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The Brewing Forum • View topic - Water treatment primer

Water treatment primer

While Beer is 90-97% water, it is a very tricky subject.

Water treatment primer

Postby HTH1975 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:27

Very good water treatment primer here... https://www.brewuk.co.uk/blog/brewing-w ... 378680bdac

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby Aleman » Tue Apr 04, 2017 13:39

Hmmm! I would like to comment, but then I would have to ban myself!
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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby xCamel xSlayer » Tue Apr 04, 2017 14:19

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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby NickW » Tue Apr 04, 2017 14:25

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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby Saccharomyces » Tue Apr 04, 2017 14:34

Was that really written by Greg Hughes, the guy who wrote the DK book? With no proof reading or technical correction evident, can it really be an extract from a published author?

A bit of a shocker!
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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby HTH1975 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 19:17

If there are any inaccuracies then speak up - we're all here to learn.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby Eric » Tue Apr 04, 2017 20:51

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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby HTH1975 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 21:36

I thought that if you want to reduce mash pH you'd use an acid of some kind to achieve this?

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby NickW » Tue Apr 04, 2017 21:44

"
If you have a high level of alkalinity in your water you should never consider using lactic acid or acid malt to neutralise it, while in correct circumstances you can use either."

Could you elaborate? I am a little confused!
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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby Eric » Tue Apr 04, 2017 22:16

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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby HTH1975 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 23:18

If the water is low alkalinity, then the buffering capability is reduced. So by adding acid to lower pH, would we be reducing the buffering ability of the liquor to fall within the desired pH range?

I've found that almost regardless of my grain bill, the mash pH falls into the desired 5.2-5.5 range by itself. I've got fairly high alkalinity at approx 140ppm.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby NickW » Wed Apr 05, 2017 06:56

Cheers for the clear up Eric. I use CRS normally myself, but wasn't aware of that fact regarding lactic acid and acid malt.
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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby HTH1975 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 07:49

I use CRS too. Afaik it adds chloride and sulphate in addition to reducing alkalinity.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby Eric » Wed Apr 05, 2017 09:48

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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby HTH1975 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:14

I've watched a video on sulphuric acid and sugar - good to be aware of this, but at the concentrations we use this stuff I doubt this has any real bearing.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby Aleman » Wed Apr 05, 2017 16:10

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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby HTH1975 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 19:35


2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby Eric » Wed Apr 05, 2017 20:07

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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby HTH1975 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 20:49

I've had my water analysed by Murphys twice - early 2016 and early 2017. It's pretty consistent with the Yorkshire water report... http://www.ywonline.co.uk/web/WQZ.nsf/0 ... %20WSZ.pdf

Mind, when I spoke to Yorkshire water, they said that there are two water sources for my area (one being Cod Beck at Osmotherley). Not sure if the other source, but it's much less alkaline, which makes for wide values in certain measurements on the Yorkshire Water report. For instance, alkalinity between 60-119ppm.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby Eric » Wed Apr 05, 2017 21:55

Many thanks for this and must admit to being somewhat surprised by the data and information.

"The water supplied to the zone is classified as being hard water, which is spring/borehole/river/reservoir derived. As we have a grid system in
place whereby we can move water around the Yorkshire region as required, occasionally the hardness of your water may vary."


I don't know, but from observation it seems to me the water in Cod Back Reservoir would not be as hard as those figures suggest, particularly with respect to the given amount of magnesium (a mean of 16ppm) being significantly higher that I would think to be in surface water running off heather covered Ravenscar Sandstone moorland. At my last visit the reservoir was exceptionally and at the next visit I must bring home a sample.

I think from what you say your water is mostly borehole water with supply from Cod Beck only when circumstances demanded for I suspect the two waters will be very different. What level did Murphy's give for magnesium and did you agree with their reported alkalinity?
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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby HTH1975 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 23:16

14.89ppm magnesium from Murphys water sample.

I would agree that my water is highly alkaline as it suits porter/stouts perfectly without much treatment other than a bit calcium chloride to bring up the malt balance.

If I don't soften the water and balance out the high sulphates, paler beers tend to be too sharp.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby Eric » Thu Apr 06, 2017 00:12

I suspect your water comes from boreholes into the rocks beneath your feet and only as an emergency measure from Cod Beck. There some data should it interest you.

Your water's fine for both pale and darker beers when suitably treated. CRS is probably ideal for making pale beers, but I'd be inclined to reduce alkalinity for darker beers too, using hydrochloric acid as the sulphate level is already high. I now tend to brew darker beers with less calcium than pales and find that 75ppm alkalinity is enough for the mash and sparge with less alkalinity.

Our waters are not altogether dissimilar in their make ups. I too have hard water, alkalinity was 255ppm as CaCO3 when I brewed on Saturday. I find reducing alkalinity is much less of a task than adding large amounts salts.
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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby HTH1975 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:05


2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby xCamel xSlayer » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:20

THIS IS THE MOST FASCINATING SUBJECT I THINK I HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED! :geek: :geek:

P.S. I'm not even being sarcastic!
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Re: Water treatment primer

Postby jaroporter » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:25

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