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More on calcium in the mash

[quote=“rebuiltcellars”]My water is very soft, though not to RO levels.

I add a mix of gypsum and “mineral salt” which is 70% CaCl and 30% NaCl. I aim to get the Ca+ to 50 ppm or above, while keeping the SO4:Cl ratio proper for the beer style.

So for example, the last light lager I made was aiming for a balanced to slightly malty profile, so I used 1 g gypsum and 1.5 g mineral salt in the mash, and an additional 2.3 g mineral salt in the kettle. This gave me a water profile of 56 ppm Ca, 54 ppm SO4, and 68 ppm Cl. HCO3 was 34 ppm, which is where my tap water naturally falls. The beer came out very clear.[/quote]
Okay, good to know. I have had a number of conversations with people who tell me that you want low sulfates in a beer like this and also that the Cl:S04 ratio you see in things like EZ_Water are nonsense. I did make a beer awhile back with RO/distilled and something like 4g of CaCl so my calcium was okay, chlorides were relatively high and sulfates were low. The water profile seemed very good and the beer was good but clarity lacked… it was cloudy throughout the entire keg and that includes all of my clearing steps (Whirfloc, good quick chill, settle in an ice bath, rack from brewpot to primary, a gel solution, etc). I have also heard that adding some Na (I heard kosher salt) was a good idea in beers of this style. I don’t have any beers in this style on the horizon but eventually I’m going to make something along these lines and I need a new strategy with good clarity in mind. Cheers!

Really? I’ve seen lots of stuff written about the ratios being important, though it obviously can’t only be just the ratio as you can get 2:1 with 2 ppm Cl and 1 ppm SO4 or with 200 ppm Cl and 100 ppm SO4. Maybe it is the same as like adding sucrose makes your beer taste cidery?

Someone should run a controlled test. Where is Kaiser when you need him?

FWIW, I recently made a Czech Pils with 100% RO water - no mineral additions - with acid malt sufficient to bring pH in line. Fermented well, cleared fine, and tasted great.

Prost!

-Bob

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