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When to add water additives

When do you add your water additives to your strike and sparge water? I know campden and acid should be added before heating the water but is there any reason I shouldn’t just add the rest of my salts before heating?

PH will depend on your grain bill. You should test the mash ph and make additions after mash in.

I thought using BrunWater removed the need to do this.

Never used it. I looked at it once and found it way to complicated/confusing.

Here’s a dirty secret that we’ll keep just between you and me. I use Brunwater to calculate how much acid malt to add for appropriate pH, and then I just mash in and go. I have a pH meter that has never come out of the box.

That is how I add mine, all at the same time before I start heating my water (strike or sparge). Like Steeler I don’t even check my pH any more since Bru’n Water always agrees with my measurements within .1 pH (though I use phosphoric acid rather than acid malt to get my mash pH to the desired range).

I add acid to the water before heating. That’s the way Martin recommends doing it. I add other stuff into the mash tun after adding the water and grain.

I do as Denny. I very rarely check pH now after using Bru’n Water as the pH was ALWAYS right on target when checked.

Between careers, many years ago, I taught algebra in a prison; later I taught computer science in high school. If I had a nickle for every time I was asked, “Why do we have to learn this stuff?” I’d be retired, living comfortably in Florida.

Bru’n Water falls into the same category as algebra and computer science: it looks intimidating at first and it takes a little work to use it effectively, but it returns dividends far beyond the effort it takes. Just read the first and last pages, plug in the info from a Ward Lab water test, and go for it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

I think some of the salts used to raise pH - Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Bicarbonate should be added directly to the mash. Source: How to Brew Ch. 16: Understanding the Mash pH, table 23.

I need to lower pH, and haven’t heard anything negative about adding Gypsum/Calcium Chloride to my water at room temp, so they go in when I’m heating up my strike and sparge water, along with a quarter of a campden tablet.

Same here. Should note that for sparge water salts, I just dump those into the kettle.

[quote=“Hades”]I think some of the salts used to raise pH - Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Bicarbonate should be added directly to the mash. Source: How to Brew Ch. 16: Understanding the Mash pH, table 23.
[/quote]

Sorry, Palmer has disavowed some of that information. He now points out that calcium carbonate does not work in the mash in the Water book. I’m just wondering when he will get around to revising this VERY dated data on How to Brew?

With the exception of acid and lime, I don’t think it matters significantly whether you add them to the water or mash. I add all of my amendments to the water before firing up the burner. I don’t think there’s anything magical about this method. It’s just how I’ve always done it and it works for me.

[quote=“Hades”]I think some of the salts used to raise pH - Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Bicarbonate should be added directly to the mash. Source: How to Brew Ch. 16: Understanding the Mash pH, table 23.

I need to lower pH, and haven’t heard anything negative about adding Gypsum/Calcium Chloride to my water at room temp, so they go in when I’m heating up my strike and sparge water, along with a quarter of a campden tablet.[/quote]

Calcium carbonate should be avoided completely. It’s at best 50% soluble, so you don’t really know what effect it will have. Pickling lime is a far better choice to raise pH.

Martin, can you advise on the green cell trigger for Cations and Anions? I have a diluted water profile that looks pretty good, but to bring pH down a bit I add just a smidge of lactic acid (like .5 mL total) and the green lit Cantions and Anions turn yellow. What am I missing?

With the exception of pickling lime (which I add directly to the mash), I’ve been adding acid (when necessary) and all of my salts the night before I brew, which is when I measure out all of my water. Am I doing my beer a disservice by incorporating these additions so early?

After investigating further, it appears that there’s no one “right” method for calculating pH in brewing chemistry. Additionally, unless you’re always using RO/Distilled (and you always trust it to be pure), your tap water chemistry may change with the seasons.

I find testing the pH to be kinda fun, FWIW. It’s neat to see how Kai’s and Martin’s estimates match with my measured observations.

With the exception of pickling lime (which I add directly to the mash), I’ve been adding acid (when necessary) and all of my salts the night before I brew, which is when I measure out all of my water. Am I doing my beer a disservice by incorporating these additions so early?[/quote]

No, these are inorganic constituents that do not degrade or alter significantly with time.

I also prefer to add the minerals and acids to the water prior to doughing in. There is a very good reason for this. If I were to screw up an addition, it is much less costly to dump a pot of water than a tun of mash. Adding the minerals and acids IS safer this way.

Another consideration is that by adding those additions to the pot, I can assure myself that they have dissolved fully and that they are fully distributed in the water by mixing. I don’t think you can assure yourself of that degree of mixing and distribution if added to a mash. It would take a lot of mash mixing to make sure those constituents were as well distributed.

With the exception of pickling lime (which I add directly to the mash), I’ve been adding acid (when necessary) and all of my salts the night before I brew, which is when I measure out all of my water. Am I doing my beer a disservice by incorporating these additions so early?[/quote]

No, these are inorganic constituents that do not degrade or alter significantly with time.

I also prefer to add the minerals and acids to the water prior to doughing in. There is a very good reason for this. If I were to screw up an addition, it is much less costly to dump a pot of water than a tun of mash. Adding the minerals and acids IS safer this way.

Another consideration is that by adding those additions to the pot, I can assure myself that they have dissolved fully and that they are fully distributed in the water by mixing. I don’t think you can assure yourself of that degree of mixing and distribution if added to a mash. It would take a lot of mash mixing to make sure those constituents were as well distributed.[/quote]
Thanks, Martin!

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