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Old 12-27-2011, 11:39 PM   #1
Dec 2011
San Antonio, TX
Posts: 6

Hi everyone long time lurker here,

I recently got into reading much more in depth about water chemistry after being frustrated about why my all grain light beers were never turning out quite like I wanted but my dark beers were always spot on. I looked into my water quality for San Antonio and found out my report about 235 for the Total Alkalinity as Calcium Carbonate. I am interested in lowering this without using distilled water and I came across several people who talk about using pickling lime to prep their tap water if its high in Calcium Carbonate. I have spent hours reading this thread and other online resources about how to decrease it and was wondering if any of you had any experience in this process? If you do, how did it turn out, any tips or advice? Just trying to explore all my options on what to do with my water here in limestone rich Texas. Thanks for helping me out!

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Old 12-28-2011, 12:37 AM   #2
Apr 2007
Posts: 1,624
Liked 23 Times on 21 Posts

That seems pretty high. I'm in Dallas. The 2010 water report lists total alkalinity as CaCO3 at <60 mg/L.

I know we have a number of brewers from your area, so hopefully one of them has been down that road and will be able to offer you some advice.
Reality is a crutch for people who can't cope with drugs. -Lily Tomlin

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Old 12-28-2011, 01:44 AM   #3
Aug 2010
McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 9,660
Liked 1604 Times on 1222 Posts

Decarbonating water with high alkalinity by the use of lime is a time honored tradition not only in brewing but in water treatment plants. The wide use of the process attests to the fact that it does work. Implementing it properly is not that simple. To do it right one really needs to understand what is going on and have a pH meter available.

To find a detailed description of how to do it search on Huber Hanghoffer and "split treatment".

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