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Camden tabs to adjust sulphate?

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The-Engineer-That-Brews

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Dear experts!

I'm finding it hard to increase my SO4/Cl ratio without sending the Ca and Mg concentration too high.
It looks like adjusting the pH with sulphuric acid would provide a great answer, but unfortunately due to the actions of a few execrable lunatics it seems to be all but impossible to buy these days.

I'm wondering whether it's a viable and/or advisable alternative to add slightly more sodium meta-Bi (Camden). If my (limited!) understanding is correct, then the normal dose of 1/2 a tablet in 30L of water is about 7.7ppm but if I take this up to 15ppm then it contributes a useful amount of sulphate without raising chloride...

Any comments are really, really welcome - many thanks in advance.


The gory details
My water report says that I have:
Ca 145, Mg 0, Na 30, SO4 42, Cl 55, HCO3 333
And I'm aiming for something like:
Ca 150, Mg <40, Na < 50, SO4 350, Cl 71, HCO3 155 (i.e. SO4/Cl approx 5.5)


I'm thinking of doing something like this (note also the addition of CRS and 50% dilution with RO+DI water)

1600101747399.png
 

strange-steve

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I'm wondering whether it's a viable and/or advisable alternative to add slightly more sodium meta-Bi (Camden).
For various reasons, no this isn't really a viable option. The reaction of smbs is actually very complex, but when dissolved in water it breaks down into sulphur dioxide and sulphurous acid, which partially dissociates into sulphite and bisulphite, not sulphate. Sulphate is only formed through the reaction of sulphurous acid with chlorine or chloramine, and your water probably has around 1ppm or less of free chlorine meaning in practice you will only get a tiny amount of sulphate produced (a few ppm at most) no matter how much smbs you add.
 

The-Engineer-That-Brews

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around 1ppm or less of free chlorine meaning in practice you will only get a tiny amount of sulphate produced
Darn it!
OK thanks @strange-steve ... so you mean that although Bru'n Water says this (below) I'd in fact only get that much Sulphate if I had enough free chlorine to complete the reaction?
In that case, I'm a bit stuck...

1600104674858.png
 

The-Engineer-That-Brews

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Maybe I need to play with more Gypsum plus CRS... or alternatively talk to my science-teacher buddy to beg him for some dilute H2S04
 

strange-steve

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OK thanks @strange-steve ... so you mean that although Bru'n Water says this (below) I'd in fact only get that much Sulphate if I had enough free chlorine to complete the reaction?
As I understand it yes, the rest of it remains as sulphur dioxide and sulphurous acid.
In that case, I'm a bit stuck...
I don't think you're stuck, don't be afraid to push the calcium up to around 200ppm or so. Also bear in mind that 350ppm sulphate is quite high, not unreasonably so, but it's higher than I would typically go for. How close can you get to your desired profile with CRS, gypsum, Epsom etc?
 

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I would also not recommend camden at those quantities or sulphate that high. to be honest I would add some acid and Epsom and call it good if you have sulphate above 100. 2 to 1 to ratio makes it plenty bitter.
 

-Bezza-

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Ooh, I made a calculator for this so you can see the effect campden tablets have:

 

The-Engineer-That-Brews

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How close can you get to your desired profile with CRS, gypsum, Epsom etc?
OK if I'm driving this thing right then with CRS, epsom and gypsum I can get Ca 192, Mg 20, Na 32, SO4 285, Cl 86 with a mash pH around 5.3 (i.e. SO4/Cl around 3.3)

Does this sounds reasonable for a 'Best Bitter'? My problem is that I've only brewed very 'neutral' (i.e. bland) pale ales to date and I'm not sure which aspects of the water profile are important to get an authentic result.
 

strange-steve

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OK if I'm driving this thing right then with CRS, epsom and gypsum I can get Ca 192, Mg 20, Na 32, SO4 285, Cl 86 with a mash pH around 5.3 (i.e. SO4/Cl around 3.3)

Does this sounds reasonable for a 'Best Bitter'? My problem is that I've only brewed very 'neutral' (i.e. bland) pale ales to date and I'm not sure which aspects of the water profile are important to get an authentic result.
I don't think that's too bad at all. If it were me I would probably swap a little gypsum for calcium chloride, but that's just my personal taste.
 

The-Engineer-That-Brews

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Interestingly the profile in Bru’n Water for “Burton” looks like this:
1600115255173.png

In the context of the discussion, 610 for sulphate sounds bonkers... would you consider brewing with this, @strange-steve, @Pennine ?

If I could get hold of some Sulphuric for the sparge acidification then I could actually get pretty close to it if I diluted my mains water with about 40% RO...
1600117522650.png
 
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MmmBeer

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For a best bitter 3.3:1 ratio sounds quite high. CRS contains phosphoric and hydrochloric acids, so is adding to your chloride content, have you considered using Lactic acid or a mix of the two. You could use a low mineral bottled water instead of RO water, I have used Tesco Ashbeck and Asda Still. As StrangeSteve mentioned, it's ok to go above 150 on the Calcium.
 

Pennine

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Interestingly the profile in Bru’n Water for “Burton” looks like this:
View attachment 32604
In the context of the discussion, 610 for sulphate sounds bonkers... would you consider brewing with this, @strange-steve, @Pennine ?

If I could get hold of some Sulphuric for the sparge acidification then I could actually get pretty close to it if I diluted my mains water with about 40% RO...
View attachment 32609
No I wouldn't, I have never tried a batch that was burtonized. I am not even sure if I have had a beer with the famous Burton snatch profile. However I am not a fan of sulphur in beer so descriptions of egg, ass and sewer dont really hold my interest. One of the reasons I steer away from nottingham, bry97 and a lot of lager yeasts.
 

The-Engineer-That-Brews

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For a best bitter 3.3:1 ratio sounds quite high (...) It's OK to go above 150 on the Calcium.
I would also not recommend camden at those quantities or sulphate that high
Thanks guys - message received and understood: I think I will follow this advice and tone it down a bit.
Ironically I wasn't at all setting out to 'push' the profile or brew something out of the ordinary; I was just trying to brew my first 'best bitter' style and to follow the first recipe that was sent to me in my 'Seeking a good bitter recipe' thread !!
So having already obtained the other ingredients (see below), what sort of water profile would you recommend I use for this brew?

Batch Volume 21L
Boil Time 60 mins
Mash efficiency 74.4%

ABV 4.3%, OG 1.044, FG 1.011, EBC, 18.5, IBU 39, BU/GU 0.90
Pre Boil Gravity 1.038

15L mash water
60 minute mash at 67C
15.39L Sparge Water @ 76C
Total Water 30.39
(Probably rounded up to 30.5L)

Target pH 5.20

Fermentables
88% 3.7Kg Maris Otter 5.9 EBC
4% 170g Amber Malt 65 EBC
4% 170g Medium Crystal 240 EBC
4% 170g Wheat Malt

Hops
50g Fuggles 4.5% @ 60 mins
25g Fuggles 4.5% @ 15mins
80g Fuggles 4.5% 80C Hopstand for 20 mins

Misc
0.5 Whirfloc @ 5 mins

Yeast WLP013 London Ale

Fermentation
19C 4 days
20C 1 day
21C 9 days
 

Hanglow

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OK if I'm driving this thing right then with CRS, epsom and gypsum I can get Ca 192, Mg 20, Na 32, SO4 285, Cl 86 with a mash pH around 5.3 (i.e. SO4/Cl around 3.3)

Does this sounds reasonable for a 'Best Bitter'? My problem is that I've only brewed very 'neutral' (i.e. bland) pale ales to date and I'm not sure which aspects of the water profile are important to get an authentic result.
Looks fine to me, I brewed a best bitter on Sunday, this was my water after adding salts ( sodium and calcium chloride, gypsum.)


The Burton profiles can be a bit too much for my tastes.
 

strange-steve

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would you consider brewing with this
No I wouldn't, I don't like a lot of sulphate personally and generally don't go above about 250ppm.
CRS contains phosphoric and hydrochloric acids, so is adding to your chloride content
It's sulphuric and hydrochloric acids so it increases both chloride and sulphate.
what sort of water profile would you recommend I use for this brew?
I would go ahead with the one in post #11.
 
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