Boiling to reduce hardness

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by futur3h4wk, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. futur3h4wk

    futur3h4wk New Member

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    I just received my water report from WARD and between the Palmer/Kaminski book on water and the water profile calculator here I'm fairly confident in my ability to adjust my water with additions of Calcium and boiling. My concern is after boiling 8 gallons of water for half an hour I now have slightly more than 7 gallons. I seems this should throw off my mineral additions that I made. 2 g Gypsum, 2 g baking soda, 14 g slaked lime. Should I have started with extra water and how would I adjust my calculations. the full calc is here http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash-chemistry-and-brewing-water-calculator/?id=846423D
     
  2. ACBEV

    ACBEV Active Member

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    My water is not great for beer making, I decided some time back to to mix my tap water 50/50 with bottled water. I think I'm in the ballpark now without additions apart from PH control. Don't think I'd be boiling water to modify it. time and expense! Just need the right bottled water, cost x chemical content which compliments my tap water.
     
  3. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    Why the baking soda? My understand is that lime softening requires the calcium but not baking soda (which is what you are trying to precipitate out). The thing to add that helps is CaCo3, to provide nucleation points for more to participate out.

    You don't have to boil for lime softening, though. http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.ph...ked_lime#How_to_treat_brewing_water_with_lime
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Boiling removes temporary hardness (calcium carbonate). Think boiler scale. I can't tell from your description whether you added the salts before or after boiling. If before, you precipitated some of the calcium out as carbonate. My water starts out with around 36 mg/l (ppm) of calcium. If I boil it and scale precipitates (which it does), I know I have something less than 36 ppm. The mash (supposedly) needs 50 ppm. I don't boil my water in advance but if I did, my treatment regime would be filter with activated charcoal (chloramine removal), boil and cool, add back 50 ppm calcium (generally as chloride but on rare occasions, sulfate), acidify to ph 5.6 and brew. If your total hardness is up in the hundreds, just skip the calcium additions. If you know your temporary hardness, you'll know how much calcium carbonate you lose. As to adding calcium carbonate to the beer, I generally don't. It takes an acid water supply to dissolve and can form apatite (calcium phosphate) crystals in the mash, leading to gushers.
     
  5. futur3h4wk

    futur3h4wk New Member

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    The baking soda is to increase Sodum
     
  6. futur3h4wk

    futur3h4wk New Member

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    My temp hardness is well over 200, the salts are added prior to the boil. I decanted the water off the calcium precipitate I'm on a well and don't have any chlorine etc. I don't want to add untreated water I think I'll make up a couple of gallons with just enough slaked line to remove the temp hardness and use that I don't think it will upset my other salts too much. in the future I'll just use the slacked lime then figure out the concentrations of the other minerals based on the new water volume and make additions after the boil
     
  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Yep, you're in the "tough water" camp. I forget how easy things are here where our drinking water was snowpack last week.
     
  8. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    But it increases bicarbonate, which you want to participate out.

    I'd either boil, adding nothing, or try lime softening using the lime and calcium carbonate (and gypsum, if you need to increase the calcium hardness to precipitate the bicarbonate. I've done it, and it works well. I just don't have the patience to do it, or the room in my brewing space. I did both boiling and racking off the precipitate and then tried lime softening and racking off the precipitate, and decided that buying an RO system for $100 was more preferable for me.

    Your water should really be suitable for lime softening, and should give good results.

    If you still want to do the boiling thing, that's fine, but add your additions to the water (except for the calcium needed to create the precipitation), AFTER the boil. And don't add baking soda, which increases alkalinity. If you must increase sodium (and you don't, anyway), use NaCl2 (table salt).
     
  9. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    also if your boiling you want to pull the water off the impurities, otherwise some gets mixed right back in like chlorine and chloramine
     
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  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    To increase sodium, just use salt. Regular table salt, as long as it's not iodized. A bit of salt can enhance flavor in beer, just as it does in food but be careful not to over-do it.

    Like Yooper, I'm considering an RO system just for the consistency. Water changes over the course of the year, particularly here when we switch from water directly (mostly) from the snowmelt to surface water. Although I have to say that, after enough of us asked, Aurora publishes concentrations of ions of interest to brewers in the city's water report. We're lucky: On a clear day we can see our drinking water.
     

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