Alkalinity reduction using lime
I have been busy over the last few weeks writing another article for braukaiser.com. This time about reducing water alkalinity by using slacked lime, which is a commonly used procedure in large scale brewing but rarely used by home brewers. Though I doubt that Iíll convince many of you to give it a try since it doesnít work for types of high alkalinity water and it takes more preparation that dilution, building from RO water or addition of salts it is a very elegant way of treating brewing water.
This article grew rather large. As I was writing it I found a lot of information about the subject that I just had to mention as well.
Enjoy: Alkalinity reduction with lime
You really go above and beyond for your fellow homebrewer! I had recently bought lime but could not glean enough information about its use to give it a try.
Once again, thank you very much for everything you publish.
Thatís what I have found too. The process is generally mentioned in home brewing books but only briefly and not detailed enough for many brewer to actually use it w/o having to rely on some existing knowledge. The good thing is that you can easily try it on small scale and gain confidence from that.
Nice write up. I've been using lime for at least 2 yrs now. My water is also high in Calcium so I typically don't add any back. I do add some CaSO4 in my Alt and IPAs, but that's it.
I treat my water in my boil pot. It holds 10 gal and the spigot make it easy for me to drain it off. I typically set up my water the night before I plan on brewing and it will have settled by the next morning.
One of these days I will do the experiment to see how long it takes to remove the temporary hardness simply by aerating. It works by the same mechanism as boiling - reaching equilibration with the CO2 in the air, it just takes longer. In one ref. I read, they mention this, but didn't give a time frame. I'm envisioning that if it were less than a week, then I could set up a large container with water and bubble air through it and then a week later, drain off what water I need, and then just top the reservoir off and let it bubble until the next brew day. Presumably, the more bubbles/air the faster it will reach equilibrium.
Evaporation might be a concern (concentrating other salts). I've thought about running the air through a container of RO water first before the tank to saturate it with water to minimize water loss.
One of these days I'll set up the experiment
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