Using calcium chloride to reduce pH of beer


How to use calcium chloride to reduce a high pH level

An experienced brewer will be no stranger to the fact that the pH level of one's beer has a direct effect on flavour. A beer that is pH balanced will feel good to the palate meaning you've a drinkable beer.

If your pH level is too high, one way to reduce it is with calcium chloride flakes.

By adding salt chlorides to your beer, you not only reduce the pH level but have the benefit of the chloride ions working to promote the sweetness, or mellowness of the beer's taste profile.

Charlie Sheen would call that #winning. 

Using calcium chloride has a variety of benefits for beer production
  • reduce pH levels as needed
  • promotes the water hardness of beer
  • help preserve mash enzymes
  • assist with increase extract yield
  • improve yeast metabolism growth and flocculation (great for clear beer)
  • accelerate oxalate removal
  • also used in cheese making as a firming agent
  • can be used to pickle vegetables!

How much calcium chloride do I add to my water?

General instructions are usually to use one teaspoon per 23 litres / 5 gallons (or as required). It will dissolve best in cold water, especially if it's stirred or shaken quite vigorously.

When you think it's properly dissolved, check with a ph meter to ensure the level is as you desire. 

You can then proceed to use your water for mashing or sparging.

Pickling with calcium chloride

I recently discovered that you can also use calcium chloride to help make pickles! Have you ever heard of Ball's Pickle Crisp? It's a popular product for when pickling dill pickles - it leaves them firm and hard which improves the eating experience. 

You've probably figured out by now that the secret ingredient of pickle crisp is that it is one hundred per cent made of calcium chloride flakes. So if you want to save yourself a bit of money from the brand name product, grab a no-frills bag which will cost you less and get you more. 

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