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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2007 * Archive through April 17, 2007 * Can I buy brewing salts/minerals at some place besides a HBS? < Previous Next >

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Christopher Allen
Junior Member
Username: Treeboy

Post Number: 33
Registered: 01-2007
Posted From: 130.39.215.236
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 04:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I need some salts for a brew I'll be making tomorrow, but have no LHBS. This is really a case of poor planning. I really only need to adjust my Ca and possibly MG. Is there some other place I can get some gypsum, CaCl, etc? Can I just buy some vitamins at a health foods store containing these minerals and crush them up in the mash?
 

The Jolly Brewer
Senior Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 1521
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 81.132.152.30
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 04:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You can buy Magnesium Sulphate from a cheist under the name Epsom Salts.

Gypsum is Plaster of Paris if I'm correct, so should be available from a craft shop as long as it has no other additives in it.
 

Christopher Allen
Junior Member
Username: Treeboy

Post Number: 34
Registered: 01-2007
Posted From: 130.39.215.236
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 04:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I actually looked in the back of my lab, and we have some pretty old CaCl2. Thing is, it's CaCl2 Dihydrate. I am no chemist, so have no idea what effect this will have if any.

(Message edited by treeboy on March 23, 2007)
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 4159
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.27.158.31
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 05:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was taught that plaster of Paris contains iron filings that are there to expand by rusting a bit when the plaster dries. The idea is that the expansion of the iron compensates for the contraction of the plaster.

--This space is STILL being left intentionally blank.-


 

Spartacus
Junior Member
Username: Spartacus_manly

Post Number: 46
Registered: 11-2006
Posted From: 24.128.118.170
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 05:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

and the misinformation and folklore continues to spew from near the ohio River

Plaster is created by heating gypsum to about 150C. The chemical reaction that follows changes the gypsum over into Plaster.
Sorry Roger, You Tiger now!
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 6779
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 05:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There should be alternative sources for all the usual brewing salts. JB is correct about epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) being available at any drugstore. Calcium carbonate is a mineral supplement; check the vitamins/minerals section. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and canning salt (sodium chloride) are common grocery items. If you ask a pharmacist and mention what you are using it for, I would think you would be able to get pure calcium sulfate (gypsum) and calcium chloride. As has been mentioned, plaster of paris is gypsum and calcium chloride is used for dust control applications, but I'm not sure I'd trust the purity of either for brewing.
 

The Gimp
Junior Member
Username: Gimp

Post Number: 99
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 208.5.44.21
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 05:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Find a supply store that sells them in bulk instead of the little bottles.

I've never seen plaster of paris with rust in it.

(Message edited by gimp on March 23, 2007)
 

Mike
Intermediate Member
Username: Macker

Post Number: 391
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 151.151.21.104
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 05:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Calcium Chloride Dihydrate is CaCL2 2H2O. A hydrated compound is a compound that is surrounded by water molecules that are held in place by hydrogen bonds.
 

HEU Brewer
Intermediate Member
Username: Heu_brewer

Post Number: 254
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 146.137.248.1
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 06:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Food grade gypsum is called terra alba

I got a small sample container from a manufacturer free of charge, enough to last about a 1/2 a brewing lifetim
 

Steve Funk
Intermediate Member
Username: Tundra45

Post Number: 329
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 209.216.190.128
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 06:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mike has got it. CaCl2 is hygroscopic and wants to absorb water. So much so, that it is considered deliquescence. The problem with older salts is that you don't know how much actual water has been absorbed unless it was stored properly, such as sealed in a vacuum desiccator. The formula weight for pure CaCl2 is about 110g/mol and the dihydrate is 147g/mol (one third heavier). The hexahydrate version is nearly double the FW of the anhydrous form.
 

The Gimp
Junior Member
Username: Gimp

Post Number: 100
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 208.5.44.21
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 06:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Isn't sheetrock gypsum.

Yup. USG MSDS sheet says it is ok. They don't recommend eating it as chunks may block the digestive track, especially the pyloric regeon.
 

Paul Edwards
Senior Member
Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 1322
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 69.208.158.88
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 06:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

http://members.rediff.com/fmc/plasterofparis.htm

This link shows a typical chemical analysis of Plaster of Paris that one company sells.
 

Spartacus
Junior Member
Username: Spartacus_manly

Post Number: 49
Registered: 11-2006
Posted From: 24.128.118.170
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 07:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just to point out something about Fe2O3 (Crystalline Ferric Oxide) before the spin doctor gets ahold of it...


Crystalline Ferric Oxide (Fe2O3)

*

Synonyms: Crystalline ferric oxide, specular hematite, fe203, specular red iron oxide, specularite, Alaska black diamond, specular jeweler's rouge, Iron oxide; Ferric oxide red; Iron (III) oxide; Rouge; Ferric oxide; Red iron oxide; C.I. 77491; Iron oxide (Fe2O3); diiron trioxide; Pigment red 101; English iron oxide red; Iron oxide red; FERRIC OXIDE FUME; FERRIC OXIDE, 99.99%; Iron(III) oxide dihydrate;

*

Formula: Fe2O3

*

Description:

A purified, naturally occurring mineral called specular hematite (Fe2O3). It a blocky, heavy iron-based crystal and the most stable form of ferric oxide in a fully crystalline state. The product will not rust or oxidize as its crystalline composition makes it a stable form of ferric oxide (Fe2O3). No rust means it will not stain or clog metering valves. It is non-hygroscopic and will not absorb Moisture. It is non-magnetic and will not stick to steel due to magnetic attraction, but it has a very weak susceptibility to magnetic forces.

*

Typical Chemical Properties Available:

Composition of ore: Iron= 70%, Oxygen= 30%, and Crystalline silica= 0.5% max.

*

Typical Physical Properties Available:

Lumps, granules, 10 x 20 mesh, 12 x 50 mesh, and various powder granulations custom size reduced down to ~ 1 micron

*

Military Specifications Met:

Meets Mil-A-21380B Type I for aluminum oxide, and Mil-A-22262B(SH) for hull abrasives.

*

Recyclable:

Recycles 3-6 times using conventional air-wash systems. Additional grit (approx.25%) must be added to the System to supplement degradation loss after each recycle.

*

Nominal Physical Constants:

Chlorides


0.00076%

Free Flow


99.96%

Bulk Density (lbs./ft3)


183

Melting Point (C)


1390

Conductivity (micromhos / cm)


38

Oil Content


0.0%

Weight Change On Ignition


+ 0.04%

Mohs Hardness (80% minimum)


6 to 7.5

Specific Surface Area (m2/g)




Specific Gravity


5.29

Color


Steel gray

Crystallography


Angular & uniform

crystalline ferric oxide, fe203, specular hematite, specular red iron oxide, specularite, Alaska black diamond, specular jeweler's rouge, crystalline ferric oxide, fe203, specular hematite, specular red iron oxide, specularite, Alaska black diamond, specular jeweler's rouge, crystalline ferric oxide, specular hematite, fe203, specular red iron oxide, specularite, Alaska black diamond, specular jeweler's rouge
Sorry Roger, You Tiger now!
 

The Gimp
Member
Username: Gimp

Post Number: 101
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 208.5.44.21
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 07:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dan, the analysis does not list iron, it lists iron oxide as a minor 0.28% contaminant.

It is already oxidized.

CaSO4, 1/2H2O : 97.97% - They are not trying to make reagent quality gypsum, just something that works as plaster.

No where does it indicate Fe as iron filings to expand when rusting.
 

Paul Edwards
Senior Member
Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 1323
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 69.208.158.88
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 07:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was merely showing that maybe you don't want to use PoP in place of food-grade gypsum in your beer because of the contaminants that might be present. The levels could vary depending on the brand of PoP. Not sure I want Fe2O3 or Al2O3 or MgO in my beer. That's all I was trying to say...

When I googled " 'Plaster of Paris' AND iron", I found nothing to indicate that iron filings were ever used as an expansion agent.
 

The Gimp
Member
Username: Gimp

Post Number: 102
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 208.5.44.21
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 07:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Evenin food grade gypsum you will get contaminants like that. Maybe to a lesser extent like:

Fe2O3 Al2O3 0.12% 0.12%

source- http://literature.usg.com/pdf/IG172.pdf

another interesting quote from a manufacturer.

"With respect to the levels of heavy metals set by Food Chemical Codex, these levels are set by scientific studies that
provide the FDA the recommended usage levels. Therefore, as a natural mined product, natural levels of heavy metals may
be present with tolerances provided by the Food Chemical Codes. I do not see this as presenting any degree of difficulty
or becoming problematic at the usage levels set by the FDA."
 

The Gimp
Member
Username: Gimp

Post Number: 103
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 208.5.44.21
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 08:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I buy food grade additives in bulk, and am not arguing for use of sheet rock or PoP either. I'm just pointing out that we are talking about food grade stuff that is going to have probably 2% contamination in it. Considering the small amount of gypsum or whatever we add to the mash water, we are talking ppb not ppm for the contaminants.

None the less, I still don't want 'natural' arsnic or cyanide in my beer.
 

Patrick C.
Advanced Member
Username: Patrickc

Post Number: 666
Registered: 01-2001
Posted From: 24.30.11.194
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 03:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Treeboy, I guess a drugstore is your best source if you want USP gypsum fast. I've never made tofu, but supposedly gypsum is used to coagulate tofu and is available at Chinese grocery stores (what isn't?). In your situation I'd probably just leave it out, since I'm sure a pharmacy will charge an arm and a leg for it and I don't know how popular tofu is in Louisiana.

Like HEU mentioned, I got a huge sample (by homebrewing standards) just for filling out a web form. I got it delivered to work, figuring it probably helps if you can give them a company name that sounds like you might actually buy some.

If that doesn't work, e-mail me your address and I'll mail you some. (If you want to risk getting white powder in the mail).



By the way,

Which one of you is Spartacus?
 

Rob Beck
Intermediate Member
Username: Robbeck

Post Number: 334
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 64.216.143.152
Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 06:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You may be able to find the needed salts at a retail store that sells science stuff. I know, here in Kansas City, we have several small retail stores that sell microscopes, telescopes, fossils, etc. and they also sell chemicals.
 

Spartacus
Junior Member
Username: Spartacus_manly

Post Number: 58
Registered: 11-2006
Posted From: 24.128.118.170
Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 06:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I AM SPARTACUS!
Sorry Roger, You Tiger now!
 

Patrick C.
Advanced Member
Username: Patrickc

Post Number: 668
Registered: 01-2001
Posted From: 63.250.179.198
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 06:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nobody else here saw that movie?
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 6799
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 09:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm sorry to say I'm old enough to remember Spartacus the first time it was in theaters.
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 2524
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 167.4.1.41
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 10:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

With Michael Douglas' dad??? You are old.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 6803
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 11:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'd totally forgotten it was directed by Stanley Kubrick.
 

Tom Meier
Advanced Member
Username: Brewdawg96

Post Number: 537
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 70.146.141.87
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 11:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You damn dirty apes!!