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Need help with water additions, please!

I will be brewing an all grain Amarillo Pale Ale this weekend. I will be using distilled water.
What would you all recommend I add to the water? I have only used accumash, but I don’t have any.
On hand I have gypsum, 5.2 pH Stabilizer, calcium chloride, and epson salt.
I have tried using programs like bru’n water, but for the life of me I cant figure it out.
The grains I will be using are 10 lb 2-row, 1/2 lb carapils, and 1/2 lb crystal 60.
Can anyone who knows how to use bru’n water or something similar help me out. I’d really appreciate it.
I’m sure its easy to use, but I dont know, im just not getting it. Maybe someone can give me a lesson. I only use distilled water, so I wouldnt think it would be difficult.

Thanks for you time, and any help would be awesome.

Your not the only one got issue as well try to figur it out. Only thing everyone says. Dont use 5ph stabilizer. Why i dont know.

Are using pH meter? Gypsum will help to lower pH and help with hop attenuation. Calcium Chloride would be better used in malt forward brews… I don’t know whats in 5.2 stabilizer… I did use it years ago… Mashing or BIAB? Do look on the internet about what you want to add. I’ve been spending alot of time doing just that… reading… It is complicated, so I wouldn’t try to understand it all… just pick a piece of it… Say you read all you can about Gypsum. It will help you with hoppy brews… Since I know whats in my water, I am trying to use what I’m reading to adjust my mash water, then adjust the wort AFTER mashing and going into the boil… Sneezles61

I decided to use the EZ Water Calculator Spreadsheet 3.0
To get the estimated room-temp Mash PH I will be adding the following:
Mash additions- (grams) gypsum 3, calc chloride 4, epsom salt 2.
Sparge (grams) gypsum 5.1, calc chloride 6.8, epsom salt 3.4.

My PPM will be:
calcium 136
magnesium 14
chloride 148
sulfate 188.

Chloride/sulfate ratio is 0.79

I hope this works for me. It’s still all a mystery to me when it comes to water addition, but I will keep researching.

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Finished water looks like a good profile for a PA. What’s your mash pH and what’s the purpose of the epsom salts? You should be able to get all the sulfates you need from the gypsum.

Mash PH is supposed to be between 5.4 and 5.6. The Epsom salt helps lower it. I could not use Epsom salt and bump up the gypsum and achieve the same results. I was just adding small amounts of each at a time in the calculator and came up with that. I’m not sure what else Epsom salt does.
With the additions it says I will have a mash PH of 5.54.

I’d just use the gypsum. I wouldn’t push the sulfates higher than about 200ppm, 225 for an IPA. 5.54 is fine but you could also use a little lactic acid to get you a little closer to 5.4. Then I just use lactic acid to get my sparge into the pH range and don’t really bother with the salts in sparge. I’ve treated sparge water just like my strike water in the past and haven’t noticed any difference personally.

If I don’t use anything in the sparge, should I use what would have been in the sparge in the Mash? So up the amounts in the Mash? I was thinking about putting all the water in a bucket and adding salts, then use some for mash, and some for sparge.

No I just meant you could save the salts in the sparge for another brew day and only treat the sparge water with acid to keep it under pH of 6.

So you’re doing a room temp mash?

Yes, do adjust the sparge water too… You have adjusted the mash, and the sparge is also of concern… Should the pH go up drastically, you’ll start pulling in tannins and chill hazing protiens… When the pH of the mash and sparge are in check, you eliminate the unwanted characters of your grist. Sneezles61

You had me until:

This really depends on your brew method. @dannyboy58 you BIAB with a small pseudo sparge, correct? Therefore most of your salts are already in the kettle. Batch sparging doesn’t need much adjustment of sparge water because the water is in contact with the mash for such a little time that it doesn’t need buffering capacity. But I would add them to the kettle so you get their flavor contributions, like cooking spices. Fly sparge, you’ll need those salts and correct pH as the sparge will be in contact with the mash for longer. Incorrect pH and buffering capacity and you’ll leach tannins (over 6pH).

I do BIAB and I get about 1/3 of my preboil volume from the sparge. That’s a good point but I said “adjust sparge water pH with lactic acid” guys. This is where I may even adjust the kettle pH down from what my mash pH is in the case of lagers. I just don’t adjust the “salts”, calcium, sulfates, etc to the same level as in the mash. Kettle pH is critical.

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You did. I fly and add the required salts to the sparge. Using RO water I don’t need to add lactic acid to get my sparge into the correct pH range. Bru’n water may call for a small addition, like .01mL! How do I measure that!?!?

Is this one of the recipes from the AHA site ( Amarillo Pale Ale - Beer Recipe - American Homebrewers Association )? I brew this recipe periodically and I :smile: every time I get to open a bottle of it.

I see from a later reply that you found EZ Water so maybe my reply is too late.

Have you seen some of the articles over at Brew & Wine Journal that Chris Colby has written? I’ve been trying out some of his ideas, related to water, and have had good results.

…, as with a lot of things, a simple introduction to the basics will get you 90% of the way to where a water maven is in terms of results.

Brewing Liquor For Pale Beers (0–10 SRM)

What I like about the series of articles at Beer & Wine Journal (and in some of additional information that is in Chris’s Home Brew Recipe Bible) is that I can start using salts and minerals using a good starting point and then “season to taste”. Nothing wrong with others using Excel to calculate salt additions - it’s just not how I want to spend my hobby time in the near future.

I have decided to go with the following:
3.44 gallons of mash water and 5.89 gallons of sparge water. Both distilled.
For the mash I am adding 3 grams of gypsum, 4 grams of calc chloride, and 1 gram of epsom salt.
For the sparge I am adding 5.1 grams of gypsum, 6.8 grams of calc chloride, and 1.7 grams of epsom salt.

Ill get 136ppm of calcium, 7ppm of magnesium, 148ppm of chloride, and 158ppm of sulfate. Chloride/Sulfate ratio is 0.94
Estimated PH will be 5.55

Is this the Amarillo Pale Ale recipe at the AHA web site?

No, it’s from Midwest.

Track your pH and let us know how close you came to your mark… Sneezles61

OK, so now you’re dipping your toe into the water stuff… Can you understand WHY? I’ve been asking the computer about the protease piece of the puzzle… That answer sure helps me to understand WHY… I have jumped into a pool of info way over my head… I hope I don’t drown… Sneezles61

Proper mash pH helps avoid extracting tannins during the mash and makes better beer. Enough info for me thanks.

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