advice about alkalininty and salifert test

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Dave S
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Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by Dave S » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:26 pm

chrisseej wrote:I use the supplied, I had to refill and got a colour change after adding an extra 0.2 ml also just tested boiled Evian lots of scale left in pan got a colour Chang after adding 9.5 ml so 0.5 left in syringe
Do you not mean 0.95 and 0.05mL? Like I said it only hold 1mL in total. Can I suggest you get a professional water analysis done on your tap water? Wallybrew who is a member here provides a very reliable and accurate service. If you PM him he will be pleased to help.
Last edited by Dave S on Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by f00b4r » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:26 pm

Maybe some pictures would clear things up a little.

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Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by Kev888 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:24 pm

I dont boil to reduce alkalinity so its a bit outside my experience (acids seem much more effective), but if the results are consistent are people absolutely sure they 'have' to be wrong? If the dissolved solids become more concentrated due to evaporation, or if the water is dissolving deposits from previous boilings, then the reading could perhaps rise legitimately?
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Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by Dave S » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:24 pm

I've never heard of it. Alkalinity as CaCO3 precipitates, (largely) on boiling. I can't see it going back into solution on subsequent boiling.
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Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by chrisseej » Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:23 pm

kh.png
Right I hope this makes sense
have attached tables showing results for evian and tapwater both boiled and unboiled all taken at room temp :

To my mind the second table makes more sense I also know that the Evian bottle states hco3 as being 360ppl which is in the ballpark for the figure I get in table 2.
Does this make sense to anyone?

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Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by Dave S » Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:36 am

chrisseej wrote:
kh.png
Right I hope this makes sense
have attached tables showing results for evian and tapwater both boiled and unboiled all taken at room temp :

To my mind the second table makes more sense I also know that the Evian bottle states hco3 as being 360ppl which is in the ballpark for the figure I get in table 2.
Does this make sense to anyone?

Cheers
It's the amount remaining in the syringe which is the figure to use. I don't know how you are doing the test and I can't explain why your alkalinity is increasing post-boil. However, the results in your table two are showing more the trend I would expect. Also, if your unboiled result in table 1 is correct, it is already at a good level for brewing pale ales.

It's also surprising that Evian are quoting such a high alkalinity for their water.

There aren't many people that I know of that use boiling for alkalinity reduction, acid addition being the preferred method. As I said earlier, You'd be as well getting a reliable test done. Then, if your water supply is reasonably stable it will serve as a base line for future Salifert tests
Last edited by Dave S on Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Eric
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Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by Eric » Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:46 am

This only makes sense to me were an in-line water softener be present.
Calcium is replaced by sodium and the resultant alkalinity remains the same. Sodium and magnesium are more soluble than calcium so won't be deposited when the water is boiled. Some water will be evaporated during the boil and thus concentrate the alkalinity.

Ion exchange water softeners shouldn't be fitted in potable water supplies for health reasons.
Last edited by Eric on Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by BrannigansLove » Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:47 am

Sorry to possibly derail this thread a little, but up til now I've just been using regularly obtained water values from Severn Trent in conjunction with Bru'n Water to do my water additions. I've ordered a Salifert test kit, am I going to be OK with just the test kit, or should I be also looking at a pH meter too?

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Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by Dave S » Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:51 am

Eric wrote:This only makes sense to me were an in-line water softener be present.
Calcium is replaced by sodium and the resultant alkalinity remains the same. Sodium and magnesium are more soluble than calcium so won't be deposited when the water is boiled. Some water will be evaporated during the boil and thus concentrate the alkalinity.

Ion exchange water softeners shouldn't be fitted in potable water supplies for health reasons.
Yes, that would make sense.
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Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by Eric » Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:56 am

BrannigansLove wrote:Sorry to possibly derail this thread a little, but up til now I've just been using regularly obtained water values from Severn Trent in conjunction with Bru'n Water to do my water additions. I've ordered a Salifert test kit, am I going to be OK with just the test kit, or should I be also looking at a pH meter too?
Get alkalinity right and sufficient calcium and pH will be in the right region. In time a pH meter will be valuable.
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Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by chrisseej » Sat Oct 15, 2016 11:58 am

I agree will get in touch with wallybrew and get a water test done
Here is the best water report I have been able to get so far from Northumbria Water I live in North Tyneside don’t know if this helps put things in context.
Calcium -48ppm
Magnesium – unknown
Sodium – 15ppm
Chloride 0.44 ppm
Sulfate 85 ppm

Alkalinity as tested by myself is either 39ppm with reagent used 87ppm

I have had problems with off flavours and mash ph roughly tested using strips when doing pale ale at first I thought it was infection but it only happened in a SMASH with Maris otter and a wheat using wheat and Maris otter same astringent flavour, this led me to start querying alkalinity and water quality

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Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by Eric » Sat Oct 15, 2016 12:12 pm

Sorry to possibly derail this thread a little, but up til now I've just been using regularly obtained water values from Severn Trent in conjunction with Bru'n Water to do my water additions. I've ordered a Salifert test kit, am I going to be OK with just the test kit, or should I be also looking at a pH meter too?
For resilience, stability and clear flavours, finished beer should have a pH between 4.1 and 3.7. It is also important to get mash pH in the right region to avoid fatal errors at this early stage, but it's possible to mash at a respectably wide range of pH values with minor influence on the beer's characteristics and make very good beer. It is also possible to mash at a so thought ideal pH and make a poor beer and I believe there is too much importance attached to any specific mash pH.

This subject is far greater than can be explained in a single posting and in any case could turn into a huge debate with many confliting opinions of what tastes, or lack of some, are important in beers.

I brewed yesterday and adjusted my water to a profile I determined from Salifert kit and TDS meter measurements in association with data from several water analyses by WallyBrew. I also took 2 mash pH measurements, the first was 5.35, the second was of late runnings at 5.55. Those measurements took more time and effort than the water measurement and treatment and the brew would be just the same without them. The same could not be said about water treatment with alkalinity of 255mg/l as CaCO3 as it was yesterday.
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Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by Eric » Sat Oct 15, 2016 12:19 pm

chrisseej wrote:I agree will get in touch with wallybrew and get a water test done
Here is the best water report I have been able to get so far from Northumbria Water I live in North Tyneside don’t know if this helps put things in context.
Calcium -48ppm
Magnesium – unknown
Sodium – 15ppm
Chloride 0.44 ppm
Sulfate 85 ppm

Alkalinity as tested by myself is either 39ppm with reagent used 87ppm

I have had problems with off flavours and mash ph roughly tested using strips when doing pale ale at first I thought it was infection but it only happened in a SMASH with Maris otter and a wheat using wheat and Maris otter same astringent flavour, this led me to start querying alkalinity and water quality

cheers
A water test will determine the problem. Are you sure you don't have a water softener?
You shouldn't have such serious problems with that water. It should be possible to make a decent beer with just a spoon of gypsum in the mash and another in the boil.
What water zone are you in?
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Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by Dave S » Sat Oct 15, 2016 12:29 pm

chrisseej wrote:I agree will get in touch with wallybrew and get a water test done
Here is the best water report I have been able to get so far from Northumbria Water I live in North Tyneside don’t know if this helps put things in context.
Calcium -48ppm
Magnesium – unknown
Sodium – 15ppm
Chloride 0.44 ppm
Sulfate 85 ppm

Alkalinity as tested by myself is either 39ppm with reagent used 87ppm

I have had problems with off flavours and mash ph roughly tested using strips when doing pale ale at first I thought it was infection but it only happened in a SMASH with Maris otter and a wheat using wheat and Maris otter same astringent flavour, this led me to start querying alkalinity and water quality

cheers
If you have done the test correctly you should take 39ppm as the correct result. This is a reasonable level for brewing an English style pale ale, (typically 30-50). Otherwise to get your Calcium levels up to around 150ppm you can use a combination of Gypsum and Calcium Chloride to end up with a Sulphate:Chloride ratio of about 2:1 and a sulphate level of say 250-300. Your water analysis above suggests more Calcium Chloride than Gypsum would be required.
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Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by chrisseej » Sat Oct 15, 2016 12:45 pm

I think I am supplied by northern zone of Northumbria water not entirely sure though, I am pretty sure I don't have a water softener. I have brewed some pretty good beers its only the pales I get this off flavour with.

thanks for your advice Dave the last batch I boiled the water and added 10g of gypsum to total water prior to mashing, will give calcium chloride a go.

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