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Old 07-07-2008, 02:38 PM   #1
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Default Water Report Questions - mg/LCaCO3

I was able to get a copy of a very detailed (10 pages!) water report of the spring water I have been using.

A few things: No where can I find a bicarbonate level. Should I be looking for something else?

Under total hardness it is listed as:

570 mg/LCaCO3.

In Charlie Papazians book he talks about total harness in terms of ppm. Basically I'm trying to get an idea of how hard my water is. And since Total Hardness is a combination of temporary and permanent hardness I thought I might be able to get an idea of the bicarbonate levels since I know Ca and Mg levels.



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Old 07-07-2008, 02:44 PM   #2
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sometimes hardness is expressed as HCO3(bicarbonate) sometimes as CaCO3(carbonate). mg/L is the same as ppm.

http://coalgeology.com/2008/01/28/alkalinity-as-of-caco3-to-as-of-hco3-practical-guide-on-unit-conversion/
that link should allow you to convert between CaCO3 and HCO3



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Old 07-07-2008, 02:59 PM   #3
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ok, thanks.

looks like i am using very hard water!

So the total hardness is 695.4 mg/L HCO3. Is this the number I would want to be using for the bicarbonate concentration?

Looks like I may be better off going with distilled water and adding salts...

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Old 07-08-2008, 02:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hagbardceline View Post
ok, thanks.

looks like i am using very hard water!

So the total hardness is 695.4 mg/L HCO3. Is this the number I would want to be using for the bicarbonate concentration?

Looks like I may be better off going with distilled water and adding salts...
Just buy some Florida spring water. That should be Pilsen-like soft, unless they treat it with minerals for taste.
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Old 07-08-2008, 04:20 AM   #5
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well, wouldn't i be better off buying R/O water and adding minerals to get to the desired profile?

Anyway there is no Florida spring water here in Minneapolis that I know of and I am in an english bitter / stout phase anyway

Although i'm going to have to try out the new saison / farmhouse yeasts although i have no idea what kind of water is appropriate for that...

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Old 07-08-2008, 01:52 PM   #6
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Im not sure about the water needed for a bitter but you might be able to make a stout if you use mostly tap water diluted with a little bit of bottled water. for playing around with different water profiles and salt additions you should look at brewing programs like beersmith or promash, they both make water modification a lot easier.

I assume you've read john palmers stuff, he knows a lot more than I do. http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter15.html

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Old 07-08-2008, 02:03 PM   #7
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Yeah I've been using Beer Alchemy for creating water profiles, which goes back to my original post of trying to figure out my total hardness and levels of bicarbonates.

I'm still trying to understand if total hardness expressed as mg/L of HCO3 is equal to the bicarbonate level.

I'll read through John Palmer's Chapter again...

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Old 10-27-2008, 09:14 PM   #8
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Calcium carbonate, CaCO3 in mg/L is how all 'hardness' in the water is expressed. That hardness can come from several source other than CaCO3, but the standard unit it that. Different water tests can tell you what the true sources are.

Now if you want strictly carbonate and bicarbonate, those are measure of Alkalinity or buffering capacity of the water. Carbonate, bicarbonate and CO2....are all related:

H20 + CO2 <=> H2CO3 <=> H + HCO3 <=> H + CO3

These equilibria are strongly pH dependent:

pH 4.5 = almost all H2CO3 and CO2
pH 6.4 = 50/50 H2CO3 and HCO3
pH 8.3 = almost all HCO3
pH 10.4 = 50/50 CO3 and HCO3

This means, that depending on the pH of the water being tested, you will have different mole fractions of each ion present.

Hope that helps out if you were still wondering about the subject. If you want to really measure the amounts of each, you need to do some total alkalinity measurements and then some calculations to sort it all out.

Later, MT

p.s. - kinda a weird first post huh?

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Old 10-27-2008, 09:31 PM   #9
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Good stuff!!! Do you do this for a living?

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Old 10-31-2008, 02:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Good stuff!!! Do you do this for a living?
Sort of...I am currently a Grad. student in Aquaculture. All my research is in recirculating systems (kinda like several large tanks plumbed to one giant filter system), so I have to do water quality on each system every two weeks. I also have several classes that do tons of water quality stuff - W.Q. and use in aquaculture, fish health protection, Engineering aquaculture facilities II, Advanced aquaculture, etc.

I learn a lot of stuff that comes in handy for many different things, not just fish. I am fairly new to homebrewing, but can already see that W.Q. could be pretty important. Hopefully I don't get too bogged down by the science nerd in me.....but sometimes I just can't help it!

Anyway, I'd be glad to get into the sciencey side of W.Q. for anybody that is interested.

Later, MT


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