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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Beerman3493

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by Beerman3493 » Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:24 pm

Will do a mash test tonight. But as ph of mash was 4.9 after 40min to 1hour even though only 23ml of CRS used rather than 30 as stated by water test then I suspect the result would be an even lower ph.


I did the test. Added the 1ml of CRS to 1 litre of water did the water test with the kit. Soon as i added the 1 drop of KH-IND dye the colour changed to red so no need to add the KH solution. Anyway I added 2 drops of none CRS adjusted water to the 2ml and test liquid went from red to blue again so must have been near spot on 0mg/l. I then added a bit more of the none adjusted water did the test again and came out as 74mg/l. Could not be bothered to mess about any more so did the mash test with 74mg/l guessing the result would be more alkaline rather than acid.

Result. Mash PH still 4.9 despite checking several times from start to 20 mins into mash with ph meter.

Rechecked ph meter calibration with ph 6.86 solution came back with a reading of 6.7 so guess putting the meter in hot water knocked it out of calibration a little.

Don't really like putting the meter in 65c water as may damage it.

What could be causing this? Guess i would be better off not adjusting the water with CRS

Beerman3493

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by Beerman3493 » Sun Apr 19, 2009 12:20 am

Thank you for the link explaining the testing method in more detail. Nice to know 1g = 1ml I can now weigh the liquid accurately rather than use the syringe. I will perform my next mash without removing the calcium from the water and see what ph my meter gives for the mash. In my exceptional case, I have a feeling that even though my calcium levels are around 200mg/l the mash ph will be more in the region of
ph 5.3 after 10mins of mashing despite not having removed the calcium.

SZM

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by SZM » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:21 pm

Should drink more wrote: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.

Hi I was wondering how you did treat your Eden Falls ? I am trying to get my head round the calculator for my first AG brew but a bit nervous of getting it right. I am planning to make 25 litres of Fullets ESB in a few days time

Thanks

SZM

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by SZM » Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:46 am

That's brilliant thanks - you are right there is quite enough to be worrying about already. Couldnt find Smartprice on Asdas online delivery so had to go to Eden Fall.

SZM

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by SZM » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:17 am

Hi - this is Eden Falls analysis. Any comments on water treatment would be really welcome. From the calculator I am assuming 1.5 tsp gypsum and 1 tsp of Calcium Chloride to make 25 litres of Fullers ESB

Calcium - 11mg
Mag - 3
Potassium - 2
Sodium - 9
bicarb - 30
Chloride - 12
sulphate 9
nitrate - 10

Thanks again

dynamic dave

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by dynamic dave » Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:13 pm

I have been emailing my local water company and they first told me that my water total hardness (alkalinity) is 365 mg/l (or parts per million).
I asked is this expressed in terms of HCO3 or CaCO3 and they tell me "Unfortunately it is confusing as a number of different terms exist to describe hardness (i.e. alkalinity, total hardness etc.)"
The figure I have given you (365 mg/l) is the level of calcium carbonate (CaCO3).

Do I enter this into the Graham's water treatment calculator as alkalinity or water hardness?

dynamic dave

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by dynamic dave » Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:00 pm

thanks Chris will phone them tomorrow seems very complicated to get a straight answer from them with out confusing a newbie full mash brewer.

dynamic dave

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by dynamic dave » Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:06 pm

went bought a kit from pets store and not total accurate but gave mew figures 250-268 cac03 total alkalinity so treat at 250.

Dr.Evil

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by Dr.Evil » Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:53 am

I think this might be a pudding thats being over-egged! I live in a very hard water area. The water is so hard that boiling untreated water results in a cloudy mess as the carbonate starts to precipitate out. However, my first AG brew was based on the Styrian Stunner recipe from these very fora, and the water was untreated. Its an all pale-ale malt brew and therefore supposedly inherently unforgiving to alkali water. Yet it came out OK!

Through trial and error (by measuring mash pH) I have worked out that for a pale brew I need to add 6 ml of concentrated (37% by mass) hydrochloric acid (HCl) per 20L of mash liquor (or for a dark brew, its 3ml) to hit a mash pH of 5.2. I now use these amounts. But my first brew (where the pH was undoubtedly too high, but I didnt have any test papers to measure it) was fine. So play with CRS, measure the mash pH and adjust for your next brew accordingly. But unless something really crazy happens, its probably all going to be fine whatever the mash pH.

KevP

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by KevP » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:20 pm

I'll admit to not reading all this thread, but hopefully someone will come to my rescue and tell me what to do with my Anglian Water reading of ;
Alkalinity No standard mg/l CaCO3 162 (mean)

johnbarleycorn

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by johnbarleycorn » Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:58 pm

"Thames Water
Water hardness levels in your area
The table below shows the water hardness levels in your area:
Water supply zone Total hardness (various measurements)
mgl CaCO3 (ppm) Degrees Clarke Degrees German(DH) Degrees French Detergent rating
PETTS WOOD 306 21.4 17.1 30.6 HARD

The data above was obtained from samples collected in 2008.
Key to abbreviations used in hardness figures p.p.m. Parts per million (also equivalent to milligrams per litre)
mg/l Milligrams per litre (also known as parts per million)
CaCO3 Calcium carbonate, the compound which is the main cause of hardness "


Gents this is what the website gave me, is the Cac03 reading the one I need or is that irrelevant as it does not mention Alkilinity?
Any pointers greatfully received.....! :D

Fallen

Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by Fallen » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:31 pm

I agree 100% with Chris-X1s advice above. Spend the £5 on a salifert kit, you won't regret it!

Here's how I arrived at my decision:

I got the Charlbury water report off the Thames water website then plugged in the 'Total Hardness (measured in CaCO3)' value into Graham's water treatment calculator.

The total hardness value was ~270 and the calculator recommended I add ~12mls of CRS to 10 litres of water (I'm doing mini mashes just now) which I duly did. When I measured the mash pH it was <4.8. Was not happy until I found Chris's advice on the salifert kit.

Bought a salifert kit off ebay. Cheap, easy to use and gave me an alkalinity value of ~190. Plugged this value into Graham's calculator and got a value of 9.2 mls of CRS to add to 10 litres of tap water.

Measured mash pH (using short range pH paper; 4.8-5.5) and got a value between 5.2-5.5. Spot on!

BarnsleyBrewer
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Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by BarnsleyBrewer » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:26 pm

Where's the best place to buy the alkalinity testing kits?
"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
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Re: Treating Water With a High Alkalinity for Brewing

Post by BarnsleyBrewer » Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:29 am

Thanks' Chris :D

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
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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 10:10 pm

HELP!!! Bit of info required please...
Bought a Salifert alkalinity tester...... The water around here changed colour at 0.30, what does that mean regarding CRS ???

Thanks' in advance!

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

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