Joined: 12 Dec 2010 Posts: 10938 Location: Ottawa, Canada
Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter
Link Posted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 5:39 pm Post subject: Re: Calculating Brewing Salts, Specifically NaCl
Hoppy NE Flavor Profile: Ca-100, Mg-18, Cl-200, SO4-100
My water profile according to Ward Labs : Ca-50.9, Mg-21, Na-4, Cl-4, SO4-15
You've got great soft (low in minerals) water so that's a good start! You can always add, but taking away is much more difficult.
When looking at the following Salt additions:
CaSo4 - 12g, CaCl2 - 0g, MgSO4- 1g
I end up with
Ca-109, Mg-23, Na-4, Cl-4, SO4-166
I'm assuming that adding NaCl would bring the Sodium and Chloride up, but don't know how to calculate how much.
I wouldn't use it - I have yet to use NaCl. Nothing wrong with Na of 4 as lower is better per my water adjustment guide, but if you want to bring it up use some Baking Soda (NaHCO3) which is in the spreadsheet.
I would instead add some CaCl2 to bring up the Cl level and lower CaSO4 and MgSO4. You have to play around a bit and try and get close, and don't worry if you can't hit the numbers bang on as it won't matter. Get Ca to around 100, Cl to around 200 and SO4 to around 100. If you're over or under by 20-30 that's ok. Your Ca will probably be higher than that and that's ok. If you want to get closer, you can maybe try cutting part of your water with distilled/RO water (all zeros) and see if that help at all. There's an option to cut with distilled/RO at the top of the spreadsheet.
Also, do you think the Mg is too high?
Your value of 23 is very close to 18. Won't make a difference. Typical brewing range for Mg in water is 5-40, so you're fine. You get a lot of it from grain too so I purposely set the Mg numbers lower in my targets as you know the grian will add a ton more. In fact, it's not uncommon for the finished beer to have Mg well above 100 ppm. Julius is said (for example) to be 185! Source:
I would go higher with Ca (as high as 150), not worry too much about bringing Mg up even farther, to get Cl:S04 to around 100:200 200:100 (fixed my typo).
See my water adjustment guide for some some hints too. This one here is especially true:
If you cannot hit the targets exactly, do not fret. The numbers are not absolutes. Keep in mind the original goal of the profile you are targeting. In this case the goal of this 'Balanced' profile is to "Hit minimums on Ca and Mg, keep the Cl:SO4 ratio low and equal". This means we prefer to reach 50 for Calcium and 10 for Magnesium, but a Calcium at 60 or even 70 is fine, as is Magnesium at 12 or 15. Keeping Chloride and Sulphate low and equal means that both at 50, 60, or even 80 is fine.
Like all things brewing, feel free to experiment too and see if you like it / if you find it makes a difference. I brewed my Electric Hop Candy 3-4 time using identical recipe/process only changing the water numbers (quite a bit usually) to see what liked/didn't like before landing on the numbers you posted here. There's no right or wrong answer.
Joined: 31 Jan 2015 Posts: 25 Location: Newaygo, MI
Drinking: Simcoe IPA
Link Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 4:53 pm Post subject:
First off thank you for all the help, this forum and your Recipes have been the major reason my brewing has been so successful among friends and family.
I brewed this last weekend and everything went perfectly on brew day. She is fermenting nicely.
I am getting ready to brew your Electric Hop Candy NEIPA this coming weekend and noticed something with the water adjustments, being last week's and this week's brews use the same water profile.
I would go higher with Ca (as high as 150), not worry too much about bringing Mg up even farther, to get Cl:S04 to around 100:200.
I plugged your numbers into EZWater and get: Ca-149, Mg-35, Na-19, Cl-97, SO4-186
Using: CaSO4-9.5g, CaCl2-9g, MgSO4-7g, NaHCO3-2.5g (take or leave this last one).
I used those recommended numbers, but I think I messed up according to your Hoppy New England flavor profile. Instead of Cl:SO4 being 100:200, I should have had it reversed 200:100. Unless you recommended those numbers on purpose?
This is the first time I used brewing salts, it'll be interesting how things come out.
I fixed my first post above (that you quoted), but erased the part on how I got there (how much to add) using EZWater as I don't have time to go through all this again right now... I'll leave that exercise to you! Don't use my recommended amounts.
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