Kegconnection Complete Starter Kit and More Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Treating hard water with Lime, my experience

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-23-2012, 12:13 AM   #21
ajdelange
Senior Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 5,659
Liked 537 Times on 440 Posts
Likes Given: 15

Default

There are ppm and ppm. If your bicarbonate is 228 ppm then the alkalinity is 50*228/61 = 187 ppm as CaCO3. If your calcium hardness is 57 ppm as CaCO3 then you would need to add enough calcium to raise the hardness by (187 - 57). But if your calcium level is 57 ppm as Calcium that amounts to 50*57/20 = 143 ppm as CaCO3 and you only need to increase calcium by 187 - 143. Then, if all goes well with the lime treatment, alkalinity and hardness will both wind up at about 50 ppm as CaCO3 i.e. bicarbonate ion content of 61 mg/L and calcium ion content of 20 mg/L. As you would probably want to supplement the calcium at that level I recommend adding the calcium supplement before the lime addition. This insures that you get the alkalinity down to 50 and perhaps even a little below.

__________________
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-23-2012, 12:16 AM   #22
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 60,339
Liked 4276 Times on 3115 Posts
Likes Given: 822

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
There are ppm and ppm. If your bicarbonate is 228 ppm then the alkalinity is 50*228/61 = 187 ppm as CaCO3. If your calcium hardness is 57 ppm as CaCO3 then you would need to add enough calcium to raise the hardness by (187 - 57). But if your calcium level is 57 ppm as Calcium that amounts to 50*57/20 = 143 ppm as CaCO3 and you only need to increase calcium by 187 - 143. Then, if all goes well with the lime treatment, alkalinity and hardness will both wind up at about 50 ppm as CaCO3 i.e. bicarbonate ion content of 61 mg/L and calcium ion content of 20 mg/L. As you would probably want to supplement the calcium at that level I recommend adding the calcium supplement before the lime addition. This insures that you get the alkalinity down to 50 and perhaps even a little below.
I read that about ten times! My water report shows 207 ppm as "total alkalinity, CaC03" and bicarb (HCO3) as 228, with "total hardness (caC03)" as 251. Ward Labs shows my Ca as 57 ppm. Does that make sense based on what you said about alkalinity?

And of course I was thinking of supplementing Ca by using CaCl2. I assume the Ca would drop, leaving the chloride unaffected.
__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006
Yooper is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-23-2012, 03:44 AM   #23
ajdelange
Senior Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 5,659
Liked 537 Times on 440 Posts
Likes Given: 15

Default

The lab measures alkalinity which is easy to do and then calculates the carbonate ion concentration from the alkalinity, the water's pH and the end point pH of the alkalinity titration. Assuming that the end point pH was 4.3 and that the alkalinity was 207 the bicarbonate level would be

pH ...... Bicarb
6 ....... 257
7 ........ 252
8 .........249
9 .........227

A lot of people use the approximation bicarb = 61*alkalinity/50 which would give 252 for the bicarb level based on reported alkalinity of 207. If your lab does the math the same way I do (there are popular approximations, labs use different titration end points etc.) a reported bicarbonate level of 228 would imply that your water's pH is around 9. If indeed it is then yes, that makes sense.

Calcium at 57 ppm as the ion implies 50*57/20 = 143 ppm as CaCO3. With total hardness of 251 the magnesium hardness would then be 251 - 143 = 108 ppm as CaCO3 corresponding to 108/14 = 8.9 mg/L.

And yes, the chloride remains untouched in the lime softening process if calcium chloride is used as a calcium source.

__________________
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-23-2012, 01:56 PM   #24
afr0byte
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,395
Liked 69 Times on 58 Posts
Likes Given: 48

Default

Hmm, perhaps you could help me with a quick example for my water, AJ?

Ca 87 (I believe this is as Ca, since it's from a Ward Labs report.)
Mg 9
Sulfate 21
Cl 4
Total Alkalinity 214
Bicarb 261


If my understanding is correct (and if my report is correct...it doesn't balance perfectly though, according to Bru'n Water) that means that theoretically I shouldn't have to add any calcium to my water when doing lime treatment (2.5*87 = ~217)? Obviously I'd want to add calcium for the mash and for yeast health in the ferment.

I tried a 1 liter experimental batch of water using lime amount numbers from Kai's spreadsheet. It got a lot of precipitate, but even after a couple days it still seems like I have what looks like lime suspended in the water (The water is mostly clear, though.). Do you have any idea why this would be?

__________________
afr0byte is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-23-2012, 05:02 PM   #25
ajdelange
Senior Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 5,659
Liked 537 Times on 440 Posts
Likes Given: 15

Default

I've seen lots of Ward Labs reports that don't balance this well.

Assuming the alkalinity is based on titration to 4.3 then a sample pH would be 6.74 would be required to square the alkalinity with the reported bicarbonate.

Calcium at 87 mg/L as the ion corresponds to 217 calcium hardness in ppm as CaCO3. As this is greater than the alkalinity this water is a candidate for lime softening. A trial amount of lime would be 285 mg/L of water to be treated. Either trials with this amount and this amount ± 10% should be carried out and the results analyzed to see which dose is the most effective or one should put about half the water into a container with the lime and gradually add the rest of the water until pH reaches 8 or so.

If there is still something suspended in the water it is probably excess lime - IOW you added too much. But I would expect even that to settle after a couple of days.

__________________
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-23-2012, 11:53 PM   #26
afr0byte
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,395
Liked 69 Times on 58 Posts
Likes Given: 48

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
If there is still something suspended in the water it is probably excess lime - IOW you added too much. But I would expect even that to settle after a couple of days.
I was guessing that too, but I thought I'd ask. It tasted kind of alkaline...at least from my limited experience with alkaline liquids. Anyways, thanks for the info!
__________________
afr0byte is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-24-2012, 12:30 AM   #27
afr0byte
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,395
Liked 69 Times on 58 Posts
Likes Given: 48

Default

Update: I tasted it again. It actually tasted pretty normal this time. The aquarium test strips I have for alkalinity (I'll have to get better strips if I continue to do this.) seem to indicate that the alkalinity ended up between 0 and 80. I think some of the stuff that appeared to still be in suspension was really just stuck to the walls of the pyrex container.

__________________
afr0byte is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-24-2012, 12:45 AM   #28
lamarguy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,657
Liked 20 Times on 20 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by revolutioned View Post
I brew in a San Antonio and the water is perfect for light beers.
It's actually the opposite. The RA is San Antonio is over 80, which puts you in the "dark amber approaching stout/porter" range. Brewers in the area either dilute with RO water or build from 100% RO water.

FWIW, Austin water is better (RA = 40) because the city treats the water with lime.

Apologies for restarting this portion of the thread.
__________________
Doggfather Brewery

Planned: Lambic, American IPA
Fermenting: 6 gals of 1.090 stout (Belgian) & 6 gals of 1.090 stout (English)
Tapped: Berliner Weisse, Black English IPA, German Pils, & Live Oak Primus
lamarguy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-24-2012, 01:22 AM   #29
Drcast128
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 6
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
The lab measures alkalinity which is easy to do and then calculates the carbonate ion concentration from the alkalinity, the water's pH and the end point pH of the alkalinity titration. Assuming that the end point pH was 4.3 and that the alkalinity was 207 the bicarbonate level would be

pH ...... Bicarb
6 ....... 257
7 ........ 252
8 .........249
9 .........227

A lot of people use the approximation bicarb = 61*alkalinity/50 which would give 252 for the bicarb level based on reported alkalinity of 207. If your lab does the math the same way I do (there are popular approximations, labs use different titration end points etc.) a reported bicarbonate level of 228 would imply that your water's pH is around 9. If indeed it is then yes, that makes sense.

Calcium at 57 ppm as the ion implies 50*57/20 = 143 ppm as CaCO3. With total hardness of 251 the magnesium hardness would then be 251 - 143 = 108 ppm as CaCO3 corresponding to 108/14 = 8.9 mg/L.

And yes, the chloride remains untouched in the lime softening process if calcium chloride is used as a calcium source.
AJ I have a question if you don't mind. Where did you get these equations from? 50*57/20 = 143 and bicarb = 61*alkalinity/50 I'm trying to follow the posts that were put up in the past few days and maybe I missed the post where these numbers and equations are coming from, if that's the case, very sorry.

I was wondering. Since my post lime treatment turned out to be pretty decent, can I simply add salts post lime treatment? What would be the drawback to doing so? If I added salts before treatment with lime would I have to add extra salts due to some Ca precipitating out of solution? Thanks!
__________________
Drcast128 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-24-2012, 03:00 AM   #30
ajdelange
Senior Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 5,659
Liked 537 Times on 440 Posts
Likes Given: 15

Default

If you put 100 mg of calcium carbonate into 1 L of water and dissolve it with enough CO2 to get the pH to 8.3 the following reaction takes place

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

100 mg is 100 millimole so the result of this reaction is 1 mmol/L Ca++ and 2 mmol/L HCO3-. When alkalinity is measured a strong acid is added to the sample which converts the bicarbonate to CO2 which then escapes the solution

2H+ + 2HCO3 ---> 2H2O + 2CO2

Thus 100 mg ~ 1 mmol of calcium carbonate required 2 mmol of acid (H+) which, as protons are singly charged, is 2 milliequivalents. Going back to the 1 mmol of Ca++ per liter, that is doubly charged and so 1 mmol/L Ca++ ~ 2 mEq/L. Thus each milliequivalent of calcium and each milliequivalent of bicarbonate corresponds to 50 mg/L calcium carbonate dissolved with CO2. Nature dissolves CaCO3 with CO2 so it seems natural to express the alkalinity in terms of the amount of limestone nature would have dissolved with CO2 to produce that level of alkalinity. While that may be handy what we are really after is equivalence. Fifty ppm as CaCO3 corresponds to 1 mEq/L and that's the basis of the formulas. WRT calcium: its atomic weight is 40 i.e. 40 mg of it is one mmol which, since it is doubly charged is 2 mEq. This the equivalent weight is 20 mg. Twenty mg of calcium is 1 mEq. Thus if I have 57 mg/L Ca++ I have 57/20 mEq/L. As 1 mEq/L corresponds to 50 ppm as CaCO3 57 mg/L Ca++ ~ 50*57/20 ppm as CaCO3. The reasoing is exactly the same for the bicarbonate. We divide the alkalinity in ppm as CaCO3 to obtain the number of mEq and then multiply by the equivalent weight of bicarbonate ion which, as it is singly charged, is the same as its molecular weight i.e. 61.

Yes, you can add salts post treatment but as additional calcium helps in the precipitation of calcium carbonate I suggest adding calcium chloride and calcium sulfate before the lime treatment. And yes, you must account for the calcium dropped by lime softening in computing the total calcium in the treated water.

__________________
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help Analyzing Water Report - Very Hard Water BrewThruYou Brew Science 6 04-18-2012 06:17 PM
Hard Water in SD damdiver Brew Science 6 10-22-2011 11:45 AM
Very hard water - worth using? bierhaus15 Brew Science 11 07-25-2011 03:27 AM
Hard Water lschiavo Brew Science 22 05-27-2011 12:50 PM
Water quality, what to do....Hard water and high pH. BroadStreetBrewery Brew Science 9 09-11-2010 04:12 AM