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Old 04-24-2013, 12:39 PM   #611
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My RO system is all 'plastic'. It consists of an atmospheric tank, pressure tank and plumbing. There are no metallic parts. The tanks are filled by the actual RO unit automatically - when the level gets low in the atmospheric tank and when pressure gets low in the pressure tank. The only time the capacity of the system is approached is when I'm brewing. For lab/drinking water use it isn't even approached and so I'm sure some water sits in it for months. The water from the system did have a solvent taste at first from the cement used to join the plastic pipes but that passed through pretty quickly (and I didn't use water from the system for brewing until those tastes were long gone). I suppose there may be organics leaching from this plastic but they are well below taste threshold if there are. It is probably worth mentioning that all these components are designed for handling RO water. That's no guarantee that the water is totally free of organics but I'm sure some consideration has been given to that aspect of things.

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Old 04-27-2013, 08:48 PM   #612
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NaymzJaymz
Wow, this thread and all the resultant comments have been a facsinating head trip for me. I'm trying to get a grip on this subject. Can anyone suggest some basic references for beginning to understand this complicated subject? Then perhaps the content of this thread will be easier for me. I live in a rural area with very clean tasting tap water that tastes better than many bottled waters I've tasted. So far in my brewing(I'm very inexperienced), I've done a hefeweizen and a stout(both AG)with my home water using only the often mention 5.2 additive. Both beers took second place in a local competition with bcjp rules. Basically, I've been using the "relax, don't worry..." concept so far with a few lucky results(or maybe the results weren't lucky. Maybe most of the beers were just bad, including mine!) I guess what I'm asking is if there is a path you all could suggest for my learning the rudiments of water chemistry so I can understand the contents of a thread like this? This is a naive sounding question to most of you, but we all have to start somewhere. Thanks.
Palmers "how to brew" has a section on water chemistry and mash ph that finally unlocked it for me. The online version has a excel spreadsheet and a simple sheet that really makes sense. The 5.2 additive has a lot of salt, so depending on your water chemistry, it may not be a good idea. Google EZ water calculator and you'll find the tool I use. The first step is this - get your water tested. Until you do, it's all just a big guess.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:05 PM   #613
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5.2 doesn't have any salt. What it does have is a lot of monobasic sodium phosphate (and a wee bit of dibasic). As such it does not have buffering capacity near 5.2 and will not bring mash pH to that value, unless phosphoric acid is added in which case why bother with the 5.2? Straight phosphoric acid doesn't put any sodium into the mash.

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Old 04-27-2013, 09:37 PM   #614
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:41 PM   #615
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For very minerally beers (Export, Burton ale): Double the calcium chloride and the gypsum.
Would that include American IPAs?
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:25 PM   #616
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That's really up to you to decide. If you are trying to emulate a beer with mineral quality then yes. If not, then no. You can brew a beer using the basic guidelines and then experiment with extra additions by adding them to the glass. If you do this and find that higher levels of gypsum and/or calcium chloride improve the beer then use more when you brew it next time. Keep in mind that these are guidelines. Experiment may determine that 1.5 times the calcium chloride and 3/4 the gypsum gives the result you like best. You have to keep trying different things.

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Old 05-02-2013, 01:49 PM   #617
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I've been using the primer with grocery store Glacier RO water to great success.

Here's the issue I've been pondering:

I'm using a BIAB, full-volume mash system. Starting with 8 gallons of strike water gets me to a perfect finishing volume after the boil. I've been using 2 tsp CaCl (Pickle Crisp) to 8 gallons, and, like I said, I'm happy with the results. Still, I wonder if there is a way to get BETTER results.

Any thoughts on how the primer changes with a full-volume mash?

Given the changed ratio of water/grist, how should I modify my salt additions?

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Old 05-02-2013, 07:41 PM   #618
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franc103 View Post
Still, I wonder if there is a way to get BETTER results.
Absolutely! It is essential that you understand that the Primer is meant to provide a starting point. It is intended that you experiment - a lot in order to find the combination of sulfate and chloride that tickles your fancy.

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Any thoughts on how the primer changes with a full-volume mash?
It is 'designed' for normal water to grist ratios (1.3 - 2 qts/lb). I suppose you could take 1.5 as a sort of average and normalized based on deviations from that average if they are substantial.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:20 PM   #619
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
It is 'designed' for normal water to grist ratios (1.3 - 2 qts/lb). I suppose you could take 1.5 as a sort of average and normalized based on deviations from that average if they are substantial.
I did some math, and in some of my heavier batches (like the porter I've been brewing over-and-over-and-over again to hone), my water/grist ratio is about 2qts/pound (14 pounds grain to 28 quarts of water).

My lighter beers (blonde ale, for instance) use 28qts/10 lbs, so the ratio is a bit less balanced in these beers.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:11 PM   #620
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Hey Guys,

I just wanted to post my research results regarding the German made ColorPhast pH Test Strips; purchased from the link in the water primer sticky.

With a test group of dark wort (Homebrew), light wort (Homebrew), finished beer (Home brew), finished beer (commercial), mash liquid (Nano brewery) and water (Tap, RO, and spring) I have come to the following results…empirical, quantifiable results.

ALL (Yeah, I know right?!?) test samples proved to react with the test strips EXACTLY THE SAME, in the exact same time frame even though the tests were conducted under varying temps, conditions, etc.

I purchased the broad range (0.0 to 14.0) and a narrow range (4.0 to 7.0) to test the group. Both ranges reacted the SAME way. Both strips were “dipped” and held in varying temps from 154 down to 37 degrees for 10 seconds. The color development on all samples and all types in all conditions was roughly two minutes.

Granted, I have a fairly keen eye for color so that “may” have played into it…IDK

My overall opinion: I love ‘em! Simple, effective, and accurate in varying conditions. And, for what we are doing as home brewers… an easy application that works well. The conditions that we [home brewers] will employ these strips in are way simpler than that of my research and test conditions. The plastic strips do not absorb liquid and the strips cool / warm / equilibrate almost immediately once placed in an ambient environment. No, I am not affiliated with any company or research group and I have NEVER used these strips before. I was after an alternative to the pH meters that was low maintenance, idiot “resistant,” and fairly inexpensive. The pH test strips deliver. I actually ordered the strips BEFORE I read all the info on actual meters so I was worried I just wasted $35 (after shipping). Not the case. These strips are useful and give me what I need….Easy, quick, accurate [enough for my applications] data used to make on the fly corrections.


Cheers,

-JM

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