Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Treating hard water with Lime, my experience
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-20-2012, 02:48 PM   #11
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: UP of Michigan
Posts: 65,903
Liked 6206 Times on 4420 Posts
Likes Given: 1649

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
Extra calcium will precipitate more calcium carbonate and thus remove more alkalinity. For this reason I always tell people that if you are planning to add calcium chloride or calcium sulfate to make up for the calcium dropped in the decarbonation that you should do it before lime treatment, not after. I also advise adding some chalk to the water being treated to serve as nucleation sites for the precipitating CaCO3.



The pH will continue to drop as the treated water absorbs CO2 from the air. It is very important to get the water off the precipitate ASAP so that the CO2 does not redissolve any of it.

The pH of the water you brew with is not very important. The alkalinity is. The goal of lime treatment is to reduce bicarbonate alkalinity.



Delighted you find the stuff useful.
I went through Kai's writeup very slowly, and I think I get it. I will have to add CaS04 or CaCl2 (as well as the chalk, which I have from winemaking) because my calcium is moderate while my alkalinity is high.

I really appreciate all of your help (and that of Mabrungard as well) in grasping this.

My beer was never not good, and I tend to make darker APAs and IPAs and ambers. My stouts were always by far my best beers and yet I don't love the style that much. My maibocks were always pretty good, while my kolsch and pilsners were a bit harsh.

Once I started diluting with RO water for all by my stouts, and diluting more with the lighter beers, my beer improved greatly.

The funny thing is, now I taste some brewpubs beers and I can "taste" that bad water. Or I can pick out a beer with a yeast in poor that was made. If anything, the better my beers get, the less I enjoy some commercial beers.


__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

Follow me on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lorena.t.evans
But I'm pretty boring so don't expect much!
https://www.facebook.com/lorena.t.evans
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2012, 03:46 PM   #12
ajdelange
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 7,886
Liked 1065 Times on 836 Posts
Likes Given: 33

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
... the better my beers get, the less I enjoy some commercial beers.
What's the point in home brewing if you can buy better beer?

That's said tongue in cheek, of course. I think the real pleasure comes in being able to brew beer that is better than most you can buy not just in having good beer. I sometimes think this must be the way it is for the extremely wealthy (i.e. the infamous 1%). They take more pleasure in accumulating all that money than in having it. Of course it is very nice to have great beer in the house (and I'm sure it's the same for that first $100 M).


ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2012, 09:42 PM   #13
Drcast128
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 6
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
Extra calcium will precipitate more calcium carbonate and thus remove more alkalinity. For this reason I always tell people that if you are planning to add calcium chloride or calcium sulfate to make up for the calcium dropped in the decarbonation that you should do it before lime treatment, not after. I also advise adding some chalk to the water being treated to serve as nucleation sites for the precipitating CaCO3.



The pH will continue to drop as the treated water absorbs CO2 from the air. It is very important to get the water off the precipitate ASAP so that the CO2 does not redissolve any of it.

The pH of the water you brew with is not very important. The alkalinity is. The goal of lime treatment is to reduce bicarbonate alkalinity.



Delighted you find the stuff useful.
Thank you for the reply, ajdelange! I really appreciate your advice and will look into how much to add before lime treatment. I'll try the technique later tonight.
Drcast128 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2012, 10:31 PM   #14
pjj2ba
Look under the recliner
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
pjj2ba's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: State College, Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,429
Liked 198 Times on 163 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
so, you do in the BK, which has a diptube, so you can pump it over to the HLT from there and leave the precipitate behind. Then adjust the water, and use it. It sounds simple enough, so that even my little brain can grasp it.
Pretty much. I use a removable filter in my BK so when I treat my water, there is just the bulkhead fitting with short threaded copper adapter sticking into the kettle. The bottom of that is ~1/2 off of the bottom.

When I first started to do this I would transfer the treated water 1 gal at a time to the MT and HLT. Then I had the face palm moment and now just use one of my pumps to move it
__________________
On Tap: Ger. Pils, OKZ (std Amer. lager), CZ Pils, Maibock,
Kegged and Aging/Lagering:CAP, CAP II, Wheat lager, Imperial Pilsner, Ger. Pils, OKZ (std Amer. lager), OKZ II (for base malt comparison), light beer - yes, light beer, Belgian IPA, IPA,
Secondary:
Primary: Pale Ale
Brewing soon: Saison
Recently kicked : ( IPA, Bock, Saison,
Pilsner Urquell Master Homebrewer
(1st NYC 2011, 2nd NYC 2012)
P U crowns winners in its inaugural master HB competition
pjj2ba is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2012, 03:11 AM   #15
bgeek
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
bgeek's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Posts: 86
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 351

Default

Thanks for posting the link along with your numbers, Drcast. Really helpful.
bgeek is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2012, 03:18 AM   #16
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: UP of Michigan
Posts: 65,903
Liked 6206 Times on 4420 Posts
Likes Given: 1649

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjj2ba View Post

When I first started to do this I would transfer the treated water 1 gal at a time to the MT and HLT. Then I had the face palm moment and now just use one of my pumps to move it
That's what I was thinking. Treat the water the night before. Then, in the morning, transfer via diptube through the pump to the HLT.

I read Kai's tutorial, but since I don't have an aquarium tester for afterwards as he discusses, it'll have to be a guestimate with some assumptions when I add the CaCl2 and the lime.
__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

Follow me on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lorena.t.evans
But I'm pretty boring so don't expect much!
https://www.facebook.com/lorena.t.evans
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2012, 04:26 AM   #17
ajdelange
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 7,886
Liked 1065 Times on 836 Posts
Likes Given: 33

Default

I think it's safe to say that if the inorganic phosphate from malt will precipitate calcium from the water that the inorganic phosphate in 5.2 will do the same thing. But that's really what we want as it results in lowered pH (maybe that's how 5.2 is supposed to reach 5.2). We need to be aware of how much calcium has been lost, though, so that we can make it back up if we are doing a beer that needs that.

To go beyond this simple explanation is difficult. I've done some simulations but they are not of practical value - just too complicated.
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2012, 08:55 PM   #18
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: UP of Michigan
Posts: 65,903
Liked 6206 Times on 4420 Posts
Likes Given: 1649

Default

I've been thinking about this more and more over the last two days, since drcast brought up the subject.

First, I "almost" understand Kai's spreadsheet, and that I have to add a bit of calcium to add temporary hardness. I also should add a bit of chalk to provide nucleation points.

After that, can I still estimate my water's residual alkalinity and the amount of calcium? Or should I send a sample to Ward's Labs? What about bicarb?

Also, is there any downside to this procedure? I've been diluting with RO water, but if this works I can avoid purchasing an RO unit and/or buying RO water. I guess I'm asking is since my Mg (26) is low, my chloride *14) is low, my sulfate is 45, and my Na++ is low, but my HCO3 is high.
__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

Follow me on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lorena.t.evans
But I'm pretty boring so don't expect much!
https://www.facebook.com/lorena.t.evans
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2012, 09:54 PM   #19
ajdelange
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 7,886
Liked 1065 Times on 836 Posts
Likes Given: 33

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
After that, can I still estimate my water's residual alkalinity and the amount of calcium?
If calcium exceeds bicarbonate (which you can insure by doing supplementation before the treatment) then you can expect that alkalinity will be reduced to about 1 mEq/L, 50 ppm as CaCO3 or 61 mg/L bicarbonate provided that you did everything just right. You can also assume that the calcium will be reduced by the same amount as the bicarbonate. Example: Calcium hardness 250; alkalinity 200 ppm as CaCO3. Reducing the alkalinity to 50 lowers it by 150 ppm and so the calcium hardness will go down by the same amount to 100 ppm (40 mg/L).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Or should I send a sample to Ward's Labs? What about bicarb?
If you don't do things just right you will not get to 50 ppm alkalinity and will remove less calcium than desired. Therefore, it is advisable to make a measurement yourself, which is easy enough to do, or send off to a lab. If you do lime treatment a lot its obviously cheaper to do it yourself and you get the answer instantly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Also, is there any downside to this procedure? I've been diluting with RO water, but if this works I can avoid purchasing an RO unit and/or buying RO water.
That depends on whether you have a readily available supply of RO and how hard/alkaline your water is. I've plumbed my brewery for RO and have water that is pretty close to 50 ppm alkalinity so I have to be very precise to get down to 50 and just opening the RO spigot is much, much easier.

The other downsides are that you can't easily get below 50 ppm alkalinity and that calcium is removed. Replacing the lost calcium is almost trivial to the point where I might not even be mentioned aa a down side.
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2012, 01:01 AM   #20
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: UP of Michigan
Posts: 65,903
Liked 6206 Times on 4420 Posts
Likes Given: 1649

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
If calcium exceeds bicarbonate (which you can insure by doing supplementation before the treatment) then you can expect that alkalinity will be reduced to about 1 mEq/L, 50 ppm as CaCO3 or 61 mg/L bicarbonate provided that you did everything just right. You can also assume that the calcium will be reduced by the same amount as the bicarbonate. Example: Calcium hardness 250; alkalinity 200 ppm as CaCO3. Reducing the alkalinity to 50 lowers it by 150 ppm and so the calcium hardness will go down by the same amount to 100 ppm (40 mg/L).
So, if my water has 57 ppm and bicarb is 228 ppm, I should add enough calcium chloride to get Ca above 228 ppm? Is that what you are saying? And the Ca will drop by the same amount as the HCO3?


__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

Follow me on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lorena.t.evans
But I'm pretty boring so don't expect much!
https://www.facebook.com/lorena.t.evans
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help Analyzing Water Report - Very Hard Water BrewThruYou Brew Science 6 04-18-2012 06:17 PM
Hard Water in SD damdiver Brew Science 6 10-22-2011 11:45 AM
Very hard water - worth using? bierhaus15 Brew Science 11 07-25-2011 03:27 AM
Hard Water lschiavo Brew Science 22 05-27-2011 12:50 PM
Water quality, what to do....Hard water and high pH. BroadStreetBrewery Brew Science 9 09-11-2010 04:12 AM


Forum Jump

Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS