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Old 10-22-2012, 05:53 PM   #1
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Default Water Report Help!

Hey everyone I got a report back from the city for the water and was wondering if you could give me some insight as to how suitable this water will be for brewing stouts, porters, bitters, English IPA's, scottish ales, etc. Thanks everyone.

Wells 4&7
Fluoride - .162
Iron, uncertified - 1.34
Calcium - 80.5
Magnesium - 31.5
Manganese - .23
Silica - 23.4
Total Hardness by 2340B - 331
Alkalinity - 317
Total Dissolved Solids - 365
pH, Electrometric - 7.9
Nitrogen - ND
Chloride - 4.7
Orthophosphate - .11
Calcium Hardness - 201
Magnesium Hardness - 130
Carbonate Hardness - 317
Non-Carbonate Hardness - 14
Ryznar Index - 6.89
Sodium - (Average) 6.72
Sulfate - (Average) 11.6

Wells 5&6
Fluoride - .187
Iron, uncertified - 2.16
Calcium - 57.1
Magnesium - 22.8
Manganese - .36
Silica - 21.2
Total Hardness by 2340B - 236
Alkalinity - 258
Total Dissolved Solids - 263
pH, Electrometric - 7.8
Nitrogen - ND
Chloride - ND
Orthophosphate - .068
Calcium Hardness - 142
Magnesium Hardness - 94
Carbonate Hardness - 236
Non-Carbonate Hardness - 0
Ryznar Index - 7.45
Sodium - (Average) 6.72
Sulfate - (Average) 11.6

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Old 10-22-2012, 06:08 PM   #2
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This water is, I'm afraid, a throwaway. It would, due to excessive hardness, alkalinity and iron, be unsuitable for brewing most if not all beers. Chloride and sulfate are low so that with lime treatment which would reduce the hardness and alkalinity and oxidation/filtration for the iron you might be able to do some beers. The practical solution here is a water softener followed by an RO unit.

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Old 10-22-2012, 06:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange
This water is, I'm afraid, a throwaway. It would, due to excessive hardness, alkalinity and iron, be unsuitable for brewing most if not all beers. Chloride and sulfate are low so that with lime treatment which would reduce the hardness and alkalinity and oxidation/filtration for the iron you might be able to do some beers. The practical solution here is a water softener followed by an RO unit.
What type of RO unit would you recommend for a 2BBL system? We are actually in the process of gettin into a building and starting out small with a tap room. We use RO water now for homebrewing and works great but wondering about for a small commercial setup in a building. I should maybe talk to the city to see if they offer them. Thanks for info.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:03 PM   #4
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I use a Titan 500 with a 2 bbl system. The 500 refers to the gallons the system can produce per day. That is, actually, more capacity than is needed but the idea is that you can crank out 50 gal of RO water in 2.4 hours, probably enough to dough in with, and collect an additional 21 gal/hr to sparge with etc. for each hour occupied with mashing. This may allow you to plumb the RO unit direct to the HLT. If you need more water faster then you either need to install an atmospheric tank for storage with pump and optional pressure tank and collect what you need before you brew. It might be cheaper to go to a Titan 1000 which has double the throughput thus saving on the atmospheric tank, controls etc.

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Old 10-23-2012, 12:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
I use a Titan 500 with a 2 bbl system. The 500 refers to the gallons the system can produce per day. That is, actually, more capacity than is needed but the idea is that you can crank out 50 gal of RO water in 2.4 hours, probably enough to dough in with, and collect an additional 21 gal/hr to sparge with etc. for each hour occupied with mashing. This may allow you to plumb the RO unit direct to the HLT. If you need more water faster then you either need to install an atmospheric tank for storage with pump and optional pressure tank and collect what you need before you brew. It might be cheaper to go to a Titan 1000 which has double the throughput thus saving on the atmospheric tank, controls etc.
This is very helpful yet again. You never stop amazing me with your knowledge. Thanks again. I looked both models up and it seems though there is not much of a price difference. If we went with a Titan 1000 you are saying we could plumb that directly to our HLT? How hard are those to install yourself? Thanks.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Pugs13

This is very helpful yet again. You never stop amazing me with your knowledge. Thanks again. I looked both models up and it seems though there is not much of a price difference. If we went with a Titan 1000 you are saying we could plumb that directly to our HLT? How hard are those to install yourself? Thanks.
Actually I came across this on YouTube. What do you think about a system like this. I want to stay away from a tank system. Let me know what your thoughts are on this...
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:07 PM   #7
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At my company, we do not recommend oversizing RO systems to the degree that AJ has for his system since the capital cost and operations and maintenance costs rise with the size of the system. It can be more economical to provide a properly sized water tank and use a much smaller RO unit to keep that tank filled. A simple water balance for the brewing operations detailing the maximum RO water usage per batch and the number of batches per day are used size the RO unit. A modest multiplier is included in the unit sizing to account for unknowns such as water wasting and aging membranes. That might mean that a brewer with a 2 bbl system might be able to get by with a 100 gpd system if they brew once a day.

I highly recommend staying away from RO units that use proprietary membranes and filter cartridges. I see that the Titan 1000 appears to use the typical 2.5" diameter membrane cartridges. If that is the case, then the buyer won't be stuck with purchasing their replacement parts from the system supplier. Another consideration is that a brewer does not really want to remove all or most of the dissolved ions from their brewing water. For that reason, using a more porous nanofiltration membrane instead of a RO membrane can pay multiple dividends in reduced energy usage and water usage. Nanofiltration membrane cartridges are widely available for the 2.5" and 4" diameter membrane systems.

As AJ mentioned, the feed water is not too good for brewing. Unfortunately, this water may not be ideal for RO treatment either. The silica content of the water is fairly high and that content can really plug up the membrane. Silica is more a problem than calcium or magnesium for these systems. That may mean that a high water wasting rate might have to be used to help keep the membranes from clogging. Unfortunately, an ion-exchange water softener does not remove silicate from the feed water and the silicate concentration might be the primary design factor for the water wasting rate for the system. Definitely do not buy a RO system without providing the supplier the full water profile and having them analyze and verify the performance and longevity of the proposed system with your water.

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Old 10-23-2012, 07:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard
At my company, we do not recommend oversizing RO systems to the degree that AJ has for his system since the capital cost and operations and maintenance costs rise with the size of the system. It can be more economical to provide a properly sized water tank and use a much smaller RO unit to keep that tank filled. A simple water balance for the brewing operations detailing the maximum RO water usage per batch and the number of batches per day are used size the RO unit. A modest multiplier is included in the unit sizing to account for unknowns such as water wasting and aging membranes. That might mean that a brewer with a 2 bbl system might be able to get by with a 100 gpd system if they brew once a day.

I highly recommend staying away from RO units that use proprietary membranes and filter cartridges. I see that the Titan 1000 appears to use the typical 2.5" diameter membrane cartridges. If that is the case, then the buyer won't be stuck with purchasing their replacement parts from the system supplier. Another consideration is that a brewer does not really want to remove all or most of the dissolved ions from their brewing water. For that reason, using a more porous nanofiltration membrane instead of a RO membrane can pay multiple dividends in reduced energy usage and water usage. Nanofiltration membrane cartridges are widely available for the 2.5" and 4" diameter membrane systems.

As AJ mentioned, the feed water is not too good for brewing. Unfortunately, this water may not be ideal for RO treatment either. The silica content of the water is fairly high and that content can really plug up the membrane. Silica is more a problem than calcium or magnesium for these systems. That may mean that a high water wasting rate might have to be used to help keep the membranes from clogging. Unfortunately, an ion-exchange water softener does not remove silicate from the feed water and the silicate concentration might be the primary design factor for the water wasting rate for the system. Definitely do not buy a RO system without providing the supplier the full water profile and having them analyze and verify the performance and longevity of the proposed system with your water.
Are there any companies you could recommend. We are looking at a 2bbl system. We are assuming we wouldn't be brewing everyday because we will have only 8 fermentors. Do you have any ideas what a system you are proposing would run? Thanks
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:20 AM   #9
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Yes, you could 'plumb' a 1000 (or 500) directly to your HLT. The permeate and concentrate lines are flexible plastic tubing. All the internal 'plumbing' in the skid and these two outputs use John Guest connectors. Just push the tubing into the connector and you are finished. The water inlet is plastic IPT. The remainder of the 'installation' is plugging into a 110 VAC outlet. Directly plumbed to the HLT you would have a completely manual system. Hook it up and turn it on. If you don't turn it off then you will have overflow so it is tempting to have something that detects level to turn the system off automatically when the HLT is full.

The alternative is, as I mentioned earlier, to have the atmospheric and/or pressure tank with the controls needed to operate them. These allow additional flexibility and a smaller RO skid but add complexity and cost to a system. Given the differential cost between a Titan 500 and 1000 I can't believe that a 1000 without the extra stuff is more expensive than a 500 with but perhaps that is the case. I wound up spending more on auxiliary stuff than the RO skid but I put in lots of bells and whistles. OTOH I did the design and assembly myself and so saved appreciably there.

I cannot comment on the GE system as I have never used one though I did brew with smaller RO units from GE for years before installing the Titan. The Titan is in a different class of system. It has an internal pressure pump which allows smaller membrane area for a given throughput. Eventually it seems this would save you money but don't know how much. The Titans also have gauges which allow you to monitor loading of the pre-filters, flow meters for concentrate, permeate and feedback (if you order that option), can be equipped with a TDS meter for monitoring overall operation and have a valve in the concentrate path which allows the operator to control pressure across the membrane(s) and thus the throughput flow.

This is important where maximum allowable recovery is limited by precipitation as it would be with your water were it not softened. Softening only removes a little silica so you will still need to limit recovery with a softened feed. Assuming the worst of your two waters and 0 removal by a softener your recovery would have to be below 51.8% to prevent deposition of silica on and subsequent fouling of your membranes. It is unlikely that you would want more than 50% recovery as that would have to be obtained at the expense of rejection and you have enough junk that you can't afford to trade rejection for anything.

FWIW I have run a Titan 500 for a couple of years on water that is worse than your worst water WRT this mineral. But I do not run the system nearly as much as a commercial operation would. Though I do use the water for purposes other than brewing (mainly as a glassware pre DI rinse and feed for the ultra pure water unit in the lab) I have only about 200 hours (I installed a Hobbs meter) on the membranes in a couple of years

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Old 10-25-2012, 03:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange
Yes, you could 'plumb' a 1000 (or 500) directly to your HLT. The permeate and concentrate lines are flexible plastic tubing. All the internal 'plumbing' in the skid and these two outputs use John Guest connectors. Just push the tubing into the connector and you are finished. The water inlet is plastic IPT. The remainder of the 'installation' is plugging into a 110 VAC outlet. Directly plumbed to the HLT you would have a completely manual system. Hook it up and turn it on. If you don't turn it off then you will have overflow so it is tempting to have something that detects level to turn the system off automatically when the HLT is full.

The alternative is, as I mentioned earlier, to have the atmospheric and/or pressure tank with the controls needed to operate them. These allow additional flexibility and a smaller RO skid but add complexity and cost to a system. Given the differential cost between a Titan 500 and 1000 I can't believe that a 1000 without the extra stuff is more expensive than a 500 with but perhaps that is the case. I wound up spending more on auxiliary stuff than the RO skid but I put in lots of bells and whistles. OTOH I did the design and assembly myself and so saved appreciably there.

I cannot comment on the GE system as I have never used one though I did brew with smaller RO units from GE for years before installing the Titan. The Titan is in a different class of system. It has an internal pressure pump which allows smaller membrane area for a given throughput. Eventually it seems this would save you money but don't know how much. The Titans also have gauges which allow you to monitor loading of the pre-filters, flow meters for concentrate, permeate and feedback (if you order that option), can be equipped with a TDS meter for monitoring overall operation and have a valve in the concentrate path which allows the operator to control pressure across the membrane(s) and thus the throughput flow.

This is important where maximum allowable recovery is limited by precipitation as it would be with your water were it not softened. Softening only removes a little silica so you will still need to limit recovery with a softened feed. Assuming the worst of your two waters and 0 removal by a softener your recovery would have to be below 51.8% to prevent deposition of silica on and subsequent fouling of your membranes. It is unlikely that you would want more than 50% recovery as that would have to be obtained at the expense of rejection and you have enough junk that you can't afford to trade rejection for anything.

FWIW I have run a Titan 500 for a couple of years on water that is worse than your worst water WRT this mineral. But I do not run the system nearly as much as a commercial operation would. Though I do use the water for purposes other than brewing (mainly as a glassware pre DI rinse and feed for the ultra pure water unit in the lab) I have only about 200 hours (I installed a Hobbs meter) on the membranes in a couple of years
This is pretty confusing to me. You may have to just break it down into English cause this water stuff is still new to me...haha...also is your 2bbl electric or gas? Would you think you would still need ventilation with electric? Just curious because I am thinking of going full electric...
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