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Epsom salts, calcium chloride, gypsum...


RDW
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I’ve been brewing the craft kits for a while and am taking a step into BIAB all grain with a 5 litre small batch kit. I’ve been looking at recipes on Brewfather and, after scaling to 5 litres, many include the likes of miniscule (0.5g to 1g) additions of calcium chloride, Epsom salts, lactic acid, gypsum and so on. After doing a bit of research my understanding is this is to make the wort more acidic, particularly for paler beers. I am in Bayside Melbourne with pretty good water quality....what are the collective’s thoughts on these additions? Can I get away without? Would it make a discernible difference for a home drinker wanting to make a decent brew but not looking to win any gold medals? Cheers!

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I brewed AG for years with Sydney water without making water adjustments. The beers were fine.

If your water is decent quality then just brew some beer and get your BIAB procedures locked in. You can look into water adjustments later.

For me, I actually found the biggest improvement the water adjustments made were for dark beers.

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7 hours ago, RDW said:

I’ve been brewing the craft kits for a while and am taking a step into BIAB all grain with a 5 litre small batch kit. I’ve been looking at recipes on Brewfather and, after scaling to 5 litres, many include the likes of miniscule (0.5g to 1g) additions of calcium chloride, Epsom salts, lactic acid, gypsum and so on. After doing a bit of research my understanding is this is to make the wort more acidic, particularly for paler beers. I am in Bayside Melbourne with pretty good water quality....what are the collective’s thoughts on these additions? Can I get away without? Would it make a discernible difference for a home drinker wanting to make a decent brew but not looking to win any gold medals? Cheers!

I favour @Hairy's approach. Get comfortable with your basic BIAB processes first. Then look into water additions. I think you will learn and understand more that way.  I think that because I went the opposite and have added water additions as Brefather has calculated ever since I started all grain.  But I do not really understand what the water additions do.

I am in the Dandenong Ranges, east of Melbourne.  Our water is pretty good too.  I did start to notice that I was not adding much to lagers and pale beers.  Lately, I have left additions out of lagers.  I have not noticed a difference in flavour.

I do throw in 0.4g of Sodium Metabisulphite to my 15 litres of mash and sparge water to neutralise the chloride in them.  A Cambden Tablet will do the same. Pretty sure they have a small amount of Sodium Met.

If Brewfather suggests more than 1g of something for best results, I will do the additions.

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