23, 2010, 02:39:47 AM
See if you can explain to the staff/attorneys that until yeast is added all you have done is extracted sugar from grain and boiled it with some flavorings.  That is totally legal everywhere in the US, even states where homebrewing is completely legal.  And it was also legal during prohibition.  It's just sugar water.

If people take it home and add yeast, well, no one at the school or store can do anything about that.
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: malzig on September 23, 2010, 02:40:30 PM
Another option would be to use baking soda, but this brewer's water is already lower than desired for Ca content and yeast health and hot break performance might suffer.  Please note that chalk adds slightly more alkalinity per gram than baking soda (1 gm/gal of chalk = 188 ppm RA increase while 1 gm/gal baking soda = 156 ppm RA increase). Adding a bunch of baking soda would also push the sodium content kind of undesirably high.
Do you eschew the common teaching that Calcium balances Carbonate to reduce RA?

I follow the rule that 1 gram/gal Baking Soda contributes 189 ppm HCO3- and ~155 to RA, while 1 gram/gal Calcite contributes 158 ppm HCO3- and 106 ppm Ca++  so only ~55 to RA.

My usual recommendation for an Oatmeal Stout, depending on the base water, is a combination of Calcite and Baking Soda to get Ca++ and Na+ at least above 50 and some CaCl2 and/or NaCl to get the Cl- at least above 50.  For distilled water I would probably try 1 gram/gal each Calcite and Baking Soda and 0.5 gram/gal CaCl2 in the mash to balance the mash pH with an RA of ~180 and contribute ~70 ppm Ca and ~175 ppm HCO3- to the final beer, then maybe 0.5-0.75 gram/gal NaCl in the sparge water to keep the Na+ and Cl- up around 70 ppm in the final beer.
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: gordonstrong on September 23, 2010, 02:46:36 PM
Quote
When adding salts for flavor/"seasoning" purposes (as opposed to mash pH purposes), is there a reason not to simply toss them directly into the boil kettle, instead of adding them to the sparge water?

That's what they did at Sierra Nevada when I was there.  Not all salts in the mash/sparge will carry over to the kettle.

If you're making a dark beer with soft water, you really don't need to screw around with all the water salts.  Mash your base malts normally and add the dark malts during the vorlauf.  You aren't really mashing the dark malts anyway.  So if you don't want them to mess with your mash pH, don't put them in the mash.
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: mabrungard on September 23, 2010, 05:22:48 PM
Malzig brings up a good point that when adding chalk (calcite), the calcium does counter the effect of the carbonate.  Unfortunately, the formulation that he used was incorrect. 

While chalk does contribute 105.8 ppm Ca, it also provides 158.4 ppm of CO3 (not HCO3).  The equivalent concentration of HCO3 is 322 ppm.  1 ppm of CO3 is equivalent to 2.033 ppm HCO3.  Although the chemical formula for chalk (CaCO3) says that its supplying CO3 to the solution, at the pH of typical drinking water, all the CO3 is immediately converted to HCO3 in solution. 

So, the alkalinity contribution is 264 ppm for 1 gm/gal chalk.  Plugging that into the RA formula with the 105.8 ppm Calcium addition and the resulting INCREASE in RA is 188 ppm when adding chalk at 1 gm/gal.  This compares to the 156 ppm RA increase that baking soda provides when added at a rate of 1 gm/gal.

Regarding the addition of flavor ions to the beer, there is no reason to add them to the mash or sparge water since they aren't a large participant in the mash chemistry.  Gordon brings up a good point that not all the ions will make it out of the mash into the wort kettle and adding the minerals directly to the wort kettle makes sure that they make it there.  But that brings up another consideration.  If the natural water from a major brewing center (ie. Burton, Dublin, Munich, etc) was used in their historic brewing context, then some of those ions that naturally exist in that water would not make it through to the wort.  So, there might be some reason to add minerals to the mash and sparge water.  I suppose there is the possibility that adding minerals could overdo the flavor effect, but its probably a small discrepancy.  Just figured I'd through that out there. ;-)

Gordon brings up another good point regarding the addition of dark grains in a mash.  I agree that if you're dealing with low alkalinity water (not soft water as Gordon indicated) and would need alkalinity to keep the mash pH from dropping too low with a dark grist, then adding the dark grains at the vorlauf stage makes sense.  I know that Gordon uses RO for his brewing, so he is very adept at this technique (his pile of brewing medals attests).  I perform a relatively fast vorlauf at about 15 to 30 minutes and have never done dark grain additions that way.  I wonder if that short of a contact time is sufficient to transfer the flavor and color contributions???

For the great number of brewers out there that DO NOT have low alkalinity water, recognize that you will NOT want to do the pale grain mash separately and add the dark grain at the vorlauf.  You'll want the dark grain in the mash the entire time to help take out that excessive alkalinity.

Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: tschmidlin on September 23, 2010, 06:51:34 PM
Gordon brings up a good point that not all the ions will make it out of the mash into the wort kettle and adding the minerals directly to the wort kettle makes sure that they make it there.  But that brings up another consideration.  If the natural water from a major brewing center (ie. Burton, Dublin, Munich, etc) was used in their historic brewing context, then some of those ions that naturally exist in that water would not make it through to the wort.
I don't think that's right.  I assumed that Gordon's point was that if you have mash water with (for example) 100 ppm Ca++ and sparge water with 0 ppm Ca++, your kettle will not have 100 ppm Ca++ in it.  If both your mash and sparge water have 100 ppm calcium, then I don't see how the kettle can end up with anything but 100 ppm calcium (allowing for small differences since the moisture in the malt itself might not be at 100 ppm calcium).  Am I missing something here?  ???
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: brushvalleybrewer on September 23, 2010, 10:51:16 PM

Quote
When adding salts for flavor/"seasoning" purposes (as opposed to mash pH purposes), is there a reason not to simply toss them directly into the boil kettle, instead of adding them to the sparge water?
That's what they did at Sierra Nevada when I was there.  Not all salts in the mash/sparge will carry over to the kettle.
Gordon brings up a good point that not all the ions will make it out of the mash into the wort kettle and adding the minerals directly to the wort kettle makes sure that they make it there.
I don't think that's right.  I assumed that Gordon's point was that if you have mash water with (for example) 100 ppm Ca++ and sparge water with 0 ppm Ca++, your kettle will not have 100 ppm Ca++ in it.  If both your mash and sparge water have 100 ppm calcium, then I don't see how the kettle can end up with anything but 100 ppm calcium (allowing for small differences since the moisture in the malt itself might not be at 100 ppm calcium).  Am I missing something here?  ???

Okay. I see two questions: Mash and Sparge.

For the mash, the salts dissolve in the mash liquor. They can do this because the grains have acidified the water. The mashed grain absorbs some of the mash liquor. So clearly, regarding the mash, not all of the salts make it to the boil kettle. Do the grains absorb the salts one-for-one with the water they absorb? I don’t know. Somebody chime in if you do. If they do, then it makes sense that the ppm that make it into the kettle is the same as the ppm in the mash tun. That’s certainly my assumption.

For the sparge, if you add the salts to the HLT, the pH of the water will be too high to dissolve the salts and most will just sink to the bottom and sit there, hence, not making it into either the mash tun or the boil kettle.

I don’t know if that’s what Gordon had in mind, but it’s what I thought of when I read his comment.

If you're making a dark beer with soft water, you really don't need to screw around with all the water salts.  Mash your base malts normally and add the dark malts during the vorlauf.  You aren't really mashing the dark malts anyway.  So if you don't want them to mess with your mash pH, don't put them in the mash.

That’s an awesome idea! You’re suggesting he just steep the specialty grains?
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: tschmidlin on September 23, 2010, 11:07:44 PM
Ah, so if you are talking about individual ions then no, they won't all make it.  I was thinking in terms of ppm, which I think makes more sense if you're talking about the base water.

Anyway . . .

For the sparge, if you add the salts to the HLT, the pH of the water will be too high to dissolve the salts and most will just sink to the bottom and sit there, hence, not making it into either the mash tun or the boil kettle.
Maybe for your water, but my tap water has very low mineral content and many salts dissolve very easily in it (at 7.9 pH according to Ward labs).
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: malzig on September 23, 2010, 11:17:58 PM
While chalk does contribute 105.8 ppm Ca, it also provides 158.4 ppm of CO3 (not HCO3).  The equivalent concentration of HCO3 is 322 ppm.  1 ppm of CO3 is equivalent to 2.033 ppm HCO3.  Although the chemical formula for chalk (CaCO3) says that its supplying CO3 to the solution, at the pH of typical drinking water, all the CO3 is immediately converted to HCO3 in solution. 
II know that carbonate chemistry in water in the presence of CO2 is complex, and I can't claim to really understand it, so I'd be glad to see an explanation of that statement.

It would seem that if 1 ppm (1 mg/L) of 60 m.w. CO3-- was dissolved completely in water, it could only result in 1.1 ppm (1.1 mg/L) of 61 m.w. HCO3-.  I know that the chemistry of bicarbonate in water allows for atmospheric CO2 to become HCO3-, which I assume is the source of the additional 1 ppm of HCO3-.

When examined by Kai Troester, I believe (and again, I could be wrong) he found that the commonly used RA contribution of 55 by Calcite held in practice, unless the Calcite was forced into solution prior to the mash by high CO2 partial pressure.  Is it possible that the solubilization of CaCO3 by acid in the mash, instead of by Carbonic Acid in water, results in 1 ppm CO3-- producing approximately 1 ppm HCO3- and 55 increase in RA?
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: brushvalleybrewer on September 24, 2010, 12:11:49 AM
Maybe for your water, but my tap water has very low mineral content and many salts dissolve very easily in it (at 7.9 pH according to Ward labs).

Put a teaspoon of chalk in a glass of your water. Come back in a few days and tell me what happened.  ;)
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: thcipriani on September 24, 2010, 02:56:23 AM
Quote
Quote from: mabrungard on Today at 10:22:48 AM
While chalk does contribute 105.8 ppm Ca, it also provides 158.4 ppm of CO3 (not HCO3).  The equivalent concentration of HCO3 is 322 ppm.  1 ppm of CO3 is equivalent to 2.033 ppm HCO3.  Although the chemical formula for chalk (CaCO3) says that its supplying CO3 to the solution, at the pH of typical drinking water, all the CO3 is immediately converted to HCO3 in solution. 
II know that carbonate chemistry in water in the presence of CO2 is complex, and I can't claim to really understand it, so I'd be glad to see an explanation of that statement.
Martin is referring to the concentration of CO3 expressed as an equivalent weight of HCO3 - this is the same concept as when you see on a water report your alkalinity expressed as "as CaCO3". That refers to the total sum of all alkalinity in your water expressed as an equivalent weight of CaCO3 - this helps determine the electrical balance of cations and anions in a given sample of water.

To express the concentration of a substance as an equivalent amount of substance you first find the mg/L (or ppm - they are equivalent measurements) concentration of the substance for which you are attempting to express as an equivalent weight of another substance. For the example above the concentration of CO3 is 158.4.

Then you must find the equivalent weight of that substance, in the above case the substance is CO3. The equivalent weight of a substance can be derived by dividing a compound's molar mass by the number of positive or negative electrical charges that result from the dissolution of that compound (or, more conveniently, just Google search, "Equivalent weight of x" and you can usually find it). In the case of CO3 the gram equivalent is 30.004 (roughly).

After finding the equivalent weight of the first substance you must find the equivalent weight of the substance in which you'd like to express the concentration of the first substance. In the case of HCO3 the equivalent weight is 61.016. Also, as an aside, CaCO3's equivalent weight is 50 - in case anyone was wondering.

Once you have all of these numbers the math is fairly easy:
A mg/L * A equivalent weight/B equivalent weight = ppm of A as B

The above example works like this:
158.4ppm CO3 * (61.016/30.004)=322.121530462605 ppm CO3 as HCO3
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: thcipriani on September 24, 2010, 03:26:08 AM
As a practical anecdotal aside. I used to treat my water in the mash tun and the boil kettle exclusively. In the mash I'd add all the salts I'd need to get my calcium up (since, around here, we have zero calcium in our water) then, after taking a mash pH, I'd add acid or CaCO3 to get my pH in the right range. After that I'd add salts to the boil kettle to keep my Calcium ppm level where it was given the dilution. I was taught that you calculate ppm of calcium based on the total amount of mash water and then add calcium to the kettle to derive the same concentration of calcium based on the amount of additional sparge water you've used.

This method may be the right way to do it; however, I don't use this method today. Now I treat all my brewing water in bulk before brew day. Then I adjust in my mash tun if need be.

You can build most water before brew day using most salts, the major exception being chalk. Water becomes saturated with Calcium Carbonate very easily check out the solubility chart here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solubility_table

You can dissolve chalk in your brewing water for the purposes of authenticity or pH (IMO only if you've brewed the beer before or have done a test mash) pre-brew day, pre-mash using the process outlined here: http://www.braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Building_brewing_water_with_dissolved_chalk

However, outside of an attempt at pure authenticity, I don't think I'd go to the trouble as you'd probably see the chalk fall right back out of solution as soon as you began to heat your water. If you've decided that you need to add Calcium Carbonate to your water it's probably best to attempt to dissolve it in your mash using an amount appropriate to your total mash volume. My $.02 - worth about as much.
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: Norm! on September 24, 2010, 04:39:11 AM
Damm lets launch a space shuttle!!  I'm just going to brew beer...yall have fun ok?
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: tubercle on September 24, 2010, 05:07:31 AM
  Tubercle tried to read all of this and fell over onto the floor shaking like a dog s***ting persimmon seeds. Tubercle has made a lot of oatmeal stouts over the years but ain't never went through all of this.

 Tubercle just pours some hot water over some crushed grains, boils with hops, chills and pitches yeast. I mean like DAMN! Y'all need to get y'all a woman or something.

Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: tschmidlin on September 24, 2010, 05:24:35 AM
Maybe for your water, but my tap water has very low mineral content and many salts dissolve very easily in it (at 7.9 pH according to Ward labs).
Put a teaspoon of chalk in a glass of your water. Come back in a few days and tell me what happened.  ;)
Put a teaspoon of CaCl in a glass of your water.  Come back in a few days and tell me what happened.  ;)

Like I said, many salts dissolve very easily in my water.  :)
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: brushvalleybrewer on September 24, 2010, 11:16:03 AM
Damm lets launch a space shuttle!!

 :D

I don’t know. I kind of feel like I just watched the space shuttle launch. Awesome stuff!  ;D

I really appreciate this stuff. I won’t remember it, or use it every day, but if somebody gives me an equation to use with no explanation I’m skeptical. If somebody can go through and explain why that’s the equation to use and where it comes from… that’s pure gold!  8)

Thanks for that.
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: bendbrew on September 24, 2010, 01:25:07 PM
I reached out to one of the brewer's from a local brewery-Silver Moon.  He taught the all-grain class I took.  Great guy.  Their brewery also won several medals at this year's GABF.  Here was his response to me:

Thanks.  It was a huge victory for our little brewery.

It sounds to me like you're thinking about amending your water to fit a particular water style.  London perhaps for the oatmeal stout?  One teaspoon of gypsum to the mash should get the water pH where it needs to be.  One half teaspoon gypsum and one half teaspoon of calcium chloride added at 15 minutes remaining in the boil should get you close to where you want to be.  Tom has this stuff at his shop.

You can add your dark grain at 45 minutes into a 60 minute mash to smooth the harsh dark malt flavors.

Cheers!

BT
Title: Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
Post by: hike20 on September 24, 2010, 02:10:50 PM
Tubercle just pours some hot water over some crushed grains, boils with hops, chills and pitches yeast. I mean like DAMN! Y'all need to get y'all a woman or something.

Most of us here have a woman, which is why we brew beer, and probably why we spend so much time thinking about beer!  ;D