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Do I really need 50 ppm calcium in the mash?

My water chemistry fluctuates throughout the year and I get anywhere from 28-47ppm of calcium. I’m flirting with the idea of nixing water additions and just brewing a beer (I usually only use a little gypsum or CaCl3), but I’m not sure what exactly the negative effects of too little calcium are on the mash. I mean, why does the Pilsen water work if they’ve only got approximately 10 ppm calcium?

So, what can I expect if my mash only has, say, 30 ppm calcium?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.

Martin lays down the benefits of calcium in this post:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=110972

Because the traditional Czech pilsners were made with under-modified malts and a 3 or 4 step decoction mash. The acid and “protein” rests helped lower the mash pH. Some may be doing the same thing today or they are adding ingredients (acid, acidulated malt, calcium salt) to take care of it.

[quote=“Chinaski1217”]So, what can I expect if my mash only has, say, 30 ppm calcium?

[/quote]

You will still make beer but you will create a better environment for your mash if you up the Ca+ to 50-75ppm.

Bryan and Scott,

Thanks for both of your replies. That does help to clear up this issue I had with it. I wasn’t aware of how the Pilsen brewers adjusted their process to account for their water chemistry.

Thanks again.

[/quote]

You will still make beer but you will create a better environment for your mash if you up the Ca+ to 50-75ppm.[/quote]

+1 Also aids in yeast health as well.

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