Author Topic: How do you get chalk to dissove in brew water?  (Read 1268 times)

Offline Philbrew

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How do you get chalk to dissove in brew water?
« on: May 07, 2015, 05:27:54 PM »
I want to brew a Munich Helles, extract and partial (mini) mash.  I build water from RO.  Should I use a use a Munich water profile?  If so, how do you get the 3-4 grams of chalk to dissolve?
Should I use soft water for the mini-mash and Munich for the boil or go with the Munich for the mash too?
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Offline jeffy

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Re: How do you get chalk to dissove in brew water?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2015, 06:13:31 PM »
Martin helped with this once, but I don't have time to search now.  It involves adding it to water and then force carbonating with CO2.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: How do you get chalk to dissove in brew water?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2015, 06:43:39 PM »
Munich has to be mashed.  Don't use a Munich water profile on purpose, build the water to get the desired mash pH and flavor characteristics.  Use soda or food grade pickling lime (CaO) rather than chalk because chalk is difficult to dissolve without sufficient acidity.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: How do you get chalk to dissove in brew water?
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2015, 07:00:39 PM »
Use soda or food grade pickling lime (CaO) rather than chalk because chalk is difficult to dissolve without sufficient acidity.

+1.  I like baking soda for its ease and safety.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: How do you get chalk to dissove in brew water?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2015, 07:43:53 PM »
Kai outlines it very nicely here.

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Building_brewing_water_with_dissolved_chalk


I had good luck using 1 gallon of my alkaline tap water to 8 gallons of RO water to just about hit Martin's treated Munich water on the nose. Mash pH target was 5.55.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2015, 07:47:03 PM by hopfenundmalz »
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: How do you get chalk to dissove in brew water?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2015, 07:45:13 PM »
Munich has to be mashed.  Don't use a Munich water profile on purpose, build the water to get the desired mash pH and flavor characteristics.  Use soda or food grade pickling lime (CaO) rather than chalk because chalk is difficult to dissolve without sufficient acidity.

 I think he is talking about Munich water profiles, not Munich malt. I would use pils malt for a Helles.
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: How do you get chalk to dissove in brew water?
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2015, 08:44:19 PM »
Hopfen, Hoosier and Kramerog,  Thank you muchly for the good info.
My plan is to minimash a lb. of Vienna and 4 oz. of Melanoiden and go extract for the rest of the wort.
If I'm reading your input correctly, it sounds like the Ca in the water profile is much more important that the CO3.  ??
Man, I've got a lot to learn about mashing and PH.  Baby steps.  Good times!
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Offline kramerog

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Re: How do you get chalk to dissove in brew water?
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2015, 09:35:25 PM »
After reading the thread again, I would use RO for the bulk of your water because the malt extract manufacturer already adjusted the pH for you.  I would also do the mini-mash with RO or mildly alkaline tap water because the mini-mash pH will probably fall in the ball park of where you want to be and because adjusting the mini-mash pH would involve very small salt additions which aren't convenient to measure accurately without a lab scale. 

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: How do you get chalk to dissove in brew water?
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2015, 09:59:37 PM »
If I'm reading your input correctly, it sounds like the Ca in the water profile is much more important that the CO3.  ??
Man, I've got a lot to learn about mashing and PH.  Baby steps.  Good times!

Phil, it's important to have enough Ca of course, but using acid to lower pH or baking soda/lime to raise pH is the main point. Alkalinity is a big factor to be aware of, as opposed to bicarbonate. Moderately high alkalinity is good for dark beers, but needs to be reduced substantially via acid for lighter beers. Same thing in reverse for water with low alkalinity - it's good for lighter beers, often needs to be raised via baking soda/lime for dark beers. If you haven't downloaded Brunwater yet, do it. Martin's info page can be a lot to take in at once, but the info (and software) is outstanding. Lots of people here to help, too.
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: How do you get chalk to dissove in brew water?
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2015, 03:25:35 AM »
If I'm reading your input correctly, it sounds like the Ca in the water profile is much more important that the CO3.  ??
Man, I've got a lot to learn about mashing and PH.  Baby steps.  Good times!

Phil, it's important to have enough Ca of course, but using acid to lower pH or baking soda/lime to raise pH is the main point. Alkalinity is a big factor to be aware of, as opposed to bicarbonate. Moderately high alkalinity is good for dark beers, but needs to be reduced substantially via acid for lighter beers. Same thing in reverse for water with low alkalinity - it's good for lighter beers, often needs to be raised via baking soda/lime for dark beers. If you haven't downloaded Brunwater yet, do it. Martin's info page can be a lot to take in at once, but the info (and software) is outstanding.
Great info.  Especially the light/dark thing.
The first time I read through Martin's info page my head exploded.  The second time I think I got some of it.  But I'm going to have a go at it until I get it all.
" Lots of people here to help, too."  Man...that is sure true.  And much appreciated.  Thanks!
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: How do you get chalk to dissove in brew water?
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2015, 03:33:45 PM »
A Munich Helles is NOT brewed with an untreated Munich water profile. It is much too alkaline for a pale beer. That water would have been pre-boiled to decarbonate it, which reduces calcium and bicarbonate content. That is why there are 'boiled' water profiles in the Bru'n Water software to help brewers understand the more likely STARTING point that historic brewers would have had.

So the boiled Munich water has low calcium and still some bicarbonate that needs to be neutralized. Of course, the Germans performed the neutralization via acid malt addition or saurgut addition. The end result is low alkalinity and elevated lactate ion content.

Since Helles is a lager, there is no need for any additional calcium in the water. The malt provides all the calcium needed for yeast metabolism and health. An important message here is that you don't need the chalk at all to brew a Helles nor to recreate an authentic Munich water suited for pale beer brewing. 
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: How do you get chalk to dissove in brew water?
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2015, 04:41:11 PM »
A Munich Helles is NOT brewed with an untreated Munich water profile. It is much too alkaline for a pale beer. That water would have been pre-boiled to decarbonate it, which reduces calcium and bicarbonate content. That is why there are 'boiled' water profiles in the Bru'n Water software to help brewers understand the more likely STARTING point that historic brewers would have had.

So the boiled Munich water has low calcium and still some bicarbonate that needs to be neutralized. Of course, the Germans performed the neutralization via acid malt addition or saurgut addition. The end result is low alkalinity and elevated lactate ion content.

Since Helles is a lager, there is no need for any additional calcium in the water. The malt provides all the calcium needed for yeast metabolism and health. An important message here is that you don't need the chalk at all to brew a Helles nor to recreate an authentic Munich water suited for pale beer brewing.
Thanks Martin.  That turned some light bulbs on in my dense noggin.  Lose the chalk.  Yay!
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Offline erockrph

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Re: How do you get chalk to dissove in brew water?
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2015, 04:45:19 PM »
Use soda or food grade pickling lime (CaO) rather than chalk because chalk is difficult to dissolve without sufficient acidity.

+1.  I like baking soda for its ease and safety.
+2 - Unless you're starting with high-sodium water, baking soda is safe, simple and effective.
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Offline pete b

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Re: How do you get chalk to dissove in brew water?
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2015, 05:12:13 PM »
Use soda or food grade pickling lime (CaO) rather than chalk because chalk is difficult to dissolve without sufficient acidity.

+1.  I like baking soda for its ease and safety.
+2 - Unless you're starting with high-sodium water, baking soda is safe, simple and effective.
This is good info, I have been having a hell of a time getting those sticks of chalk to dissolve. I tried switching from the big sidewalk chalk to the little chalkboard sticks but those were even worse because they are more dense.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: How do you get chalk to dissove in brew water?
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2015, 05:32:34 PM »
Use soda or food grade pickling lime (CaO) rather than chalk because chalk is difficult to dissolve without sufficient acidity.

+1.  I like baking soda for its ease and safety.
+2 - Unless you're starting with high-sodium water, baking soda is safe, simple and effective.
This is good info, I have been having a hell of a time getting those sticks of chalk to dissolve. I tried switching from the big sidewalk chalk to the little chalkboard sticks but those were even worse because they are more dense.
Pretty sure most of those sticks of drawing chalk are not actually the same thing as the powder you get at the hbs.
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