Author Topic: Treating Sparge Water  (Read 1435 times)

Offline flbrewer

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Treating Sparge Water
« on: May 10, 2015, 12:26:59 PM »
Up to this point I've treated my RO water with a TSB of Gypsum and a TSB of CaCl, splitting this amount equally between the strike and sparge water.

I read something this morning that said treating the sparge water is not needed and plain RO is best. Thoughts?

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Treating Sparge Water
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2015, 12:52:24 PM »
Up to this point I've treated my RO water with a TSB of Gypsum and a TSB of CaCl, splitting this amount equally between the strike and sparge water.

I read something this morning that said treating the sparge water is not needed and plain RO is best. Thoughts?

think of it like this- you are trying to create a target water profile for your brew. you can add those salts to mash and sparge water, just to the mash or sparge water, in the kettle. however you do it you just need to plan for the impact at whatever stage you make your additions. for me, its real simple with bru'n water to create my target water profile, make the additions in mash and sparge per the calculations.

edit: i'm curious to hear from others if omitting additions in RO water is more beneficial or not.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2015, 12:53:57 PM by Wort-H.O.G. »
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Treating Sparge Water
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2015, 01:22:18 PM »
I've hypothesized that adding ionic content to the sparging water is helpful when your raw water has very low mineralization. That extra ionic content helps reduce the osmotic pressure that may leach tannins and silicates out of the grain. However, that is unproven.

In the mean time, I've discovered that there can be times when you want to add add the batch's salts to the mashing water so that pH is driven lower by the salts and less acid is needed and the overall ionic content of the brewing water is kept low. This is especially useful when brewing lighter-flavored lagers where you want low ionic content in order to keep the water from overbearing the beer flavor. Adding all those salts to the mash enables you to produce a higher Ca content in the mash so that more oxalate can be removed from the wort and there is less beerstone in your brewery and kidney stones in your gut.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Treating Sparge Water
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2015, 01:33:50 PM »
So it sounds like  I will follow the protocol for adding my salts to both sparge and mash water when using RO water.  Just not necessary to add acid additions to the sparge water. 

Love the learning here.  Thank you very much!

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Treating Sparge Water
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2015, 01:55:17 PM »
I've always followed Brunwater to the letter, which means adding the recommended salts to mash and sparge. My results have been good enough not to want to mess with a good thing.

EDIT -  Your theory is pretty interesting, Martin. If there is truth there, it may partially explain why (aside from proper pH) you can sparge hot (190+) without extracting tannins.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2015, 06:55:25 PM by HoosierBrew »
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Treating Sparge Water
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2015, 04:47:50 PM »
I also mindlessly follow whatever Bru'n Water tells me to do.
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Offline beersk

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Re: Treating Sparge Water
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2015, 01:27:05 PM »
I also mindlessly follow whatever Bru'n Water tells me to do.
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I also follow Bru'n water, pretty much to the T, except adding acid to the sparge water when using RO. It always specifies I do that, and I don't think it's necessary, but I also don't think half a milliliter is going to make much difference either, negatively.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Treating Sparge Water
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2015, 02:13:35 PM »
I also follow Bru'n water, pretty much to the T, except adding acid to the sparge water when using RO. It always specifies I do that, and I don't think it's necessary, but I also don't think half a milliliter is going to make much difference either, negatively.

Yeah, except for that. I don't add acid to RO sparge water, either.
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Offline Indy574

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Re: Treating Sparge Water
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2015, 09:46:43 PM »
So it sounds like  I will follow the protocol for adding my salts to both sparge and mash water when using RO water.  Just not necessary to add acid additions to the sparge water. 

Love the learning here.  Thank you very much!

I think this is where I need to make a change. I have been splitting my acid addition to both mash and sparge water and should just be doing the mash water?  Or am I thinking wrong?

Offline mchrispen

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Re: Treating Sparge Water
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2015, 11:54:42 PM »
Minerals, not acid. Use acid in the mash tun to strike your desired mash pH. If you are using tap water to sparge, then you may wish to adjust its alkalinity with acid as well. RO/DI shouldn't require the acid in the sparge.


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