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Old 01-15-2010, 02:08 PM   #1
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Default How to add H3PO4 to TH's EZ Water sheet.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/ez-water-adjustment-spreadsheet-135095/

Hoping someone in here may be able to offer some insight as to how to calculate for the use of H3PO4 in my water. Ideally, I am looking for suggestion on which formulaes to modify in the EZ Water spreadsheet and how (with what values).

I do not have any Chemistry in my background. Not even High School. But I can be taught so, please help a brother out.

Ca = 45
Mg = 23
Na = 114
Cl = 118
SO4 = 194
HCO3 = 65

pH = 9.3

I employ a Hannah pH meter for use on brewday and usually add the salts before I check pH. I noticed when playing with HCl in the spreadhseet above that even a small amount changes RA quite signifigantly. Not sure if Phos Acid has the same effect or not.

I am using Phos because I also adjust the pH of my sparge water to pH 7 and I find that so much Lactic or Citric Acid is required that it imparts a sourness to the water that I am trying to avoid.
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Old 01-15-2010, 04:06 PM   #2
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I use Palmer's spreadsheet to estimate RA and acid additions. I substitute HCL with phosphoric acid by changing the "Bottle Concentration" field value for HCL. For you, 75% phosphoric acid roughly equals 42% HCL, so just change the value to 42.

Keep in mind the additions will be very small (2 - 5 ml for 10 gallons) and you'll need to perform some trial and error pH testing to figure out the exact dosage. The spreadsheet will get you in the ballpark, but some experimentation is necessary to fine-tune the process.

Hope that helps...

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Old 01-15-2010, 04:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by lamarguy View Post
I use Palmer's spreadsheet to estimate RA and acid additions. I substitute HCL with phosphoric acid by changing the "Bottle Concentration" field value for HCL. For you, 75% phosphoric acid roughly equals 42% HCL, so just change the value to 42.

Keep in mind the additions will be very small (2 - 5 ml for 10 gallons) and you'll need to perform some trial and error pH testing to figure out the exact dosage. The spreadsheet will get you in the ballpark, but some experimentation is necessary to fine-tune the process.

Hope that helps...
Helps a ton!

I was thinking the same thing, just change the concentration but notice playing around that the RA changes quite a bit with even small doses of HCl and wasn't sure about the Phos given it has, as I understand, more Hydrogen to exchange plus it is cited as effecting Calcium by Palmer.

so, I was hoping to get some idea as to how to add it to the sheet to properly calculate salt additions to compensate.
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer View Post
I was thinking the same thing, just change the concentration but notice playing around that the RA changes quite a bit with even small doses of HCl and wasn't sure about the Phos given it has, as I understand, more Hydrogen to exchange plus it is cited as effecting Calcium by Palmer.
At 75% concentration, it does free more H+ ions than 37% HCL. I've found the 42% conversion to be reliable, but my water has a lower temporary hardness than yours.

About calcium precipitation, yes some of the phosphates will bind with the calcium to form insoluble calcium phosphate in the mash. But, to put this in perspective, malt contains phosphates that do the exact same thing. I have yet to see a spreadsheet that accounts for calcium loss due to the presence of malt phosphates.

You also lose calcium in the mash to insoluble calcium proteinate (chelation from amino acids) and calcium oxalate (aka beer stone). I combat these losses of calcium by dosing the sparge water with equal amounts of calcium chloride (same as I add to the mash).

Bottom line - For the volume of phosphoric acid you're adding (2 - 5 ml per 10 gallons), the calcium loss is negligible. Like all things, moderation is best. Overdoing the brewing salts and/or acid additions is an easy way to mess up the water flavor profile.

For example, after experimenting with 5.2 Buffer and chatting with Kaiser, I've stopped using it all together. Once you nail down your water chemistry, at best it's unnecessary and at worst it adds a salty flavor to your beer.
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:20 PM   #5
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Thanks again.

I will change the HCl number to 42% and adjust salt ions accordingly after the calculated addition. Also add CaCl to the sparge.

Should I dose the sparge after I adjust the pH?

I too am getting away from 5.2. Just not working like I was convinced it was. Getting a pH meter and stopping use of cheap papers has done wonderfully frustrating things for me.

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Old 01-15-2010, 06:37 PM   #6
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Should I dose the sparge after I adjust the pH?
The process I recommend is:
  1. Heat sparge water to 170F (liberates dissolved C02 to stabilize pH reading).
  2. Add estimated volume of acid and brewing salts (mix well).
  3. Take sample and measure pH (at room temperature).
  4. Adjust acid amount as necessary (targeting a pH between 6 - 7 at room temp).
  5. Update estimate for next brewing session (if necessary).

Once you do this a couple of times, you shouldn't need to check the sparge water pH unless your water report changes significantly (which I believe you mentioned is emailed weekly).

Quote:
Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer View Post
Getting a pH meter and stopping use of cheap papers has done wonderfully frustrating things for me.
Yup, I've had the same experience. Knowing more often leads to the realization that you actually know very little about your brewing process.
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