I brew All Grain & batch sparge (in a blue cooler ) and in recent brews I have started to play with water treatments. In my last Irish Red Ale I added ½ tsp each of gypsum & Calcium Chloride. I added this to both mash and sparge. The resulting beer tasted good but had…for the lack of a better word…”soft” taste to it. The roasty edge and hop flavor was mostly absent. Could that amount of gypsum and CaCl have had that effect? The calculated mash PH was 5.65. I would like to bring my mash PH down to at least 5.5 without affecting the original flavor that I really like. What is the best way to bring down mash PH? Should I add an acid (phosphoric, lactic, acetic, tartaric, etc.) to the strike water? Or should I add some Acidulated Malt to the mash? Or is there another option I’m missing?
I use Brewer’s Friend water treatment calculator to estimate PH and other values. I do not have a PH meter so I can’t verify their calculator’s accuracy but IIRC, other posters have said it’s very close.
This is my water profile:
This is my recipe (5 gal):