Temperature of beer when doing water treatment

(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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bitter_dave
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Re: Temperature of beer when doing water treatment

Post by bitter_dave » Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:30 am

Thanks for your reply McMullan. Useful advice. I was going to add the salts needed for the 11 litres of the mash and the rest in the boiler

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Re: Temperature of beer when doing water treatment

Post by Eric » Sun Jan 31, 2021 1:32 pm

Yes, half a Campden Tablet will quickly remove any chlorine. I've not used any since confirming they made no difference to my brews early in a wave of chlorine phobia arrived via the internet from America. I would hope your water might be as uninfected as mine.

My brewing liquor is also from a combi boiler to speed the process and alkalinity is reduced using acid while it is hot. A sample is taken after the treated liquor is well mixed, but is cooled before a further Salifert test confirms the desired alkalinity has been achieved.

Like McMullan, my salts are added to the grains with any surplus added to the kettle. Alkalinity of sparge liquor is less than in the mash to stop pH rising in late runnings, to then extract tannins and the like.
bitter_dave wrote:
Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:38 pm
The most recent Northumbrian water report I've seen seems to an average HC03 value of 60, an average value of 102 and a max of 160 - that seems to be quite a range (as I understand it this is between 49 and 131 CaC03).

The mean values for my postcode are 91 for sulphate, 15 for sodium and 15 for chloride. I'll have a look at that calculator.

The truth is I'm not the most scientifically minded, and I really appreciate all the help I get from this forum!
A variable water supply can cause difficulties for brewing, but those are not necessarily insurmountable. Water might be supplied from more than one source and if such waters are significantly different with proportions continuously altered, it can become impossible to know what one is using. However, in most cases, variation are due to fluctuating rainfall, as appears so with my water supply.

Several years ago Wallybrew tested a series of samples of my water, chosen by alkalinity measured with a Salifert kit, that covered the expected range of ordinary variation. From these the relationship between a TDS reading and each of the major brewing ions was determined and a spreadsheet produced. Now I'm not suggesting you necessarily replicate that, but would advise that should you obtain a cheap TDS Meter, you might consider recording the TDS meter reading with each alkalinity measurement you take. That record should show if there might be a simple relationship between those two and potentially the other ions in your water supply.

Just a caution about TDS readings, both meter and water sample should be at room temperature. A sample of hot water read with a cold meter will give a different reading to a warm meter in cold water.
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Re: Temperature of beer when doing water treatment

Post by bitter_dave » Sun Jan 31, 2021 2:25 pm

Thanks Eric.

I mistyped about the HC03 values - these were not all averages but the min reading, the max reading and average for a single water report. Just wanted to correct that.

My water when I drink it is not generally that tainted by the taste of Chlorine (when I lived in Norwich years ago it was really noticeable). Just trying to cover everything, but probably could not bother.

The Northumbrian water website says that they blend water for some areas : https://www.nwl.co.uk/services/water/wa ... ard-water/ Which I guess could account for some of the variability.

I'll get a TDS meter

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Re: Temperature of beer when doing water treatment

Post by Eric » Sun Jan 31, 2021 6:04 pm

Thanks for that correction on the alkalinity amounts, all understood.

A far more informed person than I, once advised that chlorine had relatively little smell and what we presumed as chlorine was from a reaction between it and ammonia. His advice was that the stronger the smell, the more ammonia was present and potentially, the greater was the debris in the drain.

Interesting on your findings of water in Norwich. I'm reliably informed it makes good beer nonetheless.

Thanks for that link. I was reading similar on their site recently about the water supplied south of me, making me wonder why and if that will happen here before long. Previously there was a series of working pumping stations running north-south with an interconnecting surface pipeline to enable maintenance while keeping a constant supply of groundwater to the whole east of County Durham. Maybe more water is needed than previously, but I wonder if since the coal mines closed and pumping ceased, there is a possibility of contamination in some parts of the aquifer to require a supplementary source.

I'd like to know what you find when you get your TDS meter.
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Re: Temperature of beer when doing water treatment

Post by bitter_dave » Sun Jan 31, 2021 9:33 pm

Ok, I just did a salifert test on cold water just to give it a try. I got a reading of 0.82 dkH, which I believe you multiply by 17.9 to get the CaC03 = 44.75. I believe you want 30 to 50 for bitters so I guess I would not need to adjust it on this occasion.

Salifert also make a calcium test, perhaps it's worth getting one of these as well...

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Re: Temperature of beer when doing water treatment

Post by Eric » Sun Jan 31, 2021 10:31 pm

Your calculation is correct, which suggests that water potentially has only a minimal amount of calcium.

44.75 ppm alkalinity as CaCO3 will be low enough to make a Bitter Beer style, provided sufficient calcium is present and a reasonable level of crystal malt is included.

There is a kit by Salifert for determining calcium levels, but I've not used it. One I did try was far from accurate. If you do decide to have a sample of your water tested, it might be worth getting a kit that you might compare its findings against that done professionally.
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Re: Temperature of beer when doing water treatment

Post by Carnot » Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:10 pm

Dave,

Thanks for clairifying whay you used a campden tablet. Like Eric, I do not bother with sulphites but I can fully understand why Americans are a little paranoid as their municipal water reeks of chlorine, possibly chloramines as tmany utilities in the US use chloramines instead of chlorine. You can read it here. I am glad in the UK we do not go down this route.

https://www.epa.gov/dwreginfo/chloramin ... king-water

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Re: Temperature of beer when doing water treatment

Post by bitter_dave » Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:41 pm

Carnot wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:10 pm
Dave,

Thanks for clairifying whay you used a campden tablet. Like Eric, I do not bother with sulphites but I can fully understand why Americans are a little paranoid as their municipal water reeks of chlorine, possibly chloramines as tmany utilities in the US use chloramines instead of chlorine. You can read it here. I am glad in the UK we do not go down this route.

https://www.epa.gov/dwreginfo/chloramin ... king-water
That’s useful for putting US water treatment advice in context; thanks

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Re: Temperature of beer when doing water treatment

Post by chastuck » Wed Feb 03, 2021 1:07 am

Carnot wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:10 pm
Dave,

Thanks for clairifying whay you used a campden tablet. Like Eric, I do not bother with sulphites but I can fully understand why Americans are a little paranoid as their municipal water reeks of chlorine, possibly chloramines as tmany utilities in the US use chloramines instead of chlorine. You can read it here. I am glad in the UK we do not go down this route.

https://www.epa.gov/dwreginfo/chloramin ... king-water
I know for a fact that quite a few UK water utilities do in fact use chloramines. My own, Thames Water, does for instance.

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Re: Temperature of beer when doing water treatment

Post by Hanglow » Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:29 am

Yes, more popular in scotland too now.
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Re: Temperature of beer when doing water treatment

Post by Carnot » Wed Feb 03, 2021 1:52 pm

Chastuck,

Thanks for the info. I delved a little deeper.

https://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/modules/n ... _id=317939

Quite a few water co's are now using chloramination and worst of all now my own supplier but I have yet to see any evidence in my supply. It looks as if this could become national. The letter dates back to 2009 so it is more than likely others have jouned in as well. Good for campden tablet sellers. I need to delve into the efficacy of chloramine removal by various means.

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Re: Temperature of beer when doing water treatment

Post by bitter_dave » Sat Feb 06, 2021 8:41 pm

Ok, so I just used Salifert tests to test the alkalinity as CaC03 and it came up as 50 (2.8dkH) and the calcium and it seemed to be 70 ppm. Does that sound plausible?

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Re: Temperature of beer when doing water treatment

Post by Eric » Sat Feb 06, 2021 11:14 pm

If alkalinity were to be equivalent to 50 mg/L as CaCO3, the level of calcium in that component would be at the most 20 mg/L. That would require another 50 mg/L to make a total of 70 mg/L.
The most common calcium salt in supply water is gypsum, which at 50 mg/L of calcium would also supply 120 mg/L of sulphate. That is not an unusual level for sulphate, but I would not expect that amount in water with such a relatively low level of alkalinity.
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Re: Temperature of beer when doing water treatment

Post by bitter_dave » Sun Feb 07, 2021 1:21 am

Thanks Eric - it looks like the calcium salifert kit is of dubious accuracy at low concentrations of calcium (hardly surprising).

As an experiment I just treated 1/4 of a litre of water with DLS based on the assumption there was 20 ppm of calcium in the water (i.e. 0.4 x 50 alkalinity). I added enough DLS to bring the calcium to 180 ppm based on the Brupaks instructions (0.19 grams). I then tested the water with the Salifert test and it came out bang on 180 ppm of calcium.

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Re: Temperature of beer when doing water treatment

Post by Eric » Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:29 pm

bitter_dave wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 1:21 am
Thanks Eric - it looks like the calcium salifert kit is of dubious accuracy at low concentrations of calcium (hardly surprising).

As an experiment I just treated 1/4 of a litre of water with DLS based on the assumption there was 20 ppm of calcium in the water (i.e. 0.4 x 50 alkalinity). I added enough DLS to bring the calcium to 180 ppm based on the Brupaks instructions (0.19 grams). I then tested the water with the Salifert test and it came out bang on 180 ppm of calcium.
That was a great idea Dave. I would expect your water will contain more than 20 ppm calcium, there is bound to be some additional content from a calcium salt in that water. How much and what calcium salts are what you now need to know.

Meanwhile, you have enough information to build liquor profiles to make your water suit the style being brewed, as your water's mineral levels are likely low enough to make little significant difference to brewing salt additions.
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