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Using lime to adjust pH

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  • Boot
    My brews of late have been hitting a wall after the first two days of promisingly vigourous fermentation, and I m wondering if it s caused by acid buildup. Is
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 30, 2003
      My brews of late have been hitting a wall after the first two days of
      promisingly vigourous fermentation, and I'm wondering if it's caused by
      acid buildup.

      Is there any reason to not use ordinary hydrated lime (calcium carbonate)
      for pH adjustments to a wash?

      I've got a big bag of it in the garage doing nothing, and I prefer the
      thought of extra calcium finding its way onto my veggie garden rather than
      sodium.

      Boot.
    • Harry
      ... of ... caused by ... carbonate) ... the ... rather than ... ===================================================================== Are you sure about what s
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 30, 2003
        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Boot <mr.boot@o...> wrote:
        > My brews of late have been hitting a wall after the first two days
        of
        > promisingly vigourous fermentation, and I'm wondering if it's
        caused by
        > acid buildup.
        >
        > Is there any reason to not use ordinary hydrated lime (calcium
        carbonate)
        > for pH adjustments to a wash?
        >
        > I've got a big bag of it in the garage doing nothing, and I prefer
        the
        > thought of extra calcium finding its way onto my veggie garden
        rather than
        > sodium.
        >
        > Boot.
        =====================================================================


        Are you sure about what's in that bag? Hydrated Lime is CALCIUM
        HYDROXIDE (Ca (OH) 2). Description as follows...

        HYDRATED LIME 's Properties:
        Soft, white crystalline powder with alkaline, slightly bitter taste.
        Slightly soluble in water, soluble in glycerol, syrup, and acids.
        Insoluble in alcohol. Absorb carbon dioxide from air.

        Hazard:
        Skin irritant, avoid inhalation.

        Uses:
        Mortar, plasters, cements, calcium salts, causticizing soda, white
        wash, soil conditioner, disinfectant, water softening, purification
        of sugar juices, accelelator for low grade rubber compounds,
        petrochemicals, food additive, as buffer and neutralizing agent.

        Specification:

        Chemical Description of Hydrated Lime

        Ca (OH) 2 > 95 % Calcium Hydroxide
        CaCO3 < 3 % Calcium Carbonate
        H2O Free =< 0,6 % Water
        SiO2 =< 0,5 % Silicon DiOxide
        Fe2O3 =< 0,1 % Iron Oxide
        Al2O3 =< 0.2 % Aluminum Oxide
        =================================================================

        The description for Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) is as follows...

        CALCIUM CARBONATE CHALK LIMESTONE

        TYPICAL SPECIFICATIONS


        Calcium Carbonate: 96%
        Magnesium Carbonate: 1.0%
        Aluminum Oxide: 0.5%
        Ferric Oxide: 0.12%
        Silica: 2.0%
        Water Soluble Matter: <0.1%
        Moisture: 0.3%
        pH: 9.2-9.8


        USES: Calcium Carbonate is used in the manufacturing of paint,
        rubber, plastics, paper, ceramics, putty, polishes, insecticides,
        inks, adhesives, matches, pencils, crayons, and by the
        pharmaceutical industries. In analytical chemistry, it can be used
        to detect and determine halogens in organics.

        HANDLING: Avoid contact with skin and avoid ingestion. Use dust
        respirator when handling. Be sure to store this material in a cool,
        dry place. Since no exposure limit have been established for calcium
        carbonate by OSHA & ACGIH, it is recommended that the product should
        be treated as a nuisance dust 10 mg/m3.
        =====================================================================

        RECOMMENDATIONS:
        Check your water and wort with a pH testkit BEFORE you add anything.
        You need pH of 5 - 5.5 in your wort (wash) for yeast to be happy.
        My guess is your water supply may be alkaline. This will kill yeast
        much quicker than an acid environment.

        The chemical reaction for the dissolution of limestone by an acid is:

        CaCO3 + H+ <--> HCO3- + Ca++

        (limestone) + (acid) <--> (bicarbonate) + (base cation)

        You will see from this chemical reaction that the very thing you're
        trying to avoid, sodium bicarbonate (HCO3-) is one of the end-
        products, the other being calcium shale, the kind you see in
        stalactites and in build-up in your old water pipes.

        You're wrong about sodium finishing up in your garden. The reaction
        of Sodium Bicarbonate and acid is described like this:

        HCO3 + H+ <--> H20 + CO2

        (bicarbonate) + (acid) <--> (water) + (carbon dioxide).

        All you end up with is water and carbon dioxide, the same gas you
        get rid of out when you breathe out.

        (and so endeth the chemistry lesson for today) :-)

        Slainte!
        regards Harry
      • Boot
        Harry, you re absolutely right about my sloppy reference to hydrated lime as calcium carbonate when the term more usually refers to calcium hydroxide. If you
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 1, 2003
          Harry, you're absolutely right about my sloppy reference to hydrated lime
          as calcium carbonate when the term more usually refers to calcium
          hydroxide. If you do a search on it you'll notice that the term "lime" is
          pretty loosely used, and I myself can never keep straight just which kind
          of lime is which.

          However, my point about the calcium in preference to sodium is still valid.
          In the otherwise excellent equations you provide, I think you've confused
          "bicarbonate" ions (HCO3-) with sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), therefore
          telling only half the story.

          Another way to look at it is that if you put sodium into your wash in any
          form, whether as salt or baking soda, it has to come out in the spent lees
          somehow (can't just disappear, unless you're running one of those high-tech
          nuclear stills).

          Kind regards,

          Boot

          <mr.boot@o...> wrote:
          > My brews of late have been hitting a wall after the first two days
          of
          > promisingly vigourous fermentation, and I'm wondering if it's
          caused by
          > acid buildup.
          >
          > Is there any reason to not use ordinary hydrated lime (calcium
          carbonate)
          > for pH adjustments to a wash?
          >
          > I've got a big bag of it in the garage doing nothing, and I prefer
          the
          > thought of extra calcium finding its way onto my veggie garden
          rather than
          > sodium.
          >
          > Boot.
          =====================================================================


          Are you sure about what's in that bag? Hydrated Lime is CALCIUM
          HYDROXIDE (Ca (OH) 2). Description as follows...

          HYDRATED LIME 's Properties:
          Soft, white crystalline powder with alkaline, slightly bitter taste.
          Slightly soluble in water, soluble in glycerol, syrup, and acids.
          Insoluble in alcohol. Absorb carbon dioxide from air.

          Hazard:
          Skin irritant, avoid inhalation.

          Uses:
          Mortar, plasters, cements, calcium salts, causticizing soda, white
          wash, soil conditioner, disinfectant, water softening, purification
          of sugar juices, accelelator for low grade rubber compounds,
          petrochemicals, food additive, as buffer and neutralizing agent.

          Specification:

          Chemical Description of Hydrated Lime

          Ca (OH) 2 > 95 % Calcium Hydroxide
          CaCO3 < 3 % Calcium Carbonate
          H2O Free =< 0,6 % Water
          SiO2 =< 0,5 % Silicon DiOxide
          Fe2O3 =< 0,1 % Iron Oxide
          Al2O3 =< 0.2 % Aluminum Oxide
          =================================================================

          The description for Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) is as follows...

          CALCIUM CARBONATE CHALK LIMESTONE

          TYPICAL SPECIFICATIONS


          Calcium Carbonate: 96%
          Magnesium Carbonate: 1.0%
          Aluminum Oxide: 0.5%
          Ferric Oxide: 0.12%
          Silica: 2.0%
          Water Soluble Matter: <0.1%
          Moisture: 0.3%
          pH: 9.2-9.8


          USES: Calcium Carbonate is used in the manufacturing of paint,
          rubber, plastics, paper, ceramics, putty, polishes, insecticides,
          inks, adhesives, matches, pencils, crayons, and by the
          pharmaceutical industries. In analytical chemistry, it can be used
          to detect and determine halogens in organics.

          HANDLING: Avoid contact with skin and avoid ingestion. Use dust
          respirator when handling. Be sure to store this material in a cool,
          dry place. Since no exposure limit have been established for calcium
          carbonate by OSHA & ACGIH, it is recommended that the product should
          be treated as a nuisance dust 10 mg/m3.
          =====================================================================

          RECOMMENDATIONS:
          Check your water and wort with a pH testkit BEFORE you add anything.
          You need pH of 5 - 5.5 in your wort (wash) for yeast to be happy.
          My guess is your water supply may be alkaline. This will kill yeast
          much quicker than an acid environment.

          The chemical reaction for the dissolution of limestone by an acid is:

          CaCO3 + H+ <--> HCO3- + Ca++

          (limestone) + (acid) <--> (bicarbonate) + (base cation)

          You will see from this chemical reaction that the very thing you're
          trying to avoid, sodium bicarbonate (HCO3-) is one of the end-
          products, the other being calcium shale, the kind you see in
          stalactites and in build-up in your old water pipes.

          You're wrong about sodium finishing up in your garden. The reaction
          of Sodium Bicarbonate and acid is described like this:

          HCO3 + H+ <--> H20 + CO2

          (bicarbonate) + (acid) <--> (water) + (carbon dioxide).

          All you end up with is water and carbon dioxide, the same gas you
          get rid of out when you breathe out.

          (and so endeth the chemistry lesson for today) :-)

          Slainte!
          regards Harry
        • Harry
          ... hydrated lime ... term lime is ... which kind ... still valid. ... confused ... therefore ... in any ... spent lees ... high-tech ... Yep. You re dead
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 1, 2003
            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Boot <mr.boot@o...> wrote:
            > Harry, you're absolutely right about my sloppy reference to
            hydrated lime
            > as calcium carbonate when the term more usually refers to calcium
            > hydroxide. If you do a search on it you'll notice that the
            term "lime" is
            > pretty loosely used, and I myself can never keep straight just
            which kind
            > of lime is which.
            >
            > However, my point about the calcium in preference to sodium is
            still valid.
            > In the otherwise excellent equations you provide, I think you've
            confused
            > "bicarbonate" ions (HCO3-) with sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3),
            therefore
            > telling only half the story.
            >
            > Another way to look at it is that if you put sodium into your wash
            in any
            > form, whether as salt or baking soda, it has to come out in the
            spent lees
            > somehow (can't just disappear, unless you're running one of those
            high-tech
            > nuclear stills).
            >
            > Kind regards,
            >
            > Boot


            Yep. You're dead right about the sodium, Boot. My apologies.
            Must've had a brain fart. (old age sneakin' up) :-)
            As to the other thing. I think I'd be using the chalk instead of
            the hydroxide, but first check the pH.
            Chalk is commonly used in fruit mashes to raise the pH. Most fruit
            mashes are around 2.5 - 3.5 pH, which is way too low for effective
            yeast activity. It's ok for wines, which carry on a second
            fermentation over many months, but not for fruit brandy production.
            For fruit brandies, use chalk at the rate of about 5g per 1kg fruit
            in the mash. BTW, did you know it takes almost 5kg fruit to produce
            a single 700ml bottle of brandy? I think I'd rather eat the
            fruit! :-)

            Slainte!
            regards Harry
          • Boot
            ... Aha! So chalk is used in the wine industry? Very interesting. I wonder why they choose chalk? A cost thing perhaps. I still reckon that the hydrated lime
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 1, 2003
              At 03:18 PM 12/1/03 +0000, you wrote:
              >Yep. You're dead right about the sodium, Boot. My apologies.
              >Must've had a brain fart. (old age sneakin' up) :-)
              >As to the other thing. I think I'd be using the chalk instead of
              >the hydroxide, but first check the pH.
              >Chalk is commonly used in fruit mashes to raise the pH. Most fruit
              >mashes are around 2.5 - 3.5 pH, which is way too low for effective
              >yeast activity. It's ok for wines, which carry on a second
              >fermentation over many months, but not for fruit brandy production.
              >For fruit brandies, use chalk at the rate of about 5g per 1kg fruit
              >in the mash. BTW, did you know it takes almost 5kg fruit to produce
              >a single 700ml bottle of brandy? I think I'd rather eat the
              >fruit! :-)

              Aha! So chalk is used in the wine industry? Very interesting.

              I wonder why they choose chalk? A cost thing perhaps. I still reckon that
              the hydrated lime should be, if anything, even more benign because the OH-
              ions should pick up the acid's H+ ions to make H20, or water. With chalk,
              some CO2 would be formed as well -- not that CO2 is a problem.

              Both my sugar and molasses batches seem to start off at around pH 5.5
              without any intervention, but I suspect that they drop into highly acidic
              territory pretty quickly. There's not much to buffer them. My litmus paper
              only goes down to 4.5, so I don't know how much lower the pH reaches. Next
              run I'm think I'm going to dump some of that hydrated lime in every so
              often and try to keep the pH up a little higher. I'll see if it helps the
              fermentation rate at all.

              You're right about the fruit brandy scene, Harry. It's a pretty crazy thing
              to do with perfectly good fruit.

              Speaking of which, I accidentally fermented some pineapple juice recently
              when my cheeky little yeasties found their way into the container. So now
              I've got a couple of bottles of pine wine, which is not very nice, but will
              go to a good cause in my next neutral run. Such fun.

              Cheers,

              Boot
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