Unsure about CRS amounts

(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
thehaze
Tippler
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:49 am

Unsure about CRS amounts

Post by thehaze » Tue Jul 07, 2020 3:02 pm

Hello,

I recently starting adding more minerals to my brewing water and dropped Phosphoric acid. I am really happy about this approach and the results. The beers turned out well, and despite the higher* levels of minerals, there was no trace of the so-called harshness, etc. claimed by others, especially the US water approach-people, an approach I followed, but never really hit that sweet spot for me in terms of minerality and mouthfeel.

I have found another water source, but this one has a really high HCO3 level: 360 mg/l. The rest of the water looks something like this: pH 7.3, Mg 16 ppm, Na 15 ppm, Ca 105 ppm, Cl 13 ppm with no mention of sulphates, but probably around 10-20 ppm. Using Graham's water calculator, it tells me I require around 23 ml og CRS for treating 20 liters of water. The mash profile will stay at 16 ppm Mg, 15 ppm Na, 225 ppm Ca, 350 ppm SO4 and 155 ppm Cl. That's fine.

I would like to know if the composition of CRS in such high dosage ( it seems high to me ) in 20 liters of water can affect my health and the beer itself? Are there any risks of using CRS in those amounts? Am I worried for nothing?

Thank you for (hopefully) taking the time to read this thread and replying.

User avatar
Jocky
Even further under the Table
Posts: 2387
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:50 pm
Location: Epsom, Surrey, UK

Re: Unsure about CRS amounts

Post by Jocky » Tue Jul 07, 2020 3:23 pm

23ml of CRS in 20 litres of water will not harm you and it's not atypical for treating water in much of South East England.

Assuming that your sulphate level is around 10-15ppm then your water actually has slightly less in it than mine (although I would really recommend getting a proper lab test done), and I have regularly used CRS, including in beers that won gold medals at the London and South East and Welsh National competitions.

The US water approach is because their water varies very widely in composition and resultant quality, so using RO and stripping away everything is a one size fits all solution. In the UK domestic water quality is high everywhere and I'm yet to see someone with a domestic supply (that isn't pumped from their own well or something 'off grid' like that) that couldn't adjust their water for standard ales and had to resort to RO. If you want to brew an authentic Czech Pils, German Helles or American Light Lager then RO starts to become more of a necessity, but even then it's not absolutely required.

If you want to get into brewing liquor adjustment you really should get the water supply properly analysed, and an alkalinity test kit so you can check that things haven't varied between brewing sessions.
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

User avatar
Cobnut
Piss Artist
Posts: 240
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:23 pm
Location: Ipswich
Contact:

Re: Unsure about CRS amounts

Post by Cobnut » Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:13 pm

My water is at a alkalinity level that I use 1.22ml CRS per litre of liquor to get the alkalinity down low enough for pale beers.

I have also won medals at National competitions with my beers - and have made decent Helles with this water (CRS/AMS treated and without treatment, but using acidulated malt).

CRS is a combination of Hydrochloric and Sulphuric acids and even at this level, it's very dilute by the time you ingest it.
Fermenting: Amarillo Golden ale
Conditioning: Summer ale
Drinking: Banks's Bitter clone, SMASH Keeping Ale (Chevallier, First Gold, Voss Kveik), Haflinger (rather odd weizenbock), 'Ol 'Enry Brut IPA, Cherry Chocolate Dubbel Trubbel, A Galaxy Far, Far Away Black IPA (or maybe it's an American Stout?), Quickie Voss Kveik IPA, Make American Stout Great Again
Planning: Quick German Pilsner, London Porter, Schonramer Helles clone, Sussex Bitter,

guypettigrew
Under the Table
Posts: 1932
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:10 pm
Location: Christchurch, Dorset

Re: Unsure about CRS amounts

Post by guypettigrew » Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:54 pm

Could be wrong here, but I thought the acids reacted with the 'alkalinity' to give off CO2 and produce a residual increase in the sulphate and chloride ions in the liquor.

In other words; the acids are all 'used up' and don't make it through to the beer in their original form.

Guy

User avatar
Eric
Even further under the Table
Posts: 2206
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:18 am
Location: Sunderland.

Re: Unsure about CRS amounts

Post by Eric » Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:50 pm

guypettigrew wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:54 pm
Could be wrong here, but I thought the acids reacted with the 'alkalinity' to give off CO2 and produce a residual increase in the sulphate and chloride ions in the liquor.

In other words; the acids are all 'used up' and don't make it through to the beer in their original form.

Guy
Indeed those acids are Guy. In standard British treatment, acids are added to reduce alkalinity to a lower level, typically 15 mg/l as CaCO3 in Graham's Water Calculator for pale beers.

US treatment is different. With lower level calcium it is usually necessary to acidify brewing liquor to achieve a satisfactory mash pH to make a pale beer.
Without patience, life becomes difficult and the sooner it's finished, the better.

thehaze
Tippler
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:49 am

Re: Unsure about CRS amounts

Post by thehaze » Wed Jul 08, 2020 6:26 am

Thank you for all your replies. So if I understand correctly, I would be able to use it, as long as I can reduce alkalinity to satisfactory levels?

My regular water source looks like this:

8.9 ppm Mg / 5.2 ppm Na / 21 ppm Ca / 16.1 ppm SO4 / 3.4 ppm Cl / pH 7.5 / 99.5 mg/l HCO3 - and with this water and treating with minerals only, I get my mash pH in the 5.4 range and the results are better than good.

I just wanted to know if the second source - the one qouted in my first thread above - would work as well. I would've liked to brew a simple Golden Ale, a Pale-ish Bitter and a dry hopped Continental Dark Ale ( Kolsch yeast, roasted rye and wheat and some german grown US hops - Comet, Amarillo, Chinook ) with it.

I've been treating and adjusting my brewing water since the start of my homebrewing journey. It only became better with time, and once I got a somewhat firmer hold on the science behind it. My usual water source is lab tested, which is why I always brew with it. This time, I simply wanted to make sure that a different source, albeit with a lot more going on, would produce desirable results, if and when treating it properly. I've never used CRS before - I've only employed lactic and phosphoric acids, which I now dropped both. I find that a higher mineral content helps bring the pH in range and makes my beer tastes widely different and better than before.

User avatar
Jocky
Even further under the Table
Posts: 2387
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:50 pm
Location: Epsom, Surrey, UK

Re: Unsure about CRS amounts

Post by Jocky » Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:18 am

thehaze wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 6:26 am
Thank you for all your replies. So if I understand correctly, I would be able to use it, as long as I can reduce alkalinity to satisfactory levels?
Yes. As a starting point for pale beers I aim for 30ppm or less of residual alkalinity measured as CaCO3.

From there on the copper to brown beers I'd go up to 50-80ppm, and dark beers 80ppm-150ppm.

With beers that have a very high roast load you could probably use your water as is.
My regular water source looks like this:

8.9 ppm Mg / 5.2 ppm Na / 21 ppm Ca / 16.1 ppm SO4 / 3.4 ppm Cl / pH 7.5 / 99.5 mg/l HCO3 - and with this water and treating with minerals only, I get my mash pH in the 5.4 range and the results are better than good.

I just wanted to know if the second source - the one qouted in my first thread above - would work as well. I would've liked to brew a simple Golden Ale, a Pale-ish Bitter and a dry hopped Continental Dark Ale ( Kolsch yeast, roasted rye and wheat and some german grown US hops - Comet, Amarillo, Chinook ) with it.
It'll work, and will probably be better for beers on the darker side.
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

Post Reply