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Old 01-13-2011, 04:58 PM   #1
Tomahawk
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Default My water profile (mg?)

I recieved my water report and would appreciate the perspective of a more knowledgable person.

Using the EZ Water Calculator as reference, I'm missing some inputs - Magnesium for sure and then I'm confused on the Calcium / Calcuim carbonate. I assuem they are different? The Calcuim carbonate is "alkalinity".

That means I'm missing Mg and Ca?

Can I determine (approximate) those based on the data suppied?

Thanks for your help.



-1st all grain batch on tap ;-)
-Building single tier 10 gal system



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Old 01-13-2011, 05:54 PM   #2
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I can't answer your question, but I think its interesting to note the difference in the data you just got and the data that Beersmith uses for Seattle water:

Name: Seattle, WA
PH: 7.8

Calcium: 17.0
Magnesium: 1.0
Sodium: 4.0
Sulfate: 2.0
Chloride: 4.0
Bicarbonate: 18.0
Notes: Seattle. Relatively soft water with low mineral content.

I didn't realize that water profiles changed so dramatically over time. These are in ppm and from God knows when, but they're still pretty far off from your data.



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Old 01-13-2011, 06:00 PM   #3
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I'm 50m north of Seattle. Our small community gets great-tasting water from the Tulalip Aquafer (untreated).

I appreciate the comparison.

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Old 01-13-2011, 07:04 PM   #4
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It really is terrible of these water authorities. Don't they understand that we care much more about our beer than we do about their stupid heavy metal poisoning? Anyway, yes, you are missing info about calcium, magnesium and alkalinity - the three most important parts of a water report for a brewer. The units "as calcium chloride" refer to the number of charges on an ion expressed as if they came from the calcium in calcium carbonate which was dissolved by carbonic acid. If 100 mg is put into a liter of water and CO2 bubbled through until the chalk is all dissolved and the water clear then that water would contain 2 mEq/L Calcium ions and 2 mEq/K bicarbonate ions (approximately). The molecular weight of calcium carbonate is 100 so 1 mg/L is 1 millimole/L containing 1 mmol/L calcium and 1 mmol/L carbonate. The carbonate reacts with CO2 and water thus: CO3-- + CO2 + H2O ---> 2HCO3- so that the 1 mmol/L CO3-- becomes 2 mmol/L HCO3-. The equivalence is the number of charges i.e. 1 mmol/L CO3-- is 2 meq/L of that and 1 mmol/L of Ca++ is 2 meq/l Ca++. And the 2 mmol/L bicarbonate is 2 meq/L. As the idea was to have alkalinity and hardness numbers representative of the amount of CaCO3 dissolved by CO2 (which is the mechanism used in nature) the "as CaCO3" unit, defined as being 50 times the equivalence was adopted. Thus if 100 mg chalk is dissolved in 1 L of water using CO2 the hardness will be 100 ppm as CaCO3 and the alkalinity will be approximately 100 ppm as CaCO3.

When they tell you the hardness is 66.9 ppm as CaCO3 they are saying that the charges on the calcium plus those on the magnesium (by definition these are the only components of hardness) total 66.9/50 meq/L but they are not telling you how much of this is from calcium and how much from magnesium.

Yes, it is possible to estimate the alkalinity by the fact that the electric charge contributed by it and the other anions must be balanced by the electric charge on the hardness ions (and that's what hardness in "as CaCO3" units divided by 50 represents) plus the charge on the other cations. For this report the alkalinity will be approximately 54 ppm as CaCO3. There is no way, however, to tell how much magnesium there is relative to the amount of calcium other than to look at bertmurphy's post and assume that the representation there that magnesium content is relatively small is correct.

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Old 01-14-2011, 03:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
If 100 mg is put into a liter of water and CO2 bubbled through until the chalk is all dissolved and the water clear then that water would contain 2 mEq/L Calcium ions and 2 mEq/K bicarbonate ions (approximately). The molecular weight of calcium carbonate is 100 so 1 mg/L is 1 millimole/L containing 1 mmol/L calcium and 1 mmol/L carbonate. The carbonate reacts with CO2 and water thus: CO3-- + CO2 + H2O ---> 2HCO3- so that the 1 mmol/L CO3-- becomes 2 mmol/L HCO3-. The equivalence is the number of charges i.e. 1 mmol/L CO3-- is 2 meq/L of that and 1 mmol/L of Ca++ is 2 meq/l Ca++. And the 2 mmol/L bicarbonate is 2 meq/L. As the idea was to have alkalinity and hardness numbers representative of the amount of CaCO3 dissolved by CO2 (which is the mechanism used in nature) the "as CaCO3" unit, defined as being 50 times the equivalence was adopted. Thus if 100 mg chalk is dissolved in 1 L of water using CO2 the hardness will be 100 ppm as CaCO3 and the alkalinity will be approximately 100 ppm as CaCO3.
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MachineShopBrewing View Post
Oops. That should be 2 mEq/L (not /K).
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:38 PM   #7
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Appreciate the info. Looking at Palmer's website, I see I cannot determine Mg/Ca with the known CaCO3 numbers. ;-(

Bottom line....my beer tastes good! I suppose that all I need to know. ;-)

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Old 01-14-2011, 04:43 PM   #8
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Ca and Mg hardnesses are very simple to measure. See www.hach.com for kits.



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