Author Topic: too much salt?  (Read 1349 times)

Offline homoeccentricus

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too much salt?
« on: December 11, 2015, 07:00:52 PM »
Is it possible to brew good beer with water that has 69 ppm Na (plus 54 Ca, 19 Mg, 95 Cl, 52 S04 and 180 HCO3)? Can this profile be the result of water softening?  And if it's not good enough is there a remedy, e.g. a charcoal filter?
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Offline pete b

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Re: too much salt?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2015, 07:11:29 PM »
Is it possible to brew good beer with water that has 69 ppm Na (plus 54 Ca, 19 Mg, 95 Cl, 52 S04 and 180 HCO3)? Can this profile be the result of water softening?  And if it's not good enough is there a remedy, e.g. a charcoal filter?
I brew with 65ppm and can't detect a problem. I put as little baking soda as possible in dark beers and/ or dilute them with distilled. Most people prefer close to zero I think but I think a little salt is good for malt flavor. I don't have a source for buying RO so I use my softened water. So also yes, its probably the softener.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: too much salt?
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2015, 07:15:40 PM »
Charcoal will remove some things, but not dissolved ions. You can use RO or distilled to dilute those down.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: too much salt?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2015, 07:41:55 PM »
The water softener isn't working properly or maybe there is some kind of mixing valve in the system blending softened water with  non-softened. 


Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: too much salt?
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2015, 07:50:41 PM »
This is municipal water (from a fellow-brewer ;) )
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: too much salt?
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2015, 09:41:25 PM »
That level of Na or Cl should not pose a significant problem with respect to beer flavor. Its not anywhere near the level perceived as salty.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: too much salt?
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2015, 10:52:59 PM »
That level of Na or Cl should not pose a significant problem with respect to beer flavor. Its not anywhere near the level perceived as salty.

Thanks, Martin! Us normal folks basically don't have a clue. We don't understand chemistry, we don't understand water, and we panic when we see 2-digit ppms.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: too much salt?
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2015, 12:57:47 AM »
You can always try making a Gose....
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: too much salt?
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2015, 03:45:53 PM »
You can always try making a Gose....

True, but that water is no where near the saltiness of a Gose. Gose should have a sodium content of around 200 to 250 ppm. The salt enhances sweetness in that soured beer. It is not added to create salty tasting beer. Exceeding about 250 ppm Na is when you can start perceiving 'salt'.
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Offline pete b

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Re: too much salt?
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2015, 03:07:57 AM »
You can always try making a Gose....

True, but that water is no where near the saltiness of a Gose. Gose should have a sodium content of around 200 to 250 ppm. The salt enhances sweetness in that soured beer. It is not added to create salty tasting beer. Exceeding about 250 ppm Na is when you can start perceiving 'salt'.
I don't think I have heard anyone mention this but are people who are using straight RO adding table salt, especially in malty beers?
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: too much salt?
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2015, 03:59:21 AM »
I will just add that some local brewers I know have added CaCl and CaSO4 with the best intentions and ended up making a "salty" beer.  Two very good brewers I know brought beers to homebrew events and actually laughed at the fact that they didn't realize that their additions would lead to salty beer.  Anything can happen so be careful out there boys and girls (are they actually any girls out here? ;))  Cheers.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: too much salt?
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2015, 03:25:10 PM »
High chloride content with high sulfate content does result in 'minerally' taste. Dortmund water is a case in point.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: too much salt?
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2015, 08:19:55 PM »
Just for the fun of it I looked up the composition of the (in)famous mineral water of Vichy, France:

Bicarbonates : 2989 mg/l
Calcium : 103 mg/l
Chlorures : 235 mg/l
Sodium : 1172 mg/l
Magnésium : 10 mg/l
Sulfates : 138 mg/l
Potassium : 66 mg/l
Fluorures : 0,5 mg/l

Now try to brew a beer with that!  ;)
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: too much salt?
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2015, 02:30:54 AM »
Just for the fun of it I looked up the composition of the (in)famous mineral water of Vichy, France:

Bicarbonates : 2989 mg/l
Calcium : 103 mg/l
Chlorures : 235 mg/l
Sodium : 1172 mg/l
Magnésium : 10 mg/l
Sulfates : 138 mg/l
Potassium : 66 mg/l
Fluorures : 0,5 mg/l

Now try to brew a beer with that!  ;)
Here is one I posted in jest. It is salty.
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=11711.msg146431#msg146431
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: too much salt?
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2015, 10:24:45 AM »
OK, so you win except in the bicarbonates category  ::)

Another fun fact: sea water has 35,000 ppm of salt.
Frank P.

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