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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: tomsawyer on January 07, 2011, 05:05:21 PM

Title: Batch Sparging With Distilled Water?
Post by: tomsawyer on January 07, 2011, 05:05:21 PM
I did this for the first time a few days ago when I brewed a cream ale, so I don't know if there was a negative effect.  I used my tap water and salts for the mash, but didn't have bottled water until my wife got home from the store.  I wanted the final salt levels to be what I'd already added so I batch sparged with the distilled.  My rationale was that the mash still had salts in the bound water, so I wouldn't leach tannins.

Any experiences or advice concerning this approach?  Obviously it would have been safer to blend the  tap and distilled for both mash and sparge.  I'll report back when I taste this batch.
Title: Re: Batch Sparging With Distilled Water?
Post by: Kaiser on January 07, 2011, 05:10:13 PM
I wanted the final salt levels to be what I'd already added so I batch sparged with the distilled.  My rationale was that the mash still had salts in the bound water, so I wouldn't leach tannins.

I think its fine to add all the salts to the mash and sparge with soft water.

Kai
Title: Re: Batch Sparging With Distilled Water?
Post by: denny on January 07, 2011, 05:25:00 PM
That's pretty much what I do.  At the urging of Martin Brungard, I've been doing a very slight pH adjustment to my sparge water (just to see what happens) but all salts go in the mash.
Title: Re: Batch Sparging With Distilled Water?
Post by: Kaiser on January 07, 2011, 05:26:04 PM
That's pretty much what I do.  At the urging of Martin Brungard, I've been doing a very slight pH adjustment to my sparge water (just to see what happens) but all salts go in the mash.

I don't think that you need to do any sparge water adjustment if it is soft water.

Kai
Title: Re: Batch Sparging With Distilled Water?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 07, 2011, 05:40:13 PM
I adjust the RO water's pH down to 5.5 or so.  It just takes a couple of drops of phosphoric acid.
Title: Re: Batch Sparging With Distilled Water?
Post by: Kaiser on January 07, 2011, 06:22:12 PM
I adjust the RO water's pH down to 5.5 or so.  It just takes a couple of drops of phosphoric acid.

… which also means that the residual wort in the mash will be able to do that adjustment for you. I’m not saying that it is wrong, only that it is not necessary. Denny is all after cutting the unnecessary thins AFAIK ;)

Kai
Title: Re: Batch Sparging With Distilled Water?
Post by: mabrungard on January 07, 2011, 07:22:21 PM
That's pretty much what I do.  At the urging of Martin Brungard, I've been doing a very slight pH adjustment to my sparge water (just to see what happens) but all salts go in the mash.

I don't think that you need to do any sparge water adjustment if it is soft water.

Kai

Its not the hardness that is ever a concern with sparge water, its the alkalinity.  Denny's water had just a little too much alkalinity and elevated pH, but is otherwise pretty darn good water for brewing.

Sparging with distilled water is fine, but the brewer would probably want to add the appropriate minerals in the kettle to provide the desired calcium content and flavor ions.
Title: Re: Batch Sparging With Distilled Water?
Post by: tomsawyer on January 07, 2011, 09:52:35 PM
When I make my mineral additions I try and design for both mash pH and flavor profile in the final beer.  My tap water is kind of high in sulfate at 90ppm, so sometimes I don't want to use all tap water unless I am wanting 120ppm sulfate after boiling.  When I do use tap water to sparge, I'll often add a little lactic acid and/or an extra bit of calcium salt.  I also employ lactic acid in the mash to keep my chloride and sulfate levels in a reasonable range.

I'm relieved to hear that I didn't mess up that beer!
Title: Re: Batch Sparging With Distilled Water?
Post by: denny on January 07, 2011, 10:10:05 PM
That's pretty much what I do.  At the urging of Martin Brungard, I've been doing a very slight pH adjustment to my sparge water (just to see what happens) but all salts go in the mash.

I don't think that you need to do any sparge water adjustment if it is soft water.

Kai

Probably not, but like I said, it's something I'm testing.  I want to track my kettle pH both ways to see if there's enough difference to worry about.