Water Treatment Temperatures

(That's water to the rest of us!) Beer is about 95% water, so if you want to discuss water treatment, filtering etc this is the place to do it!
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Meatymc
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Water Treatment Temperatures

Post by Meatymc » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:04 pm

As I have to brew in a garage with no water or drainage supply I try and cut corners by using pre-heated water from our new boiler. Ramping it up to 'full power' I can get 60+C even after carrying out to the garage. This not only saves time but also money on the bottled gas - cost of running the boiler being much cheaper.

However, as I've said on a previous post, I'm going to start looking more closely at my water so the question is, can any 'treatment' be added to the water at this temperature or, to get the desired result, do I have to revert to starting with cold and heating from scratch?

On the same note, I add a campden tablet to the pan before filling (which also applies to the sparge/dunk water) as it's then obviously a much shorter time getting to strike temperature - roughly 10 to 15 minutes depending on the outside temperature. Is this long enough to get rid of any chloride or again, should I be starting from cold?

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Aleman
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Re: Water Treatment Temperatures

Post by Aleman » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:29 pm

It's chlorine you are getting rid of with the campden tablet not chloride, and yes it's fine using hot water, indeed the reaction is faster at warmer temperatures.

Treatment salts can be added at any temperature, HOWEVER, calcium sulphate is, slightly, less soluble at warmer temperatures than it is at cold, in terms of the amounts we use in brewing the difference is unimportant. For the salts I just throw them in the bottom of the vessel, and then run water on top, by the time I'm up to temperature, it's all dissolved, just needs a quick stir (or pour into another vessel ;) ) ,and it's all done. Whatever you do do not try and dissolve all your required gypsum in a limited amount of water , it won't work in all probability. Dissolve it in all the Mash and / or sparge liquor (I add different amounts to each, but that is just my way of doing it)

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Re: Water Treatment Temperatures

Post by Meatymc » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:41 pm

Cheers Aleman - hoped you might be hanging around to answer this.

You'd think, having been sat skiving reading all the guidance on treatment (primarily yours!) for the umpteenth time I could at least get my chlorine and chloride in the right places, but, then again................ :shock:

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Eric
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Re: Water Treatment Temperatures

Post by Eric » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:48 pm

I brew in the garage and have possibly done many things you intend trying and there is very little to worry about and nothing you can't get around.
Where you are located it is possible you might find problems getting gypsum to dissolve fully in your water and may instead mix it with your grains keeping some to add to the boiler. As Aleman advises, there is no such problem with calcium chloride.
Good luck.
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Re: Water Treatment Temperatures

Post by Meatymc » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:40 pm

cheers Eric - might have a scaled down trial with the gypsum and see how it goes

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Re: Water Treatment Temperatures

Post by Eric » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:58 pm

Meatymc wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:40 pm
cheers Eric - might have a scaled down trial with the gypsum and see how it goes
That's a valid consideration, but don't leave yourself short of calcium, it's needed to get clear beers in reasonable time and many other things. A lot of classic beers contain higher levels of chloride than sulphate.
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Re: Water Treatment Temperatures

Post by Aleman » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:02 pm

With the levels of ions you have, similar to my own, you don't necessarily need to reduce it down by too much ;).

What I did with mine, was to do test mashes I could do 6 different ion levels with my 'standard' grists, and see what the pH was given the calcium and alkalinity levels, until I got the pH where I wanted ... then it was down to preferred taste which I had to do full scale brews for

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Re: Water Treatment Temperatures

Post by Meatymc » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:48 am

Thanks again guys

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Re: Water Treatment Temperatures

Post by Meatymc » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:06 pm

Taking this a bit further and to (hopefully) see that I might be getting my head around this.....

Just taking the report from Wallybrew (but appreciating I should be checking near enough brew-by-brew) my Alkalinity is 124 mg/l (or ppm).

My next brew is a Porter so I could leave the alkalinity as is for the mash ('black' beer c 120ppm) but I assume I still treat the sparge water (it's actually a full blooded dunk to be honest) to get this down to less than 30ppm. If that's the case - and on the basis my 'sparge' is c10L and using CRS, I'd be adding 5ml of CRS on the basis of what I've read - i.e. 0.5ml per litre reduces Alkalinity by c95ppm? Does that sound about right?

I'm usually an IPA man hence I understand the mash should be below 20ppm. Because of my set-up the mash is always (rightly or wrongly) 20L with a grain bill c5KG or thereabouts. In this case (and if I'm somewhere near correct above) I'd need to add 11ml of CRS to the mash and then treat the sparge as above (to 30ppm) or do you apply the same principle to the sparge water as the mash in this instant (20ppm)'??

I am hoping I'm at least somewhere near with this. Office is only on the 1st floor but if I time it right with the traffic below, I could put myself out of my misery if all this is cobblers :shock:

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Re: Water Treatment Temperatures

Post by Eric » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:19 pm

Meatymc wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:06 pm
Taking this a bit further and to (hopefully) see that I might be getting my head around this.....

Just taking the report from Wallybrew (but appreciating I should be checking near enough brew-by-brew) my Alkalinity is 124 mg/l (or ppm).

My next brew is a Porter so I could leave the alkalinity as is for the mash ('black' beer c 120ppm) but I assume I still treat the sparge water (it's actually a full blooded dunk to be honest) to get this down to less than 30ppm. If that's the case - and on the basis my 'sparge' is c10L and using CRS, I'd be adding 5ml of CRS on the basis of what I've read - i.e. 0.5ml per litre reduces Alkalinity by c95ppm? Does that sound about right?
Alkalinity of 124ppm as CaCO3 is a fairly typical level for mashing such a beer at a ratio of 2.5 lires per kg of grains although I prefer using a lower level of alkalinity. I would suggest you reduce it by 40 or 50 points adding about 0.25ml of CRS per litre with your mash ratio of 8:1. I've no experience of a so called dunk, but think your choice of starting point is as close as you might get.
Meatymc wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:06 pm
I'm usually an IPA man hence I understand the mash should be below 20ppm. Because of my set-up the mash is always (rightly or wrongly) 20L with a grain bill c5KG or thereabouts. In this case (and if I'm somewhere near correct above) I'd need to add 11ml of CRS to the mash and then treat the sparge as above (to 30ppm) or do you apply the same principle to the sparge water as the mash in this instant (20ppm)'??

I am hoping I'm at least somewhere near with this. Office is only on the 1st floor but if I time it right with the traffic below, I could put myself out of my misery if all this is cobblers :shock:

Alkalinity of sparge liquor should be less than that set for the mash. This is due to the buffering effect of the sugars reducing as they are removed which would outherwise result in the pH rising to result in the potential extraction of unwanted products.
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Re: Water Treatment Temperatures

Post by Meatymc » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:43 pm

Thanks Eric.

Bearing in mind I haven't done anything with my water (apart from a campden tablet) in the 31 AG brews I've done to date somewhere close on the initial step is a major leap forward. Now I know a bit about this it's clearly no surprise that I've been most happy with the 4 Porter brews I've done and least happy with my hoppy IPA's - the bulk of my brewing to date

Even the campden addition has obvioulsy been a cock-up having only treated the mash water and not the dunk (sparge) - god only knows why it never occurred to me to treat both!

I say dunk as I don't have the equipment/surroundings to do a proper sparge. Basically I lift the grain bag (BIAB) out of my pan, allow it to drain for a few minutes and then 'dunk' the bag into a bin containing the (sparge) water. I did check the gravity of this 'dunk' water a couple of brews ago and the 10L came in at 1020 - final kettle pre-boil of 1040 and post boil of 1050 so doing something. Whether what's in that water is what I actually want is of course open to question.

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Eric
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Re: Water Treatment Temperatures

Post by Eric » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:06 pm

You do what you can, learn and progress. What more can you expect or want?

From what you have found, your water likely comes from a borehole, as does mine and be well filtered through layers of limestone. If it's like mine, adding some campden tablet or none will make no difference. If from Cod Beck it would be softer than you report and probably have more additions to sanitise that Campden treatment might improve your brew .
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