WLL/SCA Water Recipe Batch

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

#1: Post by jdrobison »

I wonder if someone would care to double check my math for me. I wanted to make a single batch of concentrate (WLL makes separate concentrates for buffer and hardener), enough for 10 gallons of water. There recipe is:

Buffer: 1.4g of baking soda in 1L of distilled water
Hardener: 10.1g of Epsom salt in 1L of distilled water.
Then add 63 ml of hardener with 185 ml of buffer in 1 Gal (less 248 ml) of distilled water.

Since 10 of those would be a 2.5L batch of concentrate, my recipe is:
2.5L Distilled Water
2.6g Baking Soda
6.4g Epson Salt

Of that, I can simply add 248ml to 1 Gal (less 248ml) of distilled water

Did I get that right?

TIA!

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homeburrero
Team HB

#2: Post by homeburrero »

Yes, the WLL SCA recipe makes up a weak bicarbonate and strong magnesium concentrate solution relative to the amounts you need to use in the final mix. Not sure why. You have to mix up more of the bicarbonate concentrate as you use it to make your final water.

Your calculation looks right to me as one way to make a concentrate that can be put in one bottle.

Be aware that by putting sodium bicarbonate and magnesium sulfate in one bottle, when it dissolves you have magnesium ion and bicarbonate ion together, and those ions can react chemically to form relatively insoluble magnesium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide, giving you a cloudy precipitate. At this concentration you are probably OK, and even if you do get a cloudy precipitate you can make a point of shaking the concentrate bottle very well before you pour it off into your brew water bottle.



P.S.
showing the math, for your concentrate:
2600 mg / 84 mg/mmol / 2.5 liter = 12.4 mmol/L NaHCO3
6400 mg / 246 mg/mmol / 2.5 liter = 10.4 mmol/L MgSO4

Then for the final brew
12.4 * 248/3785 = 0.81 mmol/l NaHCO3, and 0.81 * 50 = 41 mg/L alkalinity as CaCO3
10.4 * 248/3785 = 0.68 mmol/L MgSO4, and 0.68 * 100 = 68 mg/L hardness as CaCO3

(to get CaCO3 equivalents, you multiply mmol/L of univalent ion by 50, and mmol/L of divalent ion by 100)
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

jdrobison (original poster)

#3: Post by jdrobison (original poster) »

Thanks Pat. The chemistry is interesting. I suppose that means that the cloudy precipitate is even less of an issue in the final, far more diluted amount??

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homeburrero
Team HB

#4: Post by homeburrero »

jdrobison wrote:I suppose that means that the cloudy precipitate is even less of an issue in the final, far more diluted amount??
Yes, once diluted down to brewing water concentrations there should be no precipitate and no scale.

If I were to make a batch of concentrate sufficient for 10 gallons I would probably opt for stronger concentrates in two bottles. I would use two 750 ml bottles, which are readily available in the form of glass swingtop bottles for sparkling drinks. I can store them in the refrigerator, a good cold dark place for making sure they don't grow microbes in the time it takes to use them up.

For the Mg bottle, use 6.4 gram of Epsom salt in 750 ml of purified water, and for the bicarbonate use 2.6 gram of sodium bicarbonate in another 750 ml bottle. They would still dissolve completely even though over 3x as concentrated as your 2.5 liter concentrate mix. (The Epsom salt often takes a little time or shaking to dissolve fully.)

Keep those in the fridge, and when making your brew water add 75 ml of each to make 1 gallon of brew water, or 20 ml to make 1 liter of brew water. You really don't need to be very precise, so if you are lazy like me you can wing it when refilling your reservoir. For example if you have a 2 liter reservoir that's about half full, just refill it with purified and then use a shot glass to add about 20 ml of each concentrate. You can also easily experiment with less or more of the hardness with this two bottle approach.

If you have an HX or dual boiler machine and do a lot of steaming, which tends to concentrate the minerals in the steam boiler, you can also employ a little trick to help manage that - - after adding purified to your reservoir but before adding the minerals you can use the hot water wand to trigger an autofill, putting some lower mineral water into the steam boiler. Then add your mineral concentrate so that it's up to snuff for the brewing water.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

nsgymd
Supporter ♡

#5: Post by nsgymd »

Pat,

Thank you for this practical recipe based on your wealth of knowledge on this topic. Does this recipe eliminate the need for descaling or just make it less frequent (e.g., annually)? Also, are filters such as offered by Breville unnecessary, or even counterproductive, when using this water recipe?

Thanks, Ron

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homeburrero
Team HB

#6: Post by homeburrero »

nsgymd wrote:Does this recipe eliminate the need for descaling or just make it less frequent (e.g., annually)?
This one should be scale free. It has no calcium so there can be no calcium carbonate nor calcium sulfate deposits, and no need for periodic descaling. With magnesium and carbonate there is theoretical magnesium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide deposits but at this level you don't expect that. If you used maybe twice as much of the Epsom concentrate then you might need to look out for that.

nsgymd wrote:Also, are filters such as offered by Breville unnecessary, or even counterproductive, when using this water recipe?
A carbon or activated charcoal filter would be unnecessary, and any kind of softening filter would be counterproductive. It would reduce the magnesium, and keep the sulfate. If you want softer water with this recipe you simply add less Epsom which would get you less magnesium and less sulfate. (Sulfate is sort of an undesirable side-effect of the Epsom salt.)
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

jdrobison (original poster)

#7: Post by jdrobison (original poster) »

homeburrero wrote:Yes, once diluted down to brewing water concentrations there should be no precipitate and no scale.

If I were to make a batch of concentrate sufficient for 10 gallons I would probably opt for stronger concentrates in two bottles. I would use two 750 ml bottles, which are readily available in the form of glass swingtop bottles for sparkling drinks. I can store them in the refrigerator, a good cold dark place for making sure they don't grow microbes in the time it takes to use them up.

For the Mg bottle, use 6.4 gram of Epsom salt in 750 ml of purified water, and for the bicarbonate use 2.6 gram of sodium bicarbonate in another 750 ml bottle. They would still dissolve completely even though over 3x as concentrated as your 2.5 liter concentrate mix. (The Epsom salt often takes a little time or shaking to dissolve fully.)

Keep those in the fridge, and when making your brew water add 75 ml of each to make 1 gallon of brew water, or 20 ml to make 1 liter of brew water. You really don't need to be very precise, so if you are lazy like me you can wing it when refilling your reservoir. For example if you have a 2 liter reservoir that's about half full, just refill it with purified and then use a shot glass to add about 20 ml of each concentrate. You can also easily experiment with less or more of the hardness with this two bottle approach.

If you have an HX or dual boiler machine and do a lot of steaming, which tends to concentrate the minerals in the steam boiler, you can also employ a little trick to help manage that - - after adding purified to your reservoir but before adding the minerals you can use the hot water wand to trigger an autofill, putting some lower mineral water into the steam boiler. Then add your mineral concentrate so that it's up to snuff for the brewing water.
This is really great! Thank you