Author Topic: How do you properly dissolve calcium carbonate?  (Read 895 times)

Offline syncopadence

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How do you properly dissolve calcium carbonate?
« on: December 20, 2017, 02:30:06 AM »
I've heard the acidity of the mash will partially dissolve it, but not completely. Curious if anyone uses a specific method, or know of any successful methods?

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Offline Robert

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Re: How do you properly dissolve calcium carbonate?
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2017, 02:53:53 AM »
Short answer, you don't.   John Palmer and Colin Kaminski's book on water has a good explanation of the problems with calcium carbonate.  Really easy to get out of water. Really hard to get in.
Rob
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: How do you properly dissolve calcium carbonate?
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2017, 02:56:48 AM »
It's somewhat easy by pressurizing the water and chalk under CO2. The carbonic acid will dissolve the chalk in a couple of days.

This is just an illustration of why its not worth it to use chalk in brewing.
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Offline syncopadence

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Re: How do you properly dissolve calcium carbonate?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2017, 03:26:07 AM »
It's somewhat easy by pressurizing the water and chalk under CO2. The carbonic acid will dissolve the chalk in a couple of days.

This is just an illustration of why its not worth it to use chalk in brewing.
Yeah for the most part I've stayed away from it for this reason, but the calcium and bicarbonate come in handy because I build my water from RO. I don't mind preparing the chalk in advance, as long as there is no othet downside than prep time. I've heard improperly dissolved chalk can kill malt flavor. Have you found this to be true? Would you say there are any other negatives to using chalk?
Thanks for your response, Martin.

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Offline syncopadence

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Re: How do you properly dissolve calcium carbonate?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2017, 03:27:53 AM »
Short answer, you don't.   John Palmer and Colin Kaminski's book on water has a good explanation of the problems with calcium carbonate.  Really easy to get out of water. Really hard to get in.
Will it come out of solution once dissolved? How long would it take?

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Offline Robert

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Re: How do you properly dissolve calcium carbonate?
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2017, 03:50:47 AM »
Short answer, you don't.   John Palmer and Colin Kaminski's book on water has a good explanation of the problems with calcium carbonate.  Really easy to get out of water. Really hard to get in.
Will it come out of solution once dissolved? How long would it take?

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I'm not a real expert like Martin, but I'd expect it would be prone to coming back out.  Say you go to the trouble of dissolving chalk under high partial pressure of CO2.  Just dropping the pressure will bring some out.  The drop from line pressure to atmospheric pressure is what gets you that buildup of scale around a faucet.  It's that tenuous in solution.  Not worth the effort.  Need calcium?  There's chloride and sulfate.  And if you need alkalinity, you just need alkalinity, not bicarbonate.  You can kill two birds with one stone by using calcium hydroxide (pickling lime) or get bicarbonate from baking soda. I know Martin will weigh in.
Rob
Akron, Ohio

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Offline blatz

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Re: How do you properly dissolve calcium carbonate?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2017, 02:36:38 PM »
as Robert mentioned, just use pickling lime.  I build from RO also, and its much, much easier.  I switched a few years ago.  The remaining bag of chalk that I have was repurposed to the garage for use on my hands in weightlifting  ;D.
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Offline syncopadence

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Re: How do you properly dissolve calcium carbonate?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2017, 08:30:05 PM »
as Robert mentioned, just use pickling lime.  I build from RO also, and its much, much easier.  I switched a few years ago.  The remaining bag of chalk that I have was repurposed to the garage for use on my hands in weightlifting  ;D.
Never used pickling lime. Anything special I should know about it? Preparation, solubility, etc? Or is it as easy to use as something like gypsum?

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Re: How do you properly dissolve calcium carbonate?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2017, 09:11:17 PM »
Yes in my experience it's about in between gypsum and cacl in terms of solubility.  I usually measure out my salts, pull off a quart or two of water from the hlt as it's heating and mix the salts in to that smaller amount and then put that back into the hlt, likely having to rinse the mixing vessel into the hlt once or twice


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Offline Robert

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Re: How do you properly dissolve calcium carbonate?
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2017, 09:14:46 PM »
as Robert mentioned, just use pickling lime.  I build from RO also, and its much, much easier.  I switched a few years ago.  The remaining bag of chalk that I have was repurposed to the garage for use on my hands in weightlifting  ;D.
Never used pickling lime. Anything special I should know about it? Preparation, solubility, etc? Or is it as easy to use as something like gypsum?

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Dissolves readily.  The figures I have are that 1g/gal. adds 143ppm Ca++ and adds 355ppm to total alkalinity (as  121ppm OH-), so delta RA = +255ppm.
Rob
Akron, Ohio

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Offline mabrungard

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Re: How do you properly dissolve calcium carbonate?
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2017, 12:57:45 PM »
Never used pickling lime. Anything special I should know about it? Preparation, solubility, etc? Or is it as easy to use as something like gypsum?

It's readily soluble when its pure. The problem is that lime (in the presence of moisture in the air) can degrade to chalk. So you can't really rely on obtaining all the alkalinity that you think you're adding when using lime.  The only way to fully assure that you're getting all the alkalinity that you want, is to create a saturated lime solution and add that (as a liquid) to your mash. That is a somewhat involved calculation and its on my to do list for Bru'n Water.

You can check for the presence of chalk in your lime by putting a drop of acid on some of your lime. If it bubbles, there is chalk in there. 
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Offline Robert

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Re: How do you properly dissolve calcium carbonate?
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2017, 01:09:45 PM »
Never used pickling lime. Anything special I should know about it? Preparation, solubility, etc? Or is it as easy to use as something like gypsum?

It's readily soluble when its pure. The problem is that lime (in the presence of moisture in the air) can degrade to chalk. So you can't really rely on obtaining all the alkalinity that you think you're adding when using lime.  The only way to fully assure that you're getting all the alkalinity that you want, is to create a saturated lime solution and add that (as a liquid) to your mash. That is a somewhat involved calculation and its on my to do list for Bru'n Water.

You can check for the presence of chalk in your lime by putting a drop of acid on some of your lime. If it bubbles, there is chalk in there.
It may not be perfect, but I have a simple routine.  Whenever I buy a new supply of, say, pickling lime or calcium chloride, or when I worry they may have been exposed to moisture in the air over time, I make a solution at the rate of 1g/gal. in water of known (pre-tested or DI) composition, then test the Ca and total alkalinity of the solution.  Recent pack of picking lime I bought was spot on.  See any problem with this procedure?
Rob
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Offline blatz

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Re: How do you properly dissolve calcium carbonate?
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2017, 01:59:50 PM »
The only way to fully assure that you're getting all the alkalinity that you want, is to create a saturated lime solution and add that (as a liquid) to your mash.

I always thought you advised us to add our salts to water (i.e. in HLT) rather than directly to the mash so that its assured to be evenly distributed?
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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: How do you properly dissolve calcium carbonate?
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2017, 03:38:39 PM »
Never used pickling lime. Anything special I should know about it? Preparation, solubility, etc? Or is it as easy to use as something like gypsum?

It's readily soluble when its pure. The problem is that lime (in the presence of moisture in the air) can degrade to chalk. So you can't really rely on obtaining all the alkalinity that you think you're adding when using lime.  The only way to fully assure that you're getting all the alkalinity that you want, is to create a saturated lime solution and add that (as a liquid) to your mash. That is a somewhat involved calculation and its on my to do list for Bru'n Water.

You can check for the presence of chalk in your lime by putting a drop of acid on some of your lime. If it bubbles, there is chalk in there.
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Offline syncopadence

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Re: How do you properly dissolve calcium carbonate?
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2017, 04:51:38 PM »
Never used pickling lime. Anything special I should know about it? Preparation, solubility, etc? Or is it as easy to use as something like gypsum?

It's readily soluble when its pure. The problem is that lime (in the presence of moisture in the air) can degrade to chalk. So you can't really rely on obtaining all the alkalinity that you think you're adding when using lime.  The only way to fully assure that you're getting all the alkalinity that you want, is to create a saturated lime solution and add that (as a liquid) to your mash. That is a somewhat involved calculation and its on my to do list for Bru'n Water.

You can check for the presence of chalk in your lime by putting a drop of acid on some of your lime. If it bubbles, there is chalk in there.
How do you make a saturated lime solution? Also, I saw in the Water book you should add it straight tothe mash. Seems there's a difference of opinion?

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