Re: Version 2.0 of Palmer's Residual Alkalinity Spreadsheets

Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:24 am

Colin Kaminski wrote:I would remind people that you can add CaCl or CaSO4 spiked water to finished beer and bump the SO4/Cl ratios around without rebrewing the batch. I don't fix beers this way but it does give you a seat of the pants feel for what direction to go.


Do you just make up a stock solution with distilled water? Maybe mix 1 g per liter of each and then add with a pipette? Are there any issues with CaSO4 dissolving in water? I know CaCl dissolves no problem.
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Re: Version 2.0 of Palmer's Residual Alkalinity Spreadsheets

Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:49 am

Since I don't really care about the exact amounts, I just mix some together in a pint glass and dose with a cocktail straw. I use about 1/4 tsp in a pint of CaCl in a pint of water and about 1tsp gypsum in a pint of water. Not all of the Gypsum disolves, but since I am not taking measurments, just deciding if I like the SO4/Cl to go up or down it is not very important. Once I decide then I change the water recipie. I use SO4/Cl ratios of 1/1 to 9/1 ppm. If I have a beer at 4/1 and decide I want more SO4 then I will brew it again at 5/1 and then see. I find that above 2/1 I can only taste in increments of .5/1 but below 2/1 I need to be more precise. The difference between 1.2/1 and 1.1/1 is tastable.
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Re: Version 2.0 of Palmer's Residual Alkalinity Spreadsheets

Mon May 16, 2011 3:52 am

hey aj, this is sort of off topic, but do you have a pH meter you can recommend? I am one of those 5% of colorblind brewers. the strips are impossible for me to read!


ajdelange wrote:
derfburg wrote:I have tried to sit down and listen to the shows, with the water sheets from my town. I can just not get a grasp on this. Would any one be willing to take a look at the saved spread sheet, my water supply info and get me rolling on this?


First off we'd need to know what it is you are trying to accomplish. Simply brew decent beer? Imitate a particular style by using water which resembles that of the source which lead to the creation of the style? Enhance hops character? Produce Export with the real Dusseldorf crispness?...

Lots of people get hung up on wanting to have "authentic" water without thinking the problem through. Many, if not most, of the styles were born as brewers figures out what they had to do to work with the water they had. This doesn't mean they got the best beer. Just that they got an acceptable beer given what they had to work with. Trying to match water usually results in confusion and frustration for the brewer because
1) The water report he tries to match is not valid. Mother nature cannot produce the water profiles in most of the books and articles you will find on the subject and neither can you.
2) You cant' go to the LHBS (or supermarket or drugstore or Fischer or Spectrum or ...) and buy calcium bicarbonate and you cannot approximate most waters (in which calcium bicarbonate is the most important constituent) with calcium carbonate unless you are willing to go to the trouble nature did and dissolve it with CO2. This is quite a bit of trouble but if authentic water is your goal it is what you have to do.
3) There is a common misconcetion that there is a strong correlation between beer color and the "required" alkalinity of the water used to brew the beer. Laboring under this misconception many home brewers dump inordinate amount of calcium carbonate into their beers which results in high mash pH and beers which are not nearly as good as they can be.
4) Any water treatment scheme represents a guess. Deteminination of the implications of a particular treatment requires measuring the pH of the mash produced by the water with the particular grain bill you have chosen. pH test strips are prettu useless (especially for the 5% of brewers who, most of us being male, are color blind). Most brewers are reluctant to invest in a pH meter and those who do must ascend a learning curve in their use.

Putting that aside your water is very nice. It is quite soft from either source but Lake Fort Smith water has appreciably more sulfate than Lee Creek water while Lee Creek has thrice the chloride of the lake. Both are a quite low levels but the Lake Fort Smith is pushing the limit on sulfate for continental lagers. You can brew many styles of beer with either of these waters without having to do anything at all. You should (but don't have to) use means other than water treatment to get mash pH as low as is desirable but as most don't do this there is no reason why you should either. Supplementation of the calcium with say a teaspoon of gypsum per 5 gallons would be a good idea for ales and a teaspoonful of calcium chloride for beers where you don't want the hops too assertive is the way to go for those. Other than that, forget water treatment unless and until you are willing to make the substantial investment required to unerstand it better.
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Re: Version 2.0 of Palmer's Residual Alkalinity Spreadsheets

Mon May 16, 2011 8:09 am

From what I have seen reported the fact that you are color blind (and I am also a member of the club) wouldn't have that much of an effect on you ability to use strips. Brewers with normal color vision report errors of 0.3 and more using strips. Bottom line - Daltonion or not, every brewer should have a pH meter.

Now which meter to buy is a difficult question - there are so many of them out there and as technology has improved these have gotten better and better. The problem in answering the question is that I don't have any experience (with one exception) with any of these as I use laboratory instruments which, while they are very nice, are well beyond the price range that most home brewers would be willing to pay (in return for which they get features they don't really need like the ability to take a reading upon command from a computer). I did buy one of the Hanna pHep units just to see if it is really possible to put what they claim into a package that small and that inexpensive. I haven't used the thing extensively by any means but from what I have done with it the answer seems to be "Yes, it is possible." So I can recommend that meter but there are others of similar capability at similar price points and some of those are worthy of your consideration as well.

Some things to look for i.e. minimum requirements:

Precision: 0.01
Acccuracy: 0.05 ( 0.02 would be better but 0.05 is probably just sufficient)
Two buffer calibration
ATC
Automatic buffer recognition
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Re: Version 2.0 of Palmer's Residual Alkalinity Spreadsheets

Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:05 pm

Not sure if someone can help out or not. But I'm in the land of weird measurements and am trying to look for the equivalent measurements so that I may actually use these spreadsheets and programs.

Calcium 56.5 mg/l
Chloride 33.3 mg/l
Potassium 3.3 mg/l
Magnesium 7.9 mg/l
Sodium 15.1 mg/l
Sulfate 89.4 mg/l
Alkalinity (listed as Säurekapazität on my report) 1.3 mmol/l
/\/\/\This is the one I am having an issue with, how can I get a valid figure to input into the sheets and apps from this moles figure?
Total hardness is listed (in dH) along with a couple other things (also in dH or mmol/l). There is no listing of bicarbonate.
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Re: Version 2.0 of Palmer's Residual Alkalinity Spreadsheets

Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:04 pm

I have a sense of deja vu here. Didn't I answer this identical question in another forum? If not, the Säuerkapazität is the alkalinity expressed as the number of moles of hydrogen ions it took to move the pH of the sample to whatever end point pH this laboratory uses for defining alkalinity (something near 4.3). As hydrogen ions are monovalent the mmol/L are equal to the mEq/L and thus the alkalinity of the water is 1.3 mEq/L or 1.3 mval or however you want to say it. In North America we multiply mEq/L by 50 so the alkalinity is 65 ppm as CaCO3 in our terms. If pH < 8.3 then bicarbonate is simply alkalinity mEq/L multiplied by the equivalent weight of bicarbonate ion which is 61. Thus the bicarbonate ion concentration in this sample is 79.3 mg/L.

As you have the magnesium and calcium concentrations in mg/L you can calculate hardness very easily. For calcium it is 50*(Ca_mg)/20 and for magnesium 50*(Mg_mg)/12.15 - both in units of ppm as CaCO3. One German degree is equivalent to 17.848 ppm as CaCO3.
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Re: Version 2.0 of Palmer's Residual Alkalinity Spreadsheets

Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:55 am

ajdelange wrote:I have a sense of deja vu here. Didn't I answer this identical question in another forum? If not, the Säuerkapazität is the alkalinity expressed as the number of moles of hydrogen ions it took to move the pH of the sample to whatever end point pH this laboratory uses for defining alkalinity (something near 4.3). As hydrogen ions are monovalent the mmol/L are equal to the mEq/L and thus the alkalinity of the water is 1.3 mEq/L or 1.3 mval or however you want to say it. In North America we multiply mEq/L by 50 so the alkalinity is 65 ppm as CaCO3 in our terms. If pH < 8.3 then bicarbonate is simply alkalinity mEq/L multiplied by the equivalent weight of bicarbonate ion which is 61. Thus the bicarbonate ion concentration in this sample is 79.3 mg/L.

As you have the magnesium and calcium concentrations in mg/L you can calculate hardness very easily. For calcium it is 50*(Ca_mg)/20 and for magnesium 50*(Mg_mg)/12.15 - both in units of ppm as CaCO3. One German degree is equivalent to 17.848 ppm as CaCO3.



You did answer this already AJ. And what I said in that question was accurate it seems; I would get a quicker response on another board vice this one.

I appreciate the help again.
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Re: Version 2.0 of Palmer's Residual Alkalinity Spreadsheets

Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:27 pm

Colin Kaminski wrote:Since I don't really care about the exact amounts, I just mix some together in a pint glass and dose with a cocktail straw. I use about 1/4 tsp in a pint of CaCl in a pint of water and about 1tsp gypsum in a pint of water. Not all of the Gypsum disolves, but since I am not taking measurments, just deciding if I like the SO4/Cl to go up or down it is not very important. Once I decide then I change the water recipie. I use SO4/Cl ratios of 1/1 to 9/1 ppm. If I have a beer at 4/1 and decide I want more SO4 then I will brew it again at 5/1 and then see. I find that above 2/1 I can only taste in increments of .5/1 but below 2/1 I need to be more precise. The difference between 1.2/1 and 1.1/1 is tastable.


Thanks Colin. (I thought I replied to this a long time ago)
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