Splitting the treatments

(That's water to the rest of us!) Beer is about 95% water, so if you want to discuss water treatment, filtering etc this is the place to do it!
Meatymc
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Splitting the treatments

Post by Meatymc » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:07 pm

OK, bought the chemicals and done the calculations - just need to double check what goes where.

Total liqour will be 30 litres so assume I calculate the total 'treatment' quantities on that. I presume I then split the CRS by ratio for the mash (20 litres) and sparge water (10 litres) but all the other treatments (for the full 30 litres) go into the 20 litre mash water?

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Re: Splitting the treatments

Post by Aleman » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:14 am

The simple way is to split the salts addition 2/3 to the mash and 1/3 directly into the boiler just before running the sweet wort off. Treat the mash liquor to the alkalinity you have determined is appropriate for your beer style (colour), the sparge liquor should ALWAYS be low alkalinity (~20ppm)

I calculate the mash addition for salts to get the the mash pH level I want (based on mini-mashes I've done on the grist and alkalinity). For the sparge I simply add 75ppm calcium using the same sulphate:chloride ratio I put in the mash. Alkalinity of the sparge is always 20ppm or less

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Re: Splitting the treatments

Post by Meatymc » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:34 am

Thanks (yet again) Aleman

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Re: Splitting the treatments

Post by donchiquon » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:47 am

I've had a couple of issues with cloudy bottles recently (not kegs curiously enough, just the bottles) and wondered if my treatment process was at fault.

I've been trying to follow one of the options that GW gives on the water calculator notes, but not sure if I have understood it correctly or whether there is a "safer" way I could be doing it.

I split the Calcium Sulphate and Calcium Chloride between the mash and sparge volumes. For the mash I add the Calcium Sulphate to the grist, and the Calcium Chloride to the water. For the sparge I add the Calcium Sulphate to the water (usually the previous evening when the water is still cold - it dissolves easily enough) and the Calcium Sulphate to the water once it is around 40 degrees on brew day. I shake it up with a small quantity of the warm sparge water in a jar to get it dissolved/suspended better. Finally I add the Epsom salts and common salt to the boil (using the boil volume to calculate quantities.

Could I be doing it better? Should I be adding a further dose of calcium to the boil?
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Re: Splitting the treatments

Post by Aleman » Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:23 pm

All my mash treatment salts go straight in the HLT and I then fill it, it's dissolved before full and no issues on heating. If you have a high level of calcium to start with you may have an issue getting gypsum to dissolve, but I've never noticed it.

For my 'sparge liquor' treatment as I say I put it into the boiler not the liquor that's heating, and run the sweet wort off onto it.

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Re: Splitting the treatments

Post by donchiquon » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:29 pm

Thanks Aleman, that sounds easier than trying to get the salts into the sparge water!

As far as the Espsom and common salts are concerned, do I use my total liquor to calculate these or just the pre-boil vol?

Thanks
Ian

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Re: Splitting the treatments

Post by Aleman » Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:44 pm

I never add either! My take on it is sodium isn't needed for any brewing reactions so if I need to add chloride I may was well add calcium chloride as calcium is a beneficial brewing ion, Magnesium is a trace element so even if you water is low in it (mine varies between 2.1 and 6.4mg/l) there is going to be more than enough especially as the malt will provide any additional that's required ... if I need to add sulphate, then add calcium sulphate as that's more beneficial.

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Re: Splitting the treatments

Post by Dave S » Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:54 pm

As Aleman implies really, if you strip away everything you don't need, then what remains is fairly simple to get your head around.
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Re: Splitting the treatments

Post by donchiquon » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:29 pm

Aleman wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:44 pm
I never add either! My take on it is sodium isn't needed for any brewing reactions so if I need to add chloride I may was well add calcium chloride as calcium is a beneficial brewing ion, Magnesium is a trace element so even if you water is low in it (mine varies between 2.1 and 6.4mg/l) there is going to be more than enough especially as the malt will provide any additional that's required ... if I need to add sulphate, then add calcium sulphate as that's more beneficial.
Fair enough, one less thing to worry about. I guess I may as well also add the Calcium Chloride for the mash to the grist at the same time as the Calcium Sulphate, rather than dissolve it in the liquor. Simple is definitely better :wink:
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Re: Splitting the treatments

Post by Meatymc » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:06 pm

Just wanted to add I did my first 'water treated' brew yesterday - everything split proportionatly between mash and 'sparge'. Just wanted to make a couple of comments.

Firstly, I didn't state at the start of this thread that I BIAB - not sure if that has any impact and what I did.

Secondly, I don't (can't) do a traditional sparge hence simply place the bag in a spare bucket and pour over the (treated) sparge water - swirl for about 10 minutes then add to the pan.

Thirdly, as already said, I added the 'treatments' to already partially heated water (hot tap from CH boiler) as I have to use bottled (expensive) gas for boiling.

I only mention all this as my efficiency fell to 70% for the first time - I'm usually at over 78%. Just wondered if what/why/when above could account for this or is it simply a one-off?

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Re: Splitting the treatments

Post by donchiquon » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:17 pm

Aleman wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:14 am
The simple way is to split the salts addition 2/3 to the mash and 1/3 directly into the boiler just before running the sweet wort off. Treat the mash liquor to the alkalinity you have determined is appropriate for your beer style (colour), the sparge liquor should ALWAYS be low alkalinity (~20ppm)

I calculate the mash addition for salts to get the the mash pH level I want (based on mini-mashes I've done on the grist and alkalinity). For the sparge I simply add 75ppm calcium using the same sulphate:chloride ratio I put in the mash. Alkalinity of the sparge is always 20ppm or less
I brewed today and split the salts 2/3 mash 1/3 boiler rather than proportional to the mash and sparge volumes as I usually do.

I used CRS to reduce the alkalinity of both mash and sparge to 20.

I usually end up with a pH of 5.4-5.6 and today ended up at 5.8. Could the change in salts split have caused this or should I be looking elsewhere? :)
Ian

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Re: Splitting the treatments

Post by orlando » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:02 pm

donchiquon wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:17 pm
Aleman wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:14 am
The simple way is to split the salts addition 2/3 to the mash and 1/3 directly into the boiler just before running the sweet wort off. Treat the mash liquor to the alkalinity you have determined is appropriate for your beer style (colour), the sparge liquor should ALWAYS be low alkalinity (~20ppm)

I calculate the mash addition for salts to get the the mash pH level I want (based on mini-mashes I've done on the grist and alkalinity). For the sparge I simply add 75ppm calcium using the same sulphate:chloride ratio I put in the mash. Alkalinity of the sparge is always 20ppm or less
I brewed today and split the salts 2/3 mash 1/3 boiler rather than proportional to the mash and sparge volumes as I usually do.

I used CRS to reduce the alkalinity of both mash and sparge to 20.

I usually end up with a pH of 5.4-5.6 and today ended up at 5.8. Could the change in salts split have caused this or should I be looking elsewhere? :)
Calcium helps to reduce alkalinity so yes it may have. The main reason for splitting is to ensure there is some carry over from the boil into the fermentor. It has been observed that a lot of calcium precipitates from the mash and is not carried over. You could up the calcium levels in the mash, I like to have a minimum of circa 150, that way you should begin to work out what your mash requires to get the pH in the previous range you cite.
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Re: Splitting the treatments

Post by donchiquon » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:32 pm

orlando wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:02 pm
Calcium helps to reduce alkalinity so yes it may have. The main reason for splitting is to ensure there is some carry over from the boil into the fermentor. It has been observed that a lot of calcium precipitates from the mash and is not carried over. You could up the calcium levels in the mash, I like to have a minimum of circa 150, that way you should begin to work out what your mash requires to get the pH in the previous range you cite.
Thanks Orlando. The 2/3-1/3 split actually meant that I was adding more salts to the 18L mash than a split by volume. 11.5g gypsum vs 7.9g and 5.8g Calcium Chloride vs 4g. So if the salts reduce alkalinity then I should have ended up with a more acid pH....less than my usual 5.5pH...if I've understood things (and that is unlikely :lol: ).
Ian

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Re: Splitting the treatments

Post by orlando » Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:38 am

donchiquon wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:32 pm
orlando wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:02 pm
Calcium helps to reduce alkalinity so yes it may have. The main reason for splitting is to ensure there is some carry over from the boil into the fermentor. It has been observed that a lot of calcium precipitates from the mash and is not carried over. You could up the calcium levels in the mash, I like to have a minimum of circa 150, that way you should begin to work out what your mash requires to get the pH in the previous range you cite.
Thanks Orlando. The 2/3-1/3 split actually meant that I was adding more salts to the 18L mash than a split by volume. 11.5g gypsum vs 7.9g and 5.8g Calcium Chloride vs 4g. So if the salts reduce alkalinity then I should have ended up with a more acid pH....less than my usual 5.5pH...if I've understood things (and that is unlikely :lol: ).
Undertand the split, what I meant was raising the calcium level overall even more, so more went into the mash. Split ratio can remain the same.
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Re: Splitting the treatments

Post by donchiquon » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:34 am

orlando wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:38 am
Undertand the split, what I meant was raising the calcium level overall even more, so more went into the mash. Split ratio can remain the same.
Ok, that makes sense. Water treatment brings back terrible memories of chemistry class at school which I was nigh on alergic to. Should have worked harder #-o

I brewed again today, and reverted to a split by volume. The mash was 5.7. That knocks out the split as being the high pH cause. I've just upgraded to a Voltcraft pH meter after my cheapo "trusty" yellow pH pen started spiking. I think my previous mash figures of 5.5 were probably erroneous.

Which still leaves me with the issue of getting the mash back to 5.5. Could I do this by applying a % uplift to the Salifert alkalinity test I do before each brew and entering the uplifted figures into Graham's calculator so that it increases the CRS that I need to add?

Or should I be increasing the amount of calcium that goes into the mash as discussed above? Looking back at Aleman's comment "I calculate the mash addition for salts to get the the mash pH level I want (based on mini-mashes I've done on the grist and alkalinity)" it sounds like the latter option.

Meatymc - how did your mash pH work out with the new treatment?
Ian

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