Author Topic: how do you add your salts?  (Read 8473 times)

Offline redzim

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how do you add your salts?
« on: August 19, 2013, 10:32:01 AM »
I'm relying a lot more on BrunWater for my lighter-than-amber beers, and finding that just about every beer calls for some combination of CaCl2, gypsum, and epsom.  Here's my current SOP:I read somewhere that gypsum dissolves better in cooler water, so I've been heating my strike water in a kettle, while dissolving the salts separately in a small beaker of ~1 cup cool water. Then I put strike water and salt solution into cooler box mash tun, and wait until it drops to strike temp, then slowly stir in the grain.

The problem I'm running into is that the CaCl2 does not dissolve very much. (I think it's the CaCl2, because I've never see this problem with some brews that just called for gypsum & epsom.)  It stays all flaky in the beaker; I've tried dissolving it in 2-3 cups water; no dice. When I add that "solution" to the mash tun, the flaky white calcium just drops to the bottom. I'm assuming that it is doing no good, since it's not in solution...

So is this a problem? if not, I'm fine. But if so, how do you dissolve all your CaCl2?

tx
red




Offline beersk

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Re: how do you add your salts?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2013, 10:55:47 AM »
I measure out what I need and add to the water as it's heating. Never seem to have an issue getting it to dissolve...
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: how do you add your salts?
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2013, 11:00:28 AM »
I have not had a problem dissolving calcium chloride in the water but I always add the whole volume of water that is in the kettle into the mash tun. At the end of lift the kettle swirl and pour. I suspect anything that hasn't dissolved before it goes into the mash tun will dissolve when the mash is mixed as the pH goes lower.

Given that I also suspect that adding lactic acid to the mash water in the kettle probably helps the salts dissolve better.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: how do you add your salts?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2013, 11:03:34 AM »
I measure out what I need and add to the water as it's heating. Never seem to have an issue getting it to dissolve...
+1
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Offline Wesbrau

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Re: how do you add your salts?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2013, 11:11:50 AM »
We add all of our salts to the mash.  No trouble dissolving them that way and easier than weighing out separate salts for the sparge water.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: how do you add your salts?
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2013, 11:21:37 AM »
If you're not using the salts to adjust mash pH, add them to the kettle.

Gypsum is tougher to dissolve in warm water, but an hour boil should do it.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: how do you add your salts?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2013, 01:22:39 PM »
I take it that Red is using flaked calcium chloride.  I recall using that in my pool back in Florida.  It might not have been as soluble as the pearled calcium chloride that I now obtain from the LHBS.  As an aside, I added a few pearls to freshly boiled water that I was going to use to rehydrate dry yeast.  (You do know that you shouldn't rehydrate yeast in distilled or RO water, right?  You want a little Ca in the water to moderate the osmotic stress on the yeast cells)  Those pearls were very quickly dissolved.  Hot water is definitely OK.

Gypsum is a little slower to dissolve, but it is still fully soluble at the relatively low concentrations we brewers use.  In hot water or cold, it will dissolve.  However, I do have to stir it more or it will sit at the bottom of the container.  I find that just a few minutes are required to dissolve the gypsum in water.

Epsom is another one that is quite soluble, it just takes a few minutes to dissolve.   

All those minerals are highly soluble, some just take a little longer than others.  Maybe the flaked calcium chloride needs to be replaced with the pearled form that LD Carlson sells at the LHBS'?
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Offline philm63

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Re: how do you add your salts?
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2013, 03:39:35 AM »
We add all of our salts to the mash.  No trouble dissolving them that way and easier than weighing out separate salts for the sparge water.

+1

I add my "mash salts" directly to the grain just before adding the water, and any remaining salts from my Bru'n Water calculations just goes into the kettle come boil time. I also use the pearl CaCl2 and as Martin indicated; these salts are all quite soluble.
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Offline dbarber

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Re: how do you add your salts?
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2013, 06:45:47 AM »
We add all of our salts to the mash.  No trouble dissolving them that way and easier than weighing out separate salts for the sparge water.

+2

I used to add them to the water as it was heating, now I just add them to the mash.
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Offline redzim

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Re: how do you add your salts?
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2013, 05:42:42 AM »
I  definitely use the pearl CaCl2, it's an LD Carlson product... so not sure where my problems are coming from. I'll try to narrow it down next time I brew, maybe dissolve each mineral separately in a little water and see if it really is the calcium....

thanks for the other various suggestions....

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: how do you add your salts?
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2013, 06:02:35 AM »
Sometimes they are added when we dough in. Sometimes I see the weighed salts setting on the table after dough in, so the go in then, with extra stirring and recirculation.

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Offline roffenburger

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Re: how do you add your salts?
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2013, 06:19:10 AM »
If seeing they are dissolved gives you peace of mind, stick them on your stir plate while your strike water heats.
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Offline vdeckard

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Re: how do you add your salts?
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2017, 11:52:24 AM »
We add all of our salts to the mash.  No trouble dissolving them that way and easier than weighing out separate salts for the sparge water.

+1

I add my "mash salts" directly to the grain just before adding the water, and any remaining salts from my Bru'n Water calculations just goes into the kettle come boil time. I also use the pearl CaCl2 and as Martin indicated; these salts are all quite soluble.

Are you saying that you add all of you salts (your mash and sparge water salts) to the grain, or in the mashtun?  I'm asking, because we installed an RO system, and I'm trying to figure out the best way to go about adding salts.  I want to avoid having any minerals in my HLT.  But I'm also worried about having to high PH in the run off.  thanks for your help!
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: how do you add your salts?
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2017, 12:22:52 PM »
I don't recommend adding salts to the grain or to the mash since it is much more likely that those salts and their ions won't be well distributed in the wort. The best approach is to add salts to the strike and sparge water and mix well for about a minute. That way, you are guaranteed that the ions are well-distributed. 

The other option is to add all salts to the kettle, but then you may miss out on some beneficial effects of having those ions in the mashing water (pushing down wort pH, reducing oxalate in your wort, etc). If your starting water quality is already above 40 to 50 ppm calcium, then those benefits are already in place...you can add your minerals directly to the kettle with little detriment.
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Offline vdeckard

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Re: how do you add your salts?
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2017, 02:52:12 PM »
I don't recommend adding salts to the grain or to the mash since it is much more likely that those salts and their ions won't be well distributed in the wort. The best approach is to add salts to the strike and sparge water and mix well for about a minute. That way, you are guaranteed that the ions are well-distributed. 

The other option is to add all salts to the kettle, but then you may miss out on some beneficial effects of having those ions in the mashing water (pushing down wort pH, reducing oxalate in your wort, etc). If your starting water quality is already above 40 to 50 ppm calcium, then those benefits are already in place...you can add your minerals directly to the kettle with little detriment.
So the challenge we have is that our city water is crappy and inconsistent.  We decided to use RO.  This means I need to add salts back in.  Adding to the mash is easy, but what about to the sparge, if I want to keep the salts out of my HLT?  I could add salts directly to my water collection tank, but I'm afraid it won't dissolve.
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