Hardness

Parameter Selection

Application Importance of Hardness in Brewing

Defined as the sum of calcium and magnesium ions, Total Hardness is often expressed as CaCO3. Other divalent metals ions such as zinc or iron can also contribute to this number, but are seldom included. Hardness can fall into one of two categories. The first is temporary hardness and is made up of calcium and/or magnesium hydrogencarbonates. Temporary hardness can be removed by boiling or lime softening in which the calcium ions combine with the bicarbonate to precipitate out calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Permanent hardness is that portion remaining after the water has been boiled resulting from calcium and magnesium sulfate salts remaining in the water. Brewers should aim to have a total hardness value of 150-500 ppm as CaCO3.

Calcium is the principal ion that determines water hardness. While it doesn’t contribute to flavor, it is essential to successful yeast, enzyme and protein reactions in both the mash and boil stages. In the wort, calcium ions react with phosphates derived from the malt, precipitating calcium phosphate and releasing hydrogen ions into the wort. This reduces the mash pH and improves enzymatic activity, reduces chances for bacterial infection, and promotes clarity and color. Calcium should be within the range of 50-150 ppm. If the value is too low, it is possible to add calcium. If the value is too high, it can impair the yeast’s ability to take up magnesium, reducing fermentation.

Another important ion that contributes to water hardness is magnesium. This ion is required by yeast to produce certain enzymes required for fermentation and should be closely monitored for several reasons. The first being it can interfere with calcium-based reactions as its’ phosphates are more soluble. Additionally, high levels of magnesium can produce a sour taste in beer as well as have a laxative effect on the beer drinker. Magnesium levels should be relatively low, within 0 - 40 ppm.

Meters

Professional Benchtop Photometer

The HI83300 is a multiparameter photometer and professional pH meter designed specifically for water quality analysis. It is a comprehensive solution for brewers looking to measure a number of key parameters in their water supply. Additionally the digital pH electrode input allows for reliable and accurate pH measurements. The meter features other capabilities such as:

  • Data logging of up to 1000 readings with a user and sample ID
  • CAL Check validation to ensure meter is working properly
  • Absorbance measurement mode
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Professional Benchtop Photometer

The HI83300 is a multiparameter photometer and professional pH meter designed specifically for water quality analysis. It is a comprehensive solution for brewers looking to measure a number of key parameters in their water supply. Additionally the digital pH electrode input allows for reliable and accurate pH measurements. The meter features other capabilities such as:

  • Data logging of up to 1000 readings with a user and sample ID
  • CAL Check validation to ensure meter is working properly
  • Absorbance measurement mode
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Portable Photometers

Portable photometers allow for measurements to be taken wherever they need to be. One major advantage is they don’t require the use or maintenance of a probe. Provide features such as:

  • CAL Check standards to verify photometer calibration and performance
  • Premade reagents in dropper bottle for easy use
  • Available kit models include all required accessories for easy sampling
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Checkers

These handheld colorimeters provide fast and accurate results. Hanna’s line of Checkers are small and portable, allowing for measurements to be taken anywhere. Using premade reagents to prepare samples users can then achieve results in seconds.

  • Large LCD
  • Built-in timer ensures consistency among users
  • One-button operation
  • Long battery life
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Checkers

These handheld colorimeters provide fast and accurate results. Hanna’s line of Checkers are small and portable, allowing for measurements to be taken anywhere. Using premade reagents to prepare samples users can then achieve results in seconds.

  • Large LCD
  • Built-in timer ensures consistency among users
  • One-button operation
  • Long battery life
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Chemical Test Kits

CTK

Chemical test kits are a simple way to perform an accurate chemical analysis. The kits are equipped with all the reagents and equipment necessary to perform each test. These kits have many features including:

  • Includes all the necessary reagents and accessories
  • Manufactured according to the highest quality standards
  • Comprehensive instructions guide you step-by-step through the testing process

*Grain per gallon (gpg) is a unit of water hardness defined as 1 grain (64.8 milligrams) of calcium carbonate dissolved in 1 US gallon of water (3.785412 L).

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CTK

Chemical test kits are a simple way to perform an accurate chemical analysis. The kits are equipped with all the reagents and equipment necessary to perform each test. These kits have many features including:

  • Includes all the necessary reagents and accessories
  • Manufactured according to the highest quality standards
  • Comprehensive instructions guide you step-by-step through the testing process

*Grain per gallon (gpg) is a unit of water hardness defined as 1 grain (64.8 milligrams) of calcium carbonate dissolved in 1 US gallon of water (3.785412 L).

Shop Now >

Reagents & Accessories

Reagents

Our pre-made reagents make testing for hardness simple with our checkers and portable photometers. Prepared by Hanna Instruments with high purity chemicals, our sachets make reagent addition quick and easy.

  • High purity chemicals
  • Marked with expiration date and lot number for traceability
  • Variety of sizes available
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Reagents

Our pre-made reagents make testing for hardness simple with our checkers and portable photometers. Prepared by Hanna Instruments with high purity chemicals, our sachets make reagent addition quick and easy.

  • High purity chemicals
  • Marked with expiration date and lot number for traceability
  • Variety of sizes available
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Hardness Accessories

Hanna Instruments provides you with everything you need for accurate and simple measurement using our checkers and photometers. Accessories include:

  • Calibration check sets for validating our checkers and portable photometers
  • Glass cuvettes for sampling
  • Caps for glass cuvettes
  • Cuvette cleaning solution
  • Microfiber cloth for cleaning the cuvettes
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