hist-brewing: Heather ale body (was: Re:Kingdoms!?!?)

Kel Rekuta krekuta at attcanada.ca
Sun Oct 29 16:51:06 PST 2000

Angus wrote:

> >angus at iamawitch.com writes:
> >
> >> darker malt will add more color, not body.  When you use dark malts you'll
> >> lower the pH of the mash so a buffering with CaCO3 or NaHCO3 is needed if
> >you
> >> want a fuller body, a higher pH in the final brew is often percieved as
> >'more
> >> body'.
> >
> >It really depends on your water chemistry; I live in eastern PA, and our
> >water is already fairly high in CaCO3 (~150ppm, as calcium). For dark beers,
> >I add no salts at all to my mash water, except perhaps a small amount of
> >MgSO4, to enhance bop utilization. The higher pH itself does not cause the
> >"more bady", but affects the mash, giving a less attenuative wort.
> I was under the impression that the attenuation is mostly affected by the yeast strain put into the wort or rather, different strains will ferment a wort of OG x down to various FGs, hinging on the strain's attenuation.  How much does the addition of various salts alter the attenuation ?  Any figures available ?

Hmmm. I can't address this water chemistry stuff.

However, attenuation is affected by yeast strain, available "convertible" sugars and available oxygen, nutrients and trace elements. pH is a factor but usually full mashed worts have more than enough tannins to lower pH to an acceptable range. Fermentable and unfermentable sugars play a factor in the attenuation of
the wort. Unfermentable sugars create much of the body or "mouth feel" of a brew.

I highly recommend Dave Miller's "Complete Handbook of Homebrewing" or Ray Daniel's "Designing Great Beers." This is clearly detailed in either.


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