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Bru'n Water Adjustments/Flavor Profile

I’m using Bru’n Water to adjust my water for pH and flavor, thanks Martin. I use Denny’s easy batch sparge system, thanks Denny. Assuming I calculate that a .70 gram addition of Gypsum to the mash water and a 1.10 gram addition to the sparge water gives me the correct pH and flavor profile. Now let’s say for whatever reason my mash pH reads a bit high when adding just the .70 grams to the mash, and I want to lower it a bit. Can I just add the 1.10 gram sparge addition into the mash to correct pH, and if I eliminate any addition to the sparge water would my flavor profile still be the same? In other words, if my flavor profile says a total addition of 1.80 grams of Gypsum, does it matter where I add it to the mash? Can I add it all in the mash/strike or mix it between the mash water and sparge water and still maintain my flavor profile? It seems like kind of a no brainer to me but it’s one of those, “can it be that simple” moments
Thanks Guys

The sulfate concentration will be the same once the kettle is full.

When you say “sulfate concentration” do you mean that the concentration of all the minerals will stay the same including Calcium-Magnesium-Sodium-Sulfate-Chloride-Bicarb. Chemistry was never my thing, I just want to make sure I’m understanding this.
Thanks

You only mentioned changing how you added gyspum which will have no effect on magnesium, sodium, or chloride. I do not think it will change the calcium concentration (mashing will reduce some of the calcium, though) or the bicarbonate (although changing the pH can change the bicarbonate, I believe it will end up the same since you’re going to be adding non-gypsumed water for the sparge). This is with the caveat that I do not fully grasp all the intricacies of water chemistry when salts are in excess.

Maybe I need to put this another way. If by adding certain salts to the mash and sparge water I end up with the correct flavor profile for what I’m brewing. Will I end up with the same water profile irregardless of when I add the salts as long as I do not add more/less than planned and they all run through the mash tun?

AFAIK, and by simple math, yes.

Will it? Wouldn’t the sparge water, being lower in sulfate, “rinse out” some of the high-sulfate water that’s been retained by the grist?

Assuming a 12.5 lb grist, 7 gal pre-boil volume (because it makes the math easy):

30% of the initial infusion (5 gal) is retained by the grist, so that’s 0.21 g CaSO4 in the first scenario and 0.54 g in the second.
70% of what’s retained makes it to the kettle, assuming the sparge is well-mixed. In the treated sparge scenario that’s 0.7*(1.1+0.21) = 0.917 g. The “clean” sparge would carry out 0.378 g.

So in the case of the treated sparge water, 1.407 g CaSO4 would make it to the kettle. In the “clean” sparge, 1.638 g. ~16% more gypsum. Probably not worth worrying about, but not the same.

There is precipitation and reduction of solubility of some ions when they are present at high concentrations. Calcium is one ion that does tend to precipitate in the mash in the presence of phosphate. I’m not sure if bringing the minerals intended for the sparge water into the mash would boost the calcium concentration excessively and cause this problem. Just recognize that it could occur.

Excepting for this problem, I don’t see any reason that this technique could not work.

Report back with your findings!

[quote=“a10t2”]Will it? Wouldn’t the sparge water, being lower in sulfate, “rinse out” some of the high-sulfate water that’s been retained by the grist?[/quote]Just logically, it seemed like a small difference to me, but your response got me calculating and here’s what I came up with, a little different than your setup.

With 8# of grain, 7 gallons of water total, 6 gallons into the kettle, equal sparge:

No-sparge = 6/7 * (0.7 + 1.1) = 1.54g into kettle

Sparge = mash with 4 gal, recover 3, so 3/4 * 0.7 = 0.525g leaving 0.175 g in grain, then sparge with 3, so there’s 1.275 g total in four gallons of water, recover 3, 3/4 * 1.275 = 0.956, add them together and you get 1.48g into the kettle.

(1.54 - 1.48) / 1.54 = 4% error in this case.

If you double the grain bill to 16#, add one gallon to the total water, then it’s 6/81.8 = 1.35 versus 3/50.7 = 0.42, leaving 0.28 in grain, sparge yields 3/5 * (0.28+1.1) = 0.828, so 1.25 total.

(1.35 – 1.25) / 1.35 = 8% error.

So yes, it is not exactly the same, but I wouldn’t sweat it on most beers.

[quote=“mabrungard”]There is precipitation and reduction of solubility of some ions when they are present at high concentrations. Calcium is one ion that does tend to precipitate in the mash in the presence of phosphate. I’m not sure if bringing the minerals intended for the sparge water into the mash would boost the calcium concentration excessively and cause this problem. Just recognize that it could occur.[/quote]That’s how I meant to say it! :wink:

Amazing how you guy’s think. I very much appreciate the thought and investigation into this. What I’m gathering is that on a small home brew scale the idea is probably “close enough” to work with, providing your not making too great of adjustments to your water. There will be some skewing of the concentrations depending on grist and batch size, but not enough to worry about.
Shadetree, Sean, and Martin thank you very much for your inputs. I will say that I have appreciated the information that you guy’s have been sharing with us on the variuos forums.

Home brew, nothing. For brewing, period. :mrgreen:

There is precipitation and reduction of solubility of some ions when they are present at high concentrations. Calcium is one ion that does tend to precipitate in the mash in the presence of phosphate. I’m not sure if bringing the minerals intended for the sparge water into the mash would boost the calcium concentration excessively and cause this problem. Just recognize that it could occur.

Excepting for this problem, I don’t see any reason that this technique could not work.

Report back with your findings![/quote]
I don’t think I would consider this a problem in this situation. Adding more calcium, precipitating more calcium phosphate and releasing more hydrogen ions will probably play a large role in lowering the pH of the mash after a CaSO4 addition.

Belgian Wit Brewed 05-05-2012
3.25 Gallon Batch
2.75# 2-Row
2.75# Flaked Wheat
.25# Rice Hulls
Mash Water 2.25 gallons, Mash Out 1.0 Gallons, Sparge 2.61 Gallons, Diluted 50/50 with Distilled
Initial pH reading with no additions 6.34 at room temp, with mash additions 5.92 at room temp, after adding sparge additions to mash pH is 5.67 at room temp, (5.37 est. at mash temp). Planned mash temp of 154 but with the small grain bill I lost control of it and never got it above 149-150. I did let the mash out sit for 20 minutes at 155-156. I’m not sure how the salt additions will affect the flavor, and with the mash temp running on the low side it will be hard to say. Also my first Wit so I don’t have much flavor experience with this style. Once it’s done and kegged I’ll let you know if it’s well received or not. Thanks again for your input on this.

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