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Old 01-10-2012, 02:00 PM   #241
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Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
,
For Ca(OH)2 and CaSO4, those additions listed above both produce ionic concentrations that will be higher than a brewing situation should ever want. So for almost all those minerals listed, they are 'infinitely' soluble for brewing purposes. Chalk is the exception.
I almost lumped them all together (except chalk) but then started thinking that while a gram of gypsum per liter is a lot it puts "only" 558 mg/L sulfate in the water which is not that much greater than what is seen in some recipes, water profiles etc. Lets say that 400 mg/L is the most sulfate anyone would want to use. 558 is 0.14 orders of magnitude above that but a gram per liter is only 0.3 orders of magnitude less than its solubility. So maximum sulfate addition to solubility limit in cold water is 0.44 orders of magnitude (less in hot water) and its been noted here that getting gypsum to dissolve can be a bit of bear - especially if one tries to dissolve it in hot water.

By contrast, a gram of calcium chloride (monohydrate) would produce about 550 mg chloride. That's a lot of chloride. Lets say 250 mg/L is the most anyone would ever want. That's 0.34 orders of magnitude less. But the solubility of calcium chloride is around 700 grams/L (at room temperature) which is 2.8 orders of magnitude more than 1 gram per liter. Ratio of maximum addition to solubility is thus over 3 orders of magnitude whereas for the gypsum its less than one. I guess in my mind calling a ratio "approximately infinite" is more supportable when it has a few 0's in it (to the left of the decimal place). That's the main reason I separated gypsum (and calcium hydroxide) out form the others but I probably had the scheme I use to add salts to the HLT which is to add all the salts to water to make up 36 mL of solution because my HLT is 36" tall and add 1 cc of that solution for every inch of water I put into the HLT. This works just fine for calcium chloride but would not work for gypsum. I guess just having it is suspension would be OK as long as I remembered to shake the tube before drawing an aliquot.

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Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
You're kind of hard on chalk although its poor reputation is deserved.
Yes I am and it's because I have seen so many postings, recipes and recommendations in which huge quantities of it are called for in situations where it is more probable that acid would be of benefit. If brewers were a little afraid to use for fear that the ghost of A.J. will come to haunt them that would be OK with me.


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Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
But, it still can have a place in brewing with the proper understanding of its idiosyncrasies. As you and Kai Troester have pointed out, about half the predicted alkalinity from chalk is contributed to water if the chalk is not 'dissolved' into the water with an acid. When 'naturally' dissolved by carbonic acid, all the predicted alkalinity is contributed to the water. Either bubbling air or CO2 through the water produces carbonic acid for that dissolution.
The apparent problem here is predicting the alkalinty. Where chalk has been dissolved by CO2 about half the alkalinity is contributed by the chalk and half by the CO2 as long as the pH is middling. I was troubled by Kai's method because once you open the bottle CO2 escapes and the pH rises and unless you know the pH you can't know the alkalinity and while the you are measuring pH CO2 is continuing to escape and eventually enough will escape that the chalk will start to precipitate back out. It was only last night that it dawned on me (Kai might have already figured this out) that it doesn't matter what happens in the soda bottle as long as you get the liquid into the liquor tank before precipitation occurs. At that point you have chalk dissolved by CO2 and even though you don't know how much CO2 may have escaped if you have the pH of the water and the amount of chalk you dissolved with the CO2 you can solve for the alkalinity. To do that requires iterative solution of a set of nonlinear equations but, and this also dawned on me last night, the solution is the same every time you do it, so if the solutions as a function of pH can be fit with a simple function you are there.

alk = [CaCO3]*( 1.0167 -0.39579*exp( -(pH - 4.7)/0.43063 ) )

Here [CaCO3] is the amount of chalk you put in the soda bottle (in mg) divided by the number of liters in the final mix i.e. the water you added the soda bottle contents to plus the water in the soda bottle. pH is the pH of the mixture after addition of the soda water bottle contents. The alkalinity is defined in terms of a titration to an endpoint at pH 4.3. This fit is valid over the range 4.7 < pH < 9. Note that at pH > 6.5 the alkalinity is approximately 101.7 ppm as CaCO3 per 100 mg/L CaCO3 in the mix and this is, of course, why we use ppm as CaCO3 as the unit of alkalinity. Another caveat that goes with this is that the solutions which this fit describes are for the situation where the only acid in the system is carbonic. It would be possible to do the same this if other acids were present but as the diversity of possible other acid types and blends is infinite pre-computation as I've done here isn't practical.

I've from time to time said that all this water chemistry stuff would be a lot easier if one could buy calcium bicarbonate powder. This may be the next best thing - calcium bicarbonate solution and I even though briefly about offering such a thing as a product. Essentially soda water with some chalk dissolved in it (but no sodium chloride).

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Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
Your mantra of not adding alkalinity to brewing water unless actually needed is sound. But there are situations where alkalinity is needed and chalk is a viable, yet poor, avenue for adding it.
No argument there. The reason we have trouble with chalk is that we can't easily handle it as mother nature does. She uses CO2 to dissolve it and we must too if we want similar results.
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:46 PM   #242
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i am having trouble with the alkalinity radio button... anyone else (mac Office 2008)

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Old 01-16-2012, 01:23 PM   #243
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i am having trouble with the alkalinity radio button... anyone else (mac Office 2008)
try downloading the openoffice version and opening that in mac office 2008 (if that's possible - i don't even know). The radio button in that version works a little differently and maybe that would work better in mac office 2008.
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:28 PM   #244
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Quick question - let's assume the following:

Strike water - 3.5g
Mashout water - 1.25g
Batch Sparge water - 3.25
Target pre-boil volume - 6.5g

I will be adding salts to the 3.5g mash directly, and then be adding salts the the boil kettle, not directly to the sparge water.

I think we can all agree that in EZ calculator, my mash volume should be keyed in as 3.5g.

Now, should I key my sparge volume as 3.0g (total pre-boil less mash water), or 4.5g (actual mashout/sparge water additions)

Thanks.

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Old 01-22-2012, 01:18 PM   #245
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4.5 gallon, as all of that makes its way into the kettle.

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Old 01-24-2012, 06:23 PM   #246
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Can someone please confirm that I did this correctly. I'm using all RO water, so my minerals are all extremely low. Also, I'm not a hop fan, so I wanted this balanced more towards maltiness rather than bitterness. Here's the recipe I'm brewing:

Code:
9 lbs 12.8 oz        Pale Malt (2 Row) US
1 lbs 3.0 oz         Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L
12.9 oz              Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L
7.2 oz               Caramel Malt - 90L
0.55 oz              Cascade [7.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min
1.00 Items           Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)
0.83 oz              Saaz [5.80 %] - Boil 15.0 min
1.0 pkg              German Ale/Kolsch (White Labs #WLP029)

Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 8.10 gal
Boil Time: 60 min
End of Boil Volume 6.50 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency: 65.00 %

Est Original Gravity: 1.052 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.5 %
Bitterness: 21.6 IBUs
Est Color: 13.6 SRM

Strike water: 3.83gal
Sparge water: 5.98gal
And here's what I've figured for my water additions:
http://pensphreak.com/homebrew/Altbier-water.jpeg

1.3g/2.0g Gypsum (mash/sparge)
1.9g/3.0g Calcium Chloride (mash/sparge)
1oz 2% Acidulated Malt
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:07 PM   #247
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Looks reasonable to me.

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Old 02-22-2012, 01:20 AM   #248
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TH, can you make that small change to the spreadsheet and change "sparge water" to "boil"?

I get emails every day from people who think taht sparge water additions need to go in their sparge water instead of the boil. Your v1 spreadsheet used to indicate this but v3 does not.

If I had a nickel for every time I told someone this, I'd have a lots of nickels to donate to you.

Kal

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Old 02-22-2012, 02:53 PM   #249
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TH, can you make that small change to the spreadsheet and change "sparge water" to "boil"?

I get emails every day from people who think taht sparge water additions need to go in their sparge water instead of the boil. Your v1 spreadsheet used to indicate this but v3 does not.

If I had a nickel for every time I told someone this, I'd have a lots of nickels to donate to you.

Kal
done deal. version 3.0.2 is now available.

btw I hope to be going electric in the near future and I must say you have got quite a resource over there at theelectricbrewery.com...
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:59 PM   #250
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Thanks for the addition TH! I like how you worded it. Should avoid future confusion.

Let me know if you have any electric questions and good look with the conversion!

Kal

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