Water parameter help

(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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Juffer
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Water parameter help

Post by Juffer » Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:56 pm

:? Hi All, i have been doing a bit of reading into water profiles. I would like to start using my own water instead of using bottled as sometimes i don't have any or its a pain traveling to the supermarket. I live in north Berkshire and the tap water is not the most appertising, we have to use a brita filter before we can boil it or else the kettle end up going furry and our drinks taste chemically. To get rid of the chlorine i know i can use half a campden tablet. 90% of my brews are hop forward so as i understand it i need a decent sulphate level.

My question is can somebody please help me in the right direction with my water report and how i adjust these parameters.

https://www.thameswater.co.uk/help-and- ... ea/success

Sodium 6.18 ppm
Magnesium 2.4 ppm
Sulfate 6.45 ppm
Chloride 11.6 ppm
Alkalinity 228 ppm
Calcium carbonate 263ppm

Many thanks
Geoff

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rpruen
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Re: Water parameter help

Post by rpruen » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:16 pm

Hi the link you posted does not work, so I can't see the report.

Ideally you will use some software to adjust the water profile, these go from basic to fairly complex.

I use EZ Water Calculator, as I find it easy to use. You might want to check the web for that and also bru'nwater (I am not sure of the spelling, but google finds it just fine)

You need to input your water report data and then use the software to tweak the water profile.

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Re: Water parameter help

Post by Juffer » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:45 pm

Thank you for that. If you do want to put an eye over the water report https://www.thameswater.co.uk/help-and- ... -your-area

Rg17 9st is the post code.

I suppose the information I'm after is what chemicals do i use to change the profile.

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rpruen
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Re: Water parameter help

Post by rpruen » Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:29 pm

The chemicals I use are, Lactic Acid, Gypsum, Calcium Cloride, Epsom Salt, Table Salt and maybe Chalk

The ones you use depend on the beer you are brewing, and the water profile that you wanted to use. Water profile has a much bigger impact on light beer, but will change the taste of all of them. Bru'n water has a lot more info built in, including profiles you can select but might have a steep ish learning curve. EZ water calculator lets you input your additions and will display the resulting water profile.

It's surprising that you don't need a lot of chemical to change the water profile.

From your water report the hardness is quite high, and that will be why your kettle firs up so fast. You can easily remove the chlorine using campden powder or tablets.

I'm sort of new to water adjustments myself, there are others here who will have much more experience. Hopefully someone can point you in the right direction as far as water profile for a style of beer. See also the thread RO or Tap in the brew in a bag section of the forum.

Regards

Richard

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Re: Water parameter help

Post by Jocky » Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:43 pm

Like mine, your water is pretty typical for SE England. It’s hard, but fairly low in everything else that you might want to change for brewing.

A brita filter might remove chlorine/chloramine and make it more pleasant to drink, but it won’t reduce the level of hardness in your water that causes scale.

For brewing you want to reduce alkalinity to between 30 and 100ppm with AMS or CRS. Lower values for pale beers, higher values for dark beers, with the aim to hit pH 5.2-5.4 in the mash.

Gypsum or calcium chloride can be added to the boil to increase sulphate or chloride levels.
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Re: Water parameter help

Post by Juffer » Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:13 pm

[quote=Jocky post_id=848130 time=1581180195 user_id=8935]
Like mine, your water is pretty typical for SE England. It’s hard, but fairly low in everything else that you might want to change for brewing.

A brita filter might remove chlorine/chloramine and make it more pleasant to drink, but it won’t reduce the level of hardness in your water that causes scale.

For brewing you want to reduce alkalinity to between 30 and 100ppm with AMS or CRS. Lower values for pale beers, higher values for dark beers, with the aim to hit pH 5.2-5.4 in the mash.

Gypsum or calcium chloride can be added to the boil to increase sulphate or chloride levels.
[/quote]

My mind is blown! I have just tried a calculator but I'm.finding it hard to get the hardness down. A quick google search has said AMS can soften water is that correct? And when you talk about alkalinity are you saying water hardness?


Thank you all for your messages. Its nice to know there are people willimg to help. 😊

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Re: Water parameter help

Post by rpruen » Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:09 pm

Juffer wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:13 pm

My mind is blown! I have just tried a calculator but I'm.finding it hard to get the hardness down. A quick google search has said AMS can soften water is that correct? And when you talk about alkalinity are you saying water hardness?


Thank you all for your messages. Its nice to know there are people willimg to help. 😊
It is a bit daunting to start with.

AMS is used to reduce hardness and alkalinity, yes. Hardness and alkalinity aren't the same thing, but closely related. Most of the things that make water more alkaline make it hard, at least that is my take on it.

Always happy to help, trying to teach others makes sure you learned things, it's pretty good revision.

Regards

Richard

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Jim
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Re: Water parameter help

Post by Jim » Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:44 pm

Unfortunately, you have water that needs a lot of work to get the best out of it when brewing.

It might be worth reading this article by Aleman, and the following pages on alkalinity measurement for a bit of background. https://www.jimsbeerkit.co.uk/water_alkalinity.htm
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Eric
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Re: Water parameter help

Post by Eric » Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:52 pm

Juffer wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:13 pm
Jocky wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:43 pm
Like mine, your water is pretty typical for SE England. It’s hard, but fairly low in everything else that you might want to change for brewing.

A brita filter might remove chlorine/chloramine and make it more pleasant to drink, but it won’t reduce the level of hardness in your water that causes scale.

For brewing you want to reduce alkalinity to between 30 and 100ppm with AMS or CRS. Lower values for pale beers, higher values for dark beers, with the aim to hit pH 5.2-5.4 in the mash.

Gypsum or calcium chloride can be added to the boil to increase sulphate or chloride levels.
My mind is blown! I have just tried a calculator but I'm.finding it hard to get the hardness down. A quick google search has said AMS can soften water is that correct? And when you talk about alkalinity are you saying water hardness?


Thank you all for your messages. Its nice to know there are people willimg to help. 😊
Welcome to Jim's

Hardness is for all practical purposes is a measure of the quantity of calcium and magnesium in a particular water. As AMS/CRS does not remove calcium or magnesium it will not reduce hardness. I does reduce alkalinity which is the brewer's enemy. Hardness is the enemy of less informed.

It's sad to read you felt the need to buy bottled water when your tapwater is very suitable for brewing if properly treated.

There is much good information for water treatment on this site and you might start by reading this and Graham Wheelers Water Calculator and notes.

I found slightly different amounts for your water at the given site, but not significantly different. As said there are various calculators around, but each will have the inbuilt preferences of their creators as well as any misunderstandings they may have. It is far better to have an understanding of the basics of water and its treatment rather than treat water in ignorance.

Oh dear, beaten by Jim again.
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Re: Water parameter help

Post by Juffer » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:10 pm

Does something like this look right, or at least on the right track.
24 litre water
Pale ale

26.4ml crs
0.96g gypsum
1.35g calcium chloride
3.07g Epsom salt
1.45g sodium chloride.

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Eric
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Re: Water parameter help

Post by Eric » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:29 pm

Juffer wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:10 pm
Does something like this look right, or at least on the right track.
24 litre water
Pale ale

26.4ml crs
0.96g gypsum
1.35g calcium chloride
3.07g Epsom salt
1.45g sodium chloride.
Looks like a Sweet Pale Ale profile from Graham's calculator. Worth a try.

The calcium content would appear to be about 101mg/l.
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Juffer
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Re: Water parameter help

Post by Juffer » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:52 pm

How would a good way to reduce the calcium content, hardness? I seem to alter one parameter and it thrown another one out 🥴

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Re: Water parameter help

Post by Eric » Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:24 pm

Juffer wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:52 pm
How would a good way to reduce the calcium content, hardness? I seem to alter one parameter and it thrown another one out 🥴
Yes, you can't just remove calcium from water without also removing something else. Calcium is never in water in isolation, it goes into solution a compound, like gypsum. In that case, removing the calcium will also remove the sulphate. In your water most calcium is in the alkalinity when treated with acid forms a salt. This reduces the alkalinity (bad) but retains hardness (good).

You could boil your water and after letting the calcium carbonate so formed to deposit, rack off the less hard water.
You could instal an RO water system.
You could use slaked lime to deposit calcium carbonate.
Then you can add calcium salts to get calcium up to a suitable level for brewing.
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