Author Topic: Water Profile Tool - Am I using it correctly? + Suggestions  (Read 13346 times)

Offline hennesse

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Water Profile Tool - Am I using it correctly? + Suggestions
« on: April 06, 2013, 12:15:01 PM »
I'm a little confused about the Water Profile Tool. 

I want to make a total of 18 gallons, with 50% local water, 50% bottled water, and whatever salts are required.

----- Part A - Water Profile Tool -----

I select the profiles for Base Water, Dilute With Water, and Target Water.  For volumes, I use:

Volume of base water to use: 9 gal
Volume of dilution water to add:  9 gal

Clicking "Calculate Best Additions", gives me figures for the grams of salts to add.  The values are pretty close to what BrewersFriend.com calculates.  So far, so good.

When I click "Save Additions to Target" the field "for Batch Volume" shows 9 gallons.  I change this to 18 gallons, and click "OK.

Question #1:  Am I correct in using "for Batch Volume" 18 gal?

If I leave it at 9 gallons as the tool suggests, then when I Add Water to my recipe, and select 18 gallons - it doubles the amount of salts.

Suggestion:  Shouldn't the tool suggest the sum of the Base Water and Dilute With waters?


----- Part B  - Add Water to a Recipe -----

When I add a water that contains mineral additions to a recipe, and include the salts, the salt amounts are added absolutely.  Subsequently changing the amount of water does not modify the amount of salts.  One must delete the water and each of the salts separately, and start all over.

But it's easy to change the water and assume that the salts have changed.

Suggestion: Maybe a warning should pop up when you delete a water that has mineral additions.

Part of this problem goes back to the "Add Water" screen.  The amount at the bottom of this screen defaults to the batch size, which has minor relation to the amount of water required.  If you double-click the water profile, you're sunk.

Suggestion: Perhaps it would be better to default the "Amount" field to blank, and refuse to proceed unless the user fills it in.


The Water Profile Tool is a wonderful tool, and much easier to use than others.  But it seems rather easy to make certain mistakes, and end up with totally incorrect salt amounts.









Offline BeerSmith

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Re: Water Profile Tool - Am I using it correctly? + Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2013, 01:28:28 PM »
Hi,
  Part A - yes you are doing it correctly - you want to add the additions in the quantity to match the volume you calculated for.

  Part B - Thank you for the suggestions - I will make a note of this for a future update.

Cheers,
Brad
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Offline hennesse

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Re: Water Profile Tool - Am I using it correctly? + Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2013, 11:01:23 PM »
Thanks Brad!

My friend was reminiscing about long-ago summers drinking Genesee Cream Ale (definitely a mis-spent youth).  No stores around here carry it, so he asked me to make him a batch.

My local water isn't suitable to make Rochester NY water, but I didn't want to spend the $$$ for 18 gallons of distilled or spring water.  It took some playing around, but it turns out that 50% local / 50% Deer Park and a few minerals will get me just as close as starting with distilled water - at half the price.  The $ savings will almost recoup the cost of my copy of BeerSmith!

Rochester NY publishes their water data:
http://www.cityofrochester.gov/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=8589956302&libID=8589956289
They report alkalinity, so I calculated the HCO3 to be around 85.

Offline mlibertini

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Re: Water Profile Tool - Am I using it correctly? + Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2013, 10:09:20 AM »
I have a newby question.  I have the app for iphone and not the desktop version.  I'm trying to figure out how to match my well water to say Dublin water.  Can the iphone version tell me what to add to my water to do that?  Does the desktop version?


My water:
pH  7.4
Ca  0
Mg  0
Na   177
SO4   44
Cl  26
HCO3  0

Thanks!

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Water Profile Tool - Am I using it correctly? + Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2013, 04:00:18 PM »
Did you have a lab test done on your well water?  That seems like an unusual profile with zero Calcium, Mg, and and no bicarbonates.  And the sodium is high enough you'll likely want to dilute with RO or distilled as well. 

Offline mlibertini

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Re: Water Profile Tool - Am I using it correctly? + Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2013, 09:22:38 PM »
Yes I did have it tested and those are the results. The sodium is high due to a water softener. Very very hard water. System can be bypassed to get water with much less sodium.

Offline ihikeut

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Re: Water Profile Tool - Am I using it correctly? + Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2013, 07:12:29 AM »
Most articles I have read don't recommend using soft water from water softeners, because of the high salt content. Better off diluting with distilled water or boiling hard water to lower bicarbonate, calcium, and magnesium.

Bicarbonate
0 to 50 pale base malt only
50 to 150 amber toasted malt
150 to 250 dark roasted malt

Calcium
50 to 150

Magnesium
10 to 30

Offline hennesse

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Re: Water Profile Tool - Am I using it correctly? + Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2013, 10:44:45 AM »
Yes I did have it tested and those are the results. The sodium is high due to a water softener. Very very hard water. System can be bypassed to get water with much less sodium.
The Water Profile Tool in the desktop version (not sure about the iPhone) can help you, but you'd have to add about 5 gallons of bottled water for each gallon of your "salt water" to get the sodium down to normal levels.

Another problem is your water has no calcium, and it's difficult to add chalk (calcium carbonate) to your water to get the calcium up.  It's only slightly soluble in regular water, but it's much more soluble in carbonated water.  If you're kegging, you can carbonate a keg of water and add the chalk to that.  If you're bottling, you'll have to buy club soda.

Do you have an analysis of your un-softened water?  You might be better off starting with that, perhaps less dilution required. 

Starting with bottled spring water is probably your best bet for most beer styles.  It certainly adds to the expense, but bottled water is a lot cheaper than bottled beer.  And your beer will taste much better!

Dave



Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Water Profile Tool - Am I using it correctly? + Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2013, 02:55:53 PM »
I'm with hennesse........what's original water like?  It may be closer to Dublin as well.   

The softener seems to have stripped out the hardness that you're wanting to add back, and it ramped up the sodium you now have to dilute. 

Did you ever brew a stout with the original water? 

Offline brewfun

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Re: Water Profile Tool - Am I using it correctly? + Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2013, 07:56:45 PM »
"Soft" water is not the same as "softened" water.

Water hardness is the measure of calcium and magnesium. Water softeners take out an ion of calcium and replace it with two ions of sodium.

Naturally soft water is simply low in minerals to begin with.

High sodium levels are toxic to yeast.
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Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Water Profile Tool - Am I using it correctly? + Suggestions
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2013, 07:09:46 PM »
My water:                  Dublin (fm BS2)
pH  7.4
Ca  0                                  115
Mg  0                                      4
Na   177                                12
SO4   44                               55
Cl  26                                    19
HCO3  0                              200

Thanks!

Right, so he has softened his hard water, and the lab test says the processed water has zero Ca and zero HCO3, which is pretty far off Dublin's profile, plus the sodium is now much too high, and would need to be diluted quite a bit, which would then dilute the SO4 and Cl, which are close enough. 

So it's possible the native water is reasonably suited to stouts, and the water used for pale, non-roasted brews may need to be softened and diluted with RO or spring water or distilled. 

Offline mlibertini

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Re: Water Profile Tool - Am I using it correctly? + Suggestions
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2013, 04:40:17 PM »
I do not have raw water data, however, I'm going to bypass my softener next time I brew. Very easy to do. Sometime in the near future I will get a raw water profile. My water is pretty hard. 3.6 on the hardness scale.

Offline hennesse

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Water Profile Tool - PPM or PPM as Calcium Carbonate ??? - HELP BRAD
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2013, 08:06:28 PM »
The more I read about water chemistry and hardness, the more confused I get.  It seems that people quote numbers, but forget to mention the actual units involved.  And the units can make a very big difference.

For instance, one can analytically measure the actual weight of Ca+2 ions in a given quantity of water, and then express it in one of several ways:

(1) mg/L (or ppm, same thing) of Ca+2 ions

(2) mg/L (or ppm) as CaCO3 - the weight of Calcium Carbonate that would produce (1)'s worth of Ca+2 ions

You multiply (1) by 2.5 to get (2), so there's a pretty big difference there.


It also looks like you can do the same thing with Grains Per Gallon (gpg). 
(gpg =~ mg/L * .058)

(3) gpg  of Ca+2 ions

(4) gpg as CaCO3 - the weight of Calcium Carbonate that would produce (3)'s worth of Ca+2 ions

It seems that (1) and (3) are used by analytical chemists, and (2) and (4) are used by water people to express hardness - but their use is inconsistent.

For example:

My water is pretty hard. 3.6 on the hardness scale.

3.6 gpg as CaCO3 is only moderately hard.  But 3.6 as Ca+2 ions is very hard (3.6 * 2.5 = 9 gpg as CaCO3).

I have a private well, but I called the local municipal water people who have a large municipal well very close to me.  They reported Calcium as 76 mg/L, but they didn't say (I'm not sure if they knew) whether it was as ions or as CaCO3.

If it were ions, then I would have very hard water (I don't).  If it was as CaCO3, I have moderately hard water (I do).

BRAD, I just want to make sure...

BeerSmith's Water Tools report various ions in ppm.  Are these ppm of Ions, or ppm as CaCO3 ?

Thanks,
Dave (always thinking about things too much) Hennessey

------
Here's a nice map of the US that shows comparative water hardness areas.  But here's a question - if 85% of the US has hard water, how come the map doesn't show the 15% that has soft water?
Huh?  Huh?

http://www.geappliances.com/products/water/water_softeners.htm


Offline fxbghokie

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Re: Water Profile Tool - Am I using it correctly? + Suggestions
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2013, 08:17:03 PM »
I have used the tool very often and with great success.  I have all my profiles for IPA and hefes down and use them often.  The one thin that is missing from the tool is the cost per gallon.  How can I add in the cost per gallon when I have to use RO or distilled water?

Offline Brasserie de Chiens Noirs

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Re: Water Profile Tool - Am I using it correctly? + Suggestions
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2013, 05:55:29 AM »
Bump!

I would like to add the cost for water as well but there doesn't seem to be any way to do that.  I typically use bottled water for my brews and would like that to show up in the total cost.