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Old 01-16-2013, 04:58 PM   #1
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Default Adding calcium alone?

I tried searching a bit and wasn't able to find anything so sorry if this has been covered before. Is there any way to add calcium alone to your brewing water? Sometimes I just want to add more calcium without adding chloride or sulfates is there a source for pure calcium somewhere? I googled around a bit and found calcium carbonate powder not sure if this will accomplish this.

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Old 01-16-2013, 05:42 PM   #2
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Well yes, you could obtain some calcium metal from a lab supply house and dip it in some sort of protective coating and drop that in your water but I don't see the point. If you don't protect it i.e. if you allow it to come in contact with the water it will react

Ca + 2H2O ----> H2 + Ca++ + 2OH-

This will result in an increase in the alkalinity of the water. Each 20 mg/L calcium added will increase the alkalinity by 50 ppm as CaCO3. This will have to be neutralized. For example, with hydrochloric acid:

2HCl + Ca++ + 2OH- ---> Ca++ + 2H2O + 2C-

As both the calcium metal and hydrochloric acid will be difficult to obtain in food grade I think it would be much easier to add calcium chloride.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jtejedor View Post
I tried searching a bit and wasn't able to find anything so sorry if this has been covered before. Is there any way to add calcium alone to your brewing water?
No there is not. What you need in the brewing water are calcium ions since pure calcium would either not dissolve or react with the water as A.J pointed out. Ions dissolve in water b/c they are charged and since you can't have positively charged water you'll need to add a balance of anions (the negatively charged ions) along with the calcium. That balanced package is called a salt and there only a few calcium salts that are considered practical for brewing. Unless you want to explore other options the commonly used calcium salts are calcium chloride, calcium sulfate (Gypsum) and calcium carbonate (chalk). The latter can raise mash pH and may not what you are looking for when you simply want to add some calcium.

Here is a article that may help you:

the section Atoms, molecules and ions is what you want to read.

Welcome to the field of water chemistry

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