Poll

Which water salts have you used?

Calcium Chloride
29 (18.5%)
Calcium Sulfate (Gypsum)
33 (21%)
Magnesium Chloride
3 (1.9%)
Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salts)
26 (16.6%)
Potassium Chloride
2 (1.3%)
Potassium Hydroxide
2 (1.3%)
Sodium Chloride (Kosher or Canning Salt)
20 (12.7%)
Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
1 (0.6%)
Calcium Hydroxide (Pickling Lime)
11 (7%)
Sodium BiCarbonate (Baking Soda)
21 (13.4%)
Calcium Carbonate (Chalk)
9 (5.7%)

Total Members Voted: 31

Author Topic: Which water salts have you used?  (Read 1632 times)

trentm

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Which water salts have you used?
« on: March 10, 2016, 11:41:51 PM »
Just curious as to which water salts folks are using or have tried using.  Apologies if I've missed some or added some that aren't viable.  Perhaps elaborate as to why you're using the ones you do.  I generally build my water from RO/DI using - calcium chloride, calcium sulfate, magnesium sulfate along with calcium hydroxide, sodium bicarbonate and occasionally some sodium chloride,  though I do wish sometimes that I had magnesium chloride to hit some of the more esoteric water profiles I'd like to try.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Which water salts have you used?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2016, 11:46:20 PM »
gypsum - to bring out hop character and help drop pH
CaCl2 -    to accentuate malt character and help drop pH
Epsom (MgSO4) - to get sulfate content without Ca. For beers with high sulfate content (APA, AIPA), and to keep Ca content down in lagers. I don't use it otherwise.
Baking Soda -  to raise pH in dark beers.
Jon H.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Which water salts have you used?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2016, 11:49:28 PM »
^ these plus salt - sodium can help flavors pop

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Which water salts have you used?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2016, 01:11:32 AM »
CaCl for malt fwd, CaSO4 for hop forward. MgSO4 and NaCl if I brew with DI/RO water, which I use in the winter for lagers because my well tends to get a smidge cloudy.

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Which water salts have you used?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2016, 01:28:28 AM »
At various times, and for various styles, I've used gypsum, calcium chloride, epsom salt, and sodium chloride.
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Offline 69franx

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Re: Which water salts have you used?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2016, 02:46:49 AM »
Jon and Stevie nailed mine plus sometimes pickling lime
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Offline EnkAMania

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Re: Which water salts have you used?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2016, 05:58:53 AM »
Lye?  Is that used for a lutefisk brew?
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RPIScotty

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Re: Which water salts have you used?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2016, 11:47:16 AM »

Lye?  Is that used for a lutefisk brew?

Who said they use Lye?

trentm

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Re: Which water salts have you used?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2016, 01:21:08 PM »
Would the folks who have used Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Chloride, Potassium Hydroxide and Magnesium Chloride take some time to explain how they are using these salts, what benefits or drawbacks they received from their use and if their use was experimental?

Also, would the folks who use the chalk explain if they are still using it and how they currently make use of it?

Offline kramerog

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Re: Which water salts have you used?
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2016, 02:16:25 PM »
No reason for homrbrewers to use sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, or chalk since baking soda and pickling lime are readily available for raising pH without safety issues like the hydroxides and without inefficacy issues like chalk.

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Which water salts have you used?
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2016, 02:30:55 PM »
I know a guy who uses Magnesium chloride in his Bohemian Pilsners to get some Mg without adding SO4. That is where it would have obvious use, burn other than that? Oh, and he is a chemist, so he can find it, while it is not so easy to find at the LHBS.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Which water salts have you used?
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2016, 02:42:12 PM »
One of my clients brewing in the South Pacific uses Mag Chloride. He insists its necessary for his Hefe. He starts with what amounts to rainwater.

I'm not sure its really necessary to go in that direction. Especially when Mag Chloride is one of those hygroscopic minerals that sucks up moisture from the air, when changes the mineral's hydration state.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Which water salts have you used?
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2016, 04:51:51 PM »

Lye?  Is that used for a lutefisk brew?

Who said they use Lye?

I wondered that too.  I use lye when making pretzels but would be leery of using it in beer.

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RPIScotty

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Re: Which water salts have you used?
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2016, 04:56:47 PM »


Lye?  Is that used for a lutefisk brew?

Who said they use Lye?

I wondered that too.  I use lye when making pretzels but would be leery of using it in beer.

Paul

I think that post confused Lime and Lye.

trentm

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Re: Which water salts have you used?
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2016, 11:43:53 PM »
I think I'll be trying Magnesium Chloride in a future batch and perhaps the Potassium Chloride.

It's interesting that some folks have at least tried using chalk but perhaps were not using it correctly (dissolving with CO2).  Any of those folks care to elaborate?

Though it's probably just an outlier (i.e. folks fooling around)... I'd still like to hear the explanations for using things like the sodium and potassium hydroxides and what effects they had on the beer or at least the purpose for their use (i.e. experimental, etc..).