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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Archive through June 28, 2004 * Using Chalk to adjust pH up... < Previous Next >

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Travis
New Member
Username: Travis

Post Number: 370
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 05:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey guys - I am finally back to brewing AG and everything is going great. My St. Chuck's Porter was brewed with Portland water and no mineral additions and it turned out wonderful! Thanks Bill Pierce!
I brewed a stout this weekend with a bunch of dark grains - lots of roast and a little black patent. In order to keep the pH in check starting from my 7.4 water I decided to add chalk to the mash tun. One teaspoon brought the pH to 4.9 at mash temp/dough in. So I stirred and checked it again - still in the 4.9 range. So I added a second teaspoon of chalk, stirred, waited 10 minutes and checked again - pH was between 5.2 and 5.4. So I think I did what I needed to do with a dark grained beer like this. But reading some other info it was suggested to only use 1 teaspoon for 5 gallons. Any thoughts on this? Portland water is tremendously soft, with Ca at about 2 - so i know the calcium didn't hurt me. Can anyone offer me any advice on using chalk in the future for porters and stouts? I am looking at brewing a 10 gallon batch of porter this weekend with crystal 60, chocolate, and some roasted barley so I know it is going to be an issue again. Thanks,
Travis
 

danno
New Member
Username: Danno

Post Number: 505
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 06:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Travis, I use 0.5 g/gal of Baking Soda and 0.3 g/gal of Chalk (CaCO3) in my stouts using similar water just south of you. My water is from the Clackamas river so it starts with 16 ppm of Ca and 34 of CO3 (just slightly harder than your Bull Run water). I brewed my first stout using this profile recently and am very pleased with the smooth flavor. The recipe needs some work but I'm real pleased with the water profile I chose.

-Danno

(Message edited by danno on June 20, 2004)
 

Travis Adams
Junior Member
Username: Travis

Post Number: 371
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 02:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dan - so for treating 7.5 gallons of total runoff you would have me treat the mash with 2.3 grams of chalk and 3.75 grams of baking soda to get your profile?
If that is the case I definately overdid it with the chalk - as 1 teaspoon is 2.6 grams - so I nearly doubled the amount of chalk I should have used.
I will keep this in mind for my brews this weekend. Thanks!
Travis
 

Travis Adams
Member
Username: Travis

Post Number: 372
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 02:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dan - congratulations on the NHC Gold Medal! I just saw the list!
Travis
 

danno
Junior Member
Username: Danno

Post Number: 506
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 03:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Travis. The beer Gods brewed with me that day. It was my first Koelsch, I used the undermodified Budvar Pils malt, my homegrown Santiam hops, and yeast from a plate that Warren Place (UC Davis) swapped with me. For that all to work out takes some luck. You'll be able to enjoy the Koelsch on tap at the Gasthaus next summer as it was recently chosen to be one of two new Collaborator beers at Widmer.

Stout pint Back to the Stout... I added the water adjustments to the liquor tank so that all of the water that sees the mash is treated. I used the recommendations from Palmer's book and from some emails that we traded. The Stout will be carbonatd properly in another week. I can bring some uptown for a sampling if you wish. As I said, its not a great stout but the water profile kept it very smooth.

(Message edited by danno on June 20, 2004)
 

Travis Adams
Intermediate Member
Username: Travis

Post Number: 373
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 03:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dan - I had heard that chalk wouldn't dissolve in the water - and that it had to added to the mash instead. I think this is in Palmer's book isn't it? Helk - addding it to the water would sure make it easier.
You don't have to bring me a sample - I will actually be in the willamette valley for the rest of the summer likely doing dam inspections - I have spent the last month either in eugene or oakridge or the like. That is why I am trying to brew 15 gallons this coming weekend - otherwise it will never happen!
I can't wait to try the koelsch! They should brew some up for you and give you your own booth at the brew festival!

One more question on water though. At one point I was going to follow this advice:
http://www.oregonbrewcrew.com/technique/water.html
But I am now wondering why these amounts seem so tremendously high. It says they are grams/gallon additions. Am I totally misunderstanding these tables?
Thanks - Travis
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 61
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 04:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chalk (calcium carbonate) is poorly dissolved in water, which is why it is far more effective when added to the mash. The same can be said of gypsum to a slightly lesser extent. To raise the pH of water, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a better choice, although it is seldom necessary to do so, especially for extract beers.
 

danno
Member
Username: Danno

Post Number: 507
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 05:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I pre-boil all of my water to remove the chlorine so I don't have a problem with the chalk dissolving. Gypsum is another story and I agree that adding it to directly to the mash is the way to go but I still put some in the water before its boiled (I didn't use gypsum in my water treatment for this Stout though).

Travis, Gary's write-up on the OBC web page is how you would profile your water to the Dublin specs. I ran with Palmer's advice which is more about balancing the malt bill with salts to stay in the right pH range for mashing. Thus, I come up short of Dublin water in Ca and in CO3. Keep in mind that the extra Ca in the Dublin water will drive the pH down and the extra CO3 will keep it up.

Palmer's method balances the two so you don't need an excess of either. Since Stouts are not a hop dominated beer, I don't see the reason for matching the Dublin numbers and driving the SO4 or Ca up so high. I just add enough CO3 to bring the pH up. I used a blend of Baking Soda and Chalk so as to not add too much Ca or Na and my SO4's stay low.

This year's Collaborator will be served at the OBF at the Brewer's Guild tent. Unfortunately, the Guild tent won't be able to serve their round robin of local beers like they have in the past. They always had the best beers there. They will be limited to only Collaborator beers this year (which is great for the , McCracken Scholarship Fund, the Oregon Brew Crew and Widmer). This year's additions are a Stout by Ingmar Saul, and a Saison and Bo Pils by Bill Schneller and Chris Johnson (they teamed up and won two Collaborator entries). Look for my Koelsch and Brian Butenschoen's IPA next year.

The interesting thing about my Koelsch being selected is that Widmer also sells their Summerbrau which is a Koelsch style beer (I don't remember tasting it). But now that I search their web site for notes on their recipe, I don't see it listed anymore. So I guess I won't be competing with one of their house beers.