If my water is ok for proper pH for a certain color beer, but is low in Calcium, should Ca only be added to the boil? I guess my question is, is there a minimum amount of Ca that the mash needs? I only have 24 Ca.
I’ve learned that 50ppm calcium is beneficial to enzyme activity and yeast happiness, and 75ppm is even better.
If the additional Ca will mess with your mash calculations, you can always add it to the boil. I believe it’s recommended to have at the very least 40ppm.
yep - 50ppm is what I have seen as well. Also, if you are doing a hoppy beer you may want to use CaSO4 (gypsum) and if you are doing a more malty beer you may want to get the additional calcium by using CaCl.
If your low calcium water will produce a desirable mash pH, it is OK to add additional calcium-containing mineral directly to the kettle. This helps avoid causing an excessive pH drop that would occur if that mineral was added to the mash.