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Old 06-15-2013, 03:17 PM   #1
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Default High Sodium, Moderate Alkalinity. How to adjust?

So here is the water I am working with,
Total alkalinity = 152
Bicarbonate alkalinity = 152
Chloride = 29
Hardness = 2.8
Total phosphorous = 0.34
Silica = 13.1
Sulfate = 7.6

Calcium = 1.24
Magnesium = 0.05
Potassium = 0.577
Sodium = 100

I have been brewing with RO water and adding minerals on the pilot scale, but this batch is going to be...huge. (60bbl)

I've been using RO water with additions to hit:
206ppm Ca
147ppm SO4

I don't think want the SO4 in the water if the sodium is higher than usual. What suggestions do you have to get close in profile to my target water?
I was thinking about just adding CaCl to get in the ballpark, but the Bicarbonate and Sodium has me concerned.

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Old 06-15-2013, 03:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundercougarfalconbird View Post
S


I've been using RO water with additions to hit:
206ppm Ca
147ppm SO4
247ppm Cl
That Cl is WAY too high! Why is that the target? That's what I'm trying to figure out, so I can give some advice.
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Old 06-15-2013, 04:12 PM   #3
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Edit: I agree Cl seems high, but has been making a really epic brew. My actual content may vary though as my CaCl has surely absorbed water over the past few years and I've been measuring by weight.
Shooting for a pretty hard profile for this pale ale. Using mostly pale ale/Vienna malts (light amber color), very hoppy.

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Old 06-15-2013, 04:16 PM   #4
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You think so? It's high, but I don't think it's outside the spectrum. There are many famous brewing regions with similar Ca.
Shooting for a pretty hard profile for this pale ale. Using mostly pale ale/Vienna malts (light amber color), very hoppy.
Ca, yes. Chloride, no!

My understanding is that you want the chloride to be under 100 ppm as a maximum.
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Old 06-15-2013, 04:21 PM   #5
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Sorry got them mixed up! See edit above.
For the brew I was thinking about upping Ca content to english levels with CaCl and calling it a day.

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Old 06-15-2013, 05:27 PM   #6
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That profile has the look of being ion-exchange softened. Is it? Where in Georgia is this?

As Yooper mentions, high chloride might not be pleasant. This is true when there is high sulfate and sodium. A minerally beer might be the result.

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Old 06-15-2013, 07:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundercougarfalconbird View Post
What suggestions do you have to get close in profile to my target water?
I was thinking about just adding CaCl to get in the ballpark, but the Bicarbonate and Sodium has me concerned.
What profile are you trying to hit? You hint at what you want the calcium and sulfate to be but how about sodium, alkalinity, chloride, pH etc. I can work out salt/acid additions but I have to know what you want to achieve.
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:26 AM   #8
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Well on the pilot scale the sodium and alkalinity were both low. Cl was very high.
With the target all ppm are low except SO4, Ca, and Cl
This batch is actually going to be made in Mississippi with the water profile listed above. I am unsure how the brewery treats their water, if there is a chance of softeners I'll definitely ask.
Since the water in the area is so different than RO I am wary to treat similarly. I definitely don't want to increase the Bicarbonate or sodium if possible. I was thinking about adjusting to hit a London profile but fear the result may be quite different than my current adjustments (RO water w/ 2parts CaCl to 1 part Gypsum)
I've been adding 1% Acid malt to my grist and hitting a consistent 5.2pH on the pilot scale. We'll be using phosphoric acid on the big batch instead. I am worried this could affect flavor slightly, but don't want the acid malt to throw of the pH if I am using water I am unfamiliar with.

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Old 06-16-2013, 01:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundercougarfalconbird View Post
Well on the pilot scale the sodium and alkalinity were both low. Cl was very high.
All I can do with that is say put a lot of a chloride salt other than sodium chloride into RO water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundercougarfalconbird View Post
With the target all ppm are low except SO4, Ca, and Cl
[quote=Thundercougarfalconbird;5278424]You still aren't telling me what the target is. To design a water I need to know desired pH, alkalinity, sodium, chloride, sulfate, calcium and magnesium.


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Originally Posted by Thundercougarfalconbird View Post
This batch is actually going to be made in Mississippi with the water profile listed above. I am unsure how the brewery treats their water, if there is a chance of softeners I'll definitely ask.
That water is already soft to the point that Martin wondered if it were softened. If it is then you would want to get to the pre-softened water which would have more calcium and magnesium and less sodium.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundercougarfalconbird View Post
Since the water in the area is so different than RO I am wary to treat similarly. I definitely don't want to increase the Bicarbonate or sodium if possible. I was thinking about adjusting to hit a London profile but fear the result may be quite different than my current adjustments (RO water w/ 2parts CaCl to 1 part Gypsum)
You shouldn't be adding anything to the water that will increase sodium or bicarbonate. As calcium and sulfate are low you can add gypsum to get to the level of sulfate you like and the calcium will probably not be a problem as it's pretty flavorless and has beneficial effects in mash, kettle and fermenter. If you want more calcium you can get it from calcium chloride as you still have some 'headroom' WRT that ion and chloride generally improves beer, up to a point.

There is no way to get rid of the sodium except by dilution with RO water or RO itself (or distillation or ion exchange).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundercougarfalconbird View Post
I've been adding 1% Acid malt to my grist and hitting a consistent 5.2pH on the pilot scale. We'll be using phosphoric acid on the big batch instead. I am worried this could affect flavor slightly, but don't want the acid malt to throw of the pH if I am using water I am unfamiliar with.
You need to do two things:
1. Find out what the full story is on the water you will be brewing with i.e. what treatments it has been subjected to (that you can potentially bypass or modify)
2. Make a test mash with that water checking mash pH.

I can't see trucking in enough RO water to brew 60 bbl.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:30 AM   #10
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Great advice, I really appreciate the help.
Hopefully I'll know by the end of the day exactly how they treat their water.

I need to send a lab sample off for my pilot water before I can provide a real target. Yoop's caused me to rethink my ppm estimations.

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