Water Treatment from Sabco HLT

Water profiles and treatment
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Water Treatment from Sabco HLT

Post by sjbrews » Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:08 pm

I'm a new Brew Magic owner wanting to know how you guys treat your water. Do you make all your salt/acid additions to the HLT and then fill the mash tun/sparge?

Im looking at the HLT and there will always be a few gallons left in the bottom of it beneath the dip tube, so to treat the water you would need to account for that to avoid the salts/acid actually going into the mash tun being diluted. Just curious if anyone has a different way of adding their salts and acids to the mash and sparge.

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Re: Water Treatment from Sabco HLT

Post by Hooch » Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:01 am

After plugging in my numbers using John Palmer's spreadsheet (which by the way was updated late last year).

My method is to add the salts in the MT using just the amount of water needed for the mash, then I add half the same amount of salts in the BK as I sparge. Been doing it for years this way, with great award winning results.



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Re: Water Treatment from Sabco HLT

Post by mchrispen » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:34 am

All of the spreadsheets I have used, including Bru'n Water calculate based on concentrations - so you would indeed include the residual liquor in any of your calculations. The goal is to provide the correct concentration into the boil kettle.

Martin Brungard's opinion is that all of the strike additions should be fully dissolved before mashing in... and before heating. This gives the minerals the best opportunity to dissolve completely and be available immediately to the mash to start reactions and bring the pH into the right range for enzymatic reactions. It should also be noted that Martin consults with large breweries where a 1% mash efficiency boost can mean significant savings in grain costs - so how that applies on our scale should be taken with a grain of salt. Once we begin recirculation - it may make absolutely no difference.

I follow the Bru'n procedure, splitting my additions and acid between MLT (strike) and HLT (sparge) liquor, the main advantage being that heating the liquor in the MLT and recirculating brings the system to strike temperatures and allows it to stabilize quickly. I also tend to acidify my sparge liquor to various levels based on the beer I am making to prevent tannin extraction (Lower pH for darker beers, like to 5.6 and higher pH for lighter beers to around 5.8, and even lower for a sour beer profile). I cannot say with any certainty this brings a benefit other than easing my mind.

Palmer and others seem to be much less concerned, and I know of at least 1 Ninkasi winner that chucks all of the minerals into the mash with the dry grains before mash in. Many use Hooch's method... he is more experienced than I.

Make sure to remove any residual liquor from the HLT if you have treated it. This will prevent the minerals from crusting on the surface and possibly corroding the stainless. I wipe mine dry and then spray with Star San foam.

Regardless of the procedure, getting the mash pH is the MOST important step.
Matt Chrispen
http://www.accidentalis.com - blog

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