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liebz15
12-24-2014, 05:41 PM
I have a 30bbl system coming in February and I'm just now starting to dive into the brewing water subject. On a ten gallon level, I typically by spring water and add brewing salts as needed. Obviously at 30bbls it will be a different story.

My brewery is in south Florida so the water will be rather hard. Is it a viable option to simply strip all the minerals from the water via RO filtration and then simply add salts to the mash based on whatever alkalinity the current style calls for? I can't imagine filling the entire HLT with a style specific water profile.

Also, does anyone know of a brewing water treatment consultant? South Florida is still rather new to the brewing scene and it seems the local water filter sales people don't really know much about a brewer's needs.


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Speed
12-25-2014, 11:46 AM
We just opened a 10 bbl brewery in nebraska and our water is fairly hard. We had a local water softening co install a RO system. We then can blend our water to whatever style we are brewing. If we need to add salts then we use brunwater to figure that out.

TGTimm
12-25-2014, 02:22 PM
If you can afford the whole-house RO system, definitely go for it. We are in a very high carbonate and permanent hardness area of NE Oregon, and I fight the carbonate deposits constantly--not to mention the limitations on the beers we can brew. The carbonate deposits require quarterly or more frequent acid washing of the HL system, destroy valves, clog lines, etc.

liebz15
12-25-2014, 04:30 PM
We just opened a 10 bbl brewery in nebraska and our water is fairly hard. We had a local water softening co install a RO system. We then can blend our water to whatever style we are brewing. If we need to add salts then we use brunwater to figure that out.

Thanks so much for the info. Do you mainly blend during mash?


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liebz15
12-25-2014, 04:33 PM
If you can afford the whole-house RO system, definitely go for it. We are in a very high carbonate and permanent hardness area of NE Oregon, and I fight the carbonate deposits constantly--not to mention the limitations on the beers we can brew. The carbonate deposits require quarterly or more frequent acid washing of the HL system, destroy valves, clog lines, etc.

It seems that I will have to find a way to afford one. Thanks so much for the info. It's great to be changing careers and entering an industry with such great comradery.


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Speed
12-25-2014, 06:31 PM
We blend all the water we need in the HLT and fly sparge. Yes all the water is blended for the mash.
We have a 300 gallon tank that we use for the RO water, and we fill it the night before brewing so it is ready to go the next morning.

liebz15
12-30-2014, 11:32 AM
We blend all the water we need in the HLT and fly sparge. Yes all the water is blended for the mash.
We have a 300 gallon tank that we use for the RO water, and we fill it the night before brewing so it is ready to go the next morning.

When necessary, do your salt additions go directly into the mash itself or do you somehow add these into the water prior? Sorry if these questions are amateur, I'm making a jump from 20-gallon homebrews to 30bbl not-homebrews. :) At my current volume, I add into the mash based on BruNwater excel file.


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soia1138
12-30-2014, 11:44 AM
Without adding minerals to the mash how are you controlling the mash pH? We make two additions, one to the mash and one to the kettle.

kcolby
12-30-2014, 12:03 PM
Without adding minerals to the mash how are you controlling the mash pH? We make two additions, one to the mash and one to the kettle.

I think he may have been referring to possibly adding minerals/salts to the Hot Liqour Tank prior to the mash. If so, I would assume there's no real reason to not to do this as long as you can ensure that the minerals/salts are properly dissolved in the HLT.

dick murton
01-01-2015, 11:25 AM
If the water is simply very high in carbonate / bicarbonate, but otherwise suitable for brewing the beers required, it may be possible to simply add acid to the water to achieve a consistent pH of 7 and then pass it all through a degassing tower. However, the degassing tower should be above / leading immediately to a settling / holding tank, which is liable to build up a scale / sediment deposit and may need to be dug out periodically. If you are aiming to produce a wide range of beer styles, including pilsener type lagers, then as recommended earlier, RO treatment is probably the easiest option. Providing you have sufficient treated water capacity, then the actual unit can be fairly small as it can run 24/7. Don't forget you may need to allow for a carbon filter to remove municipal chlorine, followed by a fine particulate filter for chlorine removal, both prior to RO treatment, as the chlorine will destroy most membranes pretty quickly.

You may wish or be able to consider a water softener, but you need to know the mineral ion content and then I suggest you get assistance from an independent specialist in water treatment, to provide the most cost effective solution. Don't forget to consider all the other costs of running a particular type of treatment - cleaning, energy, waste water from water softeners, high ion content water from the RO plant, the amount of which will vary to a large extent on the original mineral ion levels in the source water.

I do support the RO treatment option though, as this is well proven and relatively cheap.

Speed
01-01-2015, 05:04 PM
We have been adding salts to the mash and checking the ph. So far every beer has been in range.