Using R/O water for brewing.

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Kingsbrew

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You can create your own water profiles in Beersmith. I am sure the same is true for ProMash and others. Here is one that I created for Pale Ales. Now when I create a recipe for an IPA, APA or other hoppy pale ales I just add this water and the program adds the salts to my recipe. Notice this is based on 6 gals of water.
You can find target ppm numbers for about 5 waters that should work for most any style of beer here. Ken Schwartz Water Chemisty Primer
If you don't have a software program go get John Palmer's spreadsheet. You can build water profiles with it also. There are other sites out there that will do similar things also.
 

Ricand

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When adjusting your water you are really trying to do these 3 things at once:

#1. Get the Residual Alkalinity (RA) of your water to a level that coincides with the color (SRM) of your recipe. This is to ensure that your mash will be at the proper pH.

#2. Get the Cloride to Sulfate ratio within a range that corresponds to the style you are brewing (ie. bitter, balanced, malty). This is will enhance flavor.

#3. Get the individual minerals (Ca, Mg, Na, Cl, SO4) to acceptable (or even desirable) levels..
I agree and always build my water from RO. I buy it for .39 a gallon, but need to send it to Ward Labs to see if the place is maintaining the system well. My favorite on-line calculator which allows adjusting the Chloride/Sulfate level and choosing a target water profile is here:

http://www.jimsbeerkit.co.uk/water/water.html

I want a program that specifies salts and weights to use, not one that makes you add and subtract random quantities of various salts to try to get the best match.
 

Bobby_M

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What you're looking for is Brewater3.0. Personally, I like having to manually tweak additions because it teaches you the effects of each addition real time.

It's like looking for a recipe generator that looks for an style guideline input and spits out a recipe. Boring.
 

arturo7

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It's like looking for a recipe generator that looks for an style guideline input and spits out a recipe. Boring.

What I'm looking for is something that will give me the salt additions for a given beer style. How is that boring?

This calculator uses an algorithm to find the optimal additions. Unfortunately, it has no provision for RO water or adding a new water profile.
http://lyra.cs.virginia.edu:8080/~asb/beer/water.html
 

azscoob

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What you're looking for is Brewater3.0. Personally, I like having to manually tweak additions because it teaches you the effects of each addition real time.

It's like looking for a recipe generator that looks for an style guideline input and spits out a recipe. Boring.
boring maybe, but for those of us who know zero about water chemistry it would be nice to have some sort of jumping off point. most of us started out doing kit brews, we found a style we liked and made that, then we advanced to modifying kits, then to making our own recipes as we learned. no different for water, except there is no simple "kit" for water for us to start with, as for me I cannot brew at all with our crap well water here so I gotta build or buy mine. and have no idea where to begin. a basic list of styles and additions to make that style would get me off in the right direction, and let me tweak as I learn. as an example, the pale water profile posted a few up will be used in my next brew, it will be a start for me learning the water chemistry side of brewing.
 

remilard

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What I'm looking for is something that will give me the salt additions for a given beer style. How is that boring?

This calculator uses an algorithm to find the optimal additions. Unfortunately, it has no provision for RO water or adding a new water profile.
http://lyra.cs.virginia.edu:8080/~asb/beer/water.html
I think the problem is this:

Your link defines the optimal solution as that which minimizes the absolute (or squared or what ever) differences across the ions listed. I suspect Brewater does the same thing.

The problem is, what you can achieve by adding salts to a particular water will often vary from the target by many ppm for any given ion. Is minimizing the total difference optimal? Probably not.

The absolute amounts of sulfate and chloride aren't that important, the ratio is more important. All of this is far less important than mash pH.

I think that going by hand and trying to achieve the following:

1. Target RA
2. Ca in desired range
3. sulfate/chloride in appropriate range
4. Mg and Na relatively low

You probably get better water than by choosing a profile that can't be achieved with your water and choosing the mineral additions that give the lowest total absolute difference in ion concentrations.

I think a better algorithm would do exactly that. Find all solutions that match target RA within a tight tolerance, eliminate those with any ions outside of acceptable range, choose the one with sulfate/chloride closest to desirable.
 

Bobby_M

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What I'm looking for is something that will give me the salt additions for a given beer style. How is that boring?

This calculator uses an algorithm to find the optimal additions. Unfortunately, it has no provision for RO water or adding a new water profile.
http://lyra.cs.virginia.edu:8080/~asb/beer/water.html
I'm all for having a reference table. I'm just making a case for doing it the hard way for a few batches so you can get a better understanding for what each salt does. It's the same argument I make for learning how to figure out efficiency on paper before relying on software for the rest of your brewing career.
 

azscoob

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I'm all for having a reference table. I'm just making a case for doing it the hard way for a few batches so you can get a better understanding for what each salt does. It's the same argument I make for learning how to figure out efficiency on paper before relying on software for the rest of your brewing career.
I see your point here for sure, without an understanding for each salt and what it contributes to the beer, however they all must work together, I tried to search for a water building how-to, if I had it explained to me in a teacher-student type way, explaining what the salts do for the beer, I would be ok with trying it on my own having seen it done and explained.
 

Bigscience

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I stumbled upon this PDf that list a ton of cities and how to make their water profile from Deionized water.

http://ajdel.wetnewf.org:81/Brewing_articles/Recipes.pdf

"The pages which follow contain recipes for formulation of water with the properties of the indicated cities from calcium carbonate, calcium chloride, sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, calcium sulfate, and magnesium sulfate. Where the use of magnesium carbonate appreciably improves the accuracy of a formulation we give separate recipes: one with magnesium carbonate and one without. None of these formulations require the addition of acid but it is assumed that calcium carbonate (chalk) and magnesium carbonate (where used) is dissolved by sparging the
entire volume of water being prepared with carbon dioxide or by first dissoving the chalk in carbonic acid made by pressurizing cold water in a cornelius keg with CO2 and shaking. All the recipes use deionized water as the base water.
The formulations are designed to get the concentrations of all dissolved species as close to the desired levels as possible. As we indicated in Part III it is often not possible to get very close at all. We recommend choice of the profile for a particular city which gives the best, in the sense of closest approximation, synthesis. Salt quantities specified are in milligrams per liter.
The individual recipies are output from the FORTRAN program of Appendix J. Individual items should be familiar. At the top of the page we list the city name and im balance information in terms of the pH required to acheive electrical neutrality where the profile can be balanced at reasonable pH and, where it cannot, the imbalance at pH 8.4. Note that if pH has been set to 8.4 the profile synthesized will be electrically balanced as all real water samples must be but that one or more ions will be in appreciable error."

Here is an example:

Target City: London2 Base Water: Deionized
Balancing pH 10.6957 is greater than 8.40 and is thus set to 8.40
Net charge (imbalance) at this pH: 2.0915 mEq/L
SALTS ADDED FOR THIS SYNTHESIS:
Sodium Chloride : 1.65 mg/L
Calcium Sulfate Dihydrate : 44.72 mg/L
Calcium Chloride Dihydrate : 42.04 mg/L
Magnesium Sulfate Heptahydrate : 48.67 mg/L
Calcium Carbonate : 107.10 mg/L
Magnesium Carbonate : 0.00 mg/L
Sodium Bicarbonate : 49.15 mg/L
Carbonic Acid : 2.10 mEq/L
COMPARISON OF TARGET AND SYNTHESIS:
TARGET SYNTHESIS pRatio Pct Err
London2
pH : 8.40 8.40
f1 : 0.0080 0.0080
f2 : 0.9769 0.9771
f3 : 0.0152 0.0149
Ionic Strength : 7.3948 6.5339
pfm : 0.0403 0.0381
Carbonates* : 2.0492 2.7029 mM/L +0.1203 +31.90%
Calcium* : 90.00 64.76 mg/L -0.1429 -28.05%
Carbonic : 1.01 1.34 mg/L +0.1226 +32.61%
Bicarbonate : 122.17 161.18 mg/L +0.1203 +31.93%
Carbonate : 1.86 2.42 mg/K +0.1136 +29.91%
Alkalinity (as CaCO3): 105.08 137.64 mg/L
Chloride* : 20.00 21.27 mg/L +0.0268 +6.37%
Magnesium* : 5.00 4.80 mg/L -0.0178 -4.02%
Sodium* : 15.00 14.10 mg/L -0.0269 -6.00%
Sulfate* : 40.00 43.92 mg/L +0.0406 +9.80%
Nitrate : 0.00 0.00 mg/L
RMS Log Error (Items with *): 0.07990 Corresponding % 20.1979
pHs : 7.40 7.41
Saturated WRT CaCO3? : Yes Yes
Langelier Index : 1.00 0.99 SI < 0 ~ Corrosion; SI > 0 ~ Occlusion
Ryznar Index : 6.40 6.42 RI < 6 ~ Occlusion; RI > 7 ~ Corrosion
pHe : 8.60 8.73
Saturated WRT CO2? : Yes Yes
CO2 Equilibrium Index: 0.20 0.33 EI < 0 ~ Gains CO2; EI > 0 ~ Loses CO2
Residual Alkalinity : 37.98 88.66 mg/L as CaCO3
 

KYB

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A guy I work with makes very good beer using RO water and adding nothing. It is labeled as drinking water, but I guess he didn't know it went through RO. His porter is one of the best I've ever had. Very surprised. We are starting to talk about water chem. I'd like to see how his beers taste with minerals added.

I've recently brewed a few batches around 90% RO water and the rest tap. We'll see how they turn out. Tap water alone with my light colored beers produces metallic off flavors.
 

johnnyboy1965

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Thats a reasonably safe assumption. RO strips about 95% of everything, so if your water is reasonable, it should be pretty similar across the board (sorry phoenix and your 1500ppm tds)
Unfortunatley this is not so. R/O units work on a percentage of capability. My R/O unit runs aat 98.9% effecient. My tap water reads 264ppm before filtering, so it should read 2.9ppm after (its actually 4ppm).

So, if I was in Pheonix where the water is 1500ppm (WTF) it will come out at 16.5ppm.

The only trouble with R/O units are that they do strip everything out of the water including trace elements. These trace elements, wnich are impossible to replace, are what give different water its taste. eg. Burton-upon-Trent, England.

If you just want to remove the fhlorides and cholrides it is very cheap and easy to set up a activated carbon filter.
 

MX1

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Ok, so I have lots of Culligan bottled water.

the report on it can be found here
Culligan waer report

but it does notlist some of the items asked for on EZ water spred sheet.

If someone cold look at the report and give the base values, it might be a good plce for Culligan users to start.

Tim
 
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