Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Ridiculously high ph process water.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Shreveport, LA

    Ridiculously high ph process water.

    Taking over operations at a 5 year old brewery, I found the process water is 9.7ph. I am looking for specific issues with this so I can convince the owner to put up money to fix this.

    OR, rationalize that this ph in process water is just fine.

    I am sending away for a water report, but the readings I am getting are 9.7 ph (this is also my house when I take my filter off, Its a Shreveport problem), the conductivity is somewhere around 150 (on a meter designed to let me keep my boiler at 3000, so it is not very precise), Total hardness is around 50 ppms. every report I have read for area has low toxins (ie copper iron, arsenic, barium, et cetera)

    the water applications are as follows:

    ALL product water is RO.
    The RO is held in a reservoir, used as ambient CL, and HL. No water that goes 'directly' into our beer is anything but RO.
    I do have a pipeline of carbon filtered water that heads into the brewery floor, It is not used.
    I have a heated pipeline of city water used for cleaning (caustic base water)
    I have a pipeline of city water used for spray hoses, acid cleaning, sanitzer water, can twist rinse, fermenter rinse, and my boiler feed water.

    My first inclination is to leave the Hot water as is, and switch my filtered and unfiltered pipes so that the only unfilitered process in the building will be caustic base water. I would also probably need to put in some sort of water treatment and/'or deaerator for my boiler feedwater.

    What would be recommendations?
    Will carbon filtering not be enough (local carbon filtered water tastes great, and has a ph in the 7s, this includes our filter water)
    If carbon filtering would not be enough what would be a recommendations? Lime softening? acids?
    I assume the issue is high bicarbonate with a limiting factor to prevent Hardness. Is this assessment incorrect (or insufficient data)?
    Is this not as big a deal As I think it is?

    What I also need why and hows of it before I can add cost onto production for a system that has "worked" for 5 years already. I am seeing that alkalinity this high without a hardness problem is pretty unique, (thanks Shreveport) so I am having issues tracking down specific ramifications.

    Heres what I got;

    Obviously My acid will always be weakened,
    I assume my PAA will also be less effective.
    I will increase boiler efficiency by removing what I assume is bicarbonate, while also helping to prevent scale and pitting.
    any residue in the twist rinse will likely reek havoc on the product.

    Feel free to tell me I am wrong, I am looking for advice.

    Thank you for any help you can give, taking over was a bit of a surprise and my grasp of water chemistry isn't the best.
    Also any essays, articles, books on the subject would be helpful. (ie, Water~ John Palmer and Kaminski, Practical Brewer, Jean de clearck, and Ph an Overview~ Bamforth)

    I will update when I get the water report.
    Last edited by KevinECB; 01-03-2019 at 03:39 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    San Antonio
    Just so I understand the issue. Your RO water that you use for brewing has a pH of 9.7? Or your non-filtered city water used for cleaning and such has a pH of 9.7?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Shreveport, LA

    product water is fine, the process water is 9.7

    the RO water is what we use as product water, and there are no problems with the RO water. I put the RO information in there to try and differentiate the applications, sorry for the confusion.

    The city water we use as process water is 9.7 ph. it is used for cleaning, sanitizing, the can twist rinse, and boiler feed water.
    Last edited by KevinECB; 01-04-2019 at 04:17 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Shreveport, LA

    Figured out where it comes from.

    I have not received an analysis of the water yet, however I have figured out the issue.

    My carbon beds blinded so we needed rebedding. While talking to the water resource guy, he said I should expect to rebed often. He has a client that has a couple hundred people on dialysis who has to rebed weekly right now. The issue comes from City water pouring massive doses of alum (Aluminum Sulfate) in the water to try and combat the brain eating amoeba that killed someone in 2017 on the other side of the river.

    So This is where my process water problem stems from. 4ppm Chlorine (thats twice what I ususally expect) and enough Aluminum Sulfate to raise the ph to 10. (I do also have a more accurate TDS, 34, and most of that is CaCo3)

    This also brings in a whole new issue.
    My understanding is that Aluminum Sulfate dissolves stainless steel when heated (they use it for that in the jewelry industry) but I don't know the ppms needed to do so, nor how much this puts my Kettle at risk.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts