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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Need Quick Lesson on Water Chemistry
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:43 PM   #1
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Default Need Quick Lesson on Water Chemistry

I need a quick lesson on water chemistry. I bought a .01g scale and gypsum, water salt, etc. I just don't know what the computations mean. I sincerely failed chemistry in high school.

So I built my first AG recipe using Brewers Friend. It computed my water chemistry for a lager at:

Target Ion Levels (ppm or mg/L):
CA+2 - 7
MG+2 - 3
SO4-2 - 5
NA+ - 2
CI- - 5
HCO3 - 14

So what does this mean? How much am I measuring out. Which was compound is which? Thank you. This should help me understand for the future. I am starting with RO water by the way.

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Old 11-15-2012, 11:53 PM   #2
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All i remember from hs chemistry was a poem i wrote one day when i got in trouble....

I wanted to sit in my chair
Like a boy who had no brains to spare
I set my feet high
And reached for the sky
But she saw me sitting up there.
To the back she sent me to stay
No more with my friends will i play
I'll sit here alone
Bored clear to the bone
Writing and drawing each day

Anyhoo...im also interested in learning about water chemistry so im subscribing. If there are any good books people recommend, im a bit of a "RTFM" kinda guy.

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Old 11-16-2012, 12:01 AM   #3
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Those numbers are very low- it's basically just RO water. For most lagers, RO water with 5 grams of calcium chloride to the total amount of water would be a great way to start.

Definitely do NOT use gypsum!

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Old 11-16-2012, 06:32 AM   #4
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Is there a guide that teaches water chemistry for home brewers. What the symbols mean and how do the numbers translate to tbsp of each item?

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Old 11-16-2012, 11:16 AM   #5
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Or a web based calculator to plug in your numbers, select the desired beer style/volume, and it tells you what to add....

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Old 11-16-2012, 12:40 PM   #6
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Less is often more with brewing salts. Starting with Yoopers sugestion would be a good idea. It's easy to get carried away and ruin your beer (I know because I have done it)

This site has a sticky known as the water chemistry primer.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/bre...primer-198460/

Here is an online calculator:
http://www.brewersfriend.com/water-chemistry/

And two excel sheets for brewing water:
http://www.ezwatercalculator.com/
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

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Old 11-16-2012, 05:25 PM   #7
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Yes, please see my original post. Those are the numbers I got I just don't know what they mean.

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Old 11-16-2012, 05:51 PM   #8
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Those numbers are the concentrations of the minerals that you want to reach (according to the program you used). Truly, just read the sticky linked above. Skip the thick paragraphs and get to the last few lines where the result is. If you plug in those additions into Bru'n Water, you can see that they work because boxes turn from red to green (and green is good!).

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Old 11-16-2012, 05:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgaepi
I need a quick lesson on water chemistry. I bought a .01g scale and gypsum, water salt, etc. I just don't know what the computations mean. I sincerely failed chemistry in high school.

So I built my first AG recipe using Brewers Friend. It computed my water chemistry for a lager at:

Target Ion Levels (ppm or mg/L):
CA+2 - 7
MG+2 - 3
SO4-2 - 5
NA+ - 2
CI- - 5
HCO3 - 14

So what does this mean? How much am I measuring out. Which was compound is which? Thank you. This should help me understand for the future. I am starting with RO water by the way.
Also, the symbols stand for calcium, magnesium, sulfates, sodium, chlorine, and carbonates in that order.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:07 PM   #10
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2 parts hydrogen. 1 part Oxygen. Quick lesson on water chemistry complete.

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