"HCL 37%, semi-conductor grade." - Food safe?

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Gadjobrinus

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I know I discussed this but it was years ago and the question is slightly different so I thought some fresh eyes might be helpful not only for myself, but perhaps others as well.

My city supply is hard - alkalinity (CaCO3) is 239. Coincidentally, moments ago as I was writing up this post, I just got the Ward report back:


pH 6.9
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 528
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.88
Cations / Anions, me/L 9.5 / 9.0
ppm
Sodium, Na 49
Potassium, K 15
Calcium, Ca 69.8
Magnesium, Mg 42
Total Hardness, CaCO3 350
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.4 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 25
Chloride, Cl 92
Carbonate, CO3 < 1.0
Bicarbonate, HCO3 291
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 239
Total Phosphorus, P < 0.01
Total Iron, Fe < 0.01
"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit

Troublesome water. I don't want the various methods to reduce (boiling, lime, etc.), and nor do I want to buy DI or RO water, which is currently quite expensive at least locally. I'd prefer not to rely on phosphoric or lactic, given the quantities needed. (from Bru'n Water, to get sparge down to 5.7 ph, for phosphoric I'd have to add 135 ml/g sparge and for lactic, 130 ml/g. That's pretty nuts.

Which leaves me where I was left off years ago from discussions with @cire , possibly others, the use of sulfuric and/or HCL in treating strike and HLT water. The go-to for the UK is Murphy & Sons. Murphy and Sons does have a U.S. supply but it is AMS (blend of sulfuric/HCL, so fixed ions), and it is also only available in 25 kg increments.

My Na and Mg levels are way too high. Going with @cire 's recommendations for an "ideal bitter," using AMS, CaSo4 and CaCl, I am getting:

Ca: 145 (modestly short of Cire’s 170)
Mg: 42 (way higher than cire’s 15)
Na: 49 (way higher than cire’s 0)
SO4-: 255. (About spot on to Cire’s 250)
Cl-: 154 (about spot on to Cire’s 150)
TA: 50. I seem to recall cire doesn't rely on TA, but rather other parameters. Nevertheless, my TA is 239, and the amount of AMS I would use, according to Murphy's own recommendations, would give me 50 ppm. The CaSO4 and CaCl additions would give me the totals above.

So, as far as I can tell, treated with AMS and the salts, not a bad water for bitters - with the exceptions of the Na and Mg. I can't recall. Are those levels unacceptably high deal-breakers, and I'm forced to go to DI or RO water?
 
No to the conductor grade stuff and try it out to the water.

The only thing that is really out of range is the magnesium. But you have to try it. I am using 1-2% of the grist as acidulated malt on top of the usual grist and that's my water treatment to combat high alkalinity. Works perfect, no hassle and everything else is fine.

Except for the mg and high alkalinity you got a pretty decent water for British hoppy ales.

Not the scientific approach with the acidulated malt, I know, but it works for me since ages.
 
No to the conductor grade stuff and try it out to the water.

The only thing that is really out of range is the magnesium. But you have to try it. I am using 1-2% of the grist as acidulated malt on top of the usual grist and that's my water treatment to combat high alkalinity. Works perfect, no hassle and everything else is fine.

Except for the mg and high alkalinity you got a pretty decent water for British hoppy ales.

Not the scientific approach with the acidulated malt, I know, but it works for me since ages.
Thanks. We do carry sauermalz at my store and it has been in the back of my mind, too, so I'll look into it.

Thanks on the nod to our water, too. That alkalinity needs to be dealt with, I know, so will look into the acidulated malt route.

Initially I'd thought that Na is way too high but in looking around, that 49 is not too bad, is that right? However vague memories (been ages since I remembered any of this stuff) tell me that Mg 42 really is a deal-breaker, right? Acceptable range much, much lower?
 
Food Grade HCL will run you as much or more than a RO setup. You'd need both in order to accomplish your goals.

The Na levels really aren't that bad and should be of little concern but the Mg is too high and needs to be dealt with. That means either dilution with RO/DI, purchasing all RO/DI water or a RO system.

You could make your own AMS/CRS:

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/thread...like-acid-blend-solution.697082/#post-9203771
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/thread...o4-such-as-a-blend-similar-to-ams-crs.687876/
 
Food Grade HCL will run you as much or more than a RO setup. You'd need both in order to accomplish your goals.

The Na levels really aren't that bad and should be of little concern but the Mg is too high and needs to be dealt with. That means either dilution with RO/DI, purchasing all RO/DI water or a RO system.

You could make your own AMS/CRS:

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/thread...like-acid-blend-solution.697082/#post-9203771
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/thread...o4-such-as-a-blend-similar-to-ams-crs.687876/
Yeah, that's what I was afraid of, thanks. The RO system isn't tenable as we're renting for the time being as we will be moving within the year to a more permanent place, more in the country. So it seems I'm relegated to RO/DI water.

Thanks, too, on the DIY AMS. By the way, fyi for anyone interested, I got a quote from Murphy US and the 25L of AMS is $56. Not as much as I would have thought, actually, but my god....I'd have to start writing up an amended will to give the remainder to my great-great-great grandkids.
 
Just try it. Your Mg is just a hint above the upper range of what @mabrungard gives as the upper limit in his writing so I would just give it a go. Of course, alkalinity must be dealt with, but you know this already.
 
HCl is pretty nasty stuff to have around. It produces HCl gas that corrodes the heck out of most metals around it.

The other thing to consider is that your starting Cl content is fairly substantial and I'm not sure that taking it much higher, is a good idea. Phosphoric or a combo with lactic is probably your best bet.

PS: Acidulated malt is the same as adding lactic acid and that is only being added to the mash. That leaves the sparging water with way too much alkalinity for sparging. If this is a no-sparge brewery, then you can consider acid malt, but recognize that it might have to be added to the point that it can be tasted.
 
Well, rock and hard place. Can't justify buying a 25 KG jerry can of AMS. And just checked, our local coop is selling RO for $28/5 gallons! As mentioned, can't invest in an RO system as we are renting for the time being.

Thanks, Martin, on your cautions. Years ago I used both the H2SO4 and HCL and you're not kidding...probably damaged my lungs, even outside. But the effect on my water was a real eye-opener. So I guess I envision the same caution British brewers must be using, as it seems they use these treatments as well. Probably just as well I can no longer get these in food grade.

You say the Cl is high already - but going on some of the comments by @cire , @Northern_Brewer and some others, I'm seeing Cl levels higher - with cire recommending 150 ppm for an "ideal" bitter liquor. Looking at my old Promash water dataset, for example, for Yorkshire, I'm seeing 350 SO4 and 200 Cl. What is driving your indication, here?

BTW, just ran water based on RO. Using salts here's what I can get:

Ca: 166
Mg: 16
Na: 7
SO4: 253
Cl: 153
HCO3: 18

-if I can find a source for RO that doesn't cost so much...yeah, seems pretty attractive. Then one of the weak acids for the sparge water and seems we're good to go. Don't like building up from RO for the same reason I make cheeses with ambient flora in a cave or sourdough....want what my area gives me. It is what it is.
 
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You could mount an RO system to a board and couple it to a faucet spout or hose bib and a drain (or let the waste run out in the yard or driveway) when you want to fill your kettles for a brew day...

Cheers!
 
Well, rock and hard place. Can't justify buying a 25 KG jerry can of AMS. And just checked, our local coop is selling RO for $28/5 gallons! As mentioned, can't invest in an RO system as we are renting for the time being.

Thanks, Martin, on your cautions. Years ago I used both the H2SO4 and HCL and you're not kidding...probably damaged my lungs, even outside. But the effect on my water was a real eye-opener. So I guess I envision the same caution British brewers must be using, as it seems they use these treatments as well. Probably just as well I can no longer get these in food grade.

You say the Cl is high already - but going on some of the comments by @cire , @Northern_Brewer and some others, I'm seeing Cl levels higher - with cire recommending 150 ppm for an "ideal" bitter liquor. Looking at my old Promash water dataset, for example, for Yorkshire, I'm seeing 350 SO4 and 200 Cl. What is driving your indication, here?

BTW, just ran water based on RO. Using salts here's what I can get:

Ca: 166
Mg: 16
Na: 7
SO4: 253
Cl: 153
HCO3: 18

-if I can find a source for RO that doesn't cost so much...yeah, seems pretty attractive. Then one of the weak acids for the sparge water and seems we're good to go. Don't like building up from RO for the same reason I make cheeses with ambient flora in a cave or sourdough....want what my area gives me. It is what it is.
Isn't there a grocery store or Walmart around that has one of those RO water dispenser machines? I used to buy it for like .30/gallon iirc, but you have to buy the jugs if you don't already have them.
 
The other thing to consider is that your starting Cl content is fairly substantial and I'm not sure that taking it much higher, is a good idea.
Citation needed.

Murphy's - who have analysed more beer samples than you've had hot dinners - suggest 200ppm chloride for bitter and mild, 300ppm for porter (the headings are out of alignment in that bottom table). The chloride's fine - I tend to use somewhere around 150ppm myself, would go higher for something like a Landlord clone.
 
Well, rock and hard place. Can't justify buying a 25 KG jerry can of AMS.
It does come in handy in areas with bad limescale, I remember the days when you could buy concentrated HCl in French supermarkets, alongside the horsemeat....
And just checked, our local coop is selling RO for $28/5 gallons! ... -if I can find a source for RO that doesn't cost so much...
Isn't most bottled water in the US just RO with light mineral additions? Don't look just for "straight" RO, look at the labels of bottled water for something that's on the light end of minerals. We don't really have that in the same way here as our tapwater is generally better than the US and Coke made a complete mess of introducing their RO+ water Dasani here. They ended up replicating the plot of the Only Fools & Horses Christmas special from a decade earlier that was watched by over a third of the population, in which the ultimate conman Delboy sold bottled London tapwater only for it to be found to be contaminated by chemical waste he had dumped in a previous scam.

It also didn't help that the US slogan slipped into some of the British advertising, when it means something very, very different here....
1701390485696.png
 
Citation needed.

Murphy's - who have analysed more beer samples than you've had hot dinners - suggest 200ppm chloride for bitter and mild, 300ppm for porter (the headings are out of alignment in that bottom table). The chloride's fine - I tend to use somewhere around 150ppm myself, would go higher for something like a Landlord clone.
Thanks Northern. I'd forgotten. I actually put in Murphy's as a bitter profile and will give it a shot. What is it about LL or its cousins that leads you to an acceptable nudge higher on the Cl?
 
It does come in handy in areas with bad limescale, I remember the days when you could buy concentrated HCl in French supermarkets, alongside the horsemeat....

Isn't most bottled water in the US just RO with light mineral additions? Don't look just for "straight" RO, look at the labels of bottled water for something that's on the light end of minerals. We don't really have that in the same way here as our tapwater is generally better than the US and Coke made a complete mess of introducing their RO+ water Dasani here. They ended up replicating the plot of the Only Fools & Horses Christmas special from a decade earlier that was watched by over a third of the population, in which the ultimate conman Delboy sold bottled London tapwater only for it to be found to be contaminated by chemical waste he had dumped in a previous scam.

It also didn't help that the US slogan slipped into some of the British advertising, when it means something very, very different here....
View attachment 835251

I now know I can definitely live without spunk. And am so glad I haven't called my ex-pat Brit friends spunky. Except that one time. Sorry Clive.😆

Wasn't aware of the DI + minerals added back thing, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least. I've learned to not make a religion out of source water, in large part thanks to you and Cire, but still have to admit I yearn a bit for a decent natural source.
 
Isn't there a grocery store or Walmart around that has one of those RO water dispenser machines? I used to buy it for like .30/gallon iirc, but you have to buy the jugs if you don't already have them.
Well, pleased to say, and this is how bizarre markets can be. Selling DI-labeled water for $3/gallon. Has label "distilled." RO machine right next to it, labeled "pure drinking water," with "city water through reverse osmosis" in fine print. $0.59/gallon.

My son and I recently returned from a northwoods wilderness hunt, couple weeks out of tents and on the move through tough country. DI sold up there for $5/gallon.
 
Well, pleased to say, and this is how bizarre markets can be. Selling DI-labeled water for $3/gallon. Has label "distilled." RO machine right next to it, labeled "pure drinking water," with "city water through reverse osmosis" in fine print. $0.59/gallon.

My son and I recently returned from a northwoods wilderness hunt, couple weeks out of tents and on the move through tough country. DI sold up there for $5/gallon.
I need to get into the bottled water business....
 
Isn't there a grocery store or Walmart around that has one of those RO water dispenser machines? I used to buy it for like .30/gallon iirc, but you have to buy the jugs if you don't already have them.
Wish I could find one of those near me. I can get the five gallon jugs with mineral additions but not the fill-your-own straight RO. And those pre-filled five gallon jugs aren't any cheaper than one gallon jugs of straight RO (labeled distilled).
Isn't most bottled water in the US just RO with light mineral additions?
As a matter of fact it is. Some people worry that the mineral additions aren't consistent and don't necessarily match the reports that the vendors publish. I'm no brewing water guru, so I couldn't really say how much that actually matters.
 
I know I discussed this but it was years ago and the question is slightly different so I thought some fresh eyes might be helpful not only for myself, but perhaps others as well.

My city supply is hard - alkalinity (CaCO3) is 239. Coincidentally, moments ago as I was writing up this post, I just got the Ward report back:


pH 6.9
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 528
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.88
Cations / Anions, me/L 9.5 / 9.0
ppm
Sodium, Na 49
Potassium, K 15
Calcium, Ca 69.8
Magnesium, Mg 42
Total Hardness, CaCO3 350
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.4 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 25
Chloride, Cl 92
Carbonate, CO3 < 1.0
Bicarbonate, HCO3 291
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 239
Total Phosphorus, P < 0.01
Total Iron, Fe < 0.01
"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit

Troublesome water. I don't want the various methods to reduce (boiling, lime, etc.), and nor do I want to buy DI or RO water, which is currently quite expensive at least locally. I'd prefer not to rely on phosphoric or lactic, given the quantities needed. (from Bru'n Water, to get sparge down to 5.7 ph, for phosphoric I'd have to add 135 ml/g sparge and for lactic, 130 ml/g. That's pretty nuts.

Which leaves me where I was left off years ago from discussions with @cire , possibly others, the use of sulfuric and/or HCL in treating strike and HLT water. The go-to for the UK is Murphy & Sons. Murphy and Sons does have a U.S. supply but it is AMS (blend of sulfuric/HCL, so fixed ions), and it is also only available in 25 kg increments.

My Na and Mg levels are way too high. Going with @cire 's recommendations for an "ideal bitter," using AMS, CaSo4 and CaCl, I am getting:

Ca: 145 (modestly short of Cire’s 170)
Mg: 42 (way higher than cire’s 15)
Na: 49 (way higher than cire’s 0)
SO4-: 255. (About spot on to Cire’s 250)
Cl-: 154 (about spot on to Cire’s 150)
TA: 50. I seem to recall cire doesn't rely on TA, but rather other parameters. Nevertheless, my TA is 239, and the amount of AMS I would use, according to Murphy's own recommendations, would give me 50 ppm. The CaSO4 and CaCl additions would give me the totals above.

So, as far as I can tell, treated with AMS and the salts, not a bad water for bitters - with the exceptions of the Na and Mg. I can't recall. Are those levels unacceptably high deal-breakers, and I'm forced to go to DI or RO water?

Your water is very similar to mine. It makes excellent British style ales when suitably treated. Yours has more sodium and less calcium than mine, magnesium is very similar. Your sulfate is less and Chloride is more than mine, but not a major problem and CRS would be ideal for your water. More than 100 years since, it was advised the calcium : magnesium ratio should be 3:1 or greater. This means you should add at least another 56mg/l calcium to your water.

Like for my water, hydrochloric acid will also work with your water for most British styles of beer, but maybe not if you want American styles or some lagers. I'd advise first steps with 37% HCl are to take it outside. Wear protective clothing and goggles, keeping the acid and other receptacles down-wind. Assuming you have 1 litre of 37% HCl, measure 1 litre of deionized water into a calibrated vessel of at least double that capacity. Loosen the acid's lid, and take a deep breath before removing the lid, then add a proportion of the acid to the water and firmly replace the cap before turning your head to take a breath from the incoming breeze. Heat will be generated, but nothing like that with sulfuric acid. Repeat the process, keeping the mixture cool, until you have 1 litre of each in the second jug. This will be slightly less than 2 litres. If desired, add half the shortage in DI water, then the same in HCL to another vessel, then combine to make almost the full 2 litres.

This mix will be about 6 molar and will no longer fume as it previously would. 1ml will neutralize about 300mg of CaCO3, but would be safer again if diluted to 4 molar, i.e. diluted to 3 litres. Then 1ml would neutralize 200 mg of CaCO3.

You can do the figures yourself, but by titrating a litre of your supply water with your diluted HCl to pink with Methyl Red, you will find the relative strength of your acid against its alkalinity. If you then remove 90% of the alkalinity with that acid, somewhere near 1ml HCl per litre, the remaining alkalinity will be 23.9 mg/l as CaCO3, ideal for a British Bitter. Then adding 10g of gypsum per 25 litre of brewing liquor would add 93mg/l calcium and 223mg/l SO4, making calcium 162ppm and sulfate almost 300ppm. Reducing alkalinity with HCl would increase chloride to about 250ppm, so nota bad a profile for such a small amount of effort.

For dark beers, reduce alkalinity to about 75 mg/l as CaCO3 and add 10g of calcium chloride per 25 litres of brewing liquor.

To brew TT Landlord, try using half gypsum and half calcium chloride flake.

I use a simple spreadsheet dedicated to my own water supply as shown below or my latest brew when my water was near its maximum mineral content. It is less during periods of heavier rains. You could make one for your water. My only input is the reading from a TDS meter. Figures in red are not warning like in some others, then deciding ratios of acids and salts to one another.

similarities.jpg
 
you can buy a cheap TDS meter from amazon, and then you can confirm that 30-35c/gal water from Walmart is indeed RO water.
 
Your water is very similar to mine. It makes excellent British style ales when suitably treated. Yours has more sodium and less calcium than mine, magnesium is very similar. Your sulfate is less and Chloride is more than mine, but not a major problem and CRS would be ideal for your water. More than 100 years since, it was advised the calcium : magnesium ratio should be 3:1 or greater. This means you should add at least another 56mg/l calcium to your water.

Like for my water, hydrochloric acid will also work with your water for most British styles of beer, but maybe not if you want American styles or some lagers. I'd advise first steps with 37% HCl are to take it outside. Wear protective clothing and goggles, keeping the acid and other receptacles down-wind. Assuming you have 1 litre of 37% HCl, measure 1 litre of deionized water into a calibrated vessel of at least double that capacity. Loosen the acid's lid, and take a deep breath before removing the lid, then add a proportion of the acid to the water and firmly replace the cap before turning your head to take a breath from the incoming breeze. Heat will be generated, but nothing like that with sulfuric acid. Repeat the process, keeping the mixture cool, until you have 1 litre of each in the second jug. This will be slightly less than 2 litres. If desired, add half the shortage in DI water, then the same in HCL to another vessel, then combine to make almost the full 2 litres.

This mix will be about 6 molar and will no longer fume as it previously would. 1ml will neutralize about 300mg of CaCO3, but would be safer again if diluted to 4 molar, i.e. diluted to 3 litres. Then 1ml would neutralize 200 mg of CaCO3.

You can do the figures yourself, but by titrating a litre of your supply water with your diluted HCl to pink with Methyl Red, you will find the relative strength of your acid against its alkalinity. If you then remove 90% of the alkalinity with that acid, somewhere near 1ml HCl per litre, the remaining alkalinity will be 23.9 mg/l as CaCO3, ideal for a British Bitter. Then adding 10g of gypsum per 25 litre of brewing liquor would add 93mg/l calcium and 223mg/l SO4, making calcium 162ppm and sulfate almost 300ppm. Reducing alkalinity with HCl would increase chloride to about 250ppm, so nota bad a profile for such a small amount of effort.

For dark beers, reduce alkalinity to about 75 mg/l as CaCO3 and add 10g of calcium chloride per 25 litres of brewing liquor.

To brew TT Landlord, try using half gypsum and half calcium chloride flake.

I use a simple spreadsheet dedicated to my own water supply as shown below or my latest brew when my water was near its maximum mineral content. It is less during periods of heavier rains. You could make one for your water. My only input is the reading from a TDS meter. Figures in red are not warning like in some others, then deciding ratios of acids and salts to one another.

View attachment 835329
Thanks so much cire. Great to see you here and to tap (no pun intended) into some good British practice. Looking forward to looking more into this (again. Nice thing about a crappy memory is that everything is eternally new, lol).
 
you can buy a cheap TDS meter from amazon, and then you can confirm that 30-35c/gal water from Walmart is indeed RO water.
Funny you mention this. I wonder how much of what is touted as "RO water" at the supermarket is actually RO. Worth the look, thanks.
 
Countertop distillers aren’t too bad in price. I think it’s like 5h/gal at 500w for mine. In fact I may have a spare…
 
Citation needed.

Murphy's - who have analysed more beer samples than you've had hot dinners - suggest 200ppm chloride for bitter and mild, 300ppm for porter (the headings are out of alignment in that bottom table). The chloride's fine - I tend to use somewhere around 150ppm myself, would go higher for something like a Landlord clone.
Fair enough.

The recommendations I provide are based on beer-flavored beer. The addition of elevated chloride and/or sulfate introduces the aspect of 'minerality' to beer that can have a definite flavor impact. It's not a bad aspect in some beer styles, but it may not be desirable in others.

In the case of the OP, it doesn't appear to ask about how to formulate British beers and I provided a general recommendation that IS more applicable to a wide range of beer styles. For British styles, I agree that boosting chloride and/or sulfate can create more authentic and enjoyable beer. But I can stand by the fact that Murphy's recommendations may not be ideal for styles originating off those isles.
 
Fair enough.

The recommendations I provide are based on beer-flavored beer. The addition of elevated chloride and/or sulfate introduces the aspect of 'minerality' to beer that can have a definite flavor impact. It's not a bad aspect in some beer styles, but it may not be desirable in others.

In the case of the OP, it doesn't appear to ask about how to formulate British beers and I provided a general recommendation that IS more applicable to a wide range of beer styles. For British styles, I agree that boosting chloride and/or sulfate can create more authentic and enjoyable beer. But I can stand by the fact that Murphy's recommendations may not be ideal for styles originating off those isles.
What is "beer-flavored beer?"
 
What is "beer-flavored beer?"
Good question.

One day later I brewed a British style, one that was popular for over half a century, one that few now know in the form it then existed. Some who knew it, wish that choice was still with us, while some might replicate it in its original form.

Milds would be made with malts of lesser grade than for pale beers, but made up by the richness from roasted malts and sugars, for a malty brew with tastes of dried fruit, nuts and more, a liquid fruit cake plus.

Mine included Pale Malt, Vienna Malt, Simpson's Double Roasted Crystal, Amber, Chocolate and Black Malts, with Inverts #1 and #2. It was open fermented with OG 1042, but will be liquored back to an equivalent OG of 1035 when racked on it's sixth day, about 3.6% ABV. Currently the cover is on as it cools gently to cellar temperature, ~50F from 73F yesterday.

I suppose many would say that isn't a beer-flavored beer, others perhaps feeling it is what beer should still be. To get those flavors, as I normally do, the chloride content was adjusted 325 mg/L.
 
Good question.

One day later I brewed a British style, one that was popular for over half a century, one that few now know in the form it then existed. Some who knew it, wish that choice was still with us, while some might replicate it in its original form.

Milds would be made with malts of lesser grade than for pale beers, but made up by the richness from roasted malts and sugars, for a malty brew with tastes of dried fruit, nuts and more, a liquid fruit cake plus.

Mine included Pale Malt, Vienna Malt, Simpson's Double Roasted Crystal, Amber, Chocolate and Black Malts, with Inverts #1 and #2. It was open fermented with OG 1042, but will be liquored back to an equivalent OG of 1035 when racked on it's sixth day, about 3.6% ABV. Currently the cover is on as it cools gently to cellar temperature, ~50F from 73F yesterday.

I suppose many would say that isn't a beer-flavored beer, others perhaps feeling it is what beer should still be. To get those flavors, as I normally do, the chloride content was adjusted 325 mg/L.
Sounds incredible, and it's an inspiration to try, thanks cire. I have some Simpson's DRC and will be using it in a RIS (mine, which I will lay side-by-side with Ron Pattinson's 1924 Barclay Perkins version, for consumption next year or so). Your recipe sounds wonderful.

I wish I could remember the name of the first pint I had with Michael Jackson at the White Horse for the beer dinner I've mentioned, because it was a mild, it was excellent, and Michael spun a wonderful narrative on mild's history, its importance to the brewing and beer drinking landscape, and the pleasures of this particular dimple-mug pint.

I am hard-pressed to declare what a "beer flavored beer" tastes like. Would the lack of hops in traditional Scottish brewing and the use of heather, myrtle & co. exclude these, too, as beers? Good lord, what are we to do with those Belgians and their playing with their food when brewing?
 
Good question.

One day later I brewed a British style, one that was popular for over half a century, one that few now know in the form it then existed. Some who knew it, wish that choice was still with us, while some might replicate it in its original form.

Milds would be made with malts of lesser grade than for pale beers, but made up by the richness from roasted malts and sugars, for a malty brew with tastes of dried fruit, nuts and more, a liquid fruit cake plus.

Mine included Pale Malt, Vienna Malt, Simpson's Double Roasted Crystal, Amber, Chocolate and Black Malts, with Inverts #1 and #2. It was open fermented with OG 1042, but will be liquored back to an equivalent OG of 1035 when racked on it's sixth day, about 3.6% ABV. Currently the cover is on as it cools gently to cellar temperature, ~50F from 73F yesterday.

I suppose many would say that isn't a beer-flavored beer, others perhaps feeling it is what beer should still be. To get those flavors, as I normally do, the chloride content was adjusted 325 mg/L.
How do you like DRC in a mild? I've been meaning to try it but haven't done it yet.
 
How do you like DRC in a mild? I've been meaning to try it but haven't done it yet.

This is a first attempt, I'll let it be know in maybe another week. My last Mild was J W Lees Best Mild of 1952 as per Ron Pattinson. It was very good, but maybe due to the malts used, a large caramel addition was made to make it look as I expected. Further, eleven days after brew-day I recorded it having a harshness from what I think was the Brown malt. That dissipated after a further week or so, with chocolate coming to the fore, but this beer will be on sooner than the last and it would be shame if that same harshness was present.
A second cask of that same brew was tapped 2 months later than the first, and it was without fault, but also had the caramel addition. I know this one will be darker and may need a smaller caramel addition or none. The new one will be different with more and darker crystal, Brown replaced by a smaller addition of Amber and more Black Malt. Not long now.

Sounds incredible, and it's an inspiration to try, thanks cire. I have some Simpson's DRC and will be using it in a RIS (mine, which I will lay side-by-side with Ron Pattinson's 1924 Barclay Perkins version, for consumption next year or so). Your recipe sounds wonderful.

I wish I could remember the name of the first pint I had with Michael Jackson at the White Horse for the beer dinner I've mentioned, because it was a mild, it was excellent, and Michael spun a wonderful narrative on mild's history, its importance to the brewing and beer drinking landscape, and the pleasures of this particular dimple-mug pint.

I am hard-pressed to declare what a "beer flavored beer" tastes like. Would the lack of hops in traditional Scottish brewing and the use of heather, myrtle & co. exclude these, too, as beers? Good lord, what are we to do with those Belgians and their playing with their food when brewing?

Well I've had DRC for a while, but initially had no reason to use it. With such little time left for a second beer for the upcoming holiday period, a Mild with 12% invert seemed a perfect choice. Being 300 EBC and adding complex caramel and dried fruit notes, what was not to like for this project. We'll see.

Simpsons say that DRC can be used to substitute darker roasted malts where the astringency and bitterness inherent to roast malts is not desired. However, I only rarely find astringency from dark roast malts which usually, given time, mellow and subside. There again, in British beers, where the dark malt are frequently more roasted, do need higher chloride than do paler beers.

As for Scottish beers, I can remember plenty that weren't particularly hoppy, but no more so than many beers brewed in England. The hoppiest locally available beer in my early days of drinking was in fact Scottish, from McEwan's, known locally as "Special". Certainly I cannot recall any time coming across any commercial beer produced in good quantities with heather, myrtle or from peated malt or any other such additive. I feel most such beliefs are supposition.
Younger's sold well in North East England, those were dark and were low on hops, but neither black nor brown, almost a blueish hue to my eyes. The darkest Scottish beer of the time I'm thinking of, was made by Lorimer and Clark at the Caledonian Brewery. It was black, but didn't drink like black beers usually do, it was well hopped by any standard of that time in this region, and whatever darkened it added little taste.

We are seeing rapid change in beer production in UK presently, several well known traditional breweries have closed this year, and with them goes the knowledge and skills to brew traditional British beers. In their place we will possibly get pale ones more opaque than most black ones as well as beer-flavored beers.
 
This is a first attempt, I'll let it be know in maybe another week. My last Mild was J W Lees Best Mild of 1952 as per Ron Pattinson. It was very good, but maybe due to the malts used, a large caramel addition was made to make it look as I expected. Further, eleven days after brew-day I recorded it having a harshness from what I think was the Brown malt. That dissipated after a further week or so, with chocolate coming to the fore, but this beer will be on sooner than the last and it would be shame if that same harshness was present.
A second cask of that same brew was tapped 2 months later than the first, and it was without fault, but also had the caramel addition. I know this one will be darker and may need a smaller caramel addition or none. The new one will be different with more and darker crystal, Brown replaced by a smaller addition of Amber and more Black Malt. Not long now.



Well I've had DRC for a while, but initially had no reason to use it. With such little time left for a second beer for the upcoming holiday period, a Mild with 12% invert seemed a perfect choice. Being 300 EBC and adding complex caramel and dried fruit notes, what was not to like for this project. We'll see.

Simpsons say that DRC can be used to substitute darker roasted malts where the astringency and bitterness inherent to roast malts is not desired. However, I only rarely find astringency from dark roast malts which usually, given time, mellow and subside. There again, in British beers, where the dark malt are frequently more roasted, do need higher chloride than do paler beers.

As for Scottish beers, I can remember plenty that weren't particularly hoppy, but no more so than many beers brewed in England. The hoppiest locally available beer in my early days of drinking was in fact Scottish, from McEwan's, known locally as "Special". Certainly I cannot recall any time coming across any commercial beer produced in good quantities with heather, myrtle or from peated malt or any other such additive. I feel most such beliefs are supposition.
Younger's sold well in North East England, those were dark and were low on hops, but neither black nor brown, almost a blueish hue to my eyes. The darkest Scottish beer of the time I'm thinking of, was made by Lorimer and Clark at the Caledonian Brewery. It was black, but didn't drink like black beers usually do, it was well hopped by any standard of that time in this region, and whatever darkened it added little taste.

We are seeing rapid change in beer production in UK presently, several well known traditional breweries have closed this year, and with them goes the knowledge and skills to brew traditional British beers. In their place we will possibly get pale ones more opaque than most black ones as well as beer-flavored beers.
Thanks for this, cire. I should have been clearer as I was trying to make a bit of a point, I guess, which is that it seems to me it's a pretty narrow thing to declare what is "beer-flavored beer" or not. I was referring to historical Scottish brewing though there I admit I know very little. Can't recall the company, but one using myrtle or heather, or something? I'm sure it's an outlier. I've only had it once, didn't particularly enjoy it but at least enjoyed the connotation of historical Scottish brewing, a romance. Fraoch?

And that really saddens me to hear of the way of things in the UK. I know I'm way, way behind the curve. When I watch Ted Lasso and the only beer I see being consumed are lagers, well...
 
How do you like DRC in a mild? I've been meaning to try it but haven't done it yet.
Well on the 2nd day out of the fermentor, it's very mild.
Brewed Wednesday, yeast harvested late Friday, heat held at 23C for full day, then stopped and allowed to cool naturally. Racked into a plastic pressure vessel yesterday morning when at 8C, with a litre plus of water acidified to pH 4 and 75 gm of #1 invert syrup.

51% Pale
25.5% Vienna
5.1% DRC
3.2% Chocolate malt
1.3% Amber
2.5% Black
8.9% #3 Invert Syrup
2.5% #1 Invert Syrup

It's completely lacking harshness, a little sweet as might be expected, but clear and dark red/brown. There is plenty of time for this to improve, it is currently cold and natural carbonation is only slight. Presently only light flavors of cherry and raisin, but DRC is not something to fear.
 
Well on the 2nd day out of the fermentor, it's very mild.
Brewed Wednesday, yeast harvested late Friday, heat held at 23C for full day, then stopped and allowed to cool naturally. Racked into a plastic pressure vessel yesterday morning when at 8C, with a litre plus of water acidified to pH 4 and 75 gm of #1 invert syrup.

51% Pale
25.5% Vienna
5.1% DRC
3.2% Chocolate malt
1.3% Amber
2.5% Black
8.9% #3 Invert Syrup
2.5% #1 Invert Syrup

It's completely lacking harshness, a little sweet as might be expected, but clear and dark red/brown. There is plenty of time for this to improve, it is currently cold and natural carbonation is only slight. Presently only light flavors of cherry and raisin, but DRC is not something to fear.
Cire, thanks for coming through with that report. My next brew is going to be a mild so I'll definitely give DRC a try.
 
Your water is very similar to mine. It makes excellent British style ales when suitably treated. Yours has more sodium and less calcium than mine, magnesium is very similar. Your sulfate is less and Chloride is more than mine, but not a major problem and CRS would be ideal for your water. More than 100 years since, it was advised the calcium : magnesium ratio should be 3:1 or greater. This means you should add at least another 56mg/l calcium to your water.

Like for my water, hydrochloric acid will also work with your water for most British styles of beer, but maybe not if you want American styles or some lagers. I'd advise first steps with 37% HCl are to take it outside. Wear protective clothing and goggles, keeping the acid and other receptacles down-wind. Assuming you have 1 litre of 37% HCl, measure 1 litre of deionized water into a calibrated vessel of at least double that capacity. Loosen the acid's lid, and take a deep breath before removing the lid, then add a proportion of the acid to the water and firmly replace the cap before turning your head to take a breath from the incoming breeze. Heat will be generated, but nothing like that with sulfuric acid. Repeat the process, keeping the mixture cool, until you have 1 litre of each in the second jug. This will be slightly less than 2 litres. If desired, add half the shortage in DI water, then the same in HCL to another vessel, then combine to make almost the full 2 litres.

This mix will be about 6 molar and will no longer fume as it previously would. 1ml will neutralize about 300mg of CaCO3, but would be safer again if diluted to 4 molar, i.e. diluted to 3 litres. Then 1ml would neutralize 200 mg of CaCO3.

You can do the figures yourself, but by titrating a litre of your supply water with your diluted HCl to pink with Methyl Red, you will find the relative strength of your acid against its alkalinity. If you then remove 90% of the alkalinity with that acid, somewhere near 1ml HCl per litre, the remaining alkalinity will be 23.9 mg/l as CaCO3, ideal for a British Bitter. Then adding 10g of gypsum per 25 litre of brewing liquor would add 93mg/l calcium and 223mg/l SO4, making calcium 162ppm and sulfate almost 300ppm. Reducing alkalinity with HCl would increase chloride to about 250ppm, so nota bad a profile for such a small amount of effort.

For dark beers, reduce alkalinity to about 75 mg/l as CaCO3 and add 10g of calcium chloride per 25 litres of brewing liquor.

To brew TT Landlord, try using half gypsum and half calcium chloride flake.

I use a simple spreadsheet dedicated to my own water supply as shown below or my latest brew when my water was near its maximum mineral content. It is less during periods of heavier rains. You could make one for your water. My only input is the reading from a TDS meter. Figures in red are not warning like in some others, then deciding ratios of acids and salts to one another.

View attachment 835329
Just a note that I'll be obtaining concentrated sulfuric and hydrochloric, diluting both to usable concentrations, and applying your methods again, cire. Looking forward to it, thanks again.
 
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Another option is phosphoric acid. You can get 8 oz bottles of 10% for about $4 at Ritebrew.

Amazon has liter bottles of 85% for around $30, but that would probably last you forever.
Thanks, max. I actually do have some but don't use it, only because my water is so bloody hard that if I wanted to reduce it with either phosphoric or lactic, I'd have to use way too much. Plus, I do like the benefit of gaining the SO4 and Cl ions with the strong acids. But much appreciated!
 

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