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Author Topic: Water Question  (Read 781 times)

Offline tommymorris

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Water Question
« on: November 08, 2022, 07:13:08 pm »
I am having trouble deciphering the comment below. Is it recommending 100ppm Ca in the mash or in the final beer?

“Firestone Walker runs all their brewing liquor through a reverse osmosis system. They then add back calcium to reach 100 ppm for yeast health and to avoid beer scale formation on equipment. This is done with calcium chloride for malt focused beers and with equal parts calcium chloride and calcium sulfate for hop-focused beers.”

Source: https://byo.com/wp-content/uploads/woocommerce_uploads/Firestone-Walker-clones-3.pdf
« Last Edit: November 08, 2022, 07:26:46 pm by tommymorris »

Offline Richard

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Re: Water Question
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2022, 08:14:37 pm »
They are talking about their brewing liquor, so I would interpret that to mean that they add calcium to achieve 100 ppm in their brewing liquor, i.e. the mash.
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Offline fredthecat

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Re: Water Question
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2022, 08:20:06 pm »
They are talking about their brewing liquor, so I would interpret that to mean that they add calcium to achieve 100 ppm in their brewing liquor, i.e. the mash.

yup, agree with how i've heard the term brewing liquor used before

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Water Question
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2022, 06:46:52 am »
They are talking about their brewing liquor, so I would interpret that to mean that they add calcium to achieve 100 ppm in their brewing liquor, i.e. the mash.
I agree with this interpretation.



*Disclaimer*: Any comment I add is simply the way I brew beer. I am not paid or sponsored by anyone. There are certainly other ways that can be equally effective which other brewers may contribute. This is what I’ve found that works for me using my equipment and processes so I offer this for your consideration. YMMV

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Water Question
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2022, 07:41:44 am »
I would take it that way too.  It's interesting and I'd love to hear Martin's take on that.  Awhile back there was a conversation or TEN about this and I remember someone saying that 60ppm of Ca in the brewing water was good for almost all beers.  Someone else came along and said that nothing was going to happen with 60ppm of Ca in the water that wouldn't happen with 50ppm of Ca in the water.  I have 34ppm of Ca in my source water (and more SO4 than Cl) so I usually add 3g of CaCl2 to the mash water for malt-focused beers (which is mostly what I brew) and I think I end up with around 65ppm of Ca in my water. 
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Offline tommymorris

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Re: Water Question
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2022, 07:49:59 am »
I interpreted the statement the same as all y’all :) Thanks for the inputs.

I have 22 ppm Ca in my water out of the tap. I use that with Lactic to control PH a lot for malty lagers. I started doing this per advice from Majorvices who did the same at a brewery close to my house.

But, I am brewing an 805 clone and want to be close to the original. So, I am going to treat this water with some Ca.

Offline goose

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Re: Water Question
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2022, 08:03:38 am »
I would take it that way too.  It's interesting and I'd love to hear Martin's take on that.  Awhile back there was a conversation or TEN about this and I remember someone saying that 60ppm of Ca in the brewing water was good for almost all beers.  Someone else came along and said that nothing was going to happen with 60ppm of Ca in the water that wouldn't happen with 50ppm of Ca in the water.  I have 34ppm of Ca in my source water (and more SO4 than Cl) so I usually add 3g of CaCl2 to the mash water for malt-focused beers (which is mostly what I brew) and I think I end up with around 65ppm of Ca in my water.

Agree with Ken on he interpretation of "brewing liquor".  I normally don't go any higher than 80 ppm of Calcium in my mash liquor.  Just my personal preference.  100 ppm isn't going to hurt you but I just go a bit conservative on the calcium concentration and my beers come out fine.  Some beers have less than that but normally they are around 80 ppm.  The calcium also precipitates out oxalic acid in the mash as calcium oxalate which helps the enzymes in the mash do their job.  I will also defer to Martin's expertise on this since he is the water expert.
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Offline BrewBama

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Water Question
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2022, 11:00:18 am »
My problem is with getting the Ca high enough but not busting the other so-called ‘rules’.

IOW: I routinely use 7 gal water in my 4.5 gal batches so 1.25 tsp CaCl gets me in the neighborhood of ~50 ppm Ca with ~90 ppm Cl in the mash.

If I increase to 1.5 tsp I end up slightly busting the 100 ppm Cl ‘rule’.

If I add 1 tsp gypsum to the 1.25 tsp CaCl I get a nice ~80 ppm Ca with a pretty close to balanced Cl:SO4 ~90:~85. Great for a balanced profile but that can break the ‘don’t use SO4 with with noble hops rule’ for those beers with noble hops.

This lands me in the ‘Some rules are just meant to be broken’ column. 

This is why I normally use CaCl in malty styles (maybe a bit of gypsum), gypsum in bitter styles (maybe a bit of CaCl), and a combination of the two in some styles.

IOW: brewing is an art and science. Some pay too much attention to the science and less attention to the art. Hard and fast ‘rules’ tend to do that to me. I like to be the brewer in my brewery by trying to keep in mind the art.

*Disclaimer*: Any comment I add is simply the way I brew beer. I am not paid or sponsored by anyone. There are certainly other ways that can be equally effective which other brewers may contribute. This is what I’ve found that works for me using my equipment and processes so I offer this for your consideration. YMMV
« Last Edit: November 09, 2022, 11:16:17 am by BrewBama »

Offline denny

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Re: Water Question
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2022, 11:21:24 am »
Reality often astonishes theory
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline Megary

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Re: Water Question
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2022, 11:36:53 am »
Are we really capped at 100ppm Ca?  I've seen recommended ranges of 50-150 (Palmer), undoubtedly varying by beer style and source water.

Offline dbeechum

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Re: Water Question
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2022, 12:08:21 pm »
Are we really capped at 100ppm Ca?  I've seen recommended ranges of 50-150 (Palmer), undoubtedly varying by beer style and source water.

I was just talking with Wayne Wambles of Cigar City the other week and he was saying that in their Maduro they push some whackadoodle numbers for Sulfate and Chloride and overall mineral load. So as with all recommendations, may I recommend you use this grain of salt, roughly the size of Delaware?
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Offline denny

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Re: Water Question
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2022, 12:08:49 pm »
Are we really capped at 100ppm Ca?  I've seen recommended ranges of 50-150 (Palmer), undoubtedly varying by beer style and source water.

No, we're not. IIRC, too much will cause premature flocculation, but it's a lot more than that.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Water Question
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2022, 12:25:05 pm »
I've found that Firestone Walker tends to produce British style beers and the 100 ppm calcium content and their reported calcium chloride/gypsum additions, seem to agree with that philosophy.  The malt-focused addition is likely to boost chloride into the 160 ppm range which is up there, but reasonable in those malty British styles.  The hop-focused additions result in about 120 ppm sulfate and 80 ppm chloride, which are actually modest for those styles. 

100 ppm Ca in ales is no big deal, especially if you're interested in producing British style ales.  Look no farther than the Pale Ale profile in Bru'n Water to find a high calcium profile that's great for pale ales and west coast IPAs. But if you're concerned with the minerality of the water overtaking your beer, then reducing the calcium content closer to the 50 ppm ale target might be desirable. For brewing delicate continental lagers, bringing that calcium target to 50 ppm or less, is going to be helpful in letting the malt do the talking. 
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Water Question
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2022, 01:48:48 pm »
... premature flocculation ...
I think they have pills for that.  :D

Sorry.  So, so sorry. 
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Offline Richard

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Re: Water Question
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2022, 05:41:49 pm »
My problem is with getting the Ca high enough but not busting the other so-called ‘rules’.

IOW: I routinely use 7 gal water in my 4.5 gal batches so 1.25 tsp CaCl gets me in the neighborhood of ~50 ppm Ca with ~90 ppm Cl in the mash.

If I increase to 1.5 tsp I end up slightly busting the 100 ppm Cl ‘rule’.

If I add 1 tsp gypsum to the 1.25 tsp CaCl I get a nice ~80 ppm Ca with a pretty close to balanced Cl:SO4 ~90:~85. Great for a balanced profile but that can break the ‘don’t use SO4 with with noble hops rule’ for those beers with noble hops.

This lands me in the ‘Some rules are just meant to be broken’ column. 

This is why I normally use CaCl in malty styles (maybe a bit of gypsum), gypsum in bitter styles (maybe a bit of CaCl), and a combination of the two in some styles.

IOW: brewing is an art and science. Some pay too much attention to the science and less attention to the art. Hard and fast ‘rules’ tend to do that to me. I like to be the brewer in my brewery by trying to keep in mind the art.

*Disclaimer*: Any comment I add is simply the way I brew beer. I am not paid or sponsored by anyone. There are certainly other ways that can be equally effective which other brewers may contribute. This is what I’ve found that works for me using my equipment and processes so I offer this for your consideration. YMMV

If you just want to increase Ca without affecting Cl and SO4, you can use CaOH (pickling lime). It will raise your pH, so you need to account for that.
Original Gravity - that would be Newton's