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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Colorado Springs Water Report
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:02 PM   #1
mack65
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Default Colorado Springs Water Report

I finally got a Ward Labs report for my water and I think it explains why my hops uptake seems to be low. There is nothing in my water!

So, I thought I'd post this here for anyone else on COS city water. Anyone here have any quick suggestions for adjusting my water to make better IPAs or Stouts?

This pic is small so I've copied it here.

pH 7.7
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 53
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.09
Cations / Anions, me/L 0.7 / 0.7
ppm
Sodium, Na 6
Potassium, K < 1
Calcium, Ca 7
Magnesium, Mg 1
Total Hardness, CaCO3 22
Nitrate, NO3-N < 0.1 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 5
Chloride, Cl 1
Carbonate, CO3 < 1
Bicarbonate, HCO3 24
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 19
Total Phosphorus, P 0.81
Total Iron, Fe < 0.01
"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit

water-report.jpg  
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:17 PM   #2
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For IPAs and PAs, gypsum may be all you need. For stouts, the low alkalinity may drive your pH too low without some added alkalinity. Pickling lime is the surest way to add alkalinity, but it requires careful handling and measurement.

Boosting the calcium content will be helpful for most brewing uses and both of those minerals provide that. Have calcium chloride on hand for making more malt focused styles.

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Old 04-27-2012, 11:02 AM   #3
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Somebody at Bristols told me awhile back that they use straight COS city water with gypsum added. Not sure how much. Ever since then, I've been adding a small amount to my mash. Has it improved my beers? Not sure, but it makes me feel better, I guess.

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Old 04-27-2012, 12:42 PM   #4
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You might want to add something or you might want to add nothing. Which depends on your personal taste or the taste of whoever it is you are trying to please. The only way to find out is to experiment. It is very likely that an addition of some calcium chloride. both to get the calcium up some for yeast health and to get the chloride up for sweetness and body, would improve beers made with this water. Sulfate may improve the way you perceive hops.

This water is low enough in minerals that you could start with the Primer but be sure to try the beers with more or less calcium chloride and sulfate. Also be sure to use acid as necessary to keep mash pH in the proper range.

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Old 05-01-2012, 11:24 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for posting this! I was just considering sending off a water sample myself to have tested.

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Old 05-03-2012, 02:13 AM   #6
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No problem! Are you going to any of the Homebrew Day events in town? I'll be up at Pike Peak Brewery with the Brew Brothers.

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Old 07-18-2012, 05:56 AM   #7
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Thanks for posting this!

I feel like it also fluctuates from year to year. I have a few recipes that I've been brewing for 3 years. I feel like my process and ingredients are extremely consistent but that my beers change from year to year. It may be in my head but I don't think so...Especially with regard to hop utilization and flavor.

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Old 09-19-2012, 06:11 AM   #8
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Here is an updated water report for Colorado Springs, I just received them today (9/18/2012).
Cheers

pH 7.7
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 57
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.09
Cations / Anions, me/L 0.9 / 0.9

ppm
Sodium, Na 7
Potassium, K <1
Calcium, Ca 8
Magnesium, Mg 1
Total Hardness, CaCO3 24
Nitrate, NO3-N < 0.1 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 6
Chloride, Cl 2
Carbonate, CO3 < 1
Bicarbonate, HCO3 28
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 23
Total Phosphorus, P 0.38
Total Iron, Fe < 0.01

"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit

20120918215321156.jpg  
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:19 PM   #9
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One thing to note about COS water is that there are 5 different treatment plants with different sources for water. To further confuse the matter, they may also bring water from one plant to another area mixing water from the two sources.

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Old 09-20-2012, 01:47 PM   #10
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If this results in wildly fluctuating water parameters then that can be a problem to which the solution is either self analysis of the water each time brewing is contemplated. While this is not difficult to do it adds more work to the brew day and the test kits do cost some money. The other solution is to remove the variability by removing the minerals and replacing them with your own i.e. by using RO water. While there is still the nuisance of having to add the minerals at least they are the same mineral each time (per style). OTOH if all the sources are similar to the 2 reports that have been posted here the water is pretty mineral free and the variations would, therefore, be small.

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