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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > 5.2 makes water hazy
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:25 AM   #1
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Default 5.2 makes water hazy

I've been adding 5.2 to my strike water and have noticed that it makes the water cloudy. Sometimes the water stays that way until it goes into the mash, other times it goes clear.
Any idea why this would be the case. I've brewed several times with different water sources and don't specifically recall which was cloudy and not. I'll be sure to note this each time I brew.
Could the cloudiness be from the existing water chemistry.

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Old 11-17-2010, 05:09 AM   #2
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The product is a mixture of mostly monobasic with a little dibasic sodium phosphate and buffers to about 5.6 in distilled water, higher in alkaline water. At this pH a tiny fraction (0.0000005%) of the total phosphate will be in the tribasic form but hydroxyl apatite is extremely insoluble and so if the water has appreciable calcium content, it will form as a precipitate. My guess is that this is what you are seeing.

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Old 11-17-2010, 05:15 AM   #3
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Yeah I get that too. Doesn't affect final product clarity though. I love the stuff, use it every time.

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Old 11-17-2010, 12:26 PM   #4
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I wouldn't fall too much in love with it. The best description I have seen is "it works great unless you have a pH meter"

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Old 11-17-2010, 02:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
I wouldn't fall too much in love with it. The best description I have seen is "it works great unless you have a pH meter"
Yup, I have a full container that will never be used, of course it's all ajdelange's fault.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
The product is a mixture of mostly monobasic with a little dibasic sodium phosphate and buffers to about 5.6 in distilled water, higher in alkaline water. At this pH a tiny fraction (0.0000005%) of the total phosphate will be in the tribasic form but hydroxyl apatite is extremely insoluble and so if the water has appreciable calcium content, it will form as a precipitate. My guess is that this is what you are seeing.
Ca + phosphate = highly insoluble salt - especially at higher pH's. This is also why some folks (like me) with high Ca water have milky Star San even when just mixed up. I use leftover Star San in my airlock and after a day or so of active bubbling all the CO2 moving through has lowered the pH and the solution becomes clear.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:33 PM   #7
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Not sure why hydroxyl apatite was put in double bold. It's just Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2, the salt that is most likely to be formed. There is nothing exotic about it. It's what your teeth and bones are made of. It also turns out that if you do solubility calculations using the published pKs of Ca3(PO4)2 and hydroxyl apatite you get the same answers with regard to limiting solubility.

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Old 11-20-2010, 04:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjj2ba View Post
Ca + phosphate = highly insoluble salt - especially at higher pH's. This is also why some folks (like me) with high Ca water have milky Star San even when just mixed up. I use leftover Star San in my airlock and after a day or so of active bubbling all the CO2 moving through has lowered the pH and the solution becomes clear.
Well no potatoes. I have the same cloudy star-san solution, which I never worried about much since I'd read that if it starts cloudy it doesn't mean it isn't working. But I never realized, until just now, that the star-san in my airlocks gets clear over time. What a cool fact to learn.
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