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!
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Graham

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by Graham » Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:53 pm

Or do it the easy way.

Boil all your water vigorously for thirty minutes the night before you brew. This will get rid of most of the carbonate. As it comes to the boil add about 10grams of gypsum for every 25 litres. It might be best to slurry the gypsum in water first with a blender because it is a bit difficult to get into solution.

Turn off the boiler. When the precipitate has settled (takes a while), rack the water off the precipitate into a secondary vessel. Then optionally add a gram or two of Epsom salts (That dissolves easily).

There you are - job done! No water analyses or CRS necessary, and it doesn't matter (much) what your original water is like. I would very surprised your mash pH does not hit the target dead on, and you will have plenty of calcium.

You can substitute some calcium chloride for some of the gypsum should you wish. Calcium chloride goes into solution easily.

Robdog

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by Robdog » Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:17 pm

Chris-x1 wrote:I'd ditch the DLS if you don't know the exact composition of your water, it's only gypsum, calcium chloride and magnesium but in unknown quantities.

If you add one tsp to you mash (assuming a mash made with around 12L of water) you will have about 80ppms plus what you already have in your water supply.

This is well in excess of the 50ppms (edit minimum) George Fix suggests in Principals of Brewing Science.

You will loose some calcium in the mash, and then it will be dilluted by sparge water in the boiler so a further tsp in the boil will help restore some of the calcium level which will be beneficial for a good hot break during the boil.

You could go on adding more but with out an accurate water report and without doing the calculations on your sulphate levels it's probably safest not to as if the sulphate level gets too high it can result in a harsh hop bitterness. If at a later stage you want to take it further you are best off consulting Grahams Water Calculator.

To be honest though, if this is your first grain you shouldn't really be thinking about any of this.



Its my 4th AG Chris so i want to try and get tino it a bit more now i can do the basics.

Robdog

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by Robdog » Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:59 pm

Well ive got one of the alkalinity tropical fish testing kits on the way so i think ill go the CRS/gypsium route.

brewmasterflex

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by brewmasterflex » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:51 pm

Hi I am new to AG brewing and on speaking to a nice lady in the Local Brew shop today she said that I should treat my water, and should never use Spring Water as it has more bad things in it than Tap water. She also said I should draw the tap water and leave it stand for 24 hours before using.

Is this true, She also Said that nearly all Homebrewers are no longer doing AG brews due to cost and that Malt Syrups are the future??

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Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by BarnsleyBrewer » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:13 am

brewmasterflex wrote: She also Said that nearly all Homebrewers are no longer doing AG brews due to cost and that Malt Syrups are the future??
SHE'S A LIAR... :evil: AG is the future, never mind Peter Kay and his garlic bread!!

John :D
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brewmasterflex

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by brewmasterflex » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:21 am

Thanks for you help and advice I had my suspicions she was talking money! . Cheers

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Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by BarnsleyBrewer » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:36 am

Ask for info, we'll help as much as we can!!
There are some guys on here that know their stuff. :D
John
"Brewing Fine Ales in Barnsley Since 1984"
- - - - - - - 30 years (1984 - 2014)- - - - - - -
Pints Brewed in 2019......... 416
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Pints brewed in 2017.. 416 - Pints brewed in 2016.. 208
Pints brewed in 2015.. 624 - Pints brewed in 2014.. 832

Robdog

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by Robdog » Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:53 pm

Graham wrote:
Robdog wrote:Im a little worried about my last brew now as i worked by the 208ppm figure and the brew was a pale ale so took 178mg per ml out of my brewing water which is actually more than is in there anyway. Ill have to wait and see what its like.
It would be interesting to know the effects of overdoing CRS (if any). It is quite easy to overdo, and I have often wondered if it affects flavour adversely.

[Oh fiddlesticks! You've just answered that one, it would probably have knocked your mash pH right down though]



Just to let you know Graham the TEA i brewed where i added to much CRS was fine. Infact it was great and i think id taken my Alkalinity down to zero.

Graham

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by Graham » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:09 pm

Cheers. :)

Should drink more

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by Should drink more » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:31 pm

I just got the first taste of a brew where I took this water treatment stuff seriously. It has made a huge difference to the hop flavours and the astringent flavours have gone completely. I used Asda Eden Falls water treated as Graham's calculator suggested for bitter.
I'm certainly not going to use the unknown alkalinity Severn Trent tap stuff again. A major step forward for me. Thanks everyone.

Tequilla6

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by Tequilla6 » Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:10 am

It's an interesting discussion thread, especially as I keep tropical fish.

I monitor the PH, KH and GH of my water as well as a number of other parameters on a 2 weekly basis and know I have more trouble with Phosphates and Nitrates than anything else in regards fish. Now I am stepping into the brewing arena it seems I gotta watch out for the water I'm brewing with as well :roll: I suppose I am a little ahead of the game on this as I have been doing water adjustments for 10 years or more. I use I convert my tap water using Reverse Osmosis so that I can have a neutral product at a known consistency at 7.0 PH. This removes any Clorine/Chloramine as well as phosphate, nitrate and heavy metals. I then add Specially formulated mixture of dissolvable solids which includes sodium, magnesium, calcium, and potassium together with all necessary minor and trace minerals and a small amount of carbonate alkalinity. Its is this that ends up in my fish tank so I know the PH, KH and GH of the added water. I also use automatic CO2 injection to increase the level of Co2 in the water and thus reduce my PH to my desired level. The PH is constantly monitored and CO2 injection adjusted so I end up with a PH of 6.80 with a KH of 70mg/L and a GH of 110mg/L.

From what I understand about the discussions the addition of Gypsum and CRS is basically doing what I do for my fish but for the Beer Liquor.

My current tap water is at a PH of 7.30 and KH of 250mg/L and GH of 180mg/L its fairly standard throughout the year, only the phosphate and nitrate levels seem to change.

Do we have any desired parameter ranges that we should be striving for in regards beer liquor, or is it dependent on the style of beer we are making. i.e I like Milds, Porters and Stouts.
It sounds like all I need to do is to use my current facilities to produce RO water and add Gypsum in the desired quantity to reach the desired GH and ignore the CRS as my effective KH will be Nil. or in the process of removing everything from the water will I be removing some of the other mineral components and trace elements that I need to produce a good beer?

Interesting discussion.

Tequilla6

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by Tequilla6 » Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:54 am

Ok, Just found the longer thread on the Brewing Liquor forum and a Link to Brupak and their Water treatment info article.
Guess this answers most of my questions.

Cheers

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simple one
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Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by simple one » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:45 am

Being one who tends to be a bit wary of chemical additions of beer, has anyone used lemon juice to alter pH? Can it work? Are there any less agressive alternatives than CRS? If the water starts at a pH of around 6.5 would it need treating? Or am I on the old pH/alkalinity debate, surely they are connected.

Confused
Currently serving - Maltmillers Oatmeal stout - Bottled, Pale Rye APA - FV

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simple one
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Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by simple one » Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:48 am

Cheers chris. That clears up a few things. I am think i am going to take your advice for my darker beers. Boiling and standing.
And i am going to use some soft bottled water for my pale beers. Gypsum in both.

I will resist the CRS, until i taste the results.
Currently serving - Maltmillers Oatmeal stout - Bottled, Pale Rye APA - FV

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Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by BarnsleyBrewer » Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:42 am

Chris-x1 wrote:If you add the gypsum to the boil when treating your water you wont need to add as much or any during the brew day. If you were to add around a tsp and a half to the water you preboiled (and racked of the sediment) you wont need to add any to the mash. It still wont hurt to add some to the boil though.
Just wondered :-k What happens if I over do it with the gypsum? is this possible??
I also use DLS sometimes, what would happen to the brew if I over did it? :-k

John
Last edited by BarnsleyBrewer on Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
"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

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