Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

(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
BarnsleyBrewer
Under the Table
Posts: 1793
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:52 pm
Location: Wombwell (South Yorkshire)

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by BarnsleyBrewer » Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:08 pm

Chris-x1 wrote:It took 0.3mls or the reading was 0.3 mls when the colour changed ?

If the reading was 0.3 mls then you read off the meq/l (in the instructions), multiply by 50 to give convert the answer to mg/l of CaCO3 then divide the answer by 180 to find out the amount of CRS required per litre of water you are treating.
Hi Chris,
Thanks' again for the help.
It changed colour at 0.30.

BB
P.S
What is the alkalinity check soluton for, is it for sea water?
"Brewing Fine Ales in Barnsley Since 1984"
- - - - - - - 30 years (1984 - 2014)- - - - - - -
Pints Brewed in 2019......... 416
Pints brewed in 2018.. 416
Pints brewed in 2017.. 416 - Pints brewed in 2016.. 208
Pints brewed in 2015.. 624 - Pints brewed in 2014.. 832

BarnsleyBrewer
Under the Table
Posts: 1793
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:52 pm
Location: Wombwell (South Yorkshire)

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by BarnsleyBrewer » Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:21 pm

If i'm 0.30 Chris how much CRS would you recommend for lager, beer or stout type brews??

Thanks'
John
"Brewing Fine Ales in Barnsley Since 1984"
- - - - - - - 30 years (1984 - 2014)- - - - - - -
Pints Brewed in 2019......... 416
Pints brewed in 2018.. 416
Pints brewed in 2017.. 416 - Pints brewed in 2016.. 208
Pints brewed in 2015.. 624 - Pints brewed in 2014.. 832

BarnsleyBrewer
Under the Table
Posts: 1793
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:52 pm
Location: Wombwell (South Yorkshire)

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by BarnsleyBrewer » Sat May 01, 2010 12:10 am

The small syringe had 0.30 left in out of a possible 1.0.

John
"Brewing Fine Ales in Barnsley Since 1984"
- - - - - - - 30 years (1984 - 2014)- - - - - - -
Pints Brewed in 2019......... 416
Pints brewed in 2018.. 416
Pints brewed in 2017.. 416 - Pints brewed in 2016.. 208
Pints brewed in 2015.. 624 - Pints brewed in 2014.. 832

padley1985

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by padley1985 » Mon May 03, 2010 1:12 pm

0.3 is 4.00 alkalinity X 50 = 200 then use this calculator to work out the rest http://www.jimsbeerkit.co.uk/water/water.html

benspray

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by benspray » Wed May 12, 2010 12:32 pm

Just finished reading the thread and just a couple of quick questions to clarify....

Is there a taste left when using larger quantities of CRS (saw a few reports from looking through the thread that there may be?)
My water has 321 mg/l alkalinity (according to the water board report, havent tested it for myself yet but will do soon / before I use any CRS) so I work that for a pale I would use 40ml.... seems a rather large amount?!

On another note according to my water boards report my calcium levels are high (very hard water here so I assume thats one of the factors) Calcium levels are 164 mg/l so would I be able to get away without using gypsum in the mash and/or boil?

Cheers
Ben

User avatar
Aleman
It's definitely Lock In Time
Posts: 6131
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 11:56 am
Location: Mashing In Blackpool, Lancashire, UK

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by Aleman » Wed May 12, 2010 12:55 pm

I don't make a habit of tasting hydrochloric and sulphuric acids so I couldn't comment on a 'taste' . .However I would say that they are two of the least tasteable acids . . .much less tasteable than lactic for example. . . probably on a par with Phosphoric in that respect. . . . and while it may be tasteable in liquor I do wonder if it would be noticeable in the final beer . . .perhaps a lite lager maybe???

Regarding your calcium it is nice and high (Just a tad over what I aim for when adding treatment salts) and if you use CRS the salts that are formed (calcium sulphate and calcium chloride) are nice an soluble so you will not be lowering your calcium level and therefore you should not need to boost the calcium to make good beer. . . . If you were to use phosphoric acid to adjust your alkalinity you would strip calcium from the liquor as calcium phosphate is insoluble.

benspray

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by benspray » Wed May 12, 2010 1:43 pm

Sorry yes forgot to mention I was working the figures on 25l to come to 40ml (and I will test before doing anything this was just a rough working based on the water report)

Anyway, sounds good, at least the extra money on CRS can be saved somewhat on gypsum (and bottled water - see below)

I'll get a test kit ordered and give this a try in a few weeks when I try my firs AG brew, Ive been using a mixture of bottled waters up until now after deciding it was my tap water (even after campden treatment) that was leaving a strange taste to my (kit) beers, havent had an issue since using spring water but the cost adds up!

I know the recomendation in the thread for a first AG was not to worry about treatment but after experimenting with my water in my kit brewing Im not going to risk using it un-corrected in an AG and to me it seems quite a quick simple initial step to take at the start of the brew day (in fact I'll probably test and get my water ready with CRS and Campden the night before and set a timer to start heating the water in the morning)
Looking forward to it, just need to decide on a recipe to try as a starting point now (probably just going to order one of the barley bottom recipe kits to take away the weighing etc for the first try so I can concentrate on the rest of the method....

Cheers
Ben

BarnsleyBrewer
Under the Table
Posts: 1793
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:52 pm
Location: Wombwell (South Yorkshire)

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by BarnsleyBrewer » Sat May 15, 2010 10:11 am

Before I started brewing properly I thought water was water, tizz not the case! :?
BB
"Brewing Fine Ales in Barnsley Since 1984"
- - - - - - - 30 years (1984 - 2014)- - - - - - -
Pints Brewed in 2019......... 416
Pints brewed in 2018.. 416
Pints brewed in 2017.. 416 - Pints brewed in 2016.. 208
Pints brewed in 2015.. 624 - Pints brewed in 2014.. 832

Old Bloater

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by Old Bloater » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:42 pm

Hi
Any suggestions please for if my water comes out of a stream, I am high, (1000') up on a fell on the western side of the Lake district?
It is very soft, as you can imagine, and absolutely no kettle furring up in the last 9 years.
Any suggestions gratefully appreciated.
Cheers

OldThumper

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by OldThumper » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:08 am

Am I right in saying that if you leave the water standing over night then you don't need a campden tablet because the chlorine naturally evaporates (or whatever the techincal process is)? I think one of my wine book mentions this.

BarnsleyBrewer
Under the Table
Posts: 1793
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:52 pm
Location: Wombwell (South Yorkshire)

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by BarnsleyBrewer » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:17 am

If brewers have to add large amounts of CRS because the alkalinity is very high, can this acid be damaging to your health or is it all converted into friendly stuff?

BB
"Brewing Fine Ales in Barnsley Since 1984"
- - - - - - - 30 years (1984 - 2014)- - - - - - -
Pints Brewed in 2019......... 416
Pints brewed in 2018.. 416
Pints brewed in 2017.. 416 - Pints brewed in 2016.. 208
Pints brewed in 2015.. 624 - Pints brewed in 2014.. 832

User avatar
Aleman
It's definitely Lock In Time
Posts: 6131
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 11:56 am
Location: Mashing In Blackpool, Lancashire, UK

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by Aleman » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:09 am

BarnsleyBrewer wrote:If brewers have to add large amounts of CRS because the alkalinity is very high, can this acid be damaging to your health or is it all converted into friendly stuff?
It's pretty mcuh all converted to 'friendly' stuff . . . basically Sulphate and Chloride ions, which are of benefit to brewing . . . The issue with using CRS is that there is no control over the ratio of Sulphate to Chloride added by the Acid . . . For this reason I am going to resort to using sulphuric acid instead, as I have no problems in getting a good malt profile (indicating little chloride needs to be added) , but find my hop profile to be lacking (indicating sulphate needs to be added)

OldThumper

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by OldThumper » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:08 am

Thanks Chris for sorting the campden query with regards to chloramines. I have often in the past just left the water over night, although never detected anything undesirable in my beer (e.g. the TCP some folk mention).

BTW: When I treat my water with CRS (typically I use about 40ml in about 40L of water), gypsum and Epsom should I take a water analysis (using the Salifert kit you kindly pointed me at a while back)? If so, what am I looking for? E.g. what reading is desirable? I assume the CRS works immediately and I don’t have to wait for a period of time to take the water analysis do I?

Thanks!

OldThumper

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by OldThumper » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:39 pm

So, using the following information from the Brupaks web site, I can take a sample of my
TREATED water after 10 mins and check to see if my analysis is within the range reported below:

Bitter and Pale Ale. Alkalinity as CaC03 - up to 50 p.p.m. Calcium - 180 to 220 p.p.m.

Mild Ale. Alkalinity as CaC03 - 100 to 150 p.p.m. Calcium - 90 to 110 p.p.m.

Porter and Stout. Alkalinity as CaC03 - 100 to 150 p.p.m. Calcium - 100 to 120 p.p.m.

Pale Lager. Alkalinity as CaC03 - up to 30 p.p.m. Calcium - 100 to 120 p.p.m.


e.g. If am brewing a Porter then if my CaCO3 reading is between 100 and 150 ppm then I am a happy man

Correct?

I guess you rarely need to do this because you can rely on the CRS doing its job :)

jerry met

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by jerry met » Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:52 pm

Thanks for the post DaaB.
I have received a response from my water authority giving a total Alkalinity of 70ug/l HCO3 = 57.4ug/l CaCO3 which if 1000 ug in 1 mg means I have 0.574 mg/l CaCO3.
This figure seems very low - are my sums wrong, are figures from Northumbria water not the Total Alkalinity or is that just the way the water is.
I live in South East Northumberland
I mainly try to produce a yorkshire bitter so I need a figure up to 50 mg/l.
So for a 25l brew I need to add 30 x 50 = 1500mg of calcium carbonate
Just add 1 teaspoon of gypsum then eh!

Regards Jerry

Post Reply