Just got an analysis of my water and am wondering if someone can provide basic assistance in treatment.
Ca 14.8 ppm
Hardness (as CaCO3) 49.8 ppm
Mg 3.14 ppm
Alkalinity Total (as CaCO3) 45 ppm
Cl 2.8 ppm
Na 3.12 ppm
In general, I'm looking at brewing ales and think I should be adding gypsum to up the calcium level but my knowledge on this subject is very basic. Is there anything else I should be looking at?
Do I need this:
*Disclaimer: I am not a homebrewer*
Looks pretty good. What is your source of water? Well? River? Lake? Other? I think the only thing I would shoot for is upping the Ca level. Shoot for around 220 ppms. CaCl of gypsum.
"CaCl or gypsum" is what I ment. Day light savings has me all messed up. Good Morning!
I was always better at recipe than chemistry, so I'd just call the city water department and make friends with one of their guys. They LOVE helping with water chemistry stuff! Seriously.
It would be helpful to have values for sulfate and iron. It seems that your water is soft and I would only add calcium chloride to bring calcium to 50 to 100 ppm. Without knowing your brewing volumes for water, it is not possible to provide more help. Any brewing software will aid with calculating actual amounts. Water chemistry is important as most all of your beer will be water.
I'm with Joe.
Knowing iron quantity and type would be helpful (ferric/ferrous).
Likewise with nitrate/nitrite.
Thanks for the replies. The source is lake water. Further information is below. I received a report from testing for the month of august 2007 and it is not complete as the one I found for FY2006.
Nitrate: 0.31 ppm
Nitrite: <0.02 ppm
Suphate: 3.1 ppm
Iron: 6 ug/L
I'm looking at a 10hL batch size.
Your water looks great. A reasonably blank slate to build any style upon.
Take a look at the attached.
I put it together twenty years ago and still rings true, I hope.
Always interested in feedback. Good luck.
beautiful document. Nicely done!
Thanks for the help guys, and the document Liam.
Now for the reeeaaaaalllly stupid questions:
Suppose I've decided to use gypsum to up the calcium level in my water. What quantities would I be concerned about adding it to? If I were to use 550 litres of water in the mash and sparge with 750 or so litres would I use just the amount to raise the calcium in the 550 litres of mash water or use the amount to raise the whole 1300 litres?
If I use the amount to raise the 1300 litre calcium content what is the preferred method of adding it: to the HLT? to the mash tun during dough-in? Is there any issues with adding enough calcium to raise the total water (1300 L) to a calcium content of, say, 100 ppm to just the quantity of mash water used (550L)?
<---waiting for the 'put down the weigh scale and step away from the gypsum' comments...
I used to brew on a 50bbl system that had an oversized HLT. FIRST THING every brew day was to add the salt and gypsum directly to the HLT (in through the manway on top). This HLT had enough volume for my mash and sparge so I didn't have to refill after the mash. I don't remember exact figures but it was manageable amounts; something like .75 pounds salt, 6 pounds gypsum.
Of course your amounts will all depend on what water chemistry you're starting with and what type of water chemistry you're shooting for. If you're able to, add the gypsum (and such) directly to the HLT, treat the entire volume if you're going to use the majority of the volume for that batch.
Hope my ramblings help.
I probably can treat the water in the HLT but I don't think I could mix it in too well. About all I could do is recirculate the water, drawing from the bottom and putting it back in at the top of the tank. Would that be enough? Is there any issues with scaling building up now that I have a bunch of hard(er) water sitting in the HLT? Also I usually leave behind about 200 litres of water in the HLT to prevent a vortex from happening and cavitating the pump. I suppose I could correct for this volume in the next addition, though.
Would there be any issues if I were to put the gypsum into the MT, having way more calcium than what's needed for the mash volume?
when to add salts
In regards to when you add salts to your brew I follow a simple plan. I figure the total volume of water needed for the brew including sparge water and mash water. I then figure the amounts of salts I want added to that volume of hot water. I then breakdown the percentages of water to be used for mashing and sparging(for me its about 40% mash water and 60% sparge). Then while I mash in I add 40% of the mass of salts to the mash and stir it in. Then right before I turn on my sparge water during runoff(the top of the mash bed is just starting to show at that point) I add the remaining salt dispersed over the top of the mash bed. As I sparge the salts are rinsed through the mash bed, effectively treating the sparge water. I do this on my 7bbl brewery but first learned the method working at Redhook on their 125hL system. I find I get great results without the worry of mineral deposits in my hot liquor tank. I hope you found this helpful.