New water treatment calculator

(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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Aleman
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Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by Aleman » Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:31 am

Belto wrote:I have quickly scanned the postings and yet to find any one who has benefited from treating their local water supply.

Have I missed something? or is the resulting beer better
I've returned to water treatment this last couple of years or so, following a gap where I did no water treatment whatsoever, previously being quite anal about it.

The result, Fermentation is much more effective, faster, yeast drop clear, less chill hazes, Crisper hoppier beers, and rounded sweeter beers. Beer flavour is stable for longer over time . . . So yes I would say that the resulting beer is better . . . but you should have a good sound brewing technique before you really start to play with water treatment.

FWIW my water treatment follows two very simple 'rules'

1) Adjust the alkalinity to a level appropriate to the beer being brewed. (Below 30mg/l for pale beers . . . increasing the amount up to 75-100mg/l for stouts and porters)

2) Adjust the calcium to a minimum of 120-150mg/l

And that is pretty much it. I'm cursed with low hardness, low alkalinity water and adjusting it to meet these two conditions is quite hard (Especially stouts) but my method is as follows

. . .Add a calcium salt to raise the calcium levels to a sensible level . . . Sulphate and/or chloride depending on if I want to go for bitter or sweet or balance
. . . A touch of magnesium as mine is incredibly low
. . . Bicarb for dark beers to increase the carbonate . . . but watch the level of sodium . . .

I have found another method to increase carbonate which is quite intriguing so I might very well try that instead . . . Sometimes I wish I brewed smaller batches so that I could try out things much quicker : :roll:

Belto
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Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by Belto » Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:26 am

Thanks for your constructive replys

My brewing produces 75 - 80% efficiency and I have increased my number of friends who are impressed by the quality of beers produced by home brewing, most are failed Kit brewers.
I was wondering if it is worth another brewing stage for IPA , light ales etc.

The water authority has provided me with the following details

Clark degrees (English) 19

French degrees 27

German Hardness 15


Total Hardness Calcium Carbonate in milligrammes per litre 268mg/l CaCoO3

I did try some time ago by adding

CLS 1.22 ml per Litre of all water used


Calcium adjustment

DLS 0.6grms / ltr to the grains

But did not really find any difference, perhaps at the time I was experimenting with recipes etc to notice
However my brews are pretty well ok without clouding , fermentation, clearing ok etc.
Storage I don't know
I can't keep up with demand so I am increasing my batch size with a DIY 48Qrt Coleman Coolbox

Having said that on a recent brew I think I have contracted some bacteria giving a slight unusual off smell.
I have barreled in hope it will be ok with Time

Thanks for your replys

Belto
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Location: Bristol

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by Belto » Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:10 pm

Thanks Chris-x1

Will study when I have more time.
Looks very informative along with G. Wheeler' s info I should get even more friends with a better Brew

DRB

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by DRB » Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:17 pm

I'm having a blond moment can someone tap my water profile into the calculator and with added crs to see if im doing it right here's what I get for dry pale ale and then switch to automatic. When switching to automatic do I need to change the ratio to 1 to 1 or leave it 0 to 0. This is for 10 litres of mash water.

dry pale ale
Calcium sulphate - 4.53g
Calcium Chloride - 2.2g
Magnesium sulphate 1.42g

switch to automatic ratio 0 to 0

Calcium sulphate - 7.3g
Calcium Chloride - 0g
Magnesium sulphate 1.42g

switch to automatic manually changing ratio 1 to 1

Calcium sulphate - 2.82g
Calcium Chloride - 3.65g
Magnesium sulphate 1.42g

From switching from dry pale ale to automatic there seems to be a big difference if left on 0 to 0 ratio. anyway heres my profile

alkalinity 50 mg
calcium 20mg
sodium 6.95 mg
sulphate 10.06mg
chloride 14.37 mg
carbonate 29.98

If anyone wants to try for me to compare thanks.

Graham

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by Graham » Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:43 pm

The dry pale ale has a 2:1 sulphate / chloride ratio, so if you set it to 2:1 before switching to automatic, it will not change.

The sulphate and chloride ratio is based on the ions in column 5, not the added minerals in the bottom box.

The automatic position is to allow people to adjust the calcium level if they wish (or any cation for that matter), or to vary the sulphate : chloride ratio, and still maintain a ionically balanced result.

The 0:0 position simply pairs a cation up with an appropriate: anion calcium=>sulphate; magnesium=>sulphate; sodium=>chloride. It takes the carbonate into account when doing this. It is really a tool for buggering about, designing a target water from scratch perhaps, and expressing the results in terms of the minerals commonly available to us ; calcium sulphate, calcium chloride, magnesium sulphate and sodium chloride, and produce a balanced water expressed in those terms. It is rather simplistic and it is not intuitively easy to use, so it probably shouldn't be there.

I have often thought of asking the calculator to be withdrawn until I have time to write a better one, because I feel that it confuses more than helps, and makes water treatment seem more complicated than it really needs to be, but if people find it useful it has to stay. Its better than nothing I suppose.

Mind you there must be a few people on here more competent than me with JavaScript :D

DRB

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by DRB » Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:01 pm

Ok thanks even though I aint got a clue what you on about :? due to me not your answer.

So to make it simple if I just type in my profile pick a style eg dry pale ale or stoutand type in how much water I want treating without messing about with any other buttons am I ok to go with that.

Graham

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by Graham » Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:29 pm

Yes, do your stuff and don't switch to automatic. What you get will be close enough.

All you really need is low carbonate 25mg/l minimum, but as low as you can get it apart from that, and around 100mg/l of calcium. All the other stuff is subjective and open to controversy. You can add all your calcium with gypsum, particularly with a pale ale. Chloride is not a feature of pale ales and is only there because many people use Brupaks/Murphy's products and Murphy seems to think that every beer and every brewer wants chlorides.

Anyway, I don't want to confuse you more.

DRB

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by DRB » Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:10 pm

Last one by adding the required amount of everything to the mash will this get my mash ph down to 5.2 ? if not can I add more crs to the mash to get it down without it messing to much with the other additions ?.

Graham

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by Graham » Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:27 pm

DRB wrote:Last one by adding the required amount of everything to the mash will this get my mash ph down to 5.2 ? if not can I add more crs to the mash to get it down without it messing to much with the other additions ?.
Your mash pH will be close enough if everything is done to the rules. Yes adding CRS to the mash will get it down, but it needs care the first time you try it.

It is probably not wise to indiscriminately use CRS. The 50ppm as CaCO3 residual that Brupaks recommend does not leave a busting lot of room for manoeuvre . It is best to go by the rules, preferably using a test kit, and if your mash pH is too high, add more gypsum next time, perhaps 50% more.

Alternatively settle for the pH you end up with. It is no big deal if you are not spot on pH5.3.

DRB

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by DRB » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:13 pm

I add a dollop of mash onto a plate first so yes it is cool . I thought you had to let it cool to get it more accurate.Anyway thanks for you chaps I'll have a go this week to see whats what.

DRB

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by DRB » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:36 pm

I,ve boiled gypsum in a cup for a few mins i've stirred i've whisked and still the fecking stuff dont dissolve into the water :shock: any ideas :?:

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Aleman
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Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by Aleman » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:35 am

Gypsum is soluble in water to 2570ppm at 20C which drops to ~2000ppm at higher temperatures. This is only equivalent to 2.5g in one litre, so if you are trying to dissolve a teaspoonful (~6g) in a cup (~200ml) of water it just isn't going to happen . . . I dissolve mine in the mash liquor once I have transferred it to the tun and the tun is 'preheating'

EccentricDyslexic

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by EccentricDyslexic » Sun May 16, 2010 6:43 pm

Quick question re amount of water to be treated and where to put the salts. Say i have a grain bill of 7kg and use a strike volume of 19l, ienter into GWs calc 19 water to be treated, and add the salts stated to the grain bill yes?

Then i flysparge using a valentine arm so i dont drain the mash tun, just rinse it. when i have the required volume in the Boiler which is usualy about 31l, how many additional litres do i put in the calc to calculate the salts needed for the boil? If i assume the water (and salts) in the mash tun were rinsed into the boiler i can assume that first 19l needs no further salts? In that case i just need to put 12l into the calc? and then add just those salts to the boiler...does this make sence?

Steve

Zapp Brannigan

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by Zapp Brannigan » Sat May 29, 2010 4:04 pm

The calculator is superb, thanks Graham 8)

ZB

chrisr

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by chrisr » Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:56 pm

I think Graham Wheeler’s calculator is magic and have been using it for while – successfully, I believe. However, I have a question. I’ve always just ignored this and everything seems to work, but being a bit bored tonight, I thought I’d try to get to the bottom of it.

I’ve seen in the previous posts that one approach to using the calc is to enter the total volume of water to be treated, to get the additions required, then split the gypsum proportionately between the mash water volume and the rest, adding only gypsum to the mash. The remainder of the treatments go in at the boil. I understand all that (I think).

My query is about the ‘total volume’ – is this really the total volume of water used? Because this will be more than the volume at the start of the boil. So aren’t you adding too much treatment into the boiler? Because some of the water that is to be treated has already been lost, left behind in the mash tun. So should ‘total volume’ be the anticipated volume at the start of the boil?

Am I just being daft? Have I missed something obvious?

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