Author Topic: Water and input to Beer Alchemy  (Read 1677 times)

Offline alikocho

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Water and input to Beer Alchemy
« on: February 16, 2011, 12:23:23 PM »
So, I have my water report, and I have Beeralchemy, but I'm a little confused.

I have multiple figures for things and I need to unpick them:

Alkalinity HCO3 - 161
Hardness as HCO3 - 240
Calcium as CaCO3 - 206
Calcium as Ca - 82.4

The rest is all pretty clear cut, but what should be going in the Bicarbonate and Calcium fields.

I also don't quite get whether Beeralchemy accounts for the hardness of my water or just the alkanlintiy, and what the difference might be.

Can someone help?
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Re: Water and input to Beer Alchemy
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2011, 01:22:52 PM »
The molecular weight of CaCO3 is 40 g/mole for the Ca + 12 g/mole for the C + 48 g/mole for the 3 oxygen atoms  = 100 g/mole.  The Calcium is 40 percent of the molecular weight of CaCO3.  You'll notice that 206 x 0.4 is equal to 82.4.  I don't know Beeralchemy, but I'm assuming they want the actual Ca content, 82.4 ppm. 

From the total hardness quoted, the Mg content is 8.2 ppm.

That is an odd way of reporting the Alkalinity, I'm not sure if they are saying it is the actual HCO3 content or if its the alkalinity expressed as CaCO3 or HCO3.  I've never seen it expressed as HCO3, so that is probably out. But I have seen HCO3 content quoted and that can be converted to an alkalinity value.  If the full water report parameters were provided, I could probably decipher.
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Offline alikocho

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Re: Water and input to Beer Alchemy
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2011, 03:37:18 PM »
I may have muddled a few things, so....this is what I have:

Alkalinity as CaCO3 161.4 mg/l CaCO3
Alkalinity as HCO3 197 mg/l HCO3
Calcium as Ca 82.4 mg/l Ca
Calcium as CaCO3 206 mg/l CaCO3
Chloride 21.1 mg/l Cl
Magnesium as Mg 8.42 mg/l Mg
Sodium 9.7 mg/l Na
Sulphate 43.6 mg/l SO4
Total Hardness as Ca 96.4 mg/l Ca
Total Hardness as CaCO3 240.4 mg/l CaCO3

Beeralchemy has input fields for:

Calcium concentration
Bicarbonate concentration
Magnesium concentration
Sodium concentration
Chloride
Sulfate concentration
Alkalinity
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Offline Tim McManus

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Re: Water and input to Beer Alchemy
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2011, 04:48:56 PM »
Are you using the Mac version or the iPod/Pad/Phone version of Beer Alchemy?
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Re: Water and input to Beer Alchemy
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2011, 07:57:25 PM »
The alkalinity is the 161 ppm as CaCO3 value.  This is equal to the bicarbonate concentration of 197ppm.  I'm not sure why they list it as Alkalinity as HCO3.  Its really just the HCO3 concentration. 

Ca = 82.4 ppm
Mg = 8.4 ppm
Na = 9.7 ppm
HCO3 = 197 ppm
SO4 = 43.6 ppm
Cl = 21.1 ppm

I can tell you that the ion balance is not that good for this report.  Its a pretty hard water, but a lot of it is temporary hardness so it can easily be reduced by boiling or by lime treatment. 
Martin B
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Offline alikocho

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Re: Water and input to Beer Alchemy
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2011, 12:28:17 AM »
Thanks for this.  And to be clear, if I remove temporary hardness, how does that affect the values?
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Re: Water and input to Beer Alchemy
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2011, 06:28:05 AM »
A comprehensive discussion of temporary hardness reduction by boiling is here:

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=5792.0

It includes a method to estimate what your HCO3 and Ca concentrations will be.  Those are the only ones affected by the method.
Martin B
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Offline alikocho

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Re: Water and input to Beer Alchemy
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2011, 07:21:53 AM »
Many thanks for the help. I have a much better idea of how to treat my water now.
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Offline alikocho

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Re: Water and input to Beer Alchemy
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2011, 01:44:41 AM »
The molecular weight of CaCO3 is 40 g/mole for the Ca + 12 g/mole for the C + 48 g/mole for the 3 oxygen atoms  = 100 g/mole.  The Calcium is 40 percent of the molecular weight of CaCO3.  You'll notice that 206 x 0.4 is equal to 82.4.  I don't know Beeralchemy, but I'm assuming they want the actual Ca content, 82.4 ppm. 

From the total hardness quoted, the Mg content is 8.2 ppm.

That is an odd way of reporting the Alkalinity, I'm not sure if they are saying it is the actual HCO3 content or if its the alkalinity expressed as CaCO3 or HCO3.  I've never seen it expressed as HCO3, so that is probably out. But I have seen HCO3 content quoted and that can be converted to an alkalinity value.  If the full water report parameters were provided, I could probably decipher.

And if I was trying to work out the carbonate content (to input into your spreadsheet, which is excellent), I'd work it out as 60%, right?
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Re: Water and input to Beer Alchemy
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2011, 07:08:21 AM »
Yes, the carbonate content is 60 % of the total molecular weight.  But at typical water or wort pH's of less than 8, all of its carbonate content will have naturally converted to bicarbonate  (CO3 to HCO3).  That is why I don't include any mention of carbonate in Bru'n Water.  Everything is converted to it equivalent HCO3 concentration.  That means that the baking soda (NaHCO3), chalk (CaCO3) and pickling lime (Ca(OH)2) are expressed in their equivalent HCO3 form.  (OK, its not a stretch to consider the baking soda in its HCO3 form ;-).   
Martin B
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Offline alikocho

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Re: Water and input to Beer Alchemy
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2011, 12:24:28 PM »
Ah. I understand. Thanks. I was just a bit unclear as to what to put in the carbonate box on the Bru'n Water.
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Re: Water and input to Beer Alchemy
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2011, 12:54:31 PM »
Ah. I understand. Thanks. I was just a bit unclear as to what to put in the carbonate box on the Bru'n Water.

Ah, I see your dilemma. I will need to make sure that users know that carbonate is typically very low and bicarbonate is usually the predominant species. Thanks for illustrating that.
Martin B
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