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The Brewing Forum • View topic - Water Treatment

Water Treatment

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

Re: Water Treatment

Postby Lukesteroo » Wed Apr 23, 2014 20:23

Thank you - just the information I wanted.
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Re: Water Treatment

Postby CraftyTim » Wed Apr 23, 2014 20:49


I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy :D
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Re: Water Treatment

Postby Eric » Wed Apr 23, 2014 23:45

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Re: Water Treatment

Postby paulg » Wed Jun 25, 2014 09:00

I have been using a hanna alkalinity tester for freshwater to test my water.It gives a digital display readout of alkalinity which I find easier to use.There is also a similar hanna tester for calcium I believe but have not tried it yet
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Re: Water Treatment

Postby BarnsleyBrewer » Wed Jun 25, 2014 09:15

Wow, good thread header there Aleman, both barrels.... :clap: :clap:




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Re: Water Treatment

Postby Springer » Wed Jun 25, 2014 09:23

Thanks once again A, I will read that later :D
What would we do without you?............................................. :hmm: wouldn't have a forum for sure. :clap:
S

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Re: Water Treatment

Postby AltonAnt » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:24

Top post Aleman :thumb:
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Re: Water Treatment

Postby fore » Sat Aug 09, 2014 14:44

Hello Aleman. The guy who inspired your OP returns! This time a little better educated regards water treatment.

Since our original discussion in "the other place", my water company has changed its treatment works and the report now says 180ppm, not 427ppm; so more likely I could treat without the need for dilution. I'm now quite clued up on the water treatment calculators and the relationships and impacts of the important ions and adjuncts. I intend to get a Salifert Alkalinity test and a Calcium test, to work with real data. My plan is to use CRS and then a mix of Calcium Sulphate & Calcium Chloride to suit the style. And don't worry, I know this is not an exact science.

My question now is one of acceptable concentrations. If I put my water report figures into a calculator and assume I want to brew a very pale ale, I have to add a lot of Calcium. It's possible I may exceed recommended maximum concentrations of Sulphate & Chloride.

Using my water report data as a trial, my calculated CRS is 0.84ml/l. At what concentration does flavour start to suffer?

At a 2:1 ratio my final liquor Sulphate shows 360 mg/l and the Chloride shows 227 mg/l (needed to lift the Calcium to 190ppm). Palmer suggests Sulphate between 150-350ppm offers very bitter beers, and Chloride should top out at 250ppm. You can’t make it bitter unless you add hops, so I guess by “very bitter” he really means that this level would lift the hops, if that’s what you want.

So am I still OK with these concentrations or would some dilution still be recommended given I'm on the limits? Are Palmers guidelines good to work from? Thanks. Anyone can feel free to reply of course :thumb:
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Re: Water Treatment

Postby Aleman » Sat Aug 09, 2014 15:18

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Re: Water Treatment

Postby fore » Sat Aug 09, 2014 22:54

So I should run with what works best for me :thumb: . My Calcium 190ppm target came from the calculator at Jim's, the profile for Dry Pale Ale. I see also Murphys Calcium targets are higher than your recommendation. But your advice is sound and I know things will become a lot clearer after my first mash.

I don't have a LHBS so must plan my bulk purchases well in advance, so I even have my first 10 AGs planned out; it's why I'm much more into water treatment than I really should be at this stage. I just want to be sure that when I brew say Wheeler's Batham's Best, which is 100% pale malt, that I won't be stuck with poor mash PH or a mineral taste.

So I'll trust your advice and run with a lower target calcium, allowing me to add a lot less sulphate & chloride.

Just out of interest, what concentration of acid would you consider the limit? The Home Brew Shop is my planned stop and I can't see any suitable acid there other than CRS. Where would you recommend?
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Re: Water Treatment

Postby BarnsleyBrewer » Tue Sep 09, 2014 08:39

Sorry if mentioned before but may I ask how much alkalinity does 1ml per litre of AMS remove?? :thumb:

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Re: Water Treatment

Postby Aleman » Tue Sep 09, 2014 09:08

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Re: Water Treatment

Postby Raptor » Tue Sep 09, 2014 09:58

Just a quick Q - What would happen to a mashed pale ale if I didn't treat my South Eastern water containing alkalinity of 215mg CAC03? Would this significantly affect the mash/resulting wort?
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Re: Water Treatment

Postby Aleman » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:36

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Re: Water Treatment

Postby BarnsleyBrewer » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:50





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Re: Water Treatment

Postby Aleman » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:06

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Re: Water Treatment

Postby Raptor » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:35

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Re: Water Treatment

Postby BarnsleyBrewer » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:52





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Re: Water Treatment

Postby Aleman » Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:09

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Re: Water Treatment

Postby Kev888 » Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:10

Just wanted to say what a great thread - thanks for collecting/making all these posts :clap:

Theres a message here that I really concur with, wrt the necessary complexity of water treatment. It 'can' seem an incredibly complex and frightening subject (as the man said, scares the willies out of me!) and so I foolishly didn't even go there until several years ago.

BUT it turns out much of that is (IMO) at a level of subtlety only the most consistent and analytical of brewers are likely to notice, whilst the few important treatments (for most water supplies and British styles) are much more accessible than I'd imagined. Chlorine/Chloramines, total Alkalinity, and maybe the calcium too. They're even within my grasp and I've a very poor knowledge of chemistry.

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Re: Water Treatment

Postby Raptor » Tue Sep 09, 2014 20:39

IN addition to this thread, today I found the following blog post helpful. This was sent to me by the guy who bought my stockpots yesterday:

http://confessionsofahomebrewer.wordpre ... -profiles/
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Re: Water Treatment

Postby roscoe » Tue Oct 14, 2014 14:50

So for a soft west coast scottish water with next to no alkalinity if trying to brew a lager using a ratio of 50:50 pilsner malt, extra pale ale malt, <10% munich and <5% caragold, my mash comes to just what John Palmer predicts ~5.8, if I sparge using the same very soft water it increases to 6, the hot break is good, but the final beer pH is too high.

Now I had considered an acid rest, but don't want to use expensive acidulated malt that is fairly hard to source, how should I do the acid adjust ?

> add latic acid or make effort to add 3% acid malt to bring to 5.5
using the acid rest as a good place/step to make the adjustment rather

> add phosphoric acid to strike and sparge water
to some amount, perhaps based on experience of above

I have tried the salifert test, all is vvlow and our kettles never fur up and last forever.

Just trying to keep things simple whilst brewing the very occasional lager for hobby/sport.

Ales seem to work fine, although working to better understand the water treatment subject a bit more.
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Re: Water Treatment

Postby pittsy » Tue Oct 14, 2014 17:14

I use lactic acid myself but some aren't too keen , I would recommend using it though as you seem to only need a bit . I also use acid malt but as you've noticed it is pricey ( you don't do an acid rest with it , in fact some info recommends not using it until you've mashed higher up ( mid 50's) I have done all methods and not noticed a difference when and where it's added to the mash .
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Re: Water Treatment

Postby Raptor » Tue Oct 14, 2014 17:57

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Re: Water Treatment

Postby pittsy » Tue Oct 14, 2014 18:34

137 is my starting alkalinity
around 70 calcium (ppm)
9 mag
25 sodium
45 sulp
55 chlo
165 bicarb
incase you ask ,

I aim to drop it to approx 80 ppm for my wheats but around 0 ppm for a pilsner
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