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Thread: High pH in HLT/CLT

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Milwauklee
    Posts
    3

    High pH in HLT/CLT

    Hi there - we're a bit perplexed by a pH issue with our brewing water. Long story short, recently opened so brand new system and piping all around. We are routinely getting pH readings in the high 8s and low 9s in our HLT and CLT. We have taken samples all around the brewery and tap room at different points. The water coming out of faucets and sinks is closer to normal for this city (mid 7s).

    At first we suspected something in the HLT/CLT so we re-CIP'd both tanks with caustic and acid and hit the inline heat exchangers as well. No movement.

    This morning I pulled the water feed pipe to the HLT and CLT and once again showed readings in the low 9s. So the issue probably isn't the tanks - its the supply water to both the HLT/CLT. However the piping in the building is all coming from the same source as the water coming in mid 7s to the taproom/sinks/other outlets.

    Seems like the problem is in the plumbing for the brewhouse - anyone else noticed something similar? Is there something in piping that could be raising the alkalinity of the water?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    255
    Is your brewing water softened? Madison-area water, which is extremely alkaline, is usually in the mid-7s but can increase into the 9s when softened. If somebody (often not the brewer in these instances) included a fancy water softening system in the build-out, you may be able to flip a few valves to bypass it.

    Joe

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Moab, Utah
    Posts
    585

    Interesting....

    Quote Originally Posted by jwalts View Post
    Is your brewing water softened? Madison-area water, which is extremely alkaline, is usually in the mid-7s but can increase into the 9s when softened. If somebody (often not the brewer in these instances) included a fancy water softening system in the build-out, you may be able to flip a few valves to bypass it.

    Joe
    This is a very interesting subject. While the Alkilinity of Salt Softened water is usually notably higher, I have never encountered a PH change as is being described.
    I would like to hear the water chemistry experts chime in on this one.
    Also total alkilinity and PH are not the same thing.
    There are a major lot of contradictory publications on dealing with salt softened water that defy fully what field experience has shown to be the case. Its a labyrinthe, and as thus full of experts that cannot agree on many points and must be taken on a case by case basis with heavy coordinated analyses carried out. When you are salt softening VERY hard water such as back in Texas, you naturally end up with a high amount of sodium bicarbonate in the finished water. This is what gives salt softened water the characteristic slick feel.

    Star
    Last edited by Starcat; 10-13-2019 at 09:25 AM.
    Warren Turner
    Industrial Engineering Technician
    HVACR-Electrical Systems Specialist
    Moab Brewery
    " No Cell Phone Zone."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    18
    Going off the water softener topic. Any chance the lines running to the brewhouse are not softened water but the rest of your facility is?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    New Orleans, LA, USA
    Posts
    7
    Do you have a new carbon filter? If so, how extensively have you backflushed it?

    Also, try blending barley with water in a small proportion similar to what your normal water:grist ratio is and test pH there.
    Last edited by Jeremy N King; 09-17-2019 at 10:50 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Chesterfield, UK
    Posts
    1,929
    High calcium carbonate content dissolved in the water, which is then reacting with CO2 to create bicarbonate and thus increase the pH ????? Think I'm clutching at straws here, but it is the only thing I can think of.

    What is your water analysis??
    dick

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