HOMEBREW Digest #5685 Wed 26 May 2010

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  RE: Sodium Chloride ("David Houseman")
  re: agua (Joe Katchever)
  RO water - recovery rate (Calvin Perilloux)
  RO Concentrate ("A.J deLange")

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Beer is our obsession and we're late for therapy! * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * NOTE: With the economy as it is, the HBD is struggling to meet its meager operating expenses of approximately $3500 per year. If less than half of those currently directly subscribed to the HBD sent in a mere $5.00, the HBD would be able to easily meet its annual expenses, with room to spare for next year. Please consider it. Financial Projection As of 21 May 2010 Projected 2010 Budget $3505.65 Expended against projection $ 874.75 Projected Excess/(Shortfall) ($2080.54) As always, donors and donations are publicly acknowledged and accounted for on the HBD web page. Thank you Send articles for __publication_only__ to post@hbd.org If your e-mail account is being deleted, please unsubscribe first!! To SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE send an e-mail message with the word "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" to request@hbd.org FROM THE E-MAIL ACCOUNT YOU WISH TO HAVE SUBSCRIBED OR UNSUBSCRIBED!!!** IF YOU HAVE SPAM-PROOFED your e-mail address, you cannot subscribe to the digest as we cannot reach you. We will not correct your address for the automation - that's your job. HAVING TROUBLE posting, subscribing or unsusubscribing? See the HBD FAQ at http://hbd.org. LOOKING TO BUY OR SELL USED EQUIPMENT? Please do not post about it here. Go instead to http://homebrewfleamarket.com and post a free ad there. The HBD is a copyrighted document. The compilation is copyright HBD.ORG. Individual postings are copyright by their authors. ASK before reproducing and you'll rarely have trouble. Digest content cannot be reproduced by any means for sale or profit. More information is available by sending the word "info" to req@hbd.org or read the HBD FAQ at http://hbd.org. JANITORs on duty: Pat Babcock (pbabcock at hbd dot org), Jason Henning, and Spencer Thomas
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 25 May 2010 23:31:00 -0400 From: "David Houseman" <david.houseman at verizon.net> Subject: RE: Sodium Chloride AJ asks: "But why would you want to use a softener in the first place? It doesn't "remove" anything but rather only replaces polyvalent ions (calcium, magnesium, iron, strontium...) with equivalent amounts of (monovalent) sodium." Good question. My well water is acidic enough to take the paint off cars and has enough iron that laundry, toilets, tubs and glasses of water settle out red iron deposits. The water softener does just that, takes out the unwanted ions; and I balance the pH by injecting light soda ash solution into the water line on the way to the softener. Water then tastes great. Makes excellent beer when I replace the missing desirable ions. And my sodium and chloride ions are not terribly high. Not enough to justify an RO system. I can continue to work with what I have. Just thought that if there were a nifty way to minimize the sodium and chloride ions I'd give that a try. Dave Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 25 May 2010 15:37:19 -0500 From: Joe Katchever <joe at pearlstreetbrewery.com> Subject: re: agua As expected, I received a whole wagonload of responses to my query about softened water and pilsner beers. As I also expected, the array of answers pointed&nbsp; in every conceivable direction. Answers from, "don't do anything - just brew with what you got and the beer will be good" philosophies to very in depth scientific explanations. I got a few people who wanted to know what I heard and so, in summary, here's what I got.... My question was, could I (should I) brew with softened water, or low-mineral--high sodium water. Some say no some say sure why not. Let me just point out that I am not trying to brew good beer here. I am at such a point in my brewing career, that I aim to brew exceptional, outstanding beer only. I would like to use water with a maximum alkalinity of 50ppm, as I understand all pilsners, regardless of their origin or mineral content have low-alkalinity in common. With this in mind, my pilsner water options include (1) softened water, remineralized with calcium, (2) nanofiltered water, which removes minerals, (3) RO water (pure water), remineralized, (4) lime treatment to lower bicarbonates and subsequently, alkalinity. I decided not to go with nanofiltered water or RO water, mainly because I don't have an RO filter, or other nanofilter and, no, I don't have the $8,000 to buy one. There was only a lukewarm response to the idea of using softened water, even with adding back some essential minerals. This warrants some further exploration. The only problems seem to be not enough calcium, which is easily fixable with a dose of CaCL; and too much sodium. Although my sodium level of 175.8 is considered below the taste threshold, Dave Miller says, "sulfate levels under 100ppm are usually acceptable, but the effect of sulfate (harsh bitterness) is magnified and worsened by potassium and sodium. My sulfate level is only 12.9, so does this sodium level of softened water even matter? It seems, If I COULD remove the sodium, this might be a good option. No one has proposed any method of removing the sodium from this water. Anyone want to chime in? How about boiling the softened water? Won't that remove any sodium, or does it need to be distilled? Lime treatment could be an option. I got explicit instructions from&nbsp; Mr Martin Brungard as to how to use lime treatment to lower the ankalinity. (thanks, Martin!), although he didn't have all the info. on my water that he needed. I may have failed to mention that my water has some hefty alkalinity issues: it is 262 raw and drops to 168 in the hot liquor tank. Even at 168, it is still over three times my target. I have more questions about this lime treatment: how much lime do I need per gallon (roughly)? My brewing water is as follows:<br> Ca=51.16, Mg=17.65, Na=12.24, hardness=200, sulfate=12.9, Cl=27.2 and alkalinity= 168. What say, sir? On a side note: as Pat Babcock has noted in recent digests, the HBD is way under budget and is "struggling to meet it's meager operating expenses of approx. $3500/year." Looks like these guys are about $2080.54 short. The janitors here run this board every day for us to read and don't get paid for it so, if you read it (I see you do) then toss in a few bucks. They even take Paypal!&nbsp; I'll even throw in the $80.54 right now and I'm poor! -Joe Joe Katchever Pearl Street Brewery La Crosse, Wisconsin Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 May 2010 06:58:37 -0700 (PDT) From: Calvin Perilloux <calvinperilloux at yahoo.com> Subject: RO water - recovery rate AJ notes in his latest posting on Reverse Osmosis units: > In the system which replaced those small units > I feed softened water and feel quite comfortable > operating it at a recovery of around 40% (which > should make all you environmental types feel all > warm and fuzzy inside). AJ, The tree hugger in me wonders about something... If I'm at a recovery rate of only 17% like your old RO units, I'd only be increasing the ion concentration in the waste water by about (1-(1-.17)) = 20%. Hence, that waste water could be useful for my garden, since it's fairly close to what my garden lives on already. If I go to a much higher recovery rate, though, that waste water might be much saltier, 67% more instead of 20% more, and so for a high-mineral water source, instead of using the waste on a parched garden, I might run it down the drain. So perhaps the low-recovery units are in fact more environmentally friendly -- if you make use of the waste water. (To be honest, me being on a well, for my water it would be a case of "from the earth you came, to the earth you shall return" even for waste water I dump out, so there's not much environmental effect other than energy usage to pump the stuff to the surface.) And now that you mention that a Home Depot RO unit is under $300, you have me thinking of how much I've spent at Walmart for distilled water and wondering if it's actually cheaper to make my own. Hmmmmm... Calvin Perilloux Middletown, Maryland, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 May 2010 11:28:00 -0400 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: RO Concentrate WRT to concentrate disposal: In my particular situation (which should be pretty similar to Calvin's) the well typically runs 22 mg/L Ca++, 11 mg/L Mg++, 73 mg/L HCO3-. 12.4 mg/L NO3- (as the nitrate); 7.1 mg/L Na+; 23 mg/L SO4-- (that's the one I'm really after); 28 mg/L silica with smidgeons of copper, potassium, fluoride iron and manganese for a total TDS of 155 mg/L excluding the silica or 183 mg/L with. The magnesium and calcium total 2.02 mEq/L and so 33 mg/L of them gets replaced by the softener with 46 mg/L sodium for TDS (sans silica, a thing to be devoutly wished) of about 168 mg/L (the meter on the RO unit, calibrated against who knows what salt mixture and which doesn't respond to the silica) reads about 140 mg/L. So, to make the math simple, at 50% recovery the concentrate I'd be dumping out would be at 336 mg/L with 106 mg/L of that being sodium and all the other ions concentrations about doubled (assuming 100% rejection - again for simple math). The only one of those I might worry about WRT to a garden would be the sodium and my gut says that even at that level it shouldn't be a problem but Calvin may have better data on this. I'm in the rarish hybrid situation of having county sewer but no county water so my concentrate just goes down the drain. I'm sure it takes many hours of operation of the RO system to dump as much sodium as a single cycle of the softener. If sodium discharge is a concern it is always possible to operate the unit on un-softened water. The calculation for maximum allowable recovery isn't that bad and I'd be happy to do it if wanted. In the case of unsoftened water you would, effectively, be "liming" your garden - a good thing around here as soil pH is lowish. Of course Calvin is welcome to come by anytime for as much RO water as he can transport and I'll even throw in some sauermalz and a beer (or 2). Given where he lives relative to me and assuming a buck a gallon for DI water and 3 bucks a gallon for petrol I'm guessing this may not be such a great proposition in financial terms but the beer is good (and free). A.J. Return to table of contents
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