Thank you! Im re reading through How to brew particularly the part about water chemistry at the moment before I tackle this first batch with salt additions.
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Ya know, John is a good friend, but I'd have to say skip that and read the Brunwater water knowledge page. All you need to know in a much more concise format.
I respectfully disagree. …not that Bru’n Water is inaccurate or hard to understand — it is absolutely accurate and easy to digest. I thank Martin for that.
I simply disagree with all the additions used to reach a certain mineral profile. I’ve gone down the road of following mineral profiles adding all sorts of stuff measured in grams to hit a number. I didn’t like the results. Sure the beers were spot on the numbers but I brew for taste not a profile. Not to mention it’s hard to hit those numbers.
So… I simplified and couldn’t be happier. I believe less is more and as a result the beers taste better to me, my friends and family. I pretty much follow Gordon Strong’s methods found in Brewing Better Beer.
I only mash malts/grains that require it. I don’t mash malts that don’t require it. (Dark Crystal and Roast malts.) They screw with mash pH. I hold Dark Crystal and Roast malts to Mash Out (15 minutes)/Sparge (15 minutes). (30 min hot steep total)
I use ~1-1.5 ml 10% Phosphoric Acid in Distilled Water to create total brewhaus liquor. I add 1/2 tsp Brewtan B (hydrated) to strike liquor prior to mash in. I batch sparge with reserved brewhaus liquor (no salts or BtB).
I use 1 tsp CaCl, or 1 tsp Gypsum, or a combo of the two to equal 1 tsp total added direct to MLT on top of grain as I underlet my strike (~50 ppm Ca in 5 gal mash volume). Generally, I use gypsum (calcium sulfate) in English styles, calcium chloride in German, Czech, and Belgian styles, and a mix of the two in American styles. Avoid sulfates when using noble hops.
I add any other salt additions to the boil targeting post boil volume concentration. If I use CaCl in the MLT I add gypsum (and maybe more CaCl) to the BK. If gypsum in the mash I add CaCl (and maybe more gypsum) to the BK. I rarely add NaCl or Epsom salt but if I do I add it in the BK
I don’t worry about mash pH because it’s always spot on (I quit checking several batches ago) and I don’t worry about bicarbonate or residual alkalinity.
I am personally aiming for X ppm(s) of CaCl and gypsum to reach a hoppy(~2+), balanced(~1.5), or malty(~1) beer using the sulfite/chlorine ratio. For hoppy-ness I’ve found ~150+ ppm gypsum is my target. Any gypsum ppm less than that heads into malty-ness if that makes sense. I think each beer drinker will find their own ranges thru experimentation vs a hard and fast spreadsheet — this is the number. …and those perceptions could evolve over time as tastes change.
I do all this in BeerSmith since I am in there to write my recipe anyway. No spreadsheets or gram scales. Screenshot in post No3 above.
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