Chemistry Calculator

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by DavidJL, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. DavidJL

    DavidJL New Member

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    Hi, new member here. I've been a homebrewer for 10+ years, but have never really cared much about water chemistry other than to add a few teaspoons of gypsum to my IPA's and a teaspoon of calcium chloride to my Marzen's etc. So I've recently discovered the chemistry calculator and I love the feature but I do have a question. When I am only adding brewing salts to the boil and not the mash, I'm uncertain as to what I should set my water volume total to. The instructions say to use total volume but if I'm not adding and additions until after the mash, I don't see why I should include mash volume? Thanks!
     
  2. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I add my salt additions to mash water. This is only my guess if your adding your salts to boil you'd use your pre boil volume in the water chemistry calulator. Curious why add to boil and not mash?
     
  3. DavidJL

    DavidJL New Member

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    Thanks for responding, I generally don't add salts to my mash because of the affect on mash pH.
     
  4. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    They drive the pH too low? If that is the case, they would still drive the boil pH low as well. Are you using lots of dark highly kilned malts with RO water? If so, you may want to add some alkalinity in the form of baking soda to get the mash pH where you want it as well as the boil pH, and be able to use the flavor salts as you wish.
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    If you're adding the salts to the boil, don't worry about it. You're adding for taste at that point, not to support the mash. You add or, through dilution, remove salts from the mash to hit a mash pH from about 5.2-5.5 basing the amount on calculation of residual alkalinity (see Palmer's "How to Brew" or the Brewing Elements volume "Water" for more technical detail than most could possibly digest). In fact, the water calculator is not built to calculate anything in the boil. The proper, but mostly useless, answer to how much salt to add to the boil is the amount that gives you the flavor you want.
     

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