How To Use Salifert Alkalinity and Calcium Test Kits

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strange-steve

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I'm no expert by any means, but i read that CRS also reduces Calcium, also checked my Calcium before and after CRS and seemed it drops it it by quite a lot
I'm no expert either, but I've never heard this before and I don't know what the mechanism for lowering calcium would be. Do you have a source?
 

MattGuk

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i believe brupaks says it on their site, also somebody told me either on this forum or JBK.
The Calcium test also revealed that it did indeed reducing calcuim after CRS treatment
 

strange-steve

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i believe brupaks says it on their site, also somebody told me either on this forum or JBK.
The Calcium test also revealed that it did indeed reducing calcuim after CRS treatment
I can't see that on the Brupaks site, can you link it or the post on JBK? It's not that I don't believe you, it's just new to me and I'd be very interested to see what the cause is.
 

MattGuk

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So, i think i got it wrong with the brupaks site lol.
I will look through posts and find where somebody said it does reduce calcium, although i dont believe they went into detail how is does this.
 

whinton

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Firstly a big thanks to Steve for the photo's and explanations. I moved from Birmingham to Perth, Australia some years ago and my beer has never been as good as it was back in Brum. Water has been a total science to me and something I have avoided tinkering with up until now.
I managed to track down the two Salifert kits and first tried the KH/Alk one first. Simple enough instructions but I'm buggered if I can get mine to turn pink! I go from Blue to Clear then that's it! Even had the wife checking I was doing it right. I've tried the normal dose then half dose and quarter dose but no matter how much I put in from the 1ml syringe it doesn't go pink! (nothing close to the photo's anyway!)
Tonight I went back to the Aquatic shop where I got the Salifert kit from. They couldn't get their head around why a brewer was asking about test kits in an aquatic shop but after getting them to ignore that part they still couldn't comprehend why I was testing tap water and not precious marine water.
I'm reverting to those that know to try to hopefully put me right. I'm following the instructions to the letter. It might be the crap water we have here but does the blue go straight to pink or does it go clear first and then pink? Is my clear the sign where I should take the reading?
Would appreciate any help.
Cheers :cool:
 

strange-steve

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Firstly a big thanks to Steve for the photo's and explanations. I moved from Birmingham to Perth, Australia some years ago and my beer has never been as good as it was back in Brum. Water has been a total science to me and something I have avoided tinkering with up until now.
I managed to track down the two Salifert kits and first tried the KH/Alk one first. Simple enough instructions but I'm buggered if I can get mine to turn pink! I go from Blue to Clear then that's it! Even had the wife checking I was doing it right. I've tried the normal dose then half dose and quarter dose but no matter how much I put in from the 1ml syringe it doesn't go pink! (nothing close to the photo's anyway!)
Tonight I went back to the Aquatic shop where I got the Salifert kit from. They couldn't get their head around why a brewer was asking about test kits in an aquatic shop but after getting them to ignore that part they still couldn't comprehend why I was testing tap water and not precious marine water.
I'm reverting to those that know to try to hopefully put me right. I'm following the instructions to the letter. It might be the crap water we have here but does the blue go straight to pink or does it go clear first and then pink? Is my clear the sign where I should take the reading?
Would appreciate any help.
Cheers :cool:
I'm not sure what it means if it goes clear. Have you tried putting more than 1ml of the reagent in?
 

whinton

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Yes. In the instructions it also suggests halving the amounts and double the result to save on solution. This would normally mean only using 0.5ml in the syringe. I used a full 1ml and still didn't change from clear to pink. When you test does it go straight from Blue to Pink? No clear? If that's the case then I'm guessing the change from Blue to clear is what I'm looking for. Might try that and see what the reading gives me.
 

peebee

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I'm not sure what it means if it goes clear. ...
Me to!

But thinking it from the opposite end: Maybe the expectation of pink is perhaps too pink? If I do this test, one drop of reagent turns the sample pink, clear, muddy non-descript light-colour (take your pick). Indicating there is less alkalinity than the test can handle (mine was "properly" tested and came out as only 8ppm as CaCO3).

I do like how the Salifert test mixes carbonate hardness and alkalinity (KH/Alk). For our purposes, and the aquarium bunch, it is virtually the same thing, but not technically true. They must be responsible for a lot of confusion.
 

whinton

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Hmmm. I'm not sure. Will try it again over the next couple of days and see what happens. Might look for another test kit to compare results too.
 

UKSkydiver

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Does you local water authority have a water report?

Edit: link here https://pw-cdn.watercorporation.com.au/-/media/WaterCorp/Documents/About-us/Our-performance/Drinking-Water-Quality/Drinking-water-quality-annual-report-2019.pdf

Does it give an indication that your water is super hard (I should probably say high alkilinity)

Edit: I'm a geek and I've just looked.

There are areas with seriously high alkalinity. You may not be able to see this, but Marble Bar has a 410 CaCo3 reading.

20210223_083202.jpg


Is it possible that it's so high, that it has a really wide mid-point (the clear bit) and that it needs maybe three syringes worth to get it to a point where it turns pink?
 
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Benfleet Brewery

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Yes. In the instructions it also suggests halving the amounts and double the result to save on solution. This would normally mean only using 0.5ml in the syringe. I used a full 1ml and still didn't change from clear to pink. When you test does it go straight from Blue to Pink? No clear? If that's the case then I'm guessing the change from Blue to clear is what I'm looking for. Might try that and see what the reading gives me.
Does you local water authority have a water report?

Edit: link here https://pw-cdn.watercorporation.com.au/-/media/WaterCorp/Documents/About-us/Our-performance/Drinking-Water-Quality/Drinking-water-quality-annual-report-2019.pdf

Does it give an indication that your water is super hard (I should probably say high alkilinity)

Edit: I'm a geek and I've just looked.

There are areas with seriously high alkalinity. You may not be able to see this, but Marble Bar has a 410 CaCo3 reading.

View attachment 41953

Is it possible that it's so high, that it has a really wide mid-point (the clear bit) and that it needs maybe three syringes worth to get it to a point where it turns pink?
And 410 is the mean value. I can only comment from my experience but every time I’ve tested my water the alkalinity has been at the max value shown on my water report.
 

whinton

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Plan B - Living in Australia I happen to have a pool testing kit around so have tried that. ( Aussie Gold Pool Water Test Kit 4 in 1 / Chlorine, pH, Acid, Alkalinity ) By filling a tube to a certain level then adding one drop of this and another couple of that, I shake the tube and add drops of solution 3 until the blue water goes clear (you get the idea). Counting the drops then multiplying by 10 gives me a Total Alkalinity mg/L (ppm).
In my case I used 24 drops = 240mg/L (ppm) Water is does seem very hard here and it's making me think of filters! I tried this test twice and got the same result each time.
Going back to the Salifert and using their table, if I divide my 240 by 17.9 it gives me 13.4. On the table this reads 0.16 on the syringe.
I tried the Salifert test 3 more times and blue colour changed (not quite to the pink in Steve's tube - but it changed) at around 3.2 which equates to 10.5 x 17.9 = 188 ppm (rounded up slightly). So from that experiment I taking my dodgy drinking water to be somewhere between 188 ppm and 240 ppm.
Cant wait to start the Calcium test! :laugh8::laugh8::laugh8:
 

gibbo_sd

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Thanks for this thread and the others on water that accompany it , they’ve helped me a lot ..👍🏻

I’m a few AG brews in now , but the plastic guilt associated with bottled water has finally pushed me to test my tap water.
I’m in Kent , close to London so have pretty hard Thames Water. I also have my drinking water filtered through a Brita tap which has a P1000 cartridge fitted under the sink. So if anyone is interested in the effectiveness of these filters then here are my results.

Filtered
KH/Alk - 85ppm
Calcium - 80ppm

Unfiltered
KH/Alk - 274ppm
Calcium - 145ppm

Cheers
 

ColinGee

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Thanks for this thread and the others on water that accompany it , they’ve helped me a lot ..👍🏻

I’m a few AG brews in now , but the plastic guilt associated with bottled water has finally pushed me to test my tap water.
I’m in Kent , close to London so have pretty hard Thames Water. I also have my drinking water filtered through a Brita tap which has a P1000 cartridge fitted under the sink. So if anyone is interested in the effectiveness of these filters then here are my results.

Filtered
KH/Alk - 85ppm
Calcium - 80ppm

Unfiltered
KH/Alk - 274ppm
Calcium - 145ppm

Cheers
I'm in Kent/SE London too so these figures are v.interesting.

@strange-steve thanks for brilliantly simplifying the water treatment process and sharing your output and knowledge. I ordered my Salifert kits today so putting them to action!

I ordered mine from FPR Aquaric Spare Parts. The alkalinity test kit is v.reasonable.
 

Regfixit

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I think Salifert have changed the Ca kit as mine just arrived today and only has one bottle of solution and the instructions make no mention of a Ca-3 bottle. The instructions are also a bit rubbish in that it tells you to add 0.6ml of Ca-2 in one go then add drop wise until colour changes pink to blue. I did this, but colour was already blue. I then realised 0.6ml equates to 300 ppm Ca whereas my water is around 30. I did it again and this time just added dropwise from the start - it changed after adding only 0.06ml sp bang on 30ppm.
 

moto748

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Would efficiency really be noticeably affected by your water, though?
 

Ahdinko

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Would efficiency really be noticeably affected by your water, though?
Depending on the water, absolutely. Too much alkalinity can throw your mash pH out enough to result in a poor extraction and conversion
 

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