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Old 09-13-2012, 07:52 PM   #1
newdamage1
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Nov 2006
Clemson, SC
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Just got a report from the local water dept, (it was like I was asking them in a foreign language, but anyway)

Calcium 1.7 ppm
Chloride 8.0 ppm
Sodium 5.6 ppm
Sulfate 1.0 ppm
Total Hardness 7.0 ppm
Total Alkalinity 9.0 ppm
Total Dossolve solids 28.1
pH 7.3

We use chlorine gas for disinfection


I asked about Magnesium, they don't test for that, but he said it was "low".

I played around with EZ water calc, and found what to add to balance my water for a smash test, but it seemed a little counter intuitive to add a two "PH downs" 3g Cal chloride and 5g Epsom and and a "PH UP" 5g of Chalk.
obligatory screenshot: http://i.imgur.com/aTqf1.jpg

Comments and advice appreciated.

 
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:04 PM   #2
BrewKnurd
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On a high level, chloride and sulfate contribute to flavor, enhancing malt and hop flavors, respectively, so you want some of those, depending on what you're doing. That's what the CaCl and Epsom salts accomplish, as well as contributing calcium and magnesium which help the yeast behave. If you just added those to your very close to RO water, you would have low mash pH. The chalk provides some alkalinity to balance the pH.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:12 PM   #3
newdamage1
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Nov 2006
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What's the best way to treat the water? should it be done the day before to let it dissolve? I batch sparge, and heat all of my water in a single vessel at one time.

and thanks for the info!

 
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newdamage1 View Post
What's the best way to treat the water? should it be done the day before to let it dissolve? I batch sparge, and heat all of my water in a single vessel at one time.

and thanks for the info!
You've got really nice water- I'm jealous!

You can use a minimum of gypsum and/or calcium chloride, depending on what you're making. Forget about chalk- you don't need it, plus there are issues with getting it dissolved properly. If you ever need to increase the pH (unlikely unless making a beer with lots and lots of dark malts), you could use other things.

Since your water looks very close to RO water, you could simply follow the "water primer" and do very well. The water primer is in a sticky in this forum, and the first post written by AJ deLange is very helpful.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:22 PM   #5
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As they indicated, magnesium is probably very low since the rest of the mineralization is low. This is nearly RO quality water and is a good starting point for brewing many styles. It lacks alkalinity and that can be a problem as the grist becomes more acidic with higher crystal or roast percentage.

The OP correctly points out that adding more Ca or Mg containing minerals to the mash will depress its pH. That tends to require more alkalinity to counter that pH drop. Another option is to reserve those Ca and Mg minerals from the mash and add them directly to the kettle to boost the wort Ca and Mg content to the desired level without as much pH drop. Figure out how much those mineral additions should be to meet your ionic concentration goals. Then go back to the spreadsheet and look at the mash pH without those mineral additions. If the mash pH falls in the appropriate and desirable range, additional alkalinity won't be required. If the pH doesn't make it into the desired range, then alkalinity will be needed.

DO NOT use chalk. It does not work at all. I just conducted a professional consultation with a large commercial brewery here in Indiana that had been having problems with their Porter. They had been observing lower than desired pre-boil kettle wort pH and had been trying to counter that with chalk addition for years. We input their recipe and water into Bru'n Water and input the mineral additions they had been using. With the chalk additions they were using, if it had been fully dissolved and contributing its full alkalinity, the pH would have been in the 5.7 range. They observed 5.0 to 5.1 consistently over the course of years. Deleting that chalk addition from the Bru'n Water inputs indicated that the mash pH should be 4.9. Since mash pH rises about a tenth or two during the course of the mash duration and Bru'n Water is configured to predict the early mash pH, the pH prediction was extremely close to the observations. The bottom line is that chalk does not work...PERIOD. DO NOT USE IT!!!!

This result was the last straw for Chalk. I will no longer recommend any usage in the brewery unless it is fully dissolved and incorporated via CO2 dissolution. Since most brewers don't go to that extreme. I have to recommend that no brewer consider its usage for brewing.

If you need to increase alkalinity for mashing, a brewer should use pickling lime or baking soda. Pickling lime is preferred since there is a relatively low limit for the sodium contributed by baking soda. Bru'n Water has the tools for calculating lime dosing for the mash.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:13 PM   #6
newdamage1
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Nov 2006
Clemson, SC
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The primer looks pretty straight forward, think I'll try that this weekend. thanks again.

 
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:21 PM   #7
periwinkle1239
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+1 to the jealousy. I wish my water profile was like this - if it was I wouldn't have bought an RO filter!

 
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
The bottom line is that chalk does not work...PERIOD. DO NOT USE IT!!!!
I know you just updated Bru'n Water, but are you considering adding that disclaimer to your next version of Bru'n Water? I still see quite a few brewers talking about adding chalk to their mash when making stouts and I hear your voice (and AJ's) and cringe.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:04 AM   #9
ajdelange
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There is a proper (mimics nature's method) way to add chalk to brewing water but no one in his right mind would contemplate using it. OK, I've done it. What does that tell you?

 
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:40 AM   #10
newdamage1
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Nov 2006
Clemson, SC
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I was really hoping that my astringency issue was low ph/ funky water. Now you guys went and wrecked that!

Back to the drawing board.

 
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