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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > effectiveness of pre boiling water to remove bicarbonate
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Old 08-27-2009, 11:25 PM   #1
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Default effectiveness of pre boiling water to remove bicarbonate

Well, works for me. I have very hard water here with lots of bicarbonate, 386 ppm.

I don't personally want to add slaked lime or anything else to my water to precipitate it out. I simply boil it. I don't add salts to help with this or anything. Yes, I know if I add calcium I can precipitate more of it out, but I'm fine with my method as is. With my first beer here in Croatia, I did this and then diluted with distilled water 50/50. Used Palmer's water spreadsheet and added gypsum and calcium chloride and hit my pH right on with no acid or stabilizer.

Anyway, just took pictures as I prepared my water for tomorrow and figured I'd throw them up here. Have any pics of monster bicarbonate left behind what you wanna share? Post 'em here.



That pile in the center is about 3 inches across.

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Old 08-29-2009, 06:50 AM   #2
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Nice going Matt. Bummer shipping is so high, I would love to try one of your brews here in a few months.

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Old 08-29-2009, 08:39 AM   #3
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Nice going Matt. Bummer shipping is so high, I would love to try one of your brews here in a few months.
Not only that, but on outgoing packages the postal service actual has you open the package in front of them to inspect it and alcohol wouldn't fly, I think. And Fedex is so expensive from here! It costs me $75 just to send paperwork that's totally light to the States. Ack!

Anyway, thanks for the kind words!
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Old 08-29-2009, 08:43 AM   #4
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Hey Matt, did you see the guy's post from one of your neighboring countries a few days ago? He has a hop farm and was looking for customers.

Sorry, can't cite the exact post or poster.

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Old 08-29-2009, 09:00 AM   #5
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Took a guess it was Slovenia as they grow Styrian Goldings, and just found the thread. Thanks!

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Old 09-01-2009, 01:07 AM   #6
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With this method, how do you know how much has precipitated out? Do you just assume 100% drop out?

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Old 09-01-2009, 05:28 AM   #7
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I have heard this works... but for me it's cheaper to blend RO water than it is to burn the propane to precipitate out the bicarb.

OTOH, if I ever have an electric HLT... then that is different.

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Old 09-01-2009, 08:40 AM   #8
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With this method, how do you know how much has precipitated out? Do you just assume 100% drop out?
Nope. From Dave Miller's Homebrewing Guide:

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You can estimate the effect of boiling for decarbonation (removing bicarbonate) by the following formula: boiling will remove all but about 30 to 40 ppm of carbonate-bicarbonate; at the same time, it will remove 3 ppm of calcium for every 5 ppm of carbonate. For example, if your water has a total alkalinity of 150 ppm, boiling will remove 110 to 120 ppm of that amount. At the same time, the calcium content of your water will be lowered by 66 to 72 ppm.
So essentially, you're limited in how much bicarbonate you can remove by how much calcium is in the water. That's why some people add gyspum or calcium chloride before boiling. I didn't want to do that because I didn't want the leftover chloride and/or sulfate in the water, as those *don't* boil off. My water has 86 ppm calcium and 386 ppm of bicarbonate. I divide 86 by 3 getting 28.66. Multiply that by 5 and I end up with 143 ppm of bicarbonate, rounded down, removed from the water, so 243 ppm remaining.

I then take my adjusted water, with 0 calcium and 243 ppm of bicarbonate, and feed it into Palmer's water spreadsheet. I dilute it partially with distilled water, depending on the color of the beer, and add salts to achieve the desired residual alkalinity that I want for that color of beer.

Used this method on the first two beers in Croatia. One was diluted 50/50 while the other only had 15% distilled water. And both times the mash pH was right on track to what I wanted, around 5.4 when the wort was chilled to room temp.

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I have heard this works... but for me it's cheaper to blend RO water than it is to burn the propane to precipitate out the bicarb.

OTOH, if I ever have an electric HLT... then that is different.
I both blend and do this. For me it's partially to experiment. I boil the water on the stove, though, rather than using my propane. Likely the distilled water is cheaper than the gas, but I'm curious about this method, so doing it this way for now...

BUT, I'm doing a brown this weekend and the RA when using those dark grains is enough that I will be using the base water as 100% without boiling...
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Old 09-03-2009, 05:53 PM   #9
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Not only that, but on outgoing packages the postal service actual has you open the package in front of them to inspect it and alcohol wouldn't fly, I think. And Fedex is so expensive from here! It costs me $75 just to send paperwork that's totally light to the States. Ack!

Anyway, thanks for the kind words!
Lal why use fedex,use HP and declareit as a gift.(cheap)
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Old 09-03-2009, 06:48 PM   #10
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Lal why use fedex,use HP and declareit as a gift.(cheap)
You've sent beer outside Croatia this way? Every package I've sent they've opened up to inspect right in front of me.
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