"Effective" water hardness

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

MajorTom

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
168
Reaction score
2
I'm trying to wrap my head around water chemistry and profiles. Reading over Palmer's explanation and studying his nomograph, I can not figure out what EFFECTIVE water hardness is. The nomograph has a small note saying it is not the same as TOTAL hardness (CaCO3). But, no where can I find a definition of what EFFECTIVE Hardness is.


Looking at Palmer's spreadsheet I see that the Effective Hardness comes from Ca/1.4 + Mg/1.7. Where do these numbers(1.4 and 1.7) come from and what is the unit measure for Effective Hardness? I assume it is ppm, but I don't understand why the Ca and Mg are reduced by 1.4 and 1.7.

Any water geniuses out there care to help me?
 

maida7

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2009
Messages
2,826
Reaction score
52
Location
Asheville, NC
It is probably reduced because some ions are precipitated out during the boil. I think, the portion that is lost is called temporary hardness.

But make your life EZ. Use the EZwater spreadsheet. Use that and you really don't need to know anything about water chemistry. I've been using it for a few months now to adjust the water for all my beers. I don't know how it works but if I follow the instructions my beers come out tasting great.
 

maida7

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2009
Messages
2,826
Reaction score
52
Location
Asheville, NC
If you really want to understand what's going on check out New Brewing Lager Beer by Noonan. He goes into greater depth on just about everything. But beware it's a major snoozefest.
 

maida7

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2009
Messages
2,826
Reaction score
52
Location
Asheville, NC
Maida, that looks like a really good spreadsheet/calculator. Thanks for the heads up.

http://www.ezwatercalculator.com/
Credit goes to Th. He's the guy who developed the spreadsheet. I'm just a beneficiary of his great knowledge and skills.

Bobby M has a few videos that show you how to use it but It's so EZ you could probably jump right in and have great results. You will need a very sensitive scale to weigh out the salts. I use a inexpensive digital scale I bought on ebay. It's the kind of scale you'd use for weighing jewelry or crack cocaine. It also does a good job weighing hops.
 
OP
MajorTom

MajorTom

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
168
Reaction score
2
Yes, I have been using the EZ calculator. Its great. I like to understand what I am doing though, I'm kind of geeky that way.

I also do have a really cool scale that measures .01 grams. So, its perfect for water chemistry and small amounts of hops. I like to do lots of one gallon test batches and its hard to measure 1 gram of hops on a gram scale.
 

mutley

New Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2012
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Ddi you ever find out about the 1.4 and 1.7 numbers? I have just found myself in the exact same spot as you. I see the formula, but i dont know where those #s are coming from.

I'm thinking its to convert the Ca and Mg from ppm to mEq.
 

mabrungard

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
5,985
Reaction score
1,919
Location
Carmel
Effective hardness is only a brewing term and it relates to the definition of residual alkalinity (RA). Effective hardness is equal to the calcium hardness plus one-half of the magnesium hardness. The factors 1.4 and 1.7 do convert the mg/L values into hardness expressed (as CaCO3).
 
Top