Author Topic: No sparge salts question  (Read 1471 times)

Offline BrewBama

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No sparge salts question
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2021, 06:27:01 am »
I recommend a side-by-side. I did this a while back based on a Brew Dudes video and it made a difference in my beers.

Recently, I mixed a 5000 ppm solution/suspension of chloride and one of sulfate using CaCl and Gypsum. I poured three 4 oz beers and began dosing each one at 50 ppm while maintaining a undosed control.

I didn’t begin tasting anything until 150 and really began noticing at 200-300 ppm.

However, the CaCl dosed beer seemed to become ‘softer’ as the gypsum dosed beer began to become ’sharper’ (if that makes any sense) ...but those changes weren’t evident to me until 150 ppm and even then just slightly.

Of course, I am the one pouring, dosing, and tasting so my play time was far from any kind of legit study.

Based on that I concluded for me salt additions may not be detectable until they meet a perception threshold. IOW, the usual water profiles we find in the various water calculators aren’t going to be detectable by everyone until their personal threshold has been met.

A pinch in 5 gal is imperceptible to me.

Also, I don’t weigh salts. I use a set of teaspoons (1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1). 10x faster reducing the PITA factor. ...and in the mash I focus solely on pH, any other additions go in the boil.

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« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 06:42:17 am by BrewBama »

Offline Megary

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2021, 07:03:26 am »

...

Also, I don’t weigh salts. I use a set of teaspoons (1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1). 10x faster reducing the PITA factor. ...and in the mash I focus solely on pH, any other additions go in the boil.


I'm a teaspoon user myself, could never wrap my head around the need to be ultra-precise.

Have you noticed a difference since adding your other additions to the boil?
I've always added my salts in the mash based off of convenience...adjust my pH, add the salts, put that stuff away.  But my next brew will be an English Porter that won't require any pH adjustments on my part (based off of 2 water calculators) so I plan to skip any mash additions and just add a heavy hand of Cl to the boil...to see if I can get that "softer" feel you describe.  Also curious if it really matters when to add the salts to the boil.  At the Top with the Hops, with the finings toward the end, maybe it doesn't really matter.

Offline BrewBama

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No sparge salts question
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2021, 07:41:09 am »
I use Gordon Strong’s process found in Brewing Better Beer: I only mash grains that require it and use either 1 tsp CaCl or gypsum (or a combination of both to equal 1 tsp) in the mash.

He describes using phosphoric acid with RO water but I found I don’t need to with distilled. Doing this I hit 5.2 +/- .1 mash pH spot on every time I’ve done it (5 brews). 

Grains that don’t require mash (crystal, roast, etc) go in the MLT after the mash is complete for a total of 30 min hot steep (15 mashout vorlauf + 15 sparge vorlauf).

I target the qty of salt additions in the boil for my post boil volume. Though they can be added anytime, I add the salts at the beginning of the boil out of convenience.

You ask if I’ve noticed. Yes. But not because i added them to the boil. It’s because I began targeting 150-200 ppm sulfate and ~1.75-2 Sulfite/Chloride Ratio for hops expression or 150-200 ppm chloride and ~.6-.8 Sulfite/Chloride Ratio for malt expression because i did the side-by-side in post #16 above.

The only reason i hold them for the boil is because i only target pH in the mash. All other salts go in the boil.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 07:53:51 am by BrewBama »

Offline denny

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2021, 07:55:24 am »
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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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2021, 08:32:45 am »
I'm a teaspoon user myself, could never wrap my head around the need to be ultra-precise.

When brewing smaller batches the need for precision becomes more important. Adding 1/8 tsp instead of 1/16 tsp of a salt is a 100% increase and can wildly throw off the water profile in a one or two gallon batch. An additional 1/16 tsp in a five or ten gallon batch where you might plan to add 2 tsp isn't going to make the same impact and probably not anything detectable.
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2021, 09:27:26 am »
That’s true. It’s also true that the volume of salts varies depending on how finely they are ground and how much water they have picked up from the air.

Measuring weight is much more accurate, no doubt. But using a level tsp has worked great for me in 5 gal volume mash (for enzyme activity and pH) and 6.5 gal post boil volume (for style).

Offline Megary

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2021, 09:36:29 am »
I'm a teaspoon user myself, could never wrap my head around the need to be ultra-precise.

When brewing smaller batches the need for precision becomes more important. Adding 1/8 tsp instead of 1/16 tsp of a salt is a 100% increase and can wildly throw off the water profile in a one or two gallon batch. An additional 1/16 tsp in a five or ten gallon batch where you might plan to add 2 tsp isn't going to make the same impact and probably not anything detectable.

I completely understand what you're saying, but I don't think my palate is capable of noticing a 1/16tsp difference of CaCl.  I think I'd have to mix up tsp with Tbsp before I'd raise an eyebrow.  ;D

Offline Jayborracho

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2021, 12:53:32 pm »
Has anyone ever attempted going really high on chloride for a Pilsner for the pillowy mouthfeel? I seen that supposedly Suarez and hill farmstead go really high on even their light beers

Offline narcout

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2021, 04:48:32 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?

I believe (and maybe it has changed since this was something I was paying attention to) that the idea was to keep overall calcium levels in the source water low rather than be overly concerned about calcium levels in just the mash.  It isn't something I have personally experimented with though.

I think with whatever method you use (sparge or no-sparge), you should be able to keep the calcium levels where you want if you start with distilled water and make adjustments from there.  Regardless of method, you should also be able to keep the mash pH in line by using acid malt (or biological acid, lactic acid, etc.).
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2021, 05:07:20 pm »
Has anyone ever attempted going really high on chloride for a Pilsner for the pillowy mouthfeel? I seen that supposedly Suarez and hill farmstead go really high on even their light beers
My concern with going high in chloride is the baggage it brings with it.

I don’t mind moderate calcium hardness in a Pils (keep it ~50 or lower).

Offline Jayborracho

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2021, 05:20:23 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?

I believe (and maybe it has changed since this was something I was paying attention to) that the idea was to keep overall calcium levels in the source water low rather than be overly concerned about calcium levels in just the mash.  It isn't something I have personally experimented with though.

I think with whatever method you use (sparge or no-sparge), you should be able to keep the calcium levels where you want if you start with distilled water and make adjustments from there.  Regardless of method, you should also be able to keep the mash pH in line by using acid malt (or biological acid, lactic acid, etc.).
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?

I believe (and maybe it has changed since this was something I was paying attention to) that the idea was to keep overall calcium levels in the source water low rather than be overly concerned about calcium levels in just the mash.  It isn't something I have personally experimented with though.

I think with whatever method you use (sparge or no-sparge), you should be able to keep the calcium levels where you want if you start with distilled water and make adjustments from there.  Regardless of method, you should also be able to keep the mash pH in line by using acid malt (or biological acid, lactic acid, etc.).

Thanks guys for the knowledge, so what is this baggage you speak of?

Offline erockrph

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2021, 05:30:05 pm »
I'm a teaspoon user myself, could never wrap my head around the need to be ultra-precise.

When brewing smaller batches the need for precision becomes more important. Adding 1/8 tsp instead of 1/16 tsp of a salt is a 100% increase and can wildly throw off the water profile in a one or two gallon batch. An additional 1/16 tsp in a five or ten gallon batch where you might plan to add 2 tsp isn't going to make the same impact and probably not anything detectable.

I completely understand what you're saying, but I don't think my palate is capable of noticing a 1/16tsp difference of CaCl.  I think I'd have to mix up tsp with Tbsp before I'd raise an eyebrow.  ;D
That all depends on your batch size. In 5 gallons you'd never know. A 1 gallon test batch may be a different animal.

For me, I'm already breaking out my gram scale to measure my hops and gallotannin. It's just as easy for me to use it for brewing salts. Also, I don't always get the same brand of kosher salt, so weight vs volume can make a noticeable difference there.
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Offline Megary

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2021, 06:00:23 pm »
I'm a teaspoon user myself, could never wrap my head around the need to be ultra-precise.

When brewing smaller batches the need for precision becomes more important. Adding 1/8 tsp instead of 1/16 tsp of a salt is a 100% increase and can wildly throw off the water profile in a one or two gallon batch. An additional 1/16 tsp in a five or ten gallon batch where you might plan to add 2 tsp isn't going to make the same impact and probably not anything detectable.

I completely understand what you're saying, but I don't think my palate is capable of noticing a 1/16tsp difference of CaCl.  I think I'd have to mix up tsp with Tbsp before I'd raise an eyebrow.  ;D
That all depends on your batch size. In 5 gallons you'd never know. A 1 gallon test batch may be a different animal.

For me, I'm already breaking out my gram scale to measure my hops and gallotannin. It's just as easy for me to use it for brewing salts. Also, I don't always get the same brand of kosher salt, so weight vs volume can make a noticeable difference there.

I put 3 gallons into the fermenter and I can say with utmost certainty that I could not detect that difference.  Maybe some can, don’t know. However, my next beer is an English Porter and I am going to jack the Cl up to new heights (for me) just to see what I can see.

Offline narcout

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Re: No sparge salts question
« Reply #28 on: April 29, 2021, 08:17:06 am »
Thanks guys for the knowledge, so what is this baggage you speak of?

Well, I don't think there is any way to add just chloride.  It's a negatively charged anion that is paired with a positively charged cation.  In brewing, the most common minerals used to add chloride to water are calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and sodium chloride.  So if you're looking to bump up chloride levels, you are also going to be adding calcium, magnesium or sodium. 
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Offline BrewBama

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No sparge salts question
« Reply #29 on: April 29, 2021, 08:20:30 am »
Thanks guys for the knowledge, so what is this baggage you speak of?

Well, I don't think there is any way to add just chloride.  It's a negatively charged anion that is paired with a positively charged cation.  In brewing, the most common minerals used to add chloride to water are calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and sodium chloride.  So if you're looking to bump up chloride levels, you are also going to be adding calcium, magnesium or sodium.
  Calcium and Magnesium harden water. Sodium has a fairly low taste threshold. Like most issues in brewing, it’s all a balancing act.



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« Last Edit: April 29, 2021, 08:22:27 am by BrewBama »