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Water- Chloride concerns


So...after 10 years of brewing, I think I may have some vague understanding of water chemistry.  I've been using the water Calculator (in addition to reading various books and articles) that's found online, and it makes sense. For the past 5 brews, I had just been adding 3/4 tsp of gypsum, as my water is below what I've found to be recommended brewing ranges in Calcium and sulfate.  I'm now getting to the point where I want to adjust my brewing salts in accordance with the beer I'm making (novel idea)... because I tried the 3/4 tsp of gypsum with Pale ales, IPA's and Porters, and the Porter is decidedly lacking in Malt profile.  From what I've gathered, the balance of a beer is related to the sulfate:chloride ratio, and my water is very low in chloride (23.5 PPM)... Back to the present, I'm doing a SMaSH Blonde ale, to get back to basics and really taste some base malt.  I'm using the "Balanced profile" on the water calculator, and will (predictably) have to add Calcium Chloride to boost the Sulfate: Chloride ratio.  My fear is: will Chloride act the same way that Chloramine does, and give me chlorophenol problems?  Before I started using a carbon filter, I had awful chlorophenol issues.  A quick internet search does not really tell me the difference between chloride and chloramines (or chlorine for that matter).  Any help on the matter would be helpful, as will any feedback concerning my water chemistry rationale.  Thanks guys,

The chloride ion is not the same one as in disinfectants. Chloride will accentuate roundness and sweetness in the beer. Keep chloride levels under 100ppm. Lower even if you have high sulfate levels or it will start to taste harsh.

Quoted from Bru'n Water's water knowledge sheet by Martin Brungard.  If this is not the water worksheet you are using, check it out. Lots of good information here.

Don't worry about the chloride ion (Cl-).  It is not the same as the ion that chlorine gas dissociates into.  That is the hypochlorite ion (OCl-).  That is the one that will screw up your beer with chlorophenols. 

Chloride is welcome in beer to modest concentrations as Diane mentions.  Beer flavor can get minerally if both sulfate and chloride concentrations are high.  100 ppm chloride should be the typical max in most beers, however it should be further reduced when you are really boosting sulfate levels for a hoppy beer.

Awesome. Both comments are exactly what I was looking for!  Thanks!


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