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Thread: Go to water...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    Amboise, France
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    Question Go to water...

    Guys

    On a different thread it was recommended to have a RO or naofiltration system for our brewery due to the hardness of our water. After contacting several potential supplier, they all tend to recommend RO but the OPEX still scare us.

    Side notes, we now have specified our brewhouse to be a 2 vessels system with both a CLT & HLT (instead of going with a 3 vessels system without CLT)

    Several suppliers have asked us to provide them with our recommended "go to" water profile which would allow them to better identify (and size) the technical solution.

    Here is our current water profile:
    Calcium: 22 ppm
    Magnesium: 10 ppm
    Sodium: 88 ppm
    Bicarbonate: 248 ppm
    Carbonate: 0 ppm
    Sulfate: 28 ppm
    Chloride: 52 ppm
    Nitrate: 2.9 ppm
    Fluoride: 0.3 ppm
    Nitrite: 0 ppm
    Potassium 15.6 ppm
    Iron: 0 ppm

    pH: 7.2

    We don't expect to brew many lagers (if any...)


    With my experience being limited to bru'n water & "water a comprehensive guide for brewer" from J. Palmer and C. Kaminski; it seems like
    - Calcium is ok.
    - Magnesium is Ok but could be lower such as 5 ppm for more beer style.
    - Sodium is high but being under 100 ppm we could use it and may be focus on darker ale.
    - Sulfate is OK
    - Chloride could be slightly lower such as 35 to 40 ppm for dry beer but remains at acceptable level overall
    - Bicarbonate: too high! Would be best to be lower than 30 ppm (if not 0!) and rebuild from there depending on beer style

    So I guess, my questions are;
    1. Should we bite the bullet and just get a RO system or could a nanofiltration system be suitable?
    2. Do you have any Operational Expenses figures for each solution
    3. The most important question is: should I provide the suppliers with the following targets: Ca 22 ppm max (as is), Mg 5 ppm (10 ppm as is could be acceptable), Na 10 to 30 ppm (the lower the better for pale beer), SO4 28 ppm max (as is), Cl 35 ppm max, HCO3 30 ppm

    If you have any other recommendations or comments, please feel free to share

    Matt

    PS - Happy New Year

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Carmel, IN
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    The main problematic component of that water is the sodium. The alkalinity level can be dealt with by acid neutralization. Unless your brewery is large (say >10bbl), I don't think you'll need much treatment capacity in order to produce the low TDS water that you MIGHT want to use for some brews. Given that, a 100 gpd residential unit and a large storage tank might provide enough dilution water for your needs. Of course, a residential unit means that you have no choice but using RO membranes. If your water needs are significantly higher than what I've assumed, then it would be possible to employ Nano membranes in the larger commercial systems. Just recognize that a Nano system will let somewhere around 10 to 20 percent of the raw water's sodium content through into your product water. Given your raw water quality, that shouldn't be a problem.
    WaterEng
    Engineering Consultant

  3. #3
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    Amboise, France
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    Thanks for your answer.
    We are a 10 BBL brewhouse with 20 BBL FB & BT. With this, do you recommend membrane filtration?
    Thanks again

  4. #4
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    Even with a 10 bbl brewhouse, I expect that you could get by with a modest RO system and storage tank to provide dilution water for styles that would benefit from that. But for many styles, your existing water supply appears adequate as long as attention is paid to mashing pH adjustments.

    PS: both RO and Nano are 'membrane' filtration processes. Nano is the same as RO excepting that the pores in the membrane are larger.
    WaterEng
    Engineering Consultant

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterEng View Post
    Even with a 10 bbl brewhouse, I expect that you could get by with a modest RO system and storage tank to provide dilution water for styles that would benefit from that. But for many styles, your existing water supply appears adequate as long as attention is paid to mashing pH adjustments.

    PS: both RO and Nano are 'membrane' filtration processes. Nano is the same as RO excepting that the pores in the membrane are larger.
    Thanks for your answer. You are right. We will acidify with lactic acid to hit the pH right and have a carbon filter before the CLT (+ "small RO system" to blend as necessary). RO will not be part of the upfront install and we will get it when our bank account fills up a bit. It seems like we can get something with 120 liter flow rate for ~3k euros...

    Couple of questions:
    I think the lactic acid would need to be added to the CLT, is that right?
    Also, the acid would require removal of the gas from the water (for the reaction to be complete). Would I need to have a re-circulation pump added to the CLT or how can it be done?
    Lastly, based on bru'n water, I would need .9 mL of lactic acid per gal. Could I get flavor impact? Should I use 2 or 3 acids instead? May be some Phosphoric Acids?

    Thanks again

    Matt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA.
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    432
    Quote Originally Posted by Mattieu View Post
    Thanks for your answer. You are right. We will acidify with lactic acid to hit the pH right and have a carbon filter before the CLT (+ "small RO system" to blend as necessary). RO will not be part of the upfront install and we will get it when our bank account fills up a bit. It seems like we can get something with 120 liter flow rate for ~3k euros...

    Couple of questions:
    I think the lactic acid would need to be added to the CLT, is that right?
    Also, the acid would require removal of the gas from the water (for the reaction to be complete). Would I need to have a re-circulation pump added to the CLT or how can it be done?
    Lastly, based on bru'n water, I would need .9 mL of lactic acid per gal. Could I get flavor impact? Should I use 2 or 3 acids instead? May be some Phosphoric Acids?

    Thanks again

    Matt
    I add my Lactic acid to the HLT and since that water is around 176*F the isn't a lot of dissolved gasses if any and i wouldn't recommend Phosphoric acid because it tend to react with calcium in the water unless your are trying to get rid of the calcium.

  7. #7
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    Noted with thanks. How much lactic acid do you add? Do you find any of flavours? Thx

    Sent from my SM-J530F using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattieu View Post
    Noted with thanks. How much lactic acid do you add? Do you find any of flavours? Thx

    Sent from my SM-J530F using Tapatalk
    I use 2.55 acidulated malt in my mash and 10ml in my hlt water but that would be different for you depening on your target ph levels. as far as flavors i do not.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Cincinnati, OH, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterEng View Post
    Given that, a 100 gpd residential unit and a large storage tank might provide enough dilution water for your needs. Of course, a residential unit means that you have no choice but using RO membranes.
    There are 1812 (i.e., "residential-scale) NF elements available.
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    Buckeye Hydro
    Water Treatment Systems & Supplies
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    513-312-2343

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