advice about alkalininty and salifert test

(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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Eric
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Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by Eric » Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:49 pm

chrisseej wrote:I think I am supplied by northern zone of Northumbria water not entirely sure though, I am pretty sure I don't have a water softener. I have brewed some pretty good beers its only the pales I get this off flavour with.

thanks for your advice Dave the last batch I boiled the water and added 10g of gypsum to total water prior to mashing, will give calcium chloride a go.
North Tyneside water is consistent across all that area from the data I have. Those figures are close to mine although I can't think chloride could be that low as rainwater frequently contains more and with the given level of sodium would be expected to be around 20ppm.

On the water company's website it is possible to input your postcode allowing access to a hardness value given in terms of calcium and download a water quality report which includes values for sodium, sulphate and chloride as well as the water zone (such as N105 fo Newcastle Central) and I somewhere I have some historic values.
Without patience, life becomes difficult and the sooner it's finished, the better.

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Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by alexlark » Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:38 am

What helped me take the readings was to watch a YouTube video of someone else doing it. Just confirms your understanding of the instructions.

chrisseej

Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by chrisseej » Sun Oct 16, 2016 3:48 pm

Thanks Alexlark but think I have watched every salifert test vid going by now I don’t seem to be doing anything different.

Eric I have downloaded water report from Northumbria my zone is N140 – Whitley Bay
Calcium as hardness 48 mg/l (slightly hard)
Magnesium – unlisted
Sodium – 15 ppm
Sulphate -85ppm
Chloride -15 (You were right about the chloride Eric I misread the report)

I put the calcium as hardness figure into an online calculator (http://users.tinyonline.co.uk/chrisshort/waterhard.htm) and it gives a CaC03 figure of 120mg, this is closer to my figures in table A
Is the calcium hardness number the calcium figure that I should put into a Water calculator, I have seen elsewhere calcium ion figures.
Cheers

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Eric
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Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by Eric » Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:15 pm

NOT calcium as hardness BUT hardness as calcium.
Hardness is (for all practical purposes) a measure of the amount of calcium and magnesium in water and is expessed in various units and "as calcium" is but one. You will never find hardness expressed as x calcium plus y magnesium, which is what it is, but instead as a weight per volume of a single chemical such as calcium or more commonly calcium carbonate that provides the same amount of hardness as those two combined, or sometimes in degrees of hardness such as Clark (British), French or German.

You could use that 48mg/l figure for calcium and leave magnesium as zero. alternatively you might assume a figure for magnesium, which I would believe to be relatively small in your case like 2mg/l and reduce the calcium to 45mg/l to re-balance. Now we have amounts for the following major cations:- calcium 45mg/l, magnesium 2mg/l and sodium 15mg/l.

Balancing these you have measures for the anions sulphate and chloride as 85mg/l and 15mg/l respectively plus you measured alkalinity (Table A) at 40mg/l as calcium carbonate, the anion of which is the carbonate at 60% of that compound, so 24mg/l.

By some quirk those numbers balance, but this will never replace an actual analysis by a reputable person. You might try them in some Water Calculator when I suspect the real fun and problems might start. Choose with care.
Without patience, life becomes difficult and the sooner it's finished, the better.

chrisseej

Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by chrisseej » Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:48 pm

cheers Eric wise words.

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Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by Dave S » Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:41 pm

And don't forget, if you are brewing an English style pale ale, you don't need to reduce alkalinity in your water at all.
Best wishes

Dave

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Re: advice about alkalininty and salifert test

Post by BrannigansLove » Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:18 pm

Eric wrote:
Sorry to possibly derail this thread a little, but up til now I've just been using regularly obtained water values from Severn Trent in conjunction with Bru'n Water to do my water additions. I've ordered a Salifert test kit, am I going to be OK with just the test kit, or should I be also looking at a pH meter too?
For resilience, stability and clear flavours, finished beer should have a pH between 4.1 and 3.7. It is also important to get mash pH in the right region to avoid fatal errors at this early stage, but it's possible to mash at a respectably wide range of pH values with minor influence on the beer's characteristics and make very good beer. It is also possible to mash at a so thought ideal pH and make a poor beer and I believe there is too much importance attached to any specific mash pH.

This subject is far greater than can be explained in a single posting and in any case could turn into a huge debate with many confliting opinions of what tastes, or lack of some, are important in beers.

I brewed yesterday and adjusted my water to a profile I determined from Salifert kit and TDS meter measurements in association with data from several water analyses by WallyBrew. I also took 2 mash pH measurements, the first was 5.35, the second was of late runnings at 5.55. Those measurements took more time and effort than the water measurement and treatment and the brew would be just the same without them. The same could not be said about water treatment with alkalinity of 255mg/l as CaCO3 as it was yesterday.
Thanks for the info Eric, much appreciated. I bought the kit mainly to see whether there I could see much variation from the ST quoted values, as having used those in the past I've ended up with good beer. I'll let you know how I get on.

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