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Re: Using lime to adjust pH

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  • 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 1 of 5 , Dec 1, 2003
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      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 2 of 5 , Dec 1, 2003
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        --- 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 3 of 5 , Dec 1, 2003
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          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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