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Thread: Ugh...Water Treatment

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    81

    Ugh...Water Treatment

    Looking for advice on sodium amounts in brewing water. Our new brewery is using well water and we're considering all the usual suspects: R/O, softening, de-ionization. We'd love to stick to just softening (less costly), but our water guy is telling us that it'll be hard to keep the sodium ppm much under 100. This seems WAY higher than the amount in any traditional brewing waters I've heard of. Can anyone expound on the effects of sodium in the mash/boil/fermenter/finshed beer?

    Thanks for any insight.
    -Taylor

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Chandler, AZ
    Posts
    209
    If you're worried about sodium ask about a water softening system that uses KCl instead of NaCl. That way, potassium is left over, not sodium.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    81

    Thanks

    Wow, haven't heard of doing that. Is it really that simple? I've heard you can go up to about 10ppm Potassium in brewing water, so that'll be a great solution. Thanks!

    Taylor

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Sorrento, BC, Canada
    Posts
    44

    why soften?

    I know this may be silly, but why are you starting with softening the water? We also use well water, and have found that our new well has a high iron rate - not bad enough to taste icky, but a problem nonetheless with buildup. It has many other lovely minerals, however, which are really great (lots of calcium, gypsum...). So we use an aerating iron removal system. It lurks in the corner of the brewery, pumping air through the water as it is used, then washing through a sand filter. There's no flow rate loss either. The filter backwashes itself every three days during down time. It removes oxygen-bonded iron, which is the most common form of iron. Then we run through a 5 micron filter and UV sterilizer. Low maintenance, the only running cost is replacing the light once a year and the filter occasionally more than that, both of which are cheap. The iron removal system is totally maintenance free.
    Rebecca Kneen
    Crannóg Ales
    Canada's Certified Organic, on-farm microbrewery
    www.crannogales.com

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