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Pickling lime vs Calcium chloride water treatments

are there any general advantages to using one of the other? Or does it really just depend on use/application?

from what I’ve read, pickling lime is somewhat dangerous (can burn skin etc), but it seems to work well for my application (at least according to Bru’n water) - as it brings up my RA level. Sounds like Calcium chloride is easier to work with, but I am not sure - it appears to bring down my RA (which I am looking to increase for a dark beer)

any input is appreciated! first time doing water treatment, still trying to figure it all out…

Lime increased RA (raises pH) and CaCl2 does the opposite. Both add calcium to the mash. CaCl2 is also important for the chloride it adds - the chloride:sulfate ratio can be adjusted to emphasize malt or hops. Although lime is considered dangerous (same as bleach), just use a spoon to measure and don’t get it wet and you won’t have any problems.

Both add calcium, but their effect on RA is opposite. It sounds like the OP has relatively low alkalinity tap water and there are cases when having the ability to add alkalinity is valuable and beneficial to beer flavor. Just be sure not to overdose it. Its better to be a little shy of alkalinity than have too much. A scale that can measure down to a tenth of a gram is a very good thing to have. You do need to be precise with that strong mineral. Add pickling lime directly to the mash. Do not add to the water prior to mashing or you could cause chalk to precipitate from the water.

Having calcium chloride and gypsum at your brewing table is a good idea. You then have at least 3/4 of the mineral adjusting capabilities you’ll ever need.

wow - thank you - the above posts are super informative!

Ans yes, the alkalinity is somewhat low in my water - I was trying to make it higher for a dark beer I plan to brew next.

ps - if ‘mabrungard’ is the author of Bru’n Water - an additional thanks and cheers to you, sir! It is clear lots of hard work went into that…

[quote=“cjtboy”]wow - thank you - the above posts are super informative!

Ans yes, the alkalinity is somewhat low in my water - I was trying to make it higher for a dark beer I plan to brew next.

ps - if ‘mabrungard’ is the author of Bru’n Water - an additional thanks and cheers to you, sir! It is clear lots of hard work went into that…[/quote]

Use Calcium Carbonate rather than slaked lime.

How do you do this? It is a simple one-for-one swap? What are the advantages? I didn’t see it in Bru’n water, so didn’t even think of it.

based on the earlier posts, it doesn’t sound like slaked lime is all that hard to deal with, but would like to hear if Calcium Carbonate is somehow easier/better etc.

thanks

Never mind… it is called chalk!

should have looked that up before asking. thanks. I’ll play with the numbers in the program and see what works out.

Pickling lime is preferable to chalk because lime dissolves completely in the wort while chalk is a crap shoot.

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