When to Add Brewing Salt? Correct Usage And Application [Explained]

Brewing your own beer can be a very exciting adventure. But it comes with its hassle as well.

While brewing, one of the most intriguing questions is about the use of brewing salts. It’s an important step to achieving the perfect brew for your homemade beer.

So, when to add brewing salt?

The time to add the salts depends on the test results of the brewing water in use. This determines what type and how much salt is needed for the brew. Also, knowing the impact different brewing salts create when used in the brewing water.

Detailed discussion about the whole topic will give you insight into the answer you seek. Join us to get into the deep knowledge of brewing.

Let’s dive in!

Tests Before Using Brewing Salt

Using brewing salt in your brew helps to round out the malt flavors. It’s used commonly by pro brewers and homemade brewers alike. 

Thinking about putting brewing salt to your beer? Making it a better product for you to cherish and enjoy in your festivities. 

Source: theelectricbrewery.com

Firstly, acquire a water analysis report from a local water provider. This is a must because you aren’t adding brewing salts to distilled water. It should contain all the information you need. Although you may not be able to obtain all of it at first. 

The water testing labs may not always provide the information that brewers demand in a water report. Ordering a test from a testing company is the quickest method to acquire a result.

You’ll need to use a brewing salts calculator, it will help you a lot. These minerals are significant in brewing water. It’s because they can alter its appropriateness for brewing as well as its flavor.

When Should You Add Brewing Salt?

Similar to adding bourbon to beer, brewing salts can bring out an exotic taste out of beers.

But it’s also important to know the right time to add the salt. But precisely at which time you should add the brewing salts, is not a constant point. Depending on your water ion contents and brew, it will vary.

In most home brewing, brewers add the salts at their preferred time. Some add the salts when the mashing process starts. Another method is to add the salts just before the brewing water starts boiling.

Adding the salts while the mashing process starts, gives you a perfect distribution of salt ions. This way the grain and the brewing water have the best balance. Producing a very good blend for fermentation.

And adding the salts while boiling the water makes your brewing water into a brine. Which itself makes the water zingier in taste. This process is applicable in some particular types of brew.

Source: https://renegadebrewing.com/

So basically, adding the brewing salts at the right time is more of a personal preference. You can have the liberty to put it in when you want.

Now let’s talk about some of the common types of brewing salts.

Types of Brewing Salt

Knowing how to use brewing salt lets you understand precisely when you can put it into your developing brew. Before that, you should know about the types of brewing salt used for alcoholic brewing. Also the fact of why these are used.

You will also need to measure the correct amount of salt needed in your brew. Because too much or too little use of salts can alter the flavor of your brew. The whole process is comparable to how much burton water salts to use.

Using an ultra-precision scaling machine, you can precisely weigh out the number of salts. Here are some of our recommendations for good-quality scaling machines.

These are the best in the market. You can use them for achieving your perfect brew.

Now, let’s dive into the details of the types of brewing salt being used.

Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate)

Gypsum is a common brewing salt used to increase calcium and sulfate levels within the brewing water. Adding gypsum and calcium chloride also helps in lowering the pH level. 

Increase gypsum salt until the sulfate level of 103 ppm is reached. Correcting the calcium level in your brewing water is very important. There are several reasons why it is beneficial. 

  • Dropping pH
  • Preserving mash enzymes
  • Boosting extract yield
  • Improving yeast growth and flocculation
  • Hasten oxalate removal and reducing color

These benefits help you to maintain your brewing water to be safe and drinkable. Sulfate within the gypsum helps to promote bitter beers by making them drier.

To check, adjust and manage your brewing water in the process. You can use bru’n water as a helping tool. This will lessen the hassle.

Campden Tablets (Potassium Metabisulphite)

In brewing, Campden tablets or potassium metabisulfite is used to remove chlorine and/or chloramine from water. While adding brewing salts to boil, it is broken down into chloride, sulfates, and ammonia. When it is combined with it. 

You don’t need to add much to the water before brewing. Just like you can’t use excess yeast in beer. One pill for every 40 liters of water is a good starting point.

Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate)

Epsom salt raises the quantities of magnesium and sulfate in your beer. It’s also in charge of giving the water its hardness. Magnesium sulfate is frequently used as a sulfate replacement in water.

You must be cautious when using it. Just be cautious such as when to add calcium chloride to beer. Increase Epsom salt until you hit the magnesium target. The range preferred is 50 mgl to 150 mgl.

If it has a lot of calcium, the malt will offer all of the magnesium. So adding magnesium isn’t necessary then.

Non-Iodized Table Salt

Table salt is a mixture containing sodium and chloride. Although not commonly used in brewing, the chloride component gives a malt roundness. 

Source: quickanddirtytips.com

As a result, the salt lends a saline flavor to balance out the tartness. Just make sure the salt isn’t ionized.

Chalk (Calcium Carbonate)

Brewers have typically employed calcium carbonate (CaCO3) to increase mash pH. As it does not dissolve easily, it is rarely used in brewing nowadays. 

If you merely need to increase your calcium intake, use chalk. It should be in the range of 150ppm. 

If the carbonate ratio in the water is too high, it will have a severe bitterness. This roughness is considerably more noticeable in strongly hopped beers. It’s just like adding salts to sparge water without measuring.

That is all there is to discuss this topic!


Do You Add Salt to Sparge Water?

Yes, combining salt to sparge water is a very common process. Brewers usually add salts to sparge water. This makes the sparge water smoother in taste. Making it a better light-toned beer. But keep in mind, while adding salt, do not add any acid compound. 

Do Brewing Salts Change pH?

Brewing salt can change the pH level of your brewing water. It is a mineral salt. That’s why it’s used when the mildness or smoothness of the brewing water needs to be changed. Adding brewing salts is the most common way to adjust the pH levels of your malt brew.  

Is Brewer’s Yeast Alkaline or Acidic?

Brewer’s yeast is slightly alkaline. With a pH level of 7.4 (7.0 being neutral), brewer’s yeast is considered to be alkaline. This is why while brewing, the yeast is used to create alcohol and CO2 simultaneously. But using it has to be precise. Otherwise, it can foul the brew.


This whole discussion should help you understand when to add brewing salt?

To make it simple, the question of when to add salts relies on the preparation. As well as, the types of brewing salt you will have to use for your brew. 

Happy brewing!

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