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Calcium carbonate

If I am generally happy with the composition of my tap water but want to bump up my calcium, would calcium carbonate be an appropriate addition? If so, when is the best time to add that…mash?..boil? Thanks in advance.

I believe chalk does not dissolve at all in water and not very readily in mash. Shadetree suggested I use calcium hydroxide, aka pickling lime, instead (I haven’t had a need to yet, though). This can be a little difficult to find. You can order it here
http://store.mrswagesstore.com/mrswagpiclim.html
if you can’t find it in a store.

Your choices for adding calcium are gypsum, calcium chloride, chalk, and pickling lime - the first two lower the pH in the mash and add either sulfate or chloride to the water along with the calcium, the other two raise the pH and cause an increase in bicarbonate.

So if you’re making a light-colored beer, you would go with the first two (and play with the ratio to set the sulfate:chloride ratio for hops:malt) and with a dark-colored beer you’d use the second two (and perhaps also add a little gypsum/chloride depending on the flavors you want to emphasize).

[quote=“ickyfoot”]I believe chalk does not dissolve at all in water and not very readily in mash. Shadetree suggested I use calcium hydroxide, aka pickling lime, instead.[/quote]I have switched to lime and am very happy with the results - brewed a 60 SRM stout yesterday with 100% RO water and additions of gypsum/chloride/lime in the mash, hit 5.5 pH as predicted by bru’nwater (I found chalk to be a crapshoot when brewing this recipe in the past).

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