Mash chemistry and water ions

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by P, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. P

    P New Member

    Jun 20, 2015
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    Hi there,
    I wonder if you could help me with some questions I have in relation to mash chemistry and water ions.
    I've been doing some reading and found:

    In the mash Ca2+ ions react with phosphates from the grist to form phosphate salts which precipitate. The amount of phosphates contributed by the grist are significant, making the Ca2+ ions the limiting factor in this reaction.
    ref. braukaiser

    The presence of Ca2+ plays a significant role beyond affecting mash pH. Amongst others, it improves flocculation of yeast and turb.
    ref. brunwater water knowledge

    I have a few questions related to the above.

    In brunwater water knowledge it is stated that adding calcium to sparging water does not reduce the water alkalinity since there are no malt phytins presents .. So one of the questions is, if Ca2+ ion is indeed the limiting factor in generating phosphate salts and hydrogen ions during mash, wouldn't the surplus phosphate react with the Ca2+ ions from the sparge water and produce further H+? Why isn't this the case according to brunwater knowledge?

    My second question relates to no-sparge method. If all the Ca2+ ions have precipitated into phosphate salts during mash, does it means that in a non-sparge method, the wort going into the fermenter will have no Ca2+ at all, in which case one should expect pour flocculation unless salts are added to the kettle?

    My final question is related to my system and how I mash and sparge. I have access to two two different waters. If I mash with 2 gal water A and collect 1 gal, then batch-sparge with 1 gal of water B and collect 1 gal for a total of 2 gal of work... Leaving aside mash pH and only thinking on the ions that will make it to the final beer, is this equivalent to having started with 3 gal 50/50% of A/B mix and use this for both mash and sparging?

  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

    Nov 20, 2012
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    IT Managment
    The Ozark Mountains of Missouri
    you know I took a class at OU on this very thing and can't remember anything today lol shows my age but I would strongly suggest getting a copy of "water" by john palmer, its very involving an technical so be prepared

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