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Going to make my own brine--have a couple of questions

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Lcmains1, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. Lcmains1

    Lcmains1 Member
    Messages: 31

    I am in the process of setting up a new brine maker where I will make approximately 400 gallons at a time. This is the first time I have made it. In the past I have used liquid mag chloride and rock salt to de-ice only. This year is really like to pretreat but with the liquid mag over $1.20 gallon it's just cost effective (seasonal pricing contract)

    I got to thinking that rather than just using sodium chloride to make the brine, can I just use calcium chloride flakes and dissolve it to make the brine? That would essentially give me both anti icing and de icing capability. I understand theat the calcium is more expensive to buy but I figure I'll still be less than .50 a gallon making it myself.

    Thoughts? Anyone ever done this?
    Thanks in advance,
  2. szorno

    szorno Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    I have a lot of experience with anti-icing, but not that much experience with making brine. I will share what I have heard 2nd hand. Making salt brine is easy, except getting the proportions right to get a 23% solution. Calcium chloride brine is more difficult because it puts out heat and does not dissolve as readily as salt. I am not sure how to work around those issues. Salt brine can be tested with a hydrometer.
  3. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,949

    I think you better re-figure that .50 cent LCC number? Sounds way too low, maybe $1/gallon +? Takes more cal flake than rock salt / gallon and cal flake is higher $?

    Beer, wine, alcohol, LCC and countless other things can be tested with a hydrometer including water. Depends on which hydrometer you purchase, one does not do all that I know of.
  4. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,920



    Types of Hydrometers

    Plain Form hydrometers do not have a built-in thermometer; use a separate thermometer to measure the temperature .

    Specific Gravity is the standard scale for what a hydrometer measures. Specific gravity is the ratio of the density of your sample at 60°F to the density of water at 60°F.

    Degrees API scale hydrometers are selected by the American Petroleum Institute (API), the United States Bureau of Mines, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as the standard scale for petroleum products.

    Degrees Baumé hydrometers are used for liquids heavier than water, such as syrups.

    Brix Scale hydrometers are used by the sugar industry. The degrees of the scale are equal to the percentage of sucrose by weight at standard temperatures.

    Salt hydrometers are graduated in % saturation or % by weight of salt in solution.

    Alcohol (Tralle and Proof Scales) hydrometers measure directly in percentage ethyl alcohol by weight in water from 0 to 100%. The Proof scale indicates the proof of alcohol from 0 to 200 proof. Proof is twice the percentage of alcohol by volume in solution.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014
  5. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,949

  6. Lcmains1

    Lcmains1 Member
    Messages: 31


    You are absolutely correct, when I figured the numbers make in the liquid calcium chloride it was well over a dollar per gallon. Believe it or not I can actually buy it cheaper than I can make it.

    I am just going to stick to my original plan and make 23% Road Brian. I believe from the research I have done I can run 80% brine and 20% liquid calcium chloride and that should help with temperatures when it gets colder if I'm not mistaken. From what I understand I can mix it at an 80/20 and it should not settle as long as I use the product relatively quickly.

    Does that sound correct?
  7. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,949

    Personally I tried 100% salt brine and it got kind of slushy for a little while about +17F surface temp.

    So I added LCC to make 90/10, It solved that problem. It seemed to work down to +5F or +8F surface temp.

    So I thought a little was good, why not more? Added more, didnt seem to melt more, But when I started adding LCC at 80/20% it settled out over maybe 6-7 hours? Left what looked like sediment in the bottom of the tank.

    At 70/30 it was a very quick mini blizzard event in my test glass. But as long as you kept circulating it was ok. Didnt seem to melt anymore?

    It seemed to me 90/10 was my answer down to +5F because all the other mixes did was raise my cost per gallon?

    So I settled for 90/10 down to +5F and then I add more LCC when the temps drop.

    All temps are surface temps.
  8. woody617

    woody617 Member
    from pa
    Messages: 35

    Is there a simply way to make brine? Example 1 gallon water to 1 pound of salt ? Is there a simple way to make it ?
  9. Fannin76

    Fannin76 Senior Member
    Messages: 731

    The video on you tube he uses 1000 lbs which makes 400 gallons. So 100 lbs =40 gallons 10 lbs 4 gallons
  10. woody617

    woody617 Member
    from pa
    Messages: 35

    i am such a idiot. i cant believe i did not think of that . guess i had a brain fart thanks for the info.