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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Mashman
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Post by Mashman » Fri May 16, 2008 9:46 am

:lol: :lol:
Two Valleys Brewery

Brewing up trouble

SteveD

Post by SteveD » Fri May 16, 2008 10:33 am

DaaB wrote:Indeed, if only someone would come up with a water testing kit that cost say, less than a price of a pint that would do 60 odd tests and was distributing it among JHBF brewers :-k
Right..... It's morning. This is defined as that period of the day before the first cup of coffee, so my baud rate is even lower than usual.

I see Daab's comment, I see laughing smileys posted after..... is this because.... a cheap water testing kit is an unattainable nirvana, or...perchance the nirvana has been attained, and just I don't know about it? Er... I suspect the former, so I should be going :lol: as well....

Northern Brewer

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by Northern Brewer » Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:01 pm

Just had my first play with Graham's excellent calculator, but it does have me scratching my head a little.

Murphy and Son Ltd appear to be in the business of supply brewing salts to the industry and have an interesting article on water treatment here...

http://www.murphyandson.co.uk/BrewingAr ... ywhere.htm

They suggest Sulphate:Chloride ratios of 2:1 for Bitters, 1:2 for Milds and 1:3 for Stouts and Porters, whereas Graham's calculator indicates 1:1 for Bitters, 1:1.5 for Mild, 1:3 for Porter and 0:4 for Stouts.

I appreciate that the calculator allows me to tweak these ratios as I see fit, but I am nevertheless curious as to the disparities.

coatesg

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by coatesg » Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:56 pm

Been playing with this myself - have obtained some methyl orange and looking to test my alkalinity next week - so playing round with this to look at what kind of additions I think I can expect. I've found an oddity in the sodium column though.

My water report states a 2007 average value of 18.5mg/l for sodium ions. If I choose a target liquor with target sodium ion conc=0 (eg pale ale), and choose CRS with residual alk. = 20, then the final liquor row for sodium comes back as 9.18blah... This seems wrong - I can't have reduced the sodium value by additions? If I set the carb reduction method to boiling - the final liquor value comes back as 0!

Is there something wrong here? I've checked the balance of the ions in the original and target water (6.45/6.47 and 8.4/8.39 respectively) so I don't think there's too much wrong there... :-k
Last edited by coatesg on Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jim
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Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by Jim » Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:30 pm

Northern Brewer wrote:Just had my first play with Graham's excellent calculator, but it does have me scratching my head a little.

Murphy and Son Ltd appear to be in the business of supply brewing salts to the industry and have an interesting article on water treatment here...

http://www.murphyandson.co.uk/BrewingAr ... ywhere.htm

They suggest Sulphate:Chloride ratios of 2:1 for Bitters, 1:2 for Milds and 1:3 for Stouts and Porters, whereas Graham's calculator indicates 1:1 for Bitters, 1:1.5 for Mild, 1:3 for Porter and 0:4 for Stouts.

I appreciate that the calculator allows me to tweak these ratios as I see fit, but I am nevertheless curious as to the disparities.
I doubt that any 2 experts agree on the correct ratios for particular beer styles. :wink:
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away" - Philip K. Dick

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flything

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by flything » Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:10 am

For Graham's water calculator my water co, Severn Trent, only suppy the amounts for Calcium (89mg/l), Sodium (34mg/l), Sulphate (27m/gl) & Chloride (71mg/l), they supply hardness as degrees Clark (15.6).

Looking back through this thread Vossy has given a formula for converting Clark to CaCO3 ( * 14.3) which gives me 223.08mg/l of CaCO3.

So, if I key this number in first it automatically fills in the Calcium and Carbonate levels on line 2, the calcium is spot on, I don't have levels from the water co for carbonate so have to assume that 133.7mg/l is correct.

I then key in the numbers for Sodium, Sulphate and Chloride.

This leaves the magnesium empty. The two Ion fields don't match, I therefore play around and by entering 13.2mg/l for magnesium the numbers match (7.02), and get this:

Image

I've read various comments about the hardness box, that it should be used as a last resort, if so how accurate/useful is this likely to be in determining the treatment I need to do to match my water to the various regions?

coatesg

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by coatesg » Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:11 am

flything wrote:For Graham's water calculator my water co, Severn Trent, only suppy the amounts for Calcium (89mg/l), Sodium (34mg/l), Sulphate (27m/gl) & Chloride (71mg/l), they supply hardness as degrees Clark (15.6).
I think you'll need the alkalinity though - there's a note from Graham somewhere that says the hardness column is for use as last resort - I'm buggered if I know where it is now! :oops:

Graham

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by Graham » Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:47 am

Northern Brewer wrote:Just had my first play with Graham's excellent calculator, but it does have me scratching my head a little.

Murphy and Son Ltd appear to be in the business of supply brewing salts to the industry and have an interesting article on water treatment here...

http://www.murphyandson.co.uk/BrewingAr ... ywhere.htm

They suggest Sulphate:Chloride ratios of 2:1 for Bitters, 1:2 for Milds and 1:3 for Stouts and Porters, whereas Graham's calculator indicates 1:1 for Bitters, 1:1.5 for Mild, 1:3 for Porter and 0:4 for Stouts.

I appreciate that the calculator allows me to tweak these ratios as I see fit, but I am nevertheless curious as to the disparities.
So-called typical sulphate / chloride ratios vary depending upon where you look. The ratios in the calculator are the average of about five different references and then adjusted to convenient round(ish) numbers. They should not be regarded as fixed; the whole idea of sulphate / chloride ratios is for flavour adjustment, as in adding salt and pepper to food; it is subjective. The effect of these ratios is only apparent with low gravity, low-bodied beers. With hoppier beers or beers with more assertive malt flavours these effects are masked. Most waters contain very little natural chloride so, historically, high chloride levels would not be present and it would be quite in order to omit the chloride altogether.

There is, however, an issue when using CRS. With CRS the calcium in the water remains untouched but roughly equal proportions of sulphate and chloride are added to the water. Thus calcium adjustments might not be necessary with some types of water (chalky water), and even if it was it would be difficult to move the ratio very far away from 1:1.

In a future revision of the calculator I will probably make the ratios similar to the Murphy's stuff to save this confusion.

Northern Brewer

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by Northern Brewer » Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:22 am

Thanks for your detailed response Graham. I recognise that this information varies depending upon where one looks, and that worrying about it in context of bitters is probably a little unnecessary, when you consider the ratio of Burton water is way off piste by comparison.

Having only recently returned to this forum I missed your arrival last year and the penny has only just dropped. May I take this opportunity to offer you many, many thanks for introducing me to a hobby that has given me so much pleasure over the years =D>

Graham

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by Graham » Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:26 pm

coatesg wrote:Been playing with this myself - have obtained some methyl orange and looking to test my alkalinity next week - so playing round with this to look at what kind of additions I think I can expect. I've found an oddity in the sodium column though.

My water report states a 2007 average value of 18.5mg/l for sodium ions. If I choose a target liquor with target sodium ion conc=0 (eg pale ale), and choose CRS with residual alk. = 20, then the final liquor row for sodium comes back as 9.18blah... This seems wrong - I can't have reduced the sodium value by additions? If I set the carb reduction method to boiling - the final liquor value comes back as 0!

Is there something wrong here? I've checked the balance of the ions in the original and target water (6.45/6.47 and 8.4/8.39 respectively) so I don't think there's too much wrong there... :-k
The programme probably thinks that all your sodium is bound to carbonate as sodium carbonate. As you reduce the carbonate, the programme finds that some of the sodium has nothing to bind to and so drops it because it cannot exist as such. The carbonate and sodium remaining does match the sodium carbonate ratio. What is worrying is that your ion balance is correct, so it should have found something to bind to. The trouble is that the ions can combine in a dozen ways, but I have to chose a particular fixed pecking order for pairing up the results that best suits brewing. Doing the sums in a different order can produce slightly different results. I wouldn't mind your water figures so that I can go through manually and see what is happening.

As it happens I am doing some revision work on the calculator at the moment to address other issues that have arisen in this thread (and to correct a minor bug that I discovered this morning).

Graham

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by Graham » Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:38 pm

flything wrote:For Graham's water calculator my water co, Severn Trent, only suppy the amounts for Calcium (89mg/l), Sodium (34mg/l), Sulphate (27m/gl) & Chloride (71mg/l), they supply hardness as degrees Clark (15.6).

Looking back through this thread Vossy has given a formula for converting Clark to CaCO3 ( * 14.3) which gives me 223.08mg/l of CaCO3.

So, if I key this number in first it automatically fills in the Calcium and Carbonate levels on line 2, the calcium is spot on, I don't have levels from the water co for carbonate so have to assume that 133.7mg/l is correct.

I then key in the numbers for Sodium, Sulphate and Chloride.

This leaves the magnesium empty. The two Ion fields don't match, I therefore play around and by entering 13.2mg/l for magnesium the numbers match (7.02), and get this:

I've read various comments about the hardness box, that it should be used as a last resort, if so how accurate/useful is this likely to be in determining the treatment I need to do to match my water to the various regions?
The reason that the hardness box should be used as a last resort is because alkalinity and hardness are not the same thing, although they are often treated as such. If one has as figure for alkalinity, then it should be used in preference because it should be more accurate. However, as the hardness figure got the calcium figure spot on, you can rely on it as being accurate.

Northern Brewer

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by Northern Brewer » Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:43 pm

flything wrote:For Graham's water calculator my water co, Severn Trent, only suppy the amounts for Calcium (89mg/l), Sodium (34mg/l), Sulphate (27m/gl) & Chloride (71mg/l), they supply hardness as degrees Clark (15.6).
The link to Severn Trent's water info is here

Enter you postcode and this will take you to the basic analysis page, which includes a number for pH. My water company confirm this to be as HCO3, but even if yours is as CO3 or CaCO3, entering the figure provided will get you far nearer to where you want to be, than working back from Clark. I looked up an imaginary postcode of WV1 1AA and got a Clark of 54, which multiplied by 14.3 = 220 Hardness expressed as CaCO3. The alkalinity for the same supply was 7.27.

Try comparing these in the calculator without adding anything else :)

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Andy
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Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by Andy » Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:49 pm

Graham wrote:As it happens I am doing some revision work on the calculator at the moment to address other issues that have arisen in this thread (and to correct a minor bug that I discovered this morning).
Let me know when done Graham and I can upload the new version.
Dan!

Graham

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by Graham » Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:42 pm

Andy wrote:
Graham wrote:As it happens I am doing some revision work on the calculator at the moment to address other issues that have arisen in this thread (and to correct a minor bug that I discovered this morning).
Let me know when done Graham and I can upload the new version.
Cheers! Nearly done, apart from testing.

flything

Re: New water treatment calculator

Post by flything » Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:17 pm

The link to Severn Trent's water info is here
Yeah, that's where I got some info from, but to get calcium and sulphate you have to go to the detailed report that links from that page.

It quotes my pH as 7.45, however I can't convert that to CaC03, HC03 or C03 can I?

I'm going to phone ST in the morning and ask for the mg/l for CaC03 etc (and magnesium while I'm at it).

Thanks all for the rapid responses :)

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