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Too Late to Add Brewing Salts?

Man, I guess I was really off my game today. I forgot to add the sparge minerals to the boil kettle. I have them all weighed out in a nice little envelope though… should I just add them to the fermenter, before fermentation really kicks in? That’s what my gut tells me to do.

I need a brewing assistant to look over my shoulder and catch my stupid mistakes! :oops:

Looks like I’m not the first one to ask this:

http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=79058

That thread includes incorrect information, but you can add minerals that were destined for the sparge water directly to the boil kettle or fermenter. I would sanitize any fermenter additions by placing them in some water and boiling.

Thanks, Martin. I knew I had heard from a reliable source that sparge minerals could go directly to the BK.

Bru’nWater 1.13 is sweet, by the way! :cheers:

I usually add my gypsum to my strike water before I mash. Am I not adding it at the right time? Should I be adding it to my kettle instead?

Either way, depending on what you want to accomplish. Gypsum will lower the pH of your mash. For most of my hoppy American styles, the pH is already fine so I don’t want to drop it. I add the gypsum to the kettle in those cases. In cases where you want to drop pH and get the flavor effects from gypsum, add it to the mash.

OK, thanks Denny. I have no idea what my PH is. I bought some strips from my LHBS, and they never even changed color. I’ve been thinking about getting a PH meter. The reason I started using the gypsum is my water report shows my water to be on the soft side.

The only semi reliable strips I’ve used are the plastic ColorpHast strips.

I’ll check them out. At the cost though, I’m wondering if it is more cost effective to just buy a meter.

That’s what I finally decided.

A caution on going with a pH meter. You need to really understand it and how it works. It MUST be calibrated regularly (at least on all the pH meters I ever worked with) or its readings will mean little. This isn’t really “hard” but it does take a little reading directions. You will also need to keep standards on hand to challange the pH Meter to assure that it is in fact in calibration. I say all this not to disuade anyone from taking this path as it works very well. I guess my message is that if you buy quality pH paper and keep it stored properly you never have to deal with all of the above mentioned work. Heck I am a chemist and don’t bother with a pH meter (my objection is keeping up with (and keeping them “fresh”) the standards).

Get good paper and it works with very little thought required.

Barry

That’s probably good advice, since I haven’t learned to read yet. Just pictures. :wink:

[quote=“Vulkin’”]Get good paper and it works with very little thought required.[/quote]Just remembering to correctly account for the 0.3pH offset inherent in the colorphast strips requires more thought than calibrating a meter! :wink:

I used the ColorpHast strips for years, but never felt like I was judging the color accurately. I finally decided I wanted a meter so I had a nice digital readout. I calibrate pretty much before every use, but it’s no big deal.

You are dead on that it is not hard to calibrate. The problem I have seen is a few of my friends not realizing how “religious” one must be about doing it. All that said it will always be more accurate if calibrated correctly so if all is well you should get better results out of a meter. Is that level of acccuracy needed. I doubt it, but it still is nice is suppose.

So, when I do get my strips or meter, exactly when do you measure? is it during mashing? Sparging? the kettle pre-boil?

You want to measure about 10-15 min. after mashing in. Cool the sample to room temp for either method. Should be in the 5.2-5.5 range.

OK, thanks Denny

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