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!
Post Reply
nik
Tippler
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:21 pm
Location: Athens / Greece

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by nik » Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:41 pm

Dear friends reading some threads here I am conviced to use water teratment in my next brews, the problem here where I live is that I can not get decent water analysis for my tap water so I use bottled water for my brews . But again some data mising to input them on the calculator and some look to me Chinese . Can you help me with the correct settings ?
The data given on the label are :
Cations :Ca++ , Mg++ , Na+ , K+ , NH4+ (mg/L)
Anions : Cl , HCO3 , SO4 , NO3 , NO2 (mg/L)
Totall Hardness mg/L
ph
Conductivity μS/cm

I use ,hardness, Ca,Mg,Na,SO4,Cl, but when I am inputing CO3 with the value given for HCO3 (I can guess this is probably my mistake inputing different things as supposed) I get a warning message such as "Your intial carbonate level seems too high. Check carbonate reduction parameters" If I leave it zero is everything is ok but is this right.
With the given data can I use the calculator ? Also which is the right Sulpahate Chloride Ratio to use ?
Thank you in advance
Nick

nik
Tippler
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:21 pm
Location: Athens / Greece

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by nik » Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:05 pm

I just solved out the HCO3 mistake . It is my mistake the given value for CO3 from the water company is 0 so no error messages .

mentaldental

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by mentaldental » Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:28 am

My local water report is pretty useless and I have been using an alklinity test kit to supplement the supply company's data. I have just received a W-6 water analysis from Ward Labs Inc (in the US). The figures are pretty much inline with the "official" figures as far as I have them but I am confused about one aspect.

Alkalinity is given as 232ppm (CaCO3).
Calcium Hardness is 276ppm (when I last tested my water with a Salifert KH/Alk kit I got a value of 265.5)
Carbonate is <1ppm (undetectable to testing)
Bicarbonate is 283

When I enter alkalinity and hardness into the calculator it makes a pretty good stab at guessing the anions/cations except for:
1. Sulphate which is estimated as 42.23 wheras the measured value is 8
2. Carbonate which is estimated as 139.1 whereas the measured value is <1.

So is it correct that I overide the estimated carbonate figure with a big fat zero?

I have been using the calculator together with CRS and have been getting mash pH's which are rather on the low side which I have suspected has been due to over vigorous use of CRS. I guess this may be as a result of the numbers noted above. I got much better mash pH when I built my water up from RO in the past!

Graham

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by Graham » Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:14 am

mentaldental wrote:My local water report is pretty useless and I have been using an alklinity test kit to supplement the supply company's data. I have just received a W-6 water analysis from Ward Labs Inc (in the US). The figures are pretty much inline with the "official" figures as far as I have them but I am confused about one aspect.

Alkalinity is given as 232ppm (CaCO3).
Calcium Hardness is 276ppm (when I last tested my water with a Salifert KH/Alk kit I got a value of 265.5)
Carbonate is <1ppm (undetectable to testing)
Bicarbonate is 283

When I enter alkalinity and hardness into the calculator it makes a pretty good stab at guessing the anions/cations except for:
1. Sulphate which is estimated as 42.23 wheras the measured value is 8
2. Carbonate which is estimated as 139.1 whereas the measured value is <1.

So is it correct that I overide the estimated carbonate figure with a big fat zero?

I have been using the calculator together with CRS and have been getting mash pH's which are rather on the low side which I have suspected has been due to over vigorous use of CRS. I guess this may be as a result of the numbers noted above. I got much better mash pH when I built my water up from RO in the past!
Most of the confusion is a consequence of the water industry having the habit of expressing things in odd ways.
Alkalinity, bicarbonate and carbonate are (more or less) the same thing expressed differently.
Your alkalinity and bicarbonate figures tie up. 232ppm of alkalinity as CaCO3 is 4.64 milliequivalents; 283ppm of bicarbonate is again 4.64 millequivalents - they match.

With the carbonate / bicarbonate thing, it is the carbonate ion that we are principally interested in. With water below a certain pH all of the carbonate is present in the form of bicarbonate, as is the case with your water and most British domestic water supplies. However 283 ppm of bicarbonate contains 139ppm of carbonate, and that is the figure that the calculator requires (not a big fat zero). And, just for confirmation, 232ppm of alkalinity also contains 139ppm of carbonate.

The calcium hardness aspect is more difficult because it is not clear exactly what they mean or how they have measured it. One thing is for certain is that calcium hardness and your Salifert test kit results are not same thing. Your Salifert test kit measures alkalinity, despite the implications of KH being printed on the box. Hardness and alkalinity are different things; related, but different. They obviously express hardness as CaCO3, but whether or not they have lumped magnesium in with it is not clear - usually they do - and sometimes sodium as well, depending upon how they measure it.

if you have got a proper figure for calcium in ppm, then there is no need to bother with hardness at all.

The hardness box in the calculator was a bad idea because it is confusing. It was put there to very approximately guesstimate calcium and carbonate in the absence of proper figures. The fact that it is there erroneously encourages people to use it in circumstances when they should not. That function needs considerable improvement if it is to be of more help than hindrance.

mentaldental

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by mentaldental » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:42 am

Graham,

Thanks for such a quick, clear, and lucid explanation!
Most of the confusion is a consequence of the water industry having the habit of expressing things in odd ways.
I'll say! The most rational way would seem to be millequivalents which is the unit that no one seems to use. :roll:
However 283 ppm of bicarbonate contains 139ppm of carbonate, and that is the figure that the calculator requires (not a big fat zero). And, just for confirmation, 232ppm of alkalinity also contains 139ppm of carbonate.
So that's about half. Is that because the bicarb. ion has a single charge whereas the carbonate has 2? The difference being due to the presence of the extra hydrogen I assume.

[Edit] I have just bothered to work it out for myself! And I got the figure as carb. to be 139.18, so I guess that is the explanation then![/Edit]

mentaldental

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by mentaldental » Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:43 pm

Can someone explain why 3.5 equivalents of calcium neutralize 1 equivalent of alkalinity but 7 equivalents of magnesium are needed to do the same?

I assume its all to do with the phytase reaction but I can't get a calculation written down which gives the right number.

WallyBrew
Hollow Legs
Posts: 429
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:30 pm
Location: Surrey

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by WallyBrew » Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:59 pm

It would appear to be experimentally determined
Kohlbach

mentaldental

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by mentaldental » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:10 pm

WallyBrew wrote:It would appear to be experimentally determined
Kohlbach
Thanks for the link. I guessed it to be experimentally determined but I wondered if it is possible to derive the same numbers by calculation in terms of millivals etc.

mentaldental

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by mentaldental » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:07 pm

Is the Residual Alkalinity in the calculator the figure after the addition of CRS (if using it!) and before the addition of extra calcium and magnesium?

mentaldental

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by mentaldental » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:58 am

Chris-x1 wrote:
Select the method of carbonate reduction. If using CRS, set the residual alkalinity figure if you have a preference. If you have no preference, leave it at the default, which is the generally recommended minimum figure for a bitter. However, if the carbonate figure in the target liquor row is greater than the residual figure, the residual figure is ignored and the target figure is used for the calculation instead. In almost all cases the residual figure will be overridden by the target figure when using CRS.
It is your desired residual alkalinity. As far as I can recall the reduction in alkalinity or calcium carbonate figure is accounted for entirely by CRS at the rate of 180mg per ml. A distilled water mash ph will be around 5.8 (pale malt) the presence of calcium and magnesium will bring the ph down http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=bHuC ... ph&f=false. I don't believe Grahams calculator it takes into account Kolbachs work.
That's sort of what I had guessed. If you plug the numbers into Kolbach's equation you need a negative RA for pale beers, which Graham's calculator doesn't support. That was really what was confusing me a little.

chrisr

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by chrisr » Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:46 pm

Chris-x1 wrote:
mentaldental wrote: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?
Yes - the total of mash and sparge liquor. and Yes, you would be adding too much in the way of salts adding it to the mash tun and boiler (the crs is total water). I suggest adding gypsum or calcium chloride to the boiler and mash tun separately as a catch all method when you don't know your calcium levels in order to achieve approx 50ppm+ in the mash, partly as some precipitates out in the mash, partly because some of it would probably end up in the bottom of the hlt anyway. The additional tsp into the boil is because of the increase in the volume of water. If you are trying to replicate a water profile you should add it to the total water in the hlt (or hlt and mash tun if like me you heat some of your water in the mash tun itself).

I still don't get it. I can understand the CRS bit, adding that for the total water volume. But the salts added to the mash and/or boiler: would these be added based upon the total water volume I started with (same as CRS calculation) OR the actual volume in the mash and/or boiler?

nik
Tippler
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:21 pm
Location: Athens / Greece

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by nik » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:15 am

I 've got a water report from the company who produces the bottled water I use for brewing . And is got the following characteristics .
Ca = 32 ppm
Mg = 12.4 ppm
Na = 6.9 ppm
CO3 = 0.0 ppm
HCO3 = 138 ppm
Cl = 13.6 ppm
SO4 = 6.3 ppm
Total Hardness as CaCO3 = 131 ppm

Does the HOC3 value given represents the Alkalinity figure needed for calculations ? At the report sheet doesn't mention anything about alkalinity just the above figure among others .

Graham

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by Graham » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:05 am

Yes, 138ppm of HCO3 is equivalent to 68ppm of carbonate (CO3) and 113ppm as CaCO3


nik
Tippler
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:21 pm
Location: Athens / Greece

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by nik » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:30 am

Graham wrote:Yes, 138ppm of HCO3 is equivalent to 68ppm of carbonate (CO3) and 113ppm as CaCO3
Thank you Graham .
A silly question propably has been answered somewher I am sure...
What equation you are used to figure out the results above to have it handy if I change water supplier ?

Post Reply