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Old 01-18-2014, 04:08 PM   #1
forcabrew
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Default Another Water Report! Any Help

So the below water report from wards labs was done during the fall. The water sent was straight from the tap after running for a few minutes. the only adjustment i make during brewing is using campden tablets for dechlorinating. I have tinkered with the water calculators and i still can't wrap my head around the water chemistry info. I have ordered the water chemistry book and i am hoping to have it soon so that i can possibly get a better understanding. for what its worth i have been getting good mash eff with my recirculating setup.

what I'm asking with this post is do any of the numbers jump out as being terrible? how does the base report look? any concerns with the water at its current state? any quick or easy adjustments?

i appreciate any responses. i hope to really dive into water chemistry with this book.

pH 7.7
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 95
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.16
Cations / Anions, me/L 1.5 / 1.4
ppm
Sodium, Na 11
Potassium, K 1
Calcium, Ca 14
Magnesium, Mg 3
Total Hardness, CaCO3 48
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.2 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 5
Chloride, Cl 17
Carbonate, CO3 < 1
Bicarbonate, HCO3 35
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 28
Total Phosphorus, P 0.18
Total Iron, Fe < 0.01
"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit



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Old 01-18-2014, 05:09 PM   #2
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Your Calcium is a bit low, but you could add some gypsum and maybe Calcium chloride depending on style. Your total hardness is pretty low as well, but that will make it easier to build to each style.

There's no such thing as an ideal water profile, but yours allows you to build on it instead of forcing you to dilute like many people have to. I'd say you have good water to work with there.



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Old 01-19-2014, 11:34 AM   #3
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Thanks Tiber for the quick reply. I have tried to add some gypsum and calcium chloride to some of my pale and hoppy beers, but I have been doing so blindly.

More reading is in my future!!!

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Old 01-21-2014, 03:18 PM   #4
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You're lucky. That's excellent (almost RO) water! Blank slate.

Yes, definitely build up the Calcium, Chloride, and Sulfates as needed. Since your alkalinity is also very low, you may want some pickling lime or baking soda or whatever to buffer your pH back UP if you have a darker/maltier grain bill. Some dark grains should drop your pH significantly.

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Old 01-26-2014, 11:20 AM   #5
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Thanks Kevin I hop to get more familiar with water additions. Any one suggest an easy calculator? I used one in the past not sure which one but I just couldn't get my numbers right. I kept getting red numbers meaning I was out of whack

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Old 01-26-2014, 12:24 PM   #6
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People obsess over water manipulations mostly because they can. It is actually quite simple if one has water with a mineral profile as modest as OP indicates. Adding 1/2 to 1 tsp of calcium chloride to each 5 gal of water will make a good beer in most cases provided that some acid is used in the mash. This can be in the form of bottled acid but sauermalz (acidulated malt) is much easier to deal with as all you do is incorporate it as 2% of the grist. See the Primer for further details.

You can brew this way while you learn your way around the spreadsheets and calculators. Be sure to try more than one of them as they don't always agree and this will give you some further insight as you study the Water book. Try to follow the calculations in the book and compare them to what the spreadsheets and calculators tell you. What I am giving you is the standard 'You can't learn _____ Chemistry by reading the book and not working the problems any more than you can get into good physical shape by reading a body building manual without going to the gym' (paraphrase of Levine in 'Physical Chemistry' - fill in the blank with whatever kind of chemistry you are interested in - here Water).

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Old 02-09-2014, 02:37 PM   #7
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Thank you AJ for your reply. i appreciate it and all the assistance you have been giving everyone in attempting to gain a better understanding with their water chemistry

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Old 02-10-2014, 04:54 PM   #8
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As far as tools go, I use Bru'n Water. https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/
It has a learning curve, and its output should not always be "followed blindly" for lack of a better term, but it is a fantastic tool in my opinion. I believe your tap water is a fantastic starting point for almost all styles of beer.



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