Salifert KH / Alkalinity test kit

(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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ash_a
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Salifert KH / Alkalinity test kit

Post by ash_a » Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:36 pm

Hi

I'm trying to test my water using the Salifert KH / Alkalinity test kit but having an issue and can't figure out what I'm doing wrong.

I've followed the instructions (4ml of water, 4 drops of kh-ind). When I add the 1ml of kh , I'm using all of the kh liquid and my bluish liquid does not change colour? I filled a second syringe and add a further 0.1ml, which changes the colour to pink.

I have tried it 3 times and still the same result. I,ve watched a couple of videos and the have the kh correctly in the syringe. The kit is in date also.

Thanks

Ash

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Re: Salifert KH / Alkalinity test kit

Post by Aleman » Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:48 pm

Suggests your alkalinity is exceptionally high ... Where are you based? I know that around Reading alkalinities of 325-375mg/L are not impossible!!

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Re: Salifert KH / Alkalinity test kit

Post by guypettigrew » Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:34 pm

Silly question, really. But are you shaking the little container well in between adding the drops of KH?

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Re: Salifert KH / Alkalinity test kit

Post by ash_a » Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:55 pm

Thanks for the quick responses.

I did shake the water being tested, inbetween the KH drops.

Regarding my location, I'm a couple of miles outside of Portsmouth. My local water report from 2017 has alkalinity (CaCO3) of 297 - 352 mg/l.

I brew on a grandfather and about a year ago I got my water tested by Murphy and sons. I did this as my brews (mainly pale ales and IPA's) had a slight astringent taste to them. After I added the AMS and DWB additions they recommended, this improved the taste of my beer massively.

Their report had my alkalinity (CaCO3) of 175ppm.

However the last couple of brews I did had an astringent taste to them. Hence why I have started looking into my water again.

If I do have high alkalinity, what options do I have?

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Re: Salifert KH / Alkalinity test kit

Post by Eric » Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:28 pm

ash_a wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:55 pm
Thanks for the quick responses.

I did shake the water being tested, inbetween the KH drops.

Regarding my location, I'm a couple of miles outside of Portsmouth. My local water report from 2017 has alkalinity (CaCO3) of 297 - 352 mg/l.

I brew on a grandfather and about a year ago I got my water tested by Murphy and sons. I did this as my brews (mainly pale ales and IPA's) had a slight astringent taste to them. After I added the AMS and DWB additions they recommended, this improved the taste of my beer massively.

Their report had my alkalinity (CaCO3) of 175ppm.

However the last couple of brews I did had an astringent taste to them. Hence why I have started looking into my water again.

If I do have high alkalinity, what options do I have?
Use your Salifert kit to confirm the level of alkalinity is at the level you intend after treatment. If you need more AMS additions then reduce the DBW additions in similar proportion.

That won't be a scientifically perfect compensation, but it should get you somewhere near where you were before the alkalinity increased.
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Re: Salifert KH / Alkalinity test kit

Post by ash_a » Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:35 pm

Thanks for replying. Have a look at my first post.

That was my plan to use the salifert kit to see how my water now measures against the water I got tested.

My solution did not change from the blue colour after adding the 1ml of KH liquid.

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Re: Salifert KH / Alkalinity test kit

Post by orlando » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:18 pm

ash_a wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:55 pm
I brew on a grandfather
Paternal or maternal?

Sorry, couldn't resist, it's Friday night. :D

I suspect your Murphy's report might be one from a time when they were er, having a few problems. Aleman's comments have probably nailed it and your water companies report suggests it too. You probably have exceptionally high alkalinity.
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Re: Salifert KH / Alkalinity test kit

Post by Dave S » Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:19 pm

orlando wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:18 pm
ash_a wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:55 pm
I brew on a grandfather
Paternal or maternal?

Sorry, couldn't resist, it's Friday night. :D

I suspect your Murphy's report might be one from a time when they were er, having a few problems. Aleman's comments have probably nailed it and your water companies report suggests it too. You probably have exceptionally high alkalinity.
I would, as Eric is (I think) suggesting add a small amount of AMS so that it comes within the range that the Salfert kit can cope with, then take it from there.
Best wishes

Dave

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Re: Salifert KH / Alkalinity test kit

Post by Eric » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:18 pm

Dave S wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:19 pm


I would, as Eric is (I think) suggesting add a small amount of AMS so that it comes within the range that the Salfert kit can cope with, then take it from there.
That's right Dave, add what Murphy's say for pale ales, then measure alkalinity. If alkalinity measures > 50ppm then all's well with their measurement and AMS additions. If, as it appears, there is excess alkalinity, extra AMS at the correct rate will bring alkalinity into line and brewing can take place. Less salt additions will be needed as extra alkalinity means additional minerals are present.

It's risky to brew making adjustments/additions without knowing what the liquor's mineral levels are.
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Re: Salifert KH / Alkalinity test kit

Post by ash_a » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:25 pm

Thanks again for the responses. I will have a go tomorrow with your suggestion.

Not done much research, but would using RO water help me with my situation. Starting with a blank slate and build my own water profile?

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Re: Salifert KH / Alkalinity test kit

Post by Eric » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:35 pm

ash_a wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:25 pm
Thanks again for the responses. I will have a go tomorrow with your suggestion.

Not done much research, but would using RO water help me with my situation. Starting with a blank slate and build my own water profile?
Absolutely. You would be able to make perfectly bland beers and a very large proportion of brewers in America would commend your move. Of course, they can't get AMS while hydrochloric and sulphuric are more difficult to obtain than in UK and are mostly restricted to lactic and phosphoric acids which UK brewers mostly disregarded from the end of the nineteenth century.
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Re: Salifert KH / Alkalinity test kit

Post by Heron1952 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:07 pm

All depends on what's being brewed. For an American lager or perhaps a Pilsner diluting with Ashbeck or similar cheap supermarket bottled water, to reduce repent alkalinity might be worth the effort. The expense and water wastage of RO maybe a step too far.
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Re: Salifert KH / Alkalinity test kit

Post by Dave S » Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:33 pm

ash_a wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:25 pm
Thanks again for the responses. I will have a go tomorrow with your suggestion.

Not done much research, but would using RO water help me with my situation. Starting with a blank slate and build my own water profile?
What you could do as an alternative to the above suggestion is add a proportion of RO to bring the alkalinity to within measurable range - say 25-33% of your total water volume. I think I would stick to the first suggestion though and just use AMS at the prescribed dose then measure before adding more. That way you are checking the accuracy of the AMS too.
Best wishes

Dave

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Re: Salifert KH / Alkalinity test kit

Post by stokie_spaceman » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:22 pm

Use a 2 ml sample of water and double the resulting alkalinity reading. It's accurate enough if you take care and it halves the amount of acid titrant you need.

I have the same problem in the Reading area with a large alkalinity reading. Be sure to check again after adjusting you water and then use the normal 4 ml sample.

I tend to get a swing upwards in alkalinity during winter months by about 20 ppm but it's otherwise stable.

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