Author Topic: No sparge salts question  (Read 1534 times)

Offline Jayborracho

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No sparge salts question
« on: April 26, 2021, 05:12:50 pm »
Hey all quick question, a while  ago I remember reading a bit of back and forth between posters who argued that when you no sparge you expose your mash to twice as much salt additions due to water volume, as opposed to sparging,  so if I use a water calculator with no sparge as a mash profile set to,let’s say 30 ppm Calcium in a pils, ’m really exposing it to double that? I’m not quite sure if that makes sense to me but I wanted to know from the more experienced. Cheers

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2021, 05:53:45 pm »
It doesn't matter if you have twice the total amount of salts, if you likewise have twice the amount of water.  Concentration is what matters.

Anyway, in my opinion, salts are overrated anyway, since malt itself contains like 90% of the salt you will end up with in the finished beer anyway.  Any other additions are just extra.  When I think I can get away with it, as long as my mash pH is where I want it, I just use tap water or a blend of tap and distilled, and try not to use extra salts at all anymore.
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Offline Jayborracho

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2021, 06:28:11 pm »
Thank you for the knowledge, you’ve been a lot of help. I saw your water report for the Pilsner you made with no salts, does the fact that the tap water still had salts make a difference instead of if you were using distilled and used the minerals from the malt?

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2021, 08:52:38 pm »
Thank you for the knowledge, you%u2019ve been a lot of help. I saw your water report for the Pilsner you made with no salts, does the fact that the tap water still had salts make a difference instead of if you were using distilled and used the minerals from the malt?

My tap water here does not contain a lot of salts, but it is quite alkaline.  I find the pH to be closer to 8.2 from my tap.  I believe if I were mashing with just distilled water with no added salts, the mash pH would be about 5.7 to 5.8, but yesterday with my tap water and no salts, I found it closer to 5.9 to 6.0.  So the greatest effect is the pH.  I don't expect much other impacts from the actual salts, or lack thereof.
Dave

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Offline Jayborracho

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2021, 12:35:45 am »
Thank you for the knowledge, you%u2019ve been a lot of help. I saw your water report for the Pilsner you made with no salts, does the fact that the tap water still had salts make a difference instead of if you were using distilled and used the minerals from the malt?

My tap water here does not contain a lot of salts, but it is quite alkaline.  I find the pH to be closer to 8.2 from my tap.  I believe if I were mashing with just distilled water with no added salts, the mash pH would be about 5.7 to 5.8, but yesterday with my tap water and no salts, I found it closer to 5.9 to 6.0.  So the greatest effect is the pH.  I don't expect much other impacts from the actual salts, or lack thereof.


I routinely target 20 ppm calcium giving me 30 ish chloride but that amount measured is so small I don’t see how it could make it any different than what the malt already does, I’ve always questioned that especially seeing how it’s a pinch of CaCl2 in like 5 gallons

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2021, 05:14:37 am »
I routinely target 20 ppm calcium giving me 30 ish chloride but that amount measured is so small I don’t see how it could make it any different than what the malt already does, I’ve always questioned that especially seeing how it’s a pinch of CaCl2 in like 5 gallons

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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2021, 09:39:28 am »
Are you guys doing any acidulated malts in your recipes?  I use it in most of my pale beers, but have backed down to 4 ozs. in 5 gallon batches and 8 ozs. in 10 gallon batches.  It definitely helps reduce the overall salt amounts necessary to dial in mash pH. 

Just my two Lincolns.
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Offline RC

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2021, 10:26:57 am »
There are reasons besides flavor enhancement to add a calcium salt.

Offline EnkAMania

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2021, 10:32:56 am »
Are you guys doing any acidulated malts in your recipes?  I use it in most of my pale beers, but have backed down to 4 ozs. in 5 gallon batches and 8 ozs. in 10 gallon batches.  It definitely helps reduce the overall salt amounts necessary to dial in mash pH. 

Just my two Lincolns.

No since I bought a humongous bottle of lactic acid.  :)
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2021, 12:58:04 pm »
Are you guys doing any acidulated malts in your recipes?  I use it in most of my pale beers, but have backed down to 4 ozs. in 5 gallon batches and 8 ozs. in 10 gallon batches.  It definitely helps reduce the overall salt amounts necessary to dial in mash pH. 

I've got some acid malt, but I often add a "glug" of vinegar.  Cheap and effective and always available.  And in the couple of ppm concentration, a "glug" is enough to reduce pH without any flavor impact in the finished beer.
Dave

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Offline narcout

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2021, 01:10:58 pm »
Are you guys doing any acidulated malts in your recipes?  I use it in most of my pale beers, but have backed down to 4 ozs. in 5 gallon batches and 8 ozs. in 10 gallon batches.  It definitely helps reduce the overall salt amounts necessary to dial in mash pH. 

I always use it for pale beers, but I rarely need more than 1 oz. per 6 gallon batch since I start with distilled water.  It's good stuff.
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Offline Silver_Is_Money

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2021, 01:48:13 pm »
Of course it matters to the mash pH if one mash has twice as many mEq's of calcium and magnesium as another, despite both mashes being made with the very same ppm water profile.  PPM'd don't matter, but mEq's do matter.

The Kolbach equation used whereby to determine downward pH shift due to Ca and Mg strictly involves mEq's.  Water volume is not an issue, sans that when water mineralization is denominated in ppm's (mg/L) and one mash has twice the volume of another that is using the very same water, the one with twice the volume inherently has twice the mEq's of H+ liberation potential due to having twice the extant mEq's of Ca and Mg.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2021, 01:57:27 pm by Silver_Is_Money »

Offline narcout

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2021, 02:54:38 pm »
so if I use a water calculator with no sparge as a mash profile set to,let’s say 30 ppm Calcium in a pils, ’m really exposing it to double that? I’m not quite sure if that makes sense to me but I wanted to know from the more experienced. Cheers

Can you clarify your question a bit?  Are you concerned about mash pH, sparge pH, or overall calcium levels in the wort (maybe all 3)?

As Silver points out above, increasing the volume of your mash water will affect mash pH.  You can see this for yourself in Bru'n Water (and I would assume whatever other water calculators are out there).
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Offline Jayborracho

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2021, 03:44:05 pm »
Yes, I guess I was mostly concerned with overall calcium in the mash, since I try for as little calcium as possible with the advice I’ve seen for a very soft lager profile, now that I’m thinking about it tho what exactly makes the lager soft on the palette? The water low in calcium? Or would adding more calcium thus give more chloride therefore giving even softer mouthfeel. I guess that’s where I’m stuck in terms of my next attempt at a lager and if it’s even worth always aiming for 20 ppm calcium- 30 ppm chloride since it’s such a tiny amount in 5 gallons starting with distilled when I could just use the malt minerals like me and @dmtaylor have talked about. I honestly don’t believe that could create such a drastic flavor change from the chloride. To me it feels like if I’m making stew and I toss a pinch of pepper in a huge pot I doubt I could tell at all. I’m starting to think maybe it’s just PH that enhances  most of the flavor but even then I question that, as as far as I know I don’t think anyone can tell a beer mashed at 5.7 or 5.55 or 5.4. As much as I value science I do think we homebrewers overestimate the importance of some things. I’m fully prepared to be wrong tho lol these are just my two cents after mulling lagers over for a while now.

Offline 69franx

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2021, 10:19:56 pm »
Most of my thoughts are just that, thoughts with no scientific support. My first year brewing all grain was no salts, then I found BrunWater and began spending an additional 5 minutes prepping for brew day. I feel my brews are better now than before I started playing with water chemistry and I'm not likely to change my process anytime soon. I rarely have the time or space to attempt a comparison between treated RO and untreated RO water. 5 minutes of weighing out pennies(?) Worth of salts and I like the results. Maybe I should try a side by side soon, but I am sure that will give me half of my batch that I'm not happy with. I like my results now and see no reason to change. Probably just being a stickler, but maybe you kids should stay off my lawn while I weigh out my gypsum,

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