Brewing salts for your sake brewing water

This article talks about how to adjust you sake brewing water for better sake.

The question I will address this week is one related to water and how to convert the water we have to the water we want. Let’s assume we want to brew our sake with water that is equivalent to Miyamizu, the heavenly water from Nada. For this example the water we will start with is from the Bull Run Reservoir.

You may recall from “Miyamizu – Heavenly Water – The Gold Standard?” that the mineral content of the miyamizu water is:

Miyamizu (ppm)
Potassium20
Phosphoric acid5.2
Magnesium5.6
Calcium37
Chlorine32
Sodium32

And that the mineral content of the Bull Run reservoir is:

Bull Run water (ppm)
Potassium0.2
Phosphorus0.007
Magnesium0.9
Calcium1.9
ChlorineAdded 2
Sodium3.5

Where should we start? Well, from the tables above we can see that we need to increase the potassium from 0.2ppm to 20ppm or by 19.8ppm. That is close enough to 20ppm that we can just use 20.

Ions are usually measured in parts per million (ppm). But we need to know how many grams of potassium chloride to add. Well, parts per million is equivalent to milligrams per liter, mg/L, and this is just what we need.

If we want to provide the correct concentration for the moto, we will need to hit 20ppm in 2.5 cups of water. 1 cup is 0.24 liters, so 2.5 cups is 0.6L.

0.6L * 20mg/L = 12mg of potassium

Now, only 52% of potassium chloride (KCl) is potassium (see table below). So we will need:

12mg/0.52 = 23mg of KCl

Now we can do the same for magnesium using the salt magnesium sulfate (MgSO4). We want the water to have 5.6ppm of magnesium but it only has 0.9ppm. So, we need to increase magnesium by 4.5ppm.

0.6L * 4.5mg/L = 2.7mg of magnesium

Now, again from the table we see that only 10% of the salt is magnesium, so

2.7mg/0.1 = 27mg of magnesium sulfate

We could do the same for calcium and sodium. However, with each of these salts we are adding other ions that we are not specifically interested in adding. For example, we would be adding chloride and sulfate with the above two additions. Often this is not an issue but we should not ignore them because they could reach concentrations that could have negative effects.

Common NameNameChemistryWeight g/molIons
GypsumCalcium SulfateCaSO4*2(H2O)172Ca = 23%SO4 = 56%
Calcium ChlorideCaCl2*2(H2O)146Ca = 27%Cl = 48%
Potassium ChlorideKCl75K = 52%Cl = 48%
Epsom saltsMagnesium SulfateMgSO4*7(H2O)246Mg = 10%SO4 = 39%
ChalkCalcium CarbonateCaCO3100Ca = 40%CO3 = 60%
Table saltSodium ChlorideNaCL58Na = 40%Cl = 60%

More on water to come.

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2 thoughts on “Brewing salts for your sake brewing water”

  1. So the question I have would be that if you prepare fortified mineral water In advance, can this be stored until you are ready to brew? I’m just starting out with my homebrew and would like to dial in the water across several batches so it’d be more convenient if I could store what I have and come back to it if I liked the profile.

    Thanks!

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