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Old 07-18-2008, 10:48 PM   #1
glorifiedbusdriver
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Default water treatment

Hey guys...I have brewed about 20 successful all grain batches. I normally brew ambers to stout stout with the 5.2 buffer from five star. I am now thinking about brewing a hefe and a pilsner but my water is better for darker beers. Since I use the 5.2 buffer, do I even need to worry about changing my water chemistry? Here is my water report:

pH 7.5
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est 326
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.54
Cations / Anions, me/L 5.6 / 5.4
ppm
Sodium, Na 18
Potassium, K 4
Calcium, Ca 51
Magnesium, Mg 26
Total Hardness, CaCO 3 236
Nitrate, NO 3-N 0.3 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO -4S 49
Chloride, Cl 19
Carbonate, CO 3 < 1
Bicarbonate, HCO 3 112
Total Alkalinity, CaCO 3 92

I realize that the bicarbonate should be less than 50 for the lighter beers, so I was thinking about mixing my water with distilled water.

Questions I have:

Should I even bother?

If I mix my water with distilled water, lets say 50/50, does that basically cut in half ALL of the minerals? If that's true I know I need to add more calcium, but is there any other minerals I need to add?

Thanks for your input.

Charlie

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Old 07-18-2008, 11:21 PM   #2
BigEd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glorifiedbusdriver View Post

I realize that the bicarbonate should be less than 50 for the lighter beers, so I was thinking about mixing my water with distilled water.

Questions I have:

Should I even bother?

If I mix my water with distilled water, lets say 50/50, does that basically cut in half ALL of the minerals? If that's true I know I need to add more calcium, but is there any other minerals I need to add?

Thanks for your input.

Charlie
Yes, you should bother. Your water without treatment is not at all close to a pilsner profile. Dilution is a better answer than the 5.2 additive IMO and yes, if you dilute your water 50/50 with distilled it essentially cuts your ion numbers in half. I don't drink or brew hefe so others may chime in on that style but for pilsner you really don't want anything in significant quantities in the water. Assuming you are doing a single infusion mash you probably want to add a bit of calcium to the diluted water and for that purpose I would suggest calcium chloride. Sulfate, magnesium and carbonates should stay as low as possible.
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