Water Adjustments

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Bobb25

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Help will be appreciated. As this years step in learning brewing, I am trying to learn to manipulate the constituents of water. I have purchased a LaMotte water chemistry kit, and a RO water filter system. But I have several questions.
1) Beer Smith 3 calls for water additions in terms of ( g. ? ) I assume this is grams, and my question is how does this translate to teaspoons ? In other words, 0.5 tsp calcium chloride corresponds to how many g. ?
2 ) A recipe for wheat beers that I was reading suggests the following water profile:
Ca+2 Mg+2 Na+ Cl- SO4-2
100 5 10 100 50
What do those bare numbers mean and how do I translate it to tsp. per 5 gal of RO water ?

There will probably be more questions, as chemistry was never my strong suit.

Bob
 

brownni5

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g is indeed grams. In Palmer's How to Brew, he has some rough guidelines for how many grams of each salt is in a teasspoon (at least that's where I think I read it). After a year or so, I decided that was a huge pain, so I broke down and bought a sensitive scale that is capable of measuring tenths of a gram, not that that is really necessary. Mine's a Blade - pretty cheap, too.

The additions we typically use, Calcium Carbonate, Gypsum, Epsom salts, baking soda, etc. really can't be broken down into their ionic components in a finished water profile by anybody other than a chemist (for all intents and purposes). To get to Ca (calcium), Mg (magnesium), Na (sodium), Cl- (chloride), and SO4 - (sulfate), you really need to download a water calculator - I use Bru'n Water - it's free, very helpful and explains everything you need to know very well. All you need to know is your starting water profile. And with RO, that's pretty close to pure .

Get ready for (potentially) better beer!
 

ESBrewer

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Have a look at this for a simple primer http://howtobrew.com/book/section-3...h-ph/using-salts-for-brewing-water-adjustment

Teaspoons are handy, but a proper scale can be a more precise way to measure solids. Please note that some salts come in different forms (the crystals may contain varying amount of water molecules) so the relation between volume(teaspoons) and amount of substance may vary accordingly. For example, the term gypsum always refers to the dihydrate version of calcium sulphate (=two water molecules per one CaSO4 crystal is involved) whereas calcium chloride comes in many forms and table values in the link above refer to dihydrate form only.

Ca2+ 100 refers to 100 ppm (= 100 mg / liter) of Ca2+ ion in solution. When Calcium chloride dissolves in water, it brakes down to Ca2+ and Cl- ions. How much of the total weight of CaCl2 is Ca2+ depends on the amount of water inside the crystals, again. For a beginner in water chemistry, it is a good idea to use some calculator where you can choose the exact form of salt and it will tell you how much you need (usually in grams as you have noticed). If you prefer teaspoons you need to find a suitable conversion table such as the one above (although it won't list values for all the possible forms of some salts). It also lists the ppm values that will be reached by adding certain amount of salt. You can also get rid of all the water in your CaCl2 hydrate by baking it in a hot (200 Celsius) oven for an hour or so and then use a calculator such as Bru'n water spreadsheet that uses the anhydrous form. Can't remember the options in Beersmith now.
 
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Jag75

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I would be careful in trying to do grams to tsp. The calcium chloride has different size granuals. A tsp may not be the same amount every time. Doing salt and acid additives I advise getting a scale
 

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Jag75

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@McKnuckle - does that one weigh .5 grams? The one I use will go 1.1 1.2 1.3 and so on in ounces but not grams for some reason.
 

McKnuckle

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Yeah, that little scale weighs to the 10th of a gram, so 0.1, 0.2 etc.

There are ~28.4 grams in an ounce, so I always use metric as it's much more granular which helps with the tiny quantities I use.
 

Jag75

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Ok thanks. Mine goes from 1 gram to 2 grams . Nothing in between. I need to get a different one . The one you have is cheap and seems to be really good .
 
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Bobb25

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Thanks for the information. Can you people give me a hint what those bare numbers in the second question of my first post mean. I bought Palmer's water book, but trying to read it gives me a headache.
Bob
 

Jag75

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Hey Bob if your want ingredients to get into water profiles you need to get a program . There are a few out there. You can get your water checked through ward labs . You can input the report of your water on the program. The program also allows you to dilute with Ro water or Distilled. You can even use 100% of those waters if you want and the ppm will change for what you decide to use . I use Brun Water . Theres a few more out there . Look into them .
 

CascadesBrewer

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Thanks for the information. Can you people give me a hint what those bare numbers in the second question of my first post mean. I bought Palmer's water book, but trying to read it gives me a headache.
Bob
The Water book is good, but maybe not the best intro. The following article seemed to be at a decent intro level: https://www.brewcabin.com/brewing-water/
 
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