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Old 10-09-2013, 01:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mchrispen View Post
Emjay is correct, as long as the packaging of the distiller is food safe.

If you are planning to brew for a long time, do consider an inexpensive RO filter. This would work well after your softener, and may pay for itself compared to the costs of purchasing and transporting distilled. It can seem pricey upfront, and you would need to figure if it is worth the effort for you. A small system is adequate for brewing, but you will need to gather water ahead of the brew day... They can be very slow to output 7 or 10 gallons. A little searching here can yield an inexpensive system recommendation, usually from an aquarium focused site. Don't bother with the deionize stages... It just takes you to the same purity as distilled.

Not sure where you are located, but I assume if there are filtered softeners - you might find an RO system.
Yeah if i will be able to make some better brews i will buy some brewing equipment, at the moment i can brew only 1 gallon batches (i am limited by my stove) but brewing 1 gallon does not seem to worth the hassle, i wanna give away a lot of beer for free anyways to spread the idea, it is kinda like we are living in a "bad beer matrix" here, before i accidentally clicked on a link talking about the only craft beer shop at that time in my country i thought heineken is the best beer in the world.
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:07 PM   #12
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I did some research, it seems like distilled water is about as expensive as beer and RO water is non existent in the stores.

It seems like my only option to lower mash ph is using acidulated malt/sauermalz and brewing salts/acids.

As i played around with Bru'n Water it seemed like adding CaCl2 somewhat lowered my mash ph. Is it true?

What i am thinking about is using low amounts of citric acid, CaCl2 and acidulated malt/sauermalz to get a good mash ph. Is that feasible?

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Old 10-09-2013, 06:10 PM   #13
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Nothing wrong at all with 1 gallon batches, but I understand the wish to do more. I still do 1 gallon BIAB batches to fine tune a recipe or for something really experimental.

If you use distilled, make sure that you are adding back some minerals as the results can be pretty boring and lifeless beer. I think this is really your biggest challenge and the additions for say 2 gallons of distilled water will be very small. If you cannot access food grade Calcium Chloride, Gypsum and some Pickling Lime, you are likely going to have an issue not just with pH. I would then recommend commercial spring water instead of distilled if you can find that. You might also see if you can tap your filters before the water goes into the softener, brew with that and compare results.

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Old 10-09-2013, 06:16 PM   #14
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I'm NO water expert, but my akalinity is high (not as high as yours though!) and before I went with an RO system at home, I followed a couple of suggestions to reduce the alkalinity.

The first suggestion was to boil the water in advance, to precipitate out much of the alkalinity. That works well, as you boil it and then let it cool and simply rack off of the precipitate.

The other thing I tried was lime softening. Here is a link on the "how to": http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php...tion_with_lime

That worked well to, and it was cheap, but I ended up spending $120 for a RO system because it's just easier and takes up less room.

But either of those might work well for you.

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Old 10-09-2013, 07:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mchrispen View Post
Nothing wrong at all with 1 gallon batches, but I understand the wish to do more. I still do 1 gallon BIAB batches to fine tune a recipe or for something really experimental.

If you use distilled, make sure that you are adding back some minerals as the results can be pretty boring and lifeless beer. I think this is really your biggest challenge and the additions for say 2 gallons of distilled water will be very small. If you cannot access food grade Calcium Chloride, Gypsum and some Pickling Lime, you are likely going to have an issue not just with pH. I would then recommend commercial spring water instead of distilled if you can find that. You might also see if you can tap your filters before the water goes into the softener, brew with that and compare results.

Yeah, sorry, i forgot to say that i meant using acidulated malt, CaCo2 and citric acid with my tapwater. The water report says that my tapwater's hardness is around 250 in CaO. I guess that means high alkalinity.
The bottled waters are even worse i haven't seen one under 300 mg/l or ppm in HCO3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I'm NO water expert, but my akalinity is high (not as high as yours though!) and before I went with an RO system at home, I followed a couple of suggestions to reduce the alkalinity.

The first suggestion was to boil the water in advance, to precipitate out much of the alkalinity. That works well, as you boil it and then let it cool and simply rack off of the precipitate.

The other thing I tried was lime softening. Here is a link on the "how to": http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php...tion_with_lime

That worked well to, and it was cheap, but I ended up spending $120 for a RO system because it's just easier and takes up less room.

But either of those might work well for you.
Thanks! I can get CaCo3, citric acid and acidulated malt from my LHBS, i am not sure about lime or gypsum.
(btw braukaiser is probably my favourite beer blog, in my country brewing and wine making (especially wine making) are relying too much on old traditions in my opinion and getting science into that is an interesting thing to me. I am pretty sure that after i can brew a nice selection of beer styles with confdence i will look into modernising my grandparent's winery)
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:24 PM   #16
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My tap water also had a high alkalinity so now I use 100% distilled water and add the minerals back in. Just bought tge water book so hopefully I've been doing it right.

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Old 10-10-2013, 08:31 AM   #17
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It seems like i have to try the boil method.

I've read the corresponding article on braukaiser but something is not clear.
For how long i have to boil my water to get to the quoted results:

Quote:
This method is able to lower the alkalinity to about 50 - 65 ppm as CaCO
Also what happens with my calcium levels? When i used this equation:

I got negative amounts of calcium as a result. (A was 250, Ca before boiling was 63)
What seems clear to me that after boiling i have to supply some CaCO2 im just not sure how much. Also even after boiling water it seemed like i still have to use 3-4% sauermalz, is that correct? (for the light coloured recipes i tried)
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:54 AM   #18
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Your calcium is 63. That's 63/20 = 3.15 mVal
'Your alkalinity 250. That's 250/50 = 5 mVal
Boiling reduces both by the same amount to the point where the smaller reaches 1 mVal. In this case that would be the calcium which would decrease by 2.15 leaving
Ca++: 3.15 - 2.15 = 1 mVal (20 mg/L)
Alk: 5 - 2.15 = 2.85 mVal (142.5 ppm as CaCO3)

As the object is to decarbonate, not soften, the obvious approach is to add extra calcium before the boil. If you were to add 1.85 mVal (37 mg/L) calcium from either gypsum or CaCl2 you would have 5 mVal of each and could expect to have both at 1 mVal in the treated water (20 mg/L Ca++ and 50 ppm as CaCO3 alkalinity). You would, were you to proceed this way, probably want to supplement the calcium to a somewhat higher level. A trick of the trade is to calculate how much calcium to add based on the math we have given so far but to add that extra calcium before the boil. This will result in alkalinity reduced below 1 mVal (50 ppm as CaCO3). Be sure to suspend some chalk in the water before boiling to provide nucleation sites for the precipitating CaCO3.

Precipitation is always a tricky business so you really want to measure the post treatment hardness and alkalinity. You can obtain simple kits from companies that specialize in water treatment such as Hach or LaMotte. Their kits are (surprise) more expensive than alternatives but allow separate measurement of calcium and magnesium hardness. Simpler kits can be had from swimming pool suppliers, pet stores that cater to the aquarium hobby and even some hardware stores.

Decarbonating removes the proton deficit of the brewing liquor to great extent but it does not remove the proton deficit of base malt. Unless that is covered by the proton surfeit of colored malts it will have to be dealt with by acid malt or added acid from a bottle (lactic, phosphoric, sulfuric, hydrochloric). So yes, you will still need sauermalz.

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Old 10-10-2013, 01:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
Your calcium is 63. That's 63/20 = 3.15 mVal
'Your alkalinity 250. That's 250/50 = 5 mVal
Boiling reduces both by the same amount to the point where the smaller reaches 1 mVal. In this case that would be the calcium which would decrease by 2.15 leaving
Ca++: 3.15 - 2.15 = 1 mVal (20 mg/L)
Alk: 5 - 2.15 = 2.85 mVal (142.5 ppm as CaCO3)

As the object is to decarbonate, not soften, the obvious approach is to add extra calcium before the boil. If you were to add 1.85 mVal (37 mg/L) calcium from either gypsum or CaCl2 you would have 5 mVal of each and could expect to have both at 1 mVal in the treated water (20 mg/L Ca++ and 50 ppm as CaCO3 alkalinity). You would, were you to proceed this way, probably want to supplement the calcium to a somewhat higher level. A trick of the trade is to calculate how much calcium to add based on the math we have given so far but to add that extra calcium before the boil. This will result in alkalinity reduced below 1 mVal (50 ppm as CaCO3). Be sure to suspend some chalk in the water before boiling to provide nucleation sites for the precipitating CaCO3.

Precipitation is always a tricky business so you really want to measure the post treatment hardness and alkalinity. You can obtain simple kits from companies that specialize in water treatment such as Hach or LaMotte. Their kits are (surprise) more expensive than alternatives but allow separate measurement of calcium and magnesium hardness. Simpler kits can be had from swimming pool suppliers, pet stores that cater to the aquarium hobby and even some hardware stores.

Decarbonating removes the proton deficit of the brewing liquor to great extent but it does not remove the proton deficit of base malt. Unless that is covered by the proton surfeit of colored malts it will have to be dealt with by acid malt or added acid from a bottle (lactic, phosphoric, sulfuric, hydrochloric). So yes, you will still need sauermalz.
Thanks!

So i add a calculated amount pf CaCO2 and some (how much?) CaCO3/chalk to my tap water, boil it for a while (how long?) and then i pour most of the boiled water into a different pot leaving behind some water with 'white stuff' in the bottom of the original pot and after the water in my second pot cooled down to strike temp i can add grains and start mashing?
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Old 10-11-2013, 03:05 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Glue View Post
So i add a calculated amount pf CaCO2...
No such animal. You would supplement calcium with CaCl2 and/or CaSO4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Glue View Post
..and some (how much?) CaCO3/chalk to my tap water
Not much. A tsp or tbsp per 5 gallons. It doesn't react. It's just there to provide something for the precipitating CaCO3 to grow on.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Glue View Post
boil it for a while (how long?)
Not long. The reaction:

Ca++ + 2HCO3- ---> CaCO3 + CO2 + H2O

is pretty quick but you need to get the CO2 out for the reaction to proceed. In a small volume a couple of minutes should do. For 200 bbl you might need to boil longer than that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Glue View Post
and then i pour most of the boiled water into a different pot leaving behind some water with 'white stuff' in the bottom of the original pot and after the water in my second pot cooled down to strike temp i can add grains and start mashing?
Most people leave the water in the boiling vessel while it cools and settles then decant the cooled water off the precipitate and yes, you could do that when strike temperature is reached. Conceptually you could decant while the water is still hot (CaCO3 is actually less soluble in hot water than cold) but it does take some time for the stuff to settle out. I guess a fair criterion would be to decant as soon as the water is clear.
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