Deionizer filters

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JohnTheBrewist

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I always buy RO water and build my water profile from there. But, I want to get away from the trips to the store for water. And I don't want to install an RO system because of the water wasted (I live in Calif desert).

So my plan is to use Cation/Anion filters with a carbon prefilter. The filters are good for 4700 grains and my hardness is 7 grains per gallon. Since I'll only be using it for brewing, I should get plenty of water before having to recharge them. I'll also have a TDS meter measuring input and output, so I'll know when I've lost effectiveness.

I'll have a valve at each end of the filters to close them off when not in use, and hopefully keep out oxygen and bacteria.

Anyone familiar with these types of systems? Do you see anything wrong with my plan?
 

BuckeyeBrewAZ

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Depends on how fast you use up the resin at airwaterice.com its $40 for 5lbs and with out having it go thur a RO first the resin will be used up faster. But it will work
 

ajdelange

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Remember that the hardness only refers to the calcium and magnesium in your water but absent lots of sodium those are the major cations. There must be anions as well so the question is as to whether the spec is that a charge will consume 4700 grains total or 4700 grains of cations and 4700 grains of anions. Depending on that you will be able to treat 4700/7 = 670 gal or half that. You can, of course, treat more than that if you run through an RO filter first but that's really belt and suspenders - if you had and RO system you wouldn't need the ion exchange system.

WRT to the losses in an RO system: they are now better than they used to be. Recoveries of 50% are not uncommon and usually run about 33% in the less expensive systems that can't be adjusted. The brine can be saved and used for other purposes such as cleanup, watering plants, flushing toilets etc if conservation is your big concern but as this is for occasional brewing use it seems not that much of a worry.

I do have such a system but it is for lab use i.e. it produces very small volumes of water and at the cost of the expendables I wouldn't want to use it for larger ones. There are prefilters, an RO filter, ion exchange filters, a filter which prevents air (and CO2) from reaching the storage reservoir, a sub nanometer particulate filter and a UV light. It also has a built in resistivity meter so that you can tell when it's time to replace the ion exchange cartridges.
 
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JohnTheBrewist

JohnTheBrewist

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Thanks for the replies. As I understand it, I can recharge the cation and anion resins with muriatic acid and lye. My hope was to monitor them with the TDS meter and recharge as they get depleted. Even if I only got 150 gallons from a charge, that would still give me 10 batches of brew per filter charge.

The other thing I liked about the cation / anion filter system was the flow rate. These filters are rated at .5 to 1.5 gallons per minute. So with this, I could use an electronic valve and float switch to autofill my keggle while I get other stuff ready.

I already have 3 big blue filter housings, so this would just be the cost of the filters which would be about $150 for both. The Water Saver RO system would cost more than $300 with required pump etc.
 

ajdelange

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As I understand it, I can recharge the cation and anion resins with muriatic acid and lye.
Interesting. I have only encountered this technology in lab water supplies where, when the resin is exhausted, you fit a new cartridge (and endure the pain).
Have you got any literature (website, pdf's etc) with details of the process?
 
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JohnTheBrewist

JohnTheBrewist

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AJ, here's a manual for the German made KATI/ANI. The resins in the filters I posted seem to be the same as used in those.
 

MNDan

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You might want to rethink buying your own RO system. I just installed one after my RO water supplier bumped their prices to $.50/gallon, and I'm glad I did. Water here in MN (yes, way more plentiful than where you are), is only 1/5 of a cent per gallon. So my RO water costs a penny per gallon since my RO system is only 25% efficient (math? 20 or 25%), but the improvement in taste is remarkable and I love having easy access to it both for brewing and drinking/cooking. Besides, I can save the waste water for other stuff if I want - it's not really "waste" water - it just has 25% more minerals but is still chlorine-free due to the carbon filter.
 
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JohnTheBrewist

JohnTheBrewist

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Thanks Dan. I'm paying just under a buck a gallon for RO water, so an RO or DI system will definately pay for itself in the long run. The DI Filters will provide the same end result as an RO system, just without the waste water, and at a higher flow rate. The drawback is that the DI filters will probably have to be recharged or replaced more often than the membrane or filters in an RO system.
 
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