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Old 09-20-2010, 06:48 PM   #1
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Default confused - pH, alkalinity, etc.

i got my water report. it reads:


pH: 7.6
TDS Est: 599
EC: 0.93
Cations 9.3
Anions 9.1
Sodium 211
Calcium 1
Magnesium 1
Potassium <1
Total Hardness 3
Nitrate 0.3
Sulfur 14
CO3 <1
HCO3 352
Chloride 85
Total Alkalinity 288

so, my question is, does my water really have a pH of 7.6 if the alkalinity is 288? Cause when i throw 288 into the spreadsheet i get 6.21

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Old 09-20-2010, 07:24 PM   #2
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i got my water report
...
so, my question is, does my water really have a pH of 7.6 if the alkalinity is 288? Cause when i throw 288 into the spreadsheet i get 6.21
Most likely yes, though you could check it with a pH meter if you can find one to borrow.

Looking at the numbers it appears your water has been though a water softener? Almost no calcium/magnesium, and high sodium chloride levels. I suggest you find a tap that doesn't get softened water, and try again. As it is, this water is not suitable for brewing.
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Old 09-20-2010, 07:30 PM   #3
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oh yeah, it's run thru the softner. we're on a well, and the stuff coming out of my holding tank is much less suitable for brewing.....

i usually cut it 50% with distilled and add a few salts.

but, why the big discrepancy between the ward pH and the calculated pH?

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Old 09-20-2010, 07:49 PM   #4
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How would a spreadsheet calculate the pH of your water with the info given. That is roughly the mash ph you would see with that water, are you sure the spreadsheet isn't estimating mash ph?

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Old 09-20-2010, 07:59 PM   #5
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so, my question is, does my water really have a pH of 7.6 if the alkalinity is 288? Cause when i throw 288 into the spreadsheet i get 6.21
What spreadsheet are you using? I'm not aware of any that calculate pH from alkalinity largely because that is impossible to do unless you make the an assumption such as that the dissolved CO2 must be in equilibrium with the atmosphere. Even then the calculations are more involved than most of the spreadsheets out there incorporate. Your Ward Labs report is entirely consistent with a pH of 7.6. But it's also consistent with a pH of 6.21 except that at pH of 6.21 the water would be super saturated with CO2 gas. This would leave the water and it's pH would rise. If your spreadsheet assumed equilibrium with the atmosphere the pH would be close to 9. Even at 7.6 it is super saturated at 0.0080 atm. Equilibrium is 0.0003 atm but it can stay that way for a very long time (days) if you don't heat it.
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:19 PM   #6
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i'm using TH's sheet:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/ez-...dsheet-135095/

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Old 09-20-2010, 08:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by motobrewer View Post
oh yeah, it's run thru the softner. we're on a well, and the stuff coming out of my holding tank is much less suitable for brewing.....

i usually cut it 50% with distilled and add a few salts.

but, why the big discrepancy between the ward pH and the calculated pH?
As long as you are adding at least 50ppm of calcium it's OK for the yeast but that sodium level is pretty high, which is why I wondered.

pH doesnt' matter as much as your mash pH. The Ward number seems a lot more likely than the one from your spreadsheet. Maybe the low level of calcium is throwing the formula off?
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:36 PM   #8
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wait, i think the spreadsheet pH is mash pH....

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Old 09-21-2010, 02:05 AM   #9
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Yes, it is.

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