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Old 06-04-2010, 08:03 PM   #1
nathani
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Oct 2009
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I'm trying to get a hold of the chemicals I need to do water adjustments:
Chalk (CaCO3)
Gypsum (CaSO4*2H2O)
Calcium Chloride (CaCl2*2H2O)
Epsom Salt (MgSO4*7H2O)
Baking Soda (NaHCO3)
Canning Salt (NaCl)

Epson Salt, Baking Soda and Canning Salt are all very straight forward.

I'm having trouble getting the first 3 locally. My local HBSs all suck. None of them carry water adjustment chemicals. I tried a few of the local water places, they don't know either. My local garden center carries all 3 of them, but I'm assuming I need a food grade product? I also found Calcium Chloride in home depot with the hot tub chemicals, but that stuff scares me too.

Is this true? or is Gypsum just Gypsum, and the garden stuff will be just as pure as the food grade? I know I ran into this with getting CO2, food and industrial are the same, but chemicals are different than gases. I don't need anything at the moment from the US online suppliers, so it seems a waste to pay all that shipping and duty/taxes for some chemicals. And the nearest decent HBS is 5 hours drive (10hr round trip). This is why I have my own grain silo and hop cooler (not really, but pretty much).
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Old 06-05-2010, 01:46 AM   #2
AiredAle
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Do not assume all chemicals are food grade, particularly the inorganic ones you are looking for. There may be more than a safe level of heavy metals like lead in some of them. I know for example, that non-food grade gypsum can have lead above a safe level in it, and no one who uses it for making sheet rock, plaster of paris or spreading on lawns cares, but you do if you are eating it.

Have you tried a pharmacy? They used to be a good source of these type of chemicals. Not so sure they are these days, but worth a try.

 
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Old 06-08-2010, 01:37 AM   #3
pkeeler
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Calcium chloride is also called pickling salt and you can sometimes find it in farmers markets and such. Really, LHBS and OHBS are the best places to find them in small amounts. Tums and such are CaCO3, but they include dyes and flavorings. But if you are using a gram or two, I wonder if it would be a big deal.

 
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:29 PM   #4
nathani
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Really? I thought pickling salt was just salt (Sodium Chloride NaCl).
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:57 PM   #5
pkeeler
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Quote:
Really? I thought pickling salt was just salt (Sodium Chloride NaCl).
oops, you are right. Pickle Crisp is what they call it.

 
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:36 PM   #6
nathani
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Yeah, I saw that pickle crisp mentioned. I'll phone around town to see if I can get that.

If I could get that it would be ok. My water is pretty soft, I can do most adjustments with just CaCl, Epsom, and Baking Soda.
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:17 PM   #7
JMass
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I got tired of looking around and ordered some chemicals from Austin Homebrew. I think I got CaCO3 and CaCl. Of course I had to get a refractometer while I was at it to make the cost of shipping worth it.

 
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