Author Topic: Adding mineral salts for both flavor and pH adjustment purposes  (Read 3914 times)

Offline Kaiser

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Re: Adding mineral salts for both flavor and pH adjustment purposes
« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2011, 09:41:29 AM »
Martin,

Thanks for the compliments on my work.

It’s possible that the curve becomes non-linear at some point. In fact it has to run into saturation since there is only limited amount of phosphate available and when there is too much calcium the calcium is not the critical substance anymore

But, I’m not sure how much further I want to take the water research. While each rock that is turned reveals more questions I do want to stop at some point and shift my focus to other aspects of brewing science which is why I don’t think I’m going to rerun many of these experiments unless we find a practical brewing question that needs answers.

One experiment I do want to rerun, though, is the acidity testing of malts. Let’s see how happy NB or MoreBeer will be when someone orders 2-4 oz of each malt they sell :). Maybe I should contact them upfront. Bob Hanson from Briess offered me to send me samples as well. Maybe I should take him op on that as well.

Kai

Offline hornets nectar

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Re: Adding mineral salts for both flavor and pH adjustment purposes
« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2011, 09:42:09 AM »
This is all good and sounds really interesting, buuuut , most of us are not chemist and I can only speck for myself
you guys are getting extremly technical for the average homebrewer that needs some guidence
with making his or her bers better,
We are not brewing on a large scale .
I read this forum alot , very seldom chime in and water quality has been a question in my mind .
This is way too technical at least for me.
What can I add or do for water that is low in calcium .
I guess I need to start checking PH levels more  ???

Offline Kaiser

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Re: Adding mineral salts for both flavor and pH adjustment purposes
« Reply #32 on: January 26, 2011, 08:52:48 AM »
I read this forum alot , very seldom chime in and water quality has been a question in my mind .

Thanks for bringing this up. This has been on my mind on occasions. Sometimes a very simple post may lead to a rather technical discussion that is largely irrelevant or even confusing for the OP. However, many interesting discussions are started this way. Usually the OP's question is answered within the first few posts though.

I don't want to discourage us from going off on tangents but would like to address these concerns since a large number of home brewers will be confused buy the more technical discussions. Should we be more aggressive in splitting threads? So far we have only done this on rare occasions where a discussion on a totally different topic was started. In this case the technical discussion is still on topic and wouldn't fit that criteria.

I might split this discussion off this thread if it gets some traction.

Kai

Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Adding mineral salts for both flavor and pH adjustment purposes
« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2011, 09:05:22 AM »
As the OP  ;), I have to say I've really enjoyed where this thread has gone. I've gained exactly the information I was looking for and have significantly improved my understanding of mash/water chemistry (while acknowledging that we don't all agree with how these things work, e.g., the buffering power of certain grain bills). I'm happy to say that I've got a revised approach to adding mineral salts that is based on better data than I had before. I used my revised process for an oatmeal stout session last weekend and will be using it for a schwarzbier this weekend. Incidentally, by paying more attention to my mash RA for the stout, I noticed a mash efficiency bump. Could have been random, but it could have been due to a more favorable conversion environment, namely a higher RA.
Matt Schwandt | Minneapolis, MN
AHA Member

Partial-Mash Pictorial
All-Grain Pictorial

Offline denny

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Re: Adding mineral salts for both flavor and pH adjustment purposes
« Reply #34 on: January 26, 2011, 10:01:34 AM »
There are 2 sides to this coin....I fond that it's too unusual for me to get lost in the discussions and just wish for a simple "do this" answer.  OTOH, even when that happens, I find that by reading the discussions my understanding increases each time.  I think splitting off the technical discussions would mean that less of that learning takes place.  It's not difficult to just skip over the stuff that makes my brain hurt!
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Offline davidw

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Re: Adding mineral salts for both flavor and pH adjustment purposes
« Reply #35 on: January 26, 2011, 10:32:27 AM »
. . .  and water quality has been a question in my mind .
This is way too technical at least for me.

I think a good tactic would be to start with reading Palmers chapter on water:

http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter15.html

That will give you a basic overview of what is significant.

Also, a couple years ago Bill Pierce wrote an article in either BYO or Zymurgy which, for me anyway, was a good starting point to dive deeper into water chemistry. Unfortunately I don't remember or have a link to it, perhaps someone else here will.

Offline hokerer

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Re: Adding mineral salts for both flavor and pH adjustment purposes
« Reply #36 on: January 26, 2011, 10:46:20 AM »
I, too, don't feel that there's any need to split off the "uber-techno" parts of these kinds of discussions.  They're very interesting and informative and, if you get overwhelmed, it's easy enough to just ignore and proceed on.
Joe

Offline dogismycopilot

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Re: Adding mineral salts for both flavor and pH adjustment purposes
« Reply #37 on: January 26, 2011, 05:36:54 PM »
I agree with Denny.  Some of this was over my head, but I still learned something that I probably would not have, had the topic been split.  Thanks

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Adding mineral salts for both flavor and pH adjustment purposes
« Reply #38 on: January 26, 2011, 06:14:32 PM »
What can I add or do for water that is low in calcium .
I guess I need to start checking PH levels more  ???

Question one, add a teaspoon of calcium chloride.  Thats probably around 3g.

Question two, no need.  Just look at your hot and cold break, if it gets more pronounced when you add that calcium salt, you can bet you improved your mash pH.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline richardt

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Re: Adding mineral salts for both flavor and pH adjustment purposes
« Reply #39 on: January 26, 2011, 09:42:16 PM »
Don't split the thread.  Newbies can skim or skip over the uber-geeky stuff and glean the info again at a later date, if interested.

Several years ago, when I first read John Palmer's book How to Brew, I skimmed over the water chemistry and adjusting your mash pH chapters.  I remember thinking to myself:  "That's just overkill!  You don't need pH meters, and water chemistry, and stir plates, and Erlenmyer flasks, and temp controllers for your fridge.  And, come on, yeast is yeast...!"

Well...  I get it now. 

One day, hornets nectar, you'll understand it, too.  It takes time and effort. 

Stick with the AHA forum, and join a homebrew club if you don't already belong to one.  Ask a ton of questions.  Read the books and magazines.  Re-read them periodically.  Brewing is complicated and nuanced enough that you can't understand it all at once.  I think you'll like the homebrewer community--we're a pretty friendly and generous bunch.

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Adding mineral salts for both flavor and pH adjustment purposes
« Reply #40 on: January 27, 2011, 06:20:42 AM »
Water was the last ingredient I tackled, and it was in stages.  I started by just adding some calcium chloride, figuring calcium was good for the mash.  Turns out it had a rather noticeable effect on my hot and cold break, so I was enticed into learning the whole enchilada.  My beers are the clearest they've ever been, but I haven't been using high enough levels of the flavor components to know if I'm improving flavor.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO