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BeerTools Discussion Forum • View topic - How do I add brewing salts?

How do I add brewing salts?

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

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How do I add brewing salts?

Postby hangtendesign » Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:35 am

I'm going to use half a teaspoon, per 5 gallons of water, of Calcium Carbonate to my mash liquor for brewing a Stout to cut down on the acidity. I've bought the Calcium Carbonate and it looks like a powder. I will collect my water via water filter a couple days before brewing and was wondering how to add the Calcium. Do I just put it into the cold water and stir hoping the powder doesn't settle to the bottom or should I add it and boil it into the water ahead of time? Does just heating up the mash liquor to strike and sparge temp take care of it?
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CaCO3

Postby slothrob » Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:50 pm

Calcium carbonate is poorly soluble at neutral pH. The best way to get it into solution is to add it directly to the mash. The low pH of the mash will allow it to go into solution.
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Postby hangtendesign » Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:30 am

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Postby jawbox » Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:01 pm

you'll have to do some math.

Base the amount to add to the mash based on the water you use to mash in.

mash in with 2.5gals then you would add 1/4 tsp directly to the mash.

This might be helpful
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adding calcium carbonate

Postby slothrob » Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:47 pm

No, very little of the calcium carbonate will dissolve in plain water.

Just add the salts to the grain in the mash. When you add the water and mix, the calcium carbonate will go into solution.

I wouldn't add calcium carbonate to the sparge water. It could raise the pH of the sparge and may make the beer astringent.

A great resource for learning about water chemistry in brewing is There's a spreadsheet that you can download in . This allows you to calculate the amount of your salt additions for the volume of your mash based on the SRM of your beer and your starting water's composition.

If you don't have a scale, it will be helpful to know that 1 level teaspoon of calcium carbonate weighs 1.8 grams.
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Water Chemistry Adjustment

Postby hangtendesign » Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:59 pm

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RA

Postby slothrob » Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:52 pm

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Residual Alkalinity

Postby hangtendesign » Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:15 pm

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Postby jawbox » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:24 pm

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Re: Residual Alkalinity

Postby slothrob » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:20 pm

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Re: Re: Residual Alkalinity

Postby hangtendesign » Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:28 am

Last edited by hangtendesign on Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Distilled Water

Postby hangtendesign » Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:43 am

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Re: Re: Residual Alkalinity

Postby slothrob » Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:05 pm

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Postby jawbox » Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:18 pm

Taken from Ken Schwartz website.

Burton Pale Ale -- A toned-down, "idealized" profile. Enough sulphate to bring out the hops without overdoing it. Low alkalinity helps ensure proper mash pH. Model: Moshers 'Ideal Pale Ale". 1 gram baking soda, 1 gram canning salt, 3.5 grams Epsom salt, 9 grams gypsum. Ca=111, SO4=337, Mg=18, Na=35, Cl=32, CO3=38, Hardness=352, Alkalinity=31.

English Ale -- More or less a London water profile. Model: A. J. deLange's "Ale" from HBD1965. 2 grams Epsom salt, 2 grams chalk, 0.3 gram canning salt, 0.8 gram gypsum. Ca=52, SO4=65, Mg=10, Na=6.2, Cl=9.6, CO3=63, Hardness=173, Alkalinity=106.

Light Lager -- Very small amounts of ions; just enough to acidify the mash. Model: Mosher's "Ideal Pale Lager". 1 gram Epsom Salt, 0.5 grams baking soda, 1 gram chalk, 0.5 grams canning salt. Ca=21, SO4=21, Mg=5.2, Na=18, Cl=16, CO3=51, Hardness=74, Alkalinity=69.

Medium Lager -- Malty, amber lagers like Oktoberfest. Loosely based on Papazian's Munich. 1 gram Epsom salt, 3.5 grams chalk, 0.5 grams canning salt. Ca=74, SO4=21, Mg=5.2, Na=10, Cl=16, CO3=111, Hardness=207, Alkalinity=185.

Dark Lagers -- Bocks, for example. Model: Mosher's "Ideal Mild Ale / Dark Lager". 2.5 grams Epsom salt, 2 grams chalk, 2.5 grams canning salt, 2.5 grams gypsum. Ca=73, SO4=125, Mg=13, Na=52, Cl=80, CO3=63, Hardness=236, Alkalinity=106.
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Re: Re: Residual Alkalinity

Postby hangtendesign » Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:19 pm

Yeah, I'm already at Ca 211 with the two teaspoons. :-(

I believe I will have to go with two teaspoons and watch my PH.
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