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Old 02-02-2010, 02:37 PM   #1
Lodovico
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Default Any Water Experts Here?

These are the results from my local water authority:

Calcium Carbonate CaCO3 (ppm)-

Calcium Ca (ppm)- 81 ppm

Bicarbonate HCO3 (ppm)-

Magnesium Mg (ppm)-

Sodium NA (ppm)- 20 ppm

Sulfate SO4 (ppm)- 50 ppm

Chloride Cl (ppm)- 30 ppm

PH level- 7.1 to 7.3

Hardness as (CaCO3) 238 ppm

Alkalinity as (CaCO3) 190 ppm





The values in red are the ones that they weren't able to provide and I know that they are important in building water for different styles.

My question is: Based on the numbers I do have, is there any good way of estimating any of my missing numbers based on the data that I do have?

I'm obviously a complete water noob but was looking to get some more info. I realize that this water is not good for pale beers and that's why I've been making adjustments just based on the numbers I do have.

Anyone shed some more light on my water and also explain if there are any reasonable guesses on my missing numbers??

Thanks.

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Old 02-02-2010, 02:46 PM   #2
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The only thing you are missing there is the magnesium concentration, which is one of the least important numbers. You have calcium, hardness and alkalinity so you don't need calcium carbonate or bicarbonate.

Look for EZ water adjustment spreadsheet (user TH, also in Bobby_M's sig as he has some vids of how to use it).

ETA: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/ez-water-adjustment-spreadsheet-135095/

Not that I claim to be an expert at all!

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Old 02-02-2010, 02:52 PM   #3
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Looking good for amber to brown beers as you stand right now:

Starting Water (ppm):
Ca: 81
Mg: 10
Na: 20
Cl: 30
SO4: 50
CaCO3: 190

Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 81 / 81
Mg: 10 / 10
Na: 20 / 20
Cl: 30 / 30
SO4: 50 / 50
CaCO3: 190 / 190

RA (mash only): 126 (16 to 20 SRM)
Cl to SO4 (total water): 0.60 (Bitter)

You can probably also just barely get to a copper colored IPA without distilled dilution:

Starting Water (ppm):
Ca: 81
Mg: 10
Na: 20
Cl: 30
SO4: 50
CaCO3: 190

Mash / Sparge Vol (gal): 5 / 4
Dilution Rate: 0%

Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:

CaSO4: 7 / 0
CaCl2: 2 / 0
MgSO4: 3 / 0



Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 194 / 144
Mg: 25 / 18
Na: 20 / 20
Cl: 81 / 58
SO4: 318 / 199
CaCO3: 190 / 190

RA (mash only): 37 (8 to 13 SRM)
Cl to SO4 (total water): 0.29 (Very Bitter)

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Last edited by Bobby_M; 02-02-2010 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
Looking good for amber to brown beers as you stand right now:

Starting Water (ppm):
Ca: 81
Mg: 10
Na: 20
Cl: 30
SO4: 50
CaCO3: 190

Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 81 / 81
Mg: 10 / 10
Na: 20 / 20
Cl: 30 / 30
SO4: 50 / 50
CaCO3: 190 / 190

RA (mash only): 126 (16 to 20 SRM)
Cl to SO4 (total water): 0.60 (Bitter)

You can probably also just barely get to a copper colored IPA without distilled dilution:

Starting Water (ppm):
Ca: 81
Mg: 10
Na: 20
Cl: 30
SO4: 50
CaCO3: 190

Mash / Sparge Vol (gal): 5 / 4
Dilution Rate: 0%

Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:

CaSO4: 7 / 0
CaCl2: 2 / 0
MgSO4: 3 / 0



Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 194 / 144
Mg: 25 / 18
Na: 20 / 20
Cl: 81 / 58
SO4: 318 / 199
CaCO3: 190 / 190

RA (mash only): 37 (8 to 13 SRM)
Cl to SO4 (total water): 0.29 (Very Bitter)

So are you guessing the Magnesium level of my water is 10 or were you able to determine this somehow??
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:04 PM   #5
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I just brewed a Hefeweizen and I dilluted 75% with distilled water and added 2 grams of Calcium Chloride and 2 grams of Gypsum based on how I thought the spreadsheet works.

Is this going to come out alright based on my water numbers??


(Nervously awaiting)

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Old 02-02-2010, 03:21 PM   #6
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I guessed at the magnesium level. I think your Hefe will be fine. The only thing is that you don't know what you magnesium level is and a 75% dilution would bring it down pretty far. I would have thrown in at least of gram of epsom salt for good measure. I'm sure it will be OK though.

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Old 02-02-2010, 07:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
I guessed at the magnesium level. I think your Hefe will be fine. The only thing is that you don't know what you magnesium level is and a 75% dilution would bring it down pretty far. I would have thrown in at least of gram of epsom salt for good measure. I'm sure it will be OK though.
Ok, thanks. So how beneficial would it be for me to get these missing numbers? Would knowing the amount of magnesium be really helpful?

Also, just so I understand, I thought that if you have really hard water (which I do) that it meant a high magnesium level. No?

Thanks again for your help.
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:02 PM   #8
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I would take the opposite approach of throwing a gram of epsom in for good measure, even though it won't effect levels much.

The amount of magnesium needed for brewing is very minimal. I've brew with distilled water and do not make any direct magnesium additions. Yeast growth and flocculation are fine. There should be some magnesium in a yeast nutrient and barley is high in magnesium. (Will have to research if the Mg in barley can be utilized by yeast).

On the other hand, high Mg levels can lead to off flavors.

Its your call but as far as Mg goes, I'd rather have too little than too much. So I'd say you were fine

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Old 02-02-2010, 08:55 PM   #9
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I don't feel strongly in any one direction here. If your Mg is something like 30, it would now be 7ish at a 75% dilution which is under Palmer's recommended 10-30 but not so much as to cause a problem.

I think in order to fully appreciate water mods in the future, you'd probably benefit from paying the $17 to wardlab for an actual analysis. The water company can be giving you averages.

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