Long time brewer but I'm just getting into building water and could use a little help with my water additions. I recently had my water tested and it appears to be very low mineral.
CaCO3 (total hardness)=22
According to Bru n water and through experience on my last 2 beers, I am able to hit a mash ph of roughly 5.4-5.5 with only small additions of acid malt.
I have 3 beers that I'll be brewing on the next few weeks that I want to add "salts" to. An American Blonde (yellow balanced), an IPA(pale ale), and a Cream Stout(dark balanced). Building these with Bru n Water, it looks like I can get away with adding different quantities of Gypsum, Calcium Chloride, Epsom Salt, and Baking Soda to the boil.
1.) Am I doing this right? Lol I just add these flavoring "salts" to the boil kettle? Surely it's more difficult than that? What am I missing?
2.) Using the mineral parameters that Bru n Water states, the lighter beers fall within the Bicarbonate level my water has but what about darker beers? So, I just need to add Baking Soda to the boil?
3.) I've been reading lots on the net and also have Palmer's "Water" book and I suppose Alkalinity and Total Alkalinity are the concepts that I'm having the most trouble understanding? Is it possible for someone to explain this in layman's terms or point me to a source that can? ISO "Water for dummies"
Thanks in advance everyone!