Jim Schulman's Insanely Long Water FAQ

Water analysis, treatment, and mineral recipes for optimum taste and equipment health.

#1: Post by ChrisC »

It seems that the Big Rick site that was previously hosting Jim's Insanely Long Water FAQ has been down for the last few months. Does anyone know of another location for it online, or does anyone have a copy they can send me?

Thanks in advance!


#2: Post by wookie »

ChrisC (original poster)

#3: Post by ChrisC (original poster) »

Thanks so much! (I'm investigating water treatment options for a commercial setup, so if anyone has any suggestions or other background info they'd recommend I read, please jump right in!)

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#4: Post by another_jim »

I'm finding it a new home; hopefully here
Jim Schulman

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#5: Post by Marshall »

ChrisC wrote:Thanks so much! (I'm investigating water treatment options for a commercial setup, so if anyone has any suggestions or other background info they'd recommend I read, please jump right in!)
Yes. SCAA's Technical Standard Committee published updated water quality standards last November. They are here for free: http://www.scaa.org/PDF/ST%20-%20WATER% ... V2009A.pdf.

The more complete Water Quality Handbook, which was published at the same time, is available for purchase at http://www.scaa.org for, I think, about $25.
Los Angeles

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#6: Post by erics »

This would provide a good read: WATTS ScaleNet water softening (saltless)

To me, a very important factor in water treatment is having a good "handle" on the quality of the water entering the system and to INITIALLY treat that water with a filtration device designed to take out the "rocks and boulders".

Eric S.
E-mail: erics at rcn dot com

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#7: Post by HB »

Dan Kehn

ChrisC (original poster)

#8: Post by ChrisC (original poster) »

Okay, so several questions. Background: this is the water I'm dealing with, and for logistical reasons, RO isn't an option.

- Both Scott Rao's books, and even (dare I mention it?) the latest SCAA standards, describe roughly the same target for brew water: TDS 120-150ish mg/L, hardness 68-80ish mg/L, alkalinity 40-50ish mg/L, pH 7.0ish. My understanding is that cation softeners will reduce hardness, but because they swap sodium or potassium for calcium and magnesium, they don't actually reduce TDS, is that correct? And same for anion softeners, which remove bicarbonates with hydroxide, chloride or sulphate ions -- do they also have no effect on TDS? And what's the consequence of too high a TDS, if your hardness and alkalinity are in line?

- I'm confused about the Everpure Claris system. According to the info here, it seems to be a pure anion softener (which would reduce alkalinity and leave hardness and TDS alone, right?), but this seems to indicate it also removes calcium and magnesium, which would make me think that it is perhaps more of a combined cation/anion softener. Can anyone help clarify this for me?

- Lastly (for now ;-) ), I understand that measuring TDS isn't helpful for evaluating softened water to assure that you're hitting your target -- can anyone point me to something that will (with emphasis on speed and ease of use, as I'll be testing weekly in a commercial environment)? I've read about test kits from Salifert, Hach, Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, titration tests, test strips, etc., but have no idea what would be required/best for me.

Thanks to all in advance!

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#9: Post by another_jim »

If you use an ion exchange softener, a simple hardness test strip will show the zero hardness it produces. I do not know exactly how the Claris system works, so I can't say how to test it. For these newer disposable cartridge systems, there's a fixed amount of water, grains hardness, or graon total minerals that it can remove between replacements or recharges. It's simplest just to use that (calculating the amount of water if the use time is in total mineral content.)
Jim Schulman

ChrisC (original poster)

#10: Post by ChrisC (original poster) »

Thanks Jim. I'm actually not just worried about the cartridges wearing out. One of the main reasons I'm installing the Claris system is that it features a bypass, similar to the ideal 'RO with bypass, post-blended' system you recommend in the FAQ, so that you can adjust the output water. So I'd like to know what I'm getting out in order to set it correctly at the outset. More careful reading of Nicolas' thread here has led me to believe the Hach tests are probably what I need. It has also confirmed that whatever is actually going on inside the Claris, there does seem to be some reduction of both hardness and alkalinity (as well as a slight reduction of TDS).

So I guess my only question left at this point is, if I can get the ideal hardness and alkalinity, but TDS is still higher than ideal, what impact on taste and equipment should I expect?