Author Topic: bru'n water alkalinity  (Read 1782 times)

Offline homoeccentricus

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bru'n water alkalinity
« on: February 04, 2015, 11:26:25 PM »
Sorry, water profile newbie here. I understand most of the calcium/sulphate stuff, but alkalinity is still beyond me.

My water company says that alkalinity is 2,98 mmol/l.
Is it correct then that bicarbonate = 181 ppm?

And what values do I then put in the fields carbonate and reported total alkalinity, and, in the sparge acidification tab, in the field water alkalinity?
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Offline mchrispen

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Re: bru'n water alkalinity
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2015, 12:04:33 AM »
I believe that you convert mmol/l to mval/l by multiplying by 2 giving 5.96 mval/l.


That is very significant alkalinity roughly equal to 298 total alkalinity as CaCO3 or 363 ppm bicarbonate.


My math might be off... so someone should double check.


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Offline kramerog

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Re: bru'n water alkalinity
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2015, 12:20:45 AM »
The question is mmol/l of what?  I'm not sure what the water reporting conventions in Europe are - I seem to remember that homoeccentricus lives in Belgium - so perhaps Martin can help you or you can go back to your water utility for more info. 

Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: bru'n water alkalinity
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2015, 12:48:58 AM »
I do live in Belgium yes, and I asked about hco3 values. The company does not publish them.
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Offline rob_f

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Re: bru'n water alkalinity
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2015, 12:56:34 AM »
Alkalinity is a total of carbonate and bicarbonate ions, the relative amounts dependent on the pH.  In the US, the total amount is given as though it were all carbonate, specifically calcium carbonate.  We need to know what compound is being used in Belgium for alkalinity, since you need a molecular weight to get from mmol/L to ppm.

If they are using calcium carbonate, your alkalinity would be 298 ppm.

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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: bru'n water alkalinity
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2015, 09:41:50 AM »
Ah, in the report I did find "total hardness" to be 18.8 °fH (French degrees). This should be equivalent to 18.8 * 10 mg CaCO3, which is then 188 mg/liter, right?

So what do I put in the spreadsheet in those fields?

You live a mostly happy, carefree life. You have a family, friends, a nice job, a nice hobby, but there's something gnawing at you, deep down in your soul. And then, one day, it smacks you right in the face, and you recognize its monstrous features immediately: it's Alkalinity.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: bru'n water alkalinity
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2015, 01:57:47 PM »
Ah, in the report I did find "total hardness" to be 18.8 °fH (French degrees). This should be equivalent to 18.8 * 10 mg CaCO3, which is then 188 mg/liter, right?

So what do I put in the spreadsheet in those fields?

You live a mostly happy, carefree life. You have a family, friends, a nice job, a nice hobby, but there's something gnawing at you, deep down in your soul. And then, one day, it smacks you right in the face, and you recognize its monstrous features immediately: it's Alkalinity.

I hear you. My well water has bicarb 297ppm HCO3, and total alk CaCO3 253ppm. It took a metric ton of lactic acid to drop the PH, and it gave all my beer a serious twang/tartness. I installed RO system and  brewing life has been much better.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2015, 02:57:22 PM by wort-h.o.g. »
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Offline mchrispen

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Re: bru'n water alkalinity
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2015, 02:54:15 PM »
You can use the hardness value to calculate estimated concentrations of certain ions, but it is not a required field for Bru'n Water. If you look below the Hardness and Alkalinity Results table on the Water Report Input worksheet, you can use the number, converted to PPM as CaCO3 to verify your report inputs... assuming it balances properly. If you are working from municipal water reports, you may find the report doesn't balance - but it should give you a general idea of the ion composition.


You are correct, the hardness value is about 188 mg as CaCO3. So look for a number close to that in the cell next to Total Hardness.
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Offline mchrispen

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Re: bru'n water alkalinity
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2015, 02:57:44 PM »
Quote
I hear you. My well water has bicarb 297ppm HCO3, and total alk CaCO3 253ppm. It took a metric ton of lactic acid to drop the PH, and it gave all my beer a serious twang/tartness. I installed RO system and life brewing life has been much better.


Same here. I was pretty upset when my report came back with 582 ppm alkalinity and 296 ppm sodium. Martin helped me decide on RO and helped with parameters for a high-flow system - haven't looked back. Suddenly my beers tasted like - beer and not some strange alien form of beer.
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Online JT

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Re: bru'n water alkalinity
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2015, 03:37:05 PM »
Quote
I hear you. My well water has bicarb 297ppm HCO3, and total alk CaCO3 253ppm. It took a metric ton of lactic acid to drop the PH, and it gave all my beer a serious twang/tartness. I installed RO system and life brewing life has been much better.


Same here. I was pretty upset when my report came back with 582 ppm alkalinity and 296 ppm sodium. Martin helped me decide on RO and helped with parameters for a high-flow system - haven't looked back. Suddenly my beers tasted like - beer and not some strange alien form of beer.
Wow!  Are you using the RO for drinking water as well then?

Offline mchrispen

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Re: bru'n water alkalinity
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2015, 05:03:50 PM »
In the house we are using a resin exchange filter that pretty much reduces it to DI water for drinking... but are going through a ton of those little filters. Looking at a whole house solution at some point... that water has wrecked all of our plumbing fixtures... and the rejection water from the high-volume RO system in my brewery will precipitate a chalk-like substance.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: bru'n water alkalinity
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2015, 07:19:13 PM »
Quote
I hear you. My well water has bicarb 297ppm HCO3, and total alk CaCO3 253ppm. It took a metric ton of lactic acid to drop the PH, and it gave all my beer a serious twang/tartness. I installed RO system and life brewing life has been much better.


Same here. I was pretty upset when my report came back with 582 ppm alkalinity and 296 ppm sodium. Martin helped me decide on RO and helped with parameters for a high-flow system - haven't looked back. Suddenly my beers tasted like - beer and not some strange alien form of beer.

I have spent some time in Austin, and the water does not seem that bad. Are you on a well in limestone country?
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Offline mchrispen

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Re: bru'n water alkalinity
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2015, 07:47:02 PM »
About 14 miles east of Austin in Bastrop. It's a rural water supply... and they heavily treat the water for a couple of reasons. You should see it when they do the quarterly chlorine flush... the shower smells like a swimming pool. The RO filter does the trick for brewing, and it is pre-filtered heavily. Basically the water is appears heavily softened, but isn't a bad feed into the RO. Our feed comes from aquifer and from the Colorado River - but the water passed along is fairly consistent. 


For the record, Bastrop's city municipal water supply is reasonable, but highly variable. I spent a lot of time with the little Bastrop Brewhouse until it closed and monitored the water weekly - alkalinity swings between about 140 ppm all the way to about 350 ppm... It's a common problem from the Hill Country out to Houston.


Back to our friend in Belgium... really it seems that you have little choice but to either brew only very dark beers or to dilute significantly with RO/DI. At least we can use our tap waters as alternative to alkali additions... (looking for a silver lining).
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: bru'n water alkalinity
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2015, 08:20:50 PM »
Heading to the Hill Country soon, then down to the Valley.

I have found that 1 gallon of my tap water and 8 gallons of RO water gets darned close to the profile for treated Munich water that Martin published in Zymurgy not so long ago.
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Offline mchrispen

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Re: bru'n water alkalinity
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2015, 09:36:32 PM »
Yeah? I get up close to you every once and a while - you should ping me when you get down to this area. There are far better breweries than Jester King to visit! :)


Ford is a customer... so you know... lots of time in Wixom. Always seems to be in the wintertime. My colleague's son is in school in Anne Arbor - hopefully going to have a trip in the summer and swing up toward the U for a few beers and steaks.
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