Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Water Testing Question

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-17-2013, 02:04 PM   #11
ajdelange
Senior Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 5,829
Liked 567 Times on 467 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

It doesn't matter what your water is like. It is always easier to use RO water (unless you are among the fortunate few that have tap water that is practically RO water). You start with a 'clean sheet of paper' each time you brew and can adjust to anything you like that is physically realizable (I mention that because there are many published profiles abroad that are not physically realizable). Probably the biggest advantage is that you are immune to changes in your tap water with the seasons, as the supplier switches between wells, buys from an adjacent county etc.

The only problem I have with using RO water is that you won't learn as much about brewing water treatment as you would if you forced yourself to make do with the water you have.

__________________
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-18-2013, 02:40 AM   #12
craq5
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 10
Default

So with RO water do what parameters do I enter in the EZwater spreadsheet? Sorry if this is a dumb question.

__________________
craq5 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-18-2013, 12:35 PM   #13
mabrungard
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Carmel, IN
Posts: 2,691
Liked 181 Times on 158 Posts
Likes Given: 24

Default

The ion levels for RO water can be variable based on the membrane, its age, and the ionic content of the feed water. But in most cases, the RO ionic concentrations are very low and typically under 10 ppm. The RO profile in Bru'n Water shows the following:

Ca 1 ppm
Mg 0 ppm
Na 8 ppm
SO4 1 ppm
Cl 4 ppm
HCO3 16 ppm

Assuming zero for any of the ions would not be that far off.

__________________

Martin B
Carmel, IN
BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook for occasional discussions on brewing water and Bru'n Water

mabrungard is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-18-2013, 01:11 PM   #14
Kaiser
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Kaiser's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Pepperell, MA
Posts: 3,904
Liked 114 Times on 71 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
The 'beer color' based approach to brewing water adjustments was long ago found to be useless.
I revisited the color based approach to mash pH prediction and it is fairly good when done correctly. The sticking point is getting the user to understand the %roasted parameter. I admit that this is a bit awkward.


Kai
Kaiser is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-18-2013, 01:38 PM   #15
ajdelange
Senior Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 5,829
Liked 567 Times on 467 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by craq5 View Post
So with RO water do what parameters do I enter in the EZwater spreadsheet? Sorry if this is a dumb question.
Not at all. Zero will do and is easy to remember. My experience with these systems used for brewing is that they go on for ever before the membrane begins to degrade. When I upgraded I gave away a system that I had been using for over 10 years that still performed well but you may wish to check up on the performance of your system from time to time with an inexpensive 'TDS' (in quotes because they measure conductivity, not TDS, though they read in TDS) tester. For example my system typically reads 3 ppm out and 160 in meaning the average rejection is about 98%. This system is about 3 years old though, because it is used mostly for brewing it only has about 200 hours on it. In the columns below I've taken your analysis and applied 90% and 95% rejection to the concentrations.

0% Rejection-------> 90% - 95%
Sodium 63 ppm ---> 6.3 - 3.1
Potassium 3 ppm ----> .3 - .15
Calcium 34 ppm ----> 3.4 - 1.7
Magnesium 15 ppm ---> 1.5 - .75
Total Hardness 148 ---> 7.4 - 3.7
Sulfate 75 --------------> 7.5 - 3.8
Chloride 75 -------------> 7.5 - 3.8
Carbonate 6
Bicarbonate 109
Total Alkalinity 99 ------> 10 - 5

A new system is going to reject more like 98% so the numbers show that even with a conservative assumption of 95% treated water is essentially mineral free in your case.

Something to consider both WRT membrane life and rejection is the fact that your water is super saturated WRT calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate (you don't say what your pH is but I'm guessing it's about 9) which will precipitate on the membrane of your filter shortening its useful life. To avoid this RO units are fed with softened water (or run at very low recovery but in your case no level of recovery will save you). Using a softener replaces magnesium and calcium with sodium with the result that your water softened would contain an additional 67 mg/L sodium which, with the 63 mg/L already in the water would total 130. At 90% rejection you would have 13 mg/L sodium and at 95% half this (6.5). But membrane manufacturers are aware that RO systems are often used this way and strive for good sodium rejection. Often you will see the spec sheets listing sodium rejection at about 99%.
__________________
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-18-2013, 06:24 PM   #16
mabrungard
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Carmel, IN
Posts: 2,691
Liked 181 Times on 158 Posts
Likes Given: 24

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser View Post
I revisited the color based approach to mash pH prediction and it is fairly good when done correctly. The sticking point is getting the user to understand the %roasted parameter. I admit that this is a bit awkward.


Kai
Ah yes! I see your approach now. As we know, all your data on malt acidity does show a fairly linear acidity vs. malt color. I note that both base and crystal malts are quite similar in the slope of their acidity vs malt relationships, almost identical. But it is the roast that does not conform to that with its relatively constant acidity that has little variation with color.

Of course, what I was speaking of was the Palmer SRM vs RA relationship.
__________________

Martin B
Carmel, IN
BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook for occasional discussions on brewing water and Bru'n Water

mabrungard 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
Well water testing williamssss General Beer Discussion 1 01-01-2013 10:58 PM
question about water and testing with Ward labs Izumidai Brew Science 6 01-07-2011 03:47 PM
Testing Tap Water ToastedPenguin Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 12 09-24-2010 05:47 PM
Water testing question re: filters SankePankey General Techniques 5 02-22-2010 03:15 PM