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Old 02-20-2011, 05:31 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by arturo7 View Post
So they are not the same, but they work the same at equal quantities?
No (unless you consider 32% difference essentially the same and given the approximate nature of the recommendation that isn't so unreasonable). Using equal weights of the anhydrous and dihydrate the dihydrate will yield 32% less calcium and chloride as the anhydrous. Or, put another way, you can use 32% less anhydrous than dihydrate. Given that my recommendation is a teaspoonful based on the dihydrate you can use 3/4 of a tespoonful of the anhydrous.
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Old 02-20-2011, 06:22 PM   #82
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So would a good way to find out what you have be to leave a small amount sitting around in the open for some time (hours/days?) and see if it turns soupy?
Probably not as they both take up water - it's just that the anhydrous takes it up faster. I tried this this morning. After about an hour and 3/4 in a room at 26% relative humidity the weight of a sample of the dihydrate increased 1.5% whereas the weight of a sample of the anhydrous increased twice this (3.2%). I took both samples into the bathroom where I took a long hot shower and pondered conditions in the Middle East without running the fan. The weight of the dihydrate increased (relative to its starting weight) by 10.4% while the total weight increase of the anhydrous was 13.6%. Both samples were starting to glisten. Don't know if the anhydrous would have turned to soup eventually while the dihydrate was spared or if both would have gone to soup eventually.

So what is a good way to tell them apart? Anything that lets you asses either the water content of the calcium content of a known weight. A 10 grams/L solution of the anhydrous form has:

SG: 1.0077 Cond: 13.82 mS/cm (8.86 g/L NaCl equiv.) RI: 1.3352

for the dihydrate

SG: 1.0057 Cond: 10.55 mS/cm (6.74 g/L NaCl equiv.) RI: 1.3347

i.e. all are about 30% higher with the anhydrous form (with RI I'm comparing the difference relative to water (nD = 1.3329) and the same with the SG.). Thus if you can weigh out 1 gram of a salt accurately and dissolve it in DI water to make 100 mL of solution and can measure SG or RI or conductivity you could compare to the numbers I have just given. The fact that the ratio of the "points" in the SG above (1.35) is pretty close to the ratio of the molecular weights (1.32) suggests that points are near linear WRT concentration so that if a brewer were to make up a solution of 5 g salt in 100 mL solution the anhydrous solution might be expected to have SG 1.0385 and the dihydrate 1.0285. The difference here is 10 points so determination should be more accurate.

Any of these methods require the ability to measure salts accurately which many home brewers do not have. There is another simpler method and that is to heat some of the prills or powder over a gas flame. A little water will come off the anhydrous (because it picks up some every time you open the jar) but a lot will come off the dihydrate which will fizz and splatter. If you can heat both and compare it will be easy to tell which is which. If you only have one it may be more difficult. A new bottle of the anhydrous shouldn't yield much water.

I suspect, but cannot assert, that the dihydrate is not sold in prill form. But there certainly lots of people selling anhydrous prills. So it's probably true that if it's in the form of prills its anhydrous. Prills that emit no (or very little) water on strong heating are very probably anhydrous.

I also suspect that the whole world (except me) is using the anhydrous so that this is not something you really need to worry about. I do wish the vendors would label their products though.
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:30 PM   #83
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I took the LD Carlson stuff (anhydride) I've been experimenting with and using the teaspoon in a cheap set of cooking measuring spoons measured level teaspoonfuls using the time honored method of leveling by passing a spatula edge along the top of the spoon got (besides CaCl2 prills all over the place) 3.19 ( call it 3.2) grams with standard deviation about 0.08 grams. Leveling by this method rolls some prills out below the level of the rim of the teaspoon.

Repeating without the leveling by spatula but rather filling until the teaspoon looks full and filled to the rim (there is some rise in the center but not much - it looks pretty level) gave me a mean of 3.644 but the standard deviation jumped to 0.25 gram.
The lowest I measured with the eyeball leveling was 3.2 grams which is consistent with the spatula leveling average and yields 61.4 mg/L Ca++ and 108.6 mg/L Cl-. The largest I measured was 3.87 gram and that produces 73.8 mg/L Ca++ with 130.6 Cl-. These are all in the range we'd like calcium and chloride to be.


So yes, I'd say these are consistent with the guideline.

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Old 03-06-2011, 01:54 AM   #84
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It is a very curious situation. I was under the impression that the dihydrate was the typical version supplied to homebrewers, but AJ has cast doubt on that.

This last finding just adds more creedence to that.

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Old 03-10-2011, 10:09 PM   #85
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Bumping this question I asked in post #230 - I'm still wondering if anyone knows for sure if Pickle Crisp is anhydrous or dihydride. See post #230 for my refractometer results, which I think would indicate anhydrous based on what ajdelange has posted. But I'd feel better about using that fact in my calculations if I could be certain.

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Old 03-11-2011, 06:24 PM   #86
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When I dissolve 0.5 grams of the anhydride in 10 grams of water I get a Bx reading of 5.1 in an instrument calibrated against sucrose. Dihydrate would be less than this. But you measured appreciably greater than either anyhydrous or dihydrate so there is something wrong with your measurement (or mine). IOW, knowing what I know at this point I can't tell.

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Old 03-11-2011, 09:36 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
When I dissolve 0.5 grams of the anhydride in 10 grams of water I get a Bx reading of 5.1 in an instrument calibrated against sucrose. Dihydrate would be less than this. But you measured appreciably greater than either anyhydrous or dihydrate so there is something wrong with your measurement (or mine). IOW, knowing what I know at this point I can't tell.
AJ - thanks for taking the time to measure that. I thought that maybe I had made an error because I used a different scale to measure the water than the one I used for the CaCl2, so I repeated my measurements, this time using 0.5 grams (7.72 grains) of Pickle Crisp and 10 grams (154.3 grains) of distilled water, using the same scale for both. This is the scale I used:

https://shop.rcbs.com/WebConnect/MainServlet?storeId=webconnect&catalogId=webconnec t&langId=en_US&action=ProductDisplay&screenlabel=i ndex&productId=3009&route=C08J154

I calibrated my refractometer (has ATC) with distilled water, giving it about 30 seconds for the temperature to stabilize, then dried that off with a clean cloth, rinsed the window with the solution, applied more solution, closed the cover, and measured 7.2 Brix. I am sure the weight measurements are correct, so either my refractometer is bad (but seems give results for wort consistent with my hydrometer), or Pickle Crisp isn't pure CaCl2 (but the label lists the ingedients as "Calcium Chloride" - nothing else listed.
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:47 PM   #88
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The difference in results suggests that AJ's CaCl might have picked up water. Is that possible? What sort of drying temperature is needed to drive the bound water out of the dihydrite to form anhydrate?

Deaf's higher Brix reading implies that his sample was less hydrated than AJ's, but I suppose there may be a refractometer error also? Impurities are also a possibility. Some sort of dessicant?

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Old 03-14-2011, 06:02 PM   #89
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I'm sure that both the anhydride and the dihydrate I am using have, given the amount of time I've had them, picked up water. Even though they have been kept in jars with tightly sealing lids every time they get opened air gets in there and around these parts in the summer that air is moisture laden.

Or I could have made a math error. I'll check it again when I get a moment.

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Old 03-14-2011, 08:32 PM   #90
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Just to eliminate my refractometer as a problem, I dissolved 10 grains of ordinary table sugar into 190 grains of distilled water to make a 5% solution. After calibrating my refractometer with distilled water, I measured the solution at 5 Brix on the nose.

The Pickle Crisp I have probably hasn't picked up much water. I bought it only a few months ago, and I have opened it only about a half dozen times, and then only very briefly, making sure to recap it tightly. Also, because this has been during the winter, indoor humidity has been low.

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