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Old 08-01-2010, 12:54 PM   #1
MajorTom
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Default "Effective" water hardness

I'm trying to wrap my head around water chemistry and profiles. Reading over Palmer's explanation and studying his nomograph, I can not figure out what EFFECTIVE water hardness is. The nomograph has a small note saying it is not the same as TOTAL hardness (CaCO3). But, no where can I find a definition of what EFFECTIVE Hardness is.


Looking at Palmer's spreadsheet I see that the Effective Hardness comes from Ca/1.4 + Mg/1.7. Where do these numbers(1.4 and 1.7) come from and what is the unit measure for Effective Hardness? I assume it is ppm, but I don't understand why the Ca and Mg are reduced by 1.4 and 1.7.

Any water geniuses out there care to help me?

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Old 08-02-2010, 06:25 PM   #2
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Nobody???

Bobby M?

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Old 08-02-2010, 06:53 PM   #3
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It is probably reduced because some ions are precipitated out during the boil. I think, the portion that is lost is called temporary hardness.

But make your life EZ. Use the EZwater spreadsheet. Use that and you really don't need to know anything about water chemistry. I've been using it for a few months now to adjust the water for all my beers. I don't know how it works but if I follow the instructions my beers come out tasting great.

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Old 08-02-2010, 07:02 PM   #4
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If you really want to understand what's going on check out New Brewing Lager Beer by Noonan. He goes into greater depth on just about everything. But beware it's a major snoozefest.

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Old 08-02-2010, 07:48 PM   #5
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Maida, that looks like a really good spreadsheet/calculator. Thanks for the heads up.

http://www.ezwatercalculator.com/

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Old 08-02-2010, 08:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrawTap88 View Post
Maida, that looks like a really good spreadsheet/calculator. Thanks for the heads up.

http://www.ezwatercalculator.com/
Credit goes to Th. He's the guy who developed the spreadsheet. I'm just a beneficiary of his great knowledge and skills.

Bobby M has a few videos that show you how to use it but It's so EZ you could probably jump right in and have great results. You will need a very sensitive scale to weigh out the salts. I use a inexpensive digital scale I bought on ebay. It's the kind of scale you'd use for weighing jewelry or crack cocaine. It also does a good job weighing hops.
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:52 PM   #7
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Yes, I have been using the EZ calculator. Its great. I like to understand what I am doing though, I'm kind of geeky that way.

I also do have a really cool scale that measures .01 grams. So, its perfect for water chemistry and small amounts of hops. I like to do lots of one gallon test batches and its hard to measure 1 gram of hops on a gram scale.

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Old 05-30-2013, 11:59 PM   #8
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Ddi you ever find out about the 1.4 and 1.7 numbers? I have just found myself in the exact same spot as you. I see the formula, but i dont know where those #s are coming from.

I'm thinking its to convert the Ca and Mg from ppm to mEq.

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Old 05-31-2013, 12:42 AM   #9
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Effective hardness is only a brewing term and it relates to the definition of residual alkalinity (RA). Effective hardness is equal to the calcium hardness plus one-half of the magnesium hardness. The factors 1.4 and 1.7 do convert the mg/L values into hardness expressed (as CaCO3).

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Old 05-31-2013, 02:29 AM   #10
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Thanks Martin. Perfect explanation.

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