Author Topic: CaCl2 ppm in water profile seems to be off - Pickling Lime not being used?  (Read 3775 times)

Offline Javaslinger

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I have 7g of CaCl2 in 9.38 gallons of water.  Beersmith 3 is projecting that as 95.1 ppm Cl and 53.7 ppm Ca (assuming RO water).

My own calculations (and another product) put this number at ~125 ppm Cl and 71.6 Ca. 

Numbers for Gypsum, Salt, and Epsom Salt seem like they're working fine and match up well.

On another note, Pickling Lime (Ca(OH)2) doesn't seem to be getting picked up by the Water Profile or Mash pH.  At least when importing an Beersmith 2 recipe.  Haven't tried it from scratch.  Of course, Pickling Lime should be adding to the water profile and acting as a base in the Mash pH calculation.

Thanks,

Offline Oginme

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I am guessing that you are using CaCl2 in your calculations as a pure salt.  In reality it exists in a hydrated state, either as -dihydrate, -tetrahydrate, or -hexahydrate.  BeerSmith uses the -dihydrate form in the calculations based upon my back calculation.  Since this is also the most common form sold in homebrew shops, it would make sense to express the CaCl2 in this form.


Note: Just ran through the calculations and yes, your other program is assuming pure CaCl2 and not the hydrated form.   Since CaCl2 is hygroscopic, it would absorb water very quickly if not in a hydrated state (it actually absorbs water pretty quickly in the dihydrated state as well) and is not typically sold in the non-hydrated form except through chemical supply houses.
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Offline merfizle

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Offline DinkyDank

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I am guessing that you are using CaCl2 in your calculations as a pure salt.  In reality it exists in a hydrated state, either as -dihydrate, -tetrahydrate, or -hexahydrate.  BeerSmith uses the -dihydrate form in the calculations based upon my back calculation.  Since this is also the most common form sold in homebrew shops, it would make sense to express the CaCl2 in this form.
Speaking of CaCL2, is there any chance that Beersmith could allow users to specify the type and strength of what we are using? I make a large bottle of solution with RO water, measure the gravity, insert the gravity into Bru'n Water, and it kicks out a strength percentage and I can measure out x.xx grams for my recipe. Beersmith doesn't do that, so my CaCL2 additions are wrong in the recipe and I have to use Bru'n Water and input the correct amount in the Notes section. It would be much easier if I could tell Beersmith that I'm using a 14% liquid solution and have it tell me how many grams to add to my water.

Offline Oginme

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Maybe someone can help me with understanding the desire for adding pickling lime?  My understanding of Ca(OH)2 addition to water is to reduce the alkalinity by driving the pH up and causing the precipitation of CaCO3 (Calcium carbonate) out of the water.  It is a very common way to making very white filler pigments for paper, paint, etc.  In mashing it can be used as a 'rescue' when the mash pH drops below the desired range for efficient enzyme activity, but that would be more as a quick, emergency correction.

Any resource out there that promote the use of pickling lime as a standard water agent?

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Offline Javaslinger

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Driving the pH up is the goal.  Pickling lime is far more soluble that the other alternatives for increasing pH in dark beers.  It's pretty commonly used and recommended.  Though I must admit that I had wondered about the precipitation I had observed when using it.  Seems you will need to compensate for the calcium being precipitated.

Offline Oginme

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I guess that is my problem with trying to use Ca(OH)2 for pH control.  Although within the pH range we are talking about there should not be any precipitation, Sodium bicarb would be less effective in changing the pH rapidly, but have a greater effect on neutralizing the acidic nature of the highly roasted malts thus producing the desired effect. 

I guess as someone who does chemistry for a living, it seems as though pickling lime is using a sledgehammer to drive in a finishing nail.  It will get the job done, but you need to wield it very carefully.  Especially with compounds that can lead to other side reactions that may be undesirable.

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Offline Javaslinger

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My problem with Sodium Bicarbonate is that it tends to throw my sodium levels through the roof.  Ca(OH)2 get's me where I want to be without that side effect AND also boosts my calcium level which generally I'm trying to do anyway.

For example in a recent Stout I'm at pH 4.93 after water profile adjustments without any direct pH adjustment.  About 0.5g of Ca(OH)2 per gallon get's me to 5.37 pH.  It takes about 7 grams total of baking soda (5.5 gal batch) to get me there resulting in a sodium level of 60 ppm.  That's about double where I want my sodium in this recipe.

I think that sodium issue is why many people prefer Pickling Lime.  What are your thoughts on this?

Offline GigaFemto

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I use pickling lime as a way to increase calcium without changing sulfate or chloride, and the pH change is just a side effect. I could use chalk, and BeerSmith accomodates this, but the Bru'nWater "Water Knowledge" section discourages the use of chalk because it doesn't dissolve very well. I'm not a chemist, so I don't know if using pickling lime in small amounts this way is accomplishing what I want or is counterproductive, but it makes balancing the ions easy (on paper).

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Offline SpecialK

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The Chalk will dissolve easier with carbonated water

 

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