HOMEBREW Digest #5410 Thu 04 September 2008

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  power of HB...Paul Shicks post (Fred M. Scheer)
  Soft/RO Water; Color; Oxidation ("A.J deLange")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2008 14:15:55 +0000 From: fredscheer07 at comcast.net (Fred M. Scheer) Subject: power of HB...Paul Shicks post HI All: One just never underestimate the power of Homebrewers. As AJ demonstradet, not only is the knowledge about the subject brewing there, also the contribution to the art and science and the practical knowledge is there.You are right with your posting, Paul. I as a Professional Brewer, altimes appreciated the help from Homebrewers. Especially from the AABG in MI. I had the largest taste panel and help when we operated Frankenmuth Brewery. I hope that other brewers in MI appreciate them as well. Still this days, whenever one of the AABG visits Nashville, TN, I get a report on the beers, food and service. AND, I get some of the best Homebrewed Nectar in the US for my enjoyment. What else can you ask for? Cheers, Fred Scheer Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 04 Sep 2008 11:23:48 -0400 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Soft/RO Water; Color; Oxidation RE: softened water: it is soft (little or no Ca or Mg) but it is not any lower in mineral content than the water that went into the softener. Each milliequivalent of calcium removed, which weighs 20 mg, is replaced by a milliequivalent of sodium which weighs 23 mg. Each mEq of magnesium removed (weight 12.15) is replaced by a mEq of sodium. Bicarbonate, chloride etc. all sail through unaffected. So by weight, in fact, the total amount of dissolved minerals increases (though based on equivalence the amount stays the same). Do not think of softened water in the same terms as RO water. I forgot to respond to the question about dilution of tap water with RO water. In general, one can think of RO water as distilled water for dilution calculations i.e. if sulfate is 60 mg/L in tap water and it is diluted 1+2 with RO water (1 part tap water to 2 parts RO water) the sulfate content will be about 20 mg/L. I use "about" because RO does not completely remove ions. It may be 98% effective against sulfate, for example, which means that 1.2 mg/L would make it through the RO unit giving a total concentration of (2*1.2 + 60)/3 = 20.8 mg/L which is certainly close to 20. Alkalinity may be off by a bit more than the other elements for two reasons: first, RO units are typically only about 95% effective against bicarbonate which is responsible for virtually all observed alkalinity. Second, there may be a pH shift necessary to maintain electrical neutrality which also throws things off a bit. For example, if 1 part pH 8.00 water at alkalinity 200 with 130 ppm as CaCO3 calcium and magnesium hardnesses with 60 ppm sulfate is blended with 2 parts distilled water there will be a pH shift to 8.02 and the alkalinity will be 68.3 rather than 200/3 = 66.7. Again, a relatively small error. For Chad: Remember that guys like me are often referred to as Daltonians after another color blind guy who was also much intrigued by color. For Paul: The MCAB presentation was called "Beer Color Re-examined" but it did propose a pseudo SRM + 3 parameters as a way of describing color (good memory!). It also stated that beer does not follow Beer's law. Not true, though widely thought to be the case among home brewers in those days. The big deal since then is the use of the true SRM (rather than pseudo SRM derived from a pricipal component) and some small number of principal components. I also miss the high quality tech talks from MCAB (and BT). There really isn't a forum for that kind of discussion among homebrewers...except HBD! In case it didn't come across in previous posts late me state very clearly that this work never would have happened had it not been for HBD. Responses to questions and comments really force one to clarify his thinking. This is equally so for the supportive comments as the ones that vigorously assured me that I was all wet. Finally oxidation state of beer is really not all that difficult to measure and used to be considered quite important (see DeClerck). I've often suspected that the industry quit doing rH measurements because of the difficulties with dyes etc. and that it may now be time to have another look. rH (ORP) is now measured almost as easily as pH (electrode must be calibrated with a substance of known oxidation state and pH is required to complete the cal). It is, of course, critical that the sample be protected from exposure to the air but a closed sampling chamber into which pH and ORP electrodes (or a combination electrode) can be inserted and which can be connected directly to a zwickle or beer line should make it possible to do these. Some day... A.J. Return to table of contents
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