Author Topic: How to add salts to sparge water when fly sparging?  (Read 2331 times)

Offline blatz

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How to add salts to sparge water when fly sparging?
« on: December 10, 2012, 07:44:08 AM »
Recently switched to fly sparging - third batch this weekend on my new setup.  My question is how do I add my water adjustment salts to my sparge? 

You can't add them to the HLT (not very soluble - they just sink and stick to the bottom of the kettle) and you can't still the mash at the point of sparging since it will disturb the grain bed, plus you still have the first wort in there.

With batch sparging, I would just throw the salts on top of the mash, add the sparge water and then stir.

What do y'all do? 
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Offline tygo

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Re: How to add salts to sparge water when fly sparging?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2012, 07:49:53 AM »
Are you using the salts to bring the sparge water pH down or just for flavor contribution?  If the latter I would just throw them in the boil.

I will say though that the few times I've put them in the sparge water while it was heating and stirred they seemed to dissolve fine.
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Offline blatz

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Re: How to add salts to sparge water when fly sparging?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2012, 07:54:56 AM »
Are you using the salts to bring the sparge water pH down or just for flavor contribution?  If the latter I would just throw them in the boil.

I will say though that the few times I've put them in the sparge water while it was heating and stirred they seemed to dissolve fine.

hmm - I don't really know - I just follow Martin's spreadsheet, but I never questioned if it was because of flavor or pH.  I use RO water and build up from there.

Maybe I did not stir enough - my HLT was at about 160 when I added then and I stirred from a minute or so and the water became milky, so I stopped.  But when the HLT was dry, there was a lot of salts precipitated on the bottom. 

 ???
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: How to add salts to sparge water when fly sparging?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2012, 08:14:44 AM »
I use RO water and build up from there.

Then I think you'd want the salts in the sparge water. Stir a lot or you could dissolve in a quart or two of boiling water and add that to the HLT.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: How to add salts to sparge water when fly sparging?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2012, 08:40:13 AM »
Try taking the salts out in bru'n water then check the mash ph on the mash acidification and sparge acidification sheets. unless you are doing a very light colored beer it's probably not a huge issue pH wise and you could add them to the kettle. but stirring your sparge water really well should get the salts to disolve, unless you are using chalk, that doesn't like to disolve at all.
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Offline narvin

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Re: How to add salts to sparge water when fly sparging?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2012, 08:40:19 AM »
Except for chalk, I think the salts should be pretty soluble in water.  But, you shouldn't be adding chalk to your sparge water anyway.  I've never noticed a problem getting them to disolve in the hlt with just some gentle stirring.
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Offline blatz

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Re: How to add salts to sparge water when fly sparging?
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2012, 09:05:50 AM »
yeah no chalk, ever - it was only gypsum, epsom and cacl.  I like the idea of taking a little water out, stirring and adding it back in.
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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: How to add salts to sparge water when fly sparging?
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2012, 09:43:38 AM »
Gypsum will dissolve more readily in cold water. Try adding the salts to cold water. The others you have will dissolve readily. You don't want to add chalk or baking soda to the sparge water, as you want to keep the mash pH from going up. I do adjust the sparge water to around 5.5 pH with acid.
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: How to add salts to sparge water when fly sparging?
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2012, 10:07:04 AM »
Never tried this by gypsum might do better made into a slurry with just a tiny bit of water. Then add that to the larger volume.
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Offline denny

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Re: How to add salts to sparge water when fly sparging?
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2012, 10:21:24 AM »
yeah no chalk, ever - it was only gypsum, epsom and cacl.  I like the idea of taking a little water out, stirring and adding it back in.

Why not add those to the kettle and adjust the sparge water with acid if necessary?  Obviously, the pragmatic solution would be to go back to batch sparging!  ;)
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Offline blatz

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Re: How to add salts to sparge water when fly sparging?
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2012, 10:25:37 AM »
Why not add those to the kettle and adjust the sparge water with acid if necessary?  Obviously, the pragmatic solution would be to go back to batch sparging!  ;)

I've spent WAYYY to much $$$ on this brewery to start being pragmatic again  ;D
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Offline denny

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Re: How to add salts to sparge water when fly sparging?
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2012, 10:26:49 AM »
Why not add those to the kettle and adjust the sparge water with acid if necessary?  Obviously, the pragmatic solution would be to go back to batch sparging!  ;)

I've spent WAYYY to much $$$ on this brewery to start being pragmatic again  ;D

Believe it or not, you can batch sparge even with $$$ equipment!  ;)
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Offline jeffy

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Re: How to add salts to sparge water when fly sparging?
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2012, 10:38:14 AM »
I've lately been mashing all the base malts, adjusted to proper pH with acid, capping the finished mash with crystal and roast malts if any, then adding salts in the kettle, like Denny suggested.  I add a little acid to the sparge water so the mash pH doesn't rise during sparging.
I wondered recently if I could add the salts for flavor after I had the beer in kegs.  This way I could make 10 gallons of pilsner, then turn half into a Dort Export with salts.
Flavor salts work with food......
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: How to add salts to sparge water when fly sparging?
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2012, 10:51:53 AM »
you want to make sure the yeast have enough calcium but other than that I don't see why that wouldn't work
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Offline denny

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Re: How to add salts to sparge water when fly sparging?
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2012, 10:53:02 AM »
I've lately been mashing all the base malts, adjusted to proper pH with acid, capping the finished mash with crystal and roast malts if any, then adding salts in the kettle, like Denny suggested.  I add a little acid to the sparge water so the mash pH doesn't rise during sparging.
I wondered recently if I could add the salts for flavor after I had the beer in kegs.  This way I could make 10 gallons of pilsner, then turn half into a Dort Export with salts.
Flavor salts work with food......

Martin has talked about adding gypsum to a keg or glass.  I imagine other salts could be used the same way.
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