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Old 01-06-2012, 06:00 PM   #11
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The number is the milligrams of sulfur in the sulfate in a liter of the water. To get the sulfate weight you must account for the four oxygens. For each 32 mg of sulfur there are 64 mg of oxygen so that a sulfate ion weighs (32 + 64)/32 = 3 times as much as the sulfur and it is necessary to multiply by 3.

In some spreadsheets there is a box you tic if you want to enter "as sulfur" (same for nitrate and nitrite "as nitrogen").
Thanks for the explanation. I was just looking at bru'n water and saw it there
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:02 PM   #12
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20 mg/L shouldn't do you much harm but as you are going to have to do something about the alkalinity anyway you could consider a 1:1 dilution with low ion water. That not only would knock the Mg down to 10 mg/L but would take the alkalinity down to 70. 2:1 dilution would take the Mg down to 7 and the alkalinity down to 47 which is low enough for most beers if a little sauermalz or lactic (or other) acid is used to set mash pH. You would also want to supplement the calcium for most beers but that's easy enough to do.

Don't worry about matching a profile. Worry about setting mash pH and having the chloride and sulfate levels which are best for your beer.

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Old 01-06-2012, 07:31 PM   #13
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20 mg/L shouldn't do you much harm but as you are going to have to do something about the alkalinity anyway you could consider a 1:1 dilution with low ion water. That not only would knock the Mg down to 10 mg/L but would take the alkalinity down to 70. 2:1 dilution would take the Mg down to 7 and the alkalinity down to 47 which is low enough for most beers if a little sauermalz or lactic (or other) acid is used to set mash pH. You would also want to supplement the calcium for most beers but that's easy enough to do.

Don't worry about matching a profile. Worry about setting mash pH and having the chloride and sulfate levels which are best for your beer.
I have been using lactic acid to bring my ph into range. Recently I used 5.2 stabilizer a few times. Is this going to create off flavors because of the high bicarbonate level? I have brewed pretty many batches with altered RO but would love to just use my house water. But, if I have to go to 2:1 dilution I probably just go back to RO.

Thanks
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:39 PM   #14
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Many people feel that 5.2 stabilizer is not worth using - it increases sodium and is not effective in stabilizing the mash pH in the appropriate range (5.4-5.6 at room temp).
Bru'n Water and EZ Water will get your salt additions close to the right pH, but your best bet is the use of a pH meter and taking notes during your brew sessions (as they pertain to your mash water adjustments).

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Old 01-06-2012, 08:20 PM   #15
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I have been using lactic acid to bring my ph into range. Recently I used 5.2 stabilizer a few times. Is this going to create off flavors because of the high bicarbonate level?
The 5.2 won't do much except increase sodium which might be tasteable depending on how much you use.

When you use acid, HAc, where Ac- is the acid anion, to reduce alkalinity what happens is

HCO3- + HAc --> CO2 + H2O + Ac-

IOW each bicarbonate ion removed is replaced by a cation from the acid. If the cations are flavored and you eliminate a lot of alkalinity you could have a flavor residue from the acid. A lot of people use phosphoric because it is flavor neutral. The Germans use lactic because the Biersteuergesetz requires it. The British use a blend of hydrochloric and sulfuric because, well I don't know, because there will always be a Britain!

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I have brewed pretty many batches with altered RO but would love to just use my house water. But, if I have to go to 2:1 dilution I probably just go back to RO.
That is entirely possible and is appealing to many because it is, if brewed with the house water, truly a house beer. You won't have the flexibility you have if you start with RO and build whatever you need for the beer you want but that's not the point here. You ought to be able to brew a fine beer with this water without any treatment at all if you use malts with enough acidity and add a little acid in the mash. You may even be able to get by without the acid in the mash by using enough dark malt.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange
A lot of people use phosphoric because it is flavor neutral.
I should start using phosphoric I have 2 55s of 85% food grade in the shop right now..

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Originally Posted by ajdelange
That is entirely possible and is appealing to many because it is, if brewed with the house water, truly a house beer. You won't have the flexibility you have if you start with RO and build whatever you need for the beer you want but that's not the point here. You ought to be able to brew a fine beer with this water without any treatment at all if you use malts with enough acidity and add a little acid in the mash. You may even be able to get by without the acid in the mash by using enough dark malt.
I have been playing with brun water and i see what you mean with the acid additions. But if you add portions of dark malts it brings the mash ph right in range. So I am left with, dark beers I can use my house water and lighter cut or use straight RO with proper mineral additions.

Thanks for all the help. I was using the water profile in beersmith2 and that just adjust mineral addition does nothing with alkalinity which was making it seem like everything was perfect.


There is definitely a lot to learn but seems when you get the basics done and use the spreadsheet it's relatively simple.
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:10 PM   #17
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just out of curiosity, jbt, what lab did you send your sample to? i'm in emmaus too and couldn't find a reasonable place to send it without overpaying. thanks for the info though. the township wasn't very helpful when i was trying to get a water report.

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Old 01-10-2012, 07:46 PM   #18
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just out of curiosity, jbt, what lab did you send your sample to? i'm in emmaus too and couldn't find a reasonable place to send it without overpaying. thanks for the info though. the township wasn't very helpful when i was trying to get a water report.
I sent it to Ward $16.50 for the test and $7 shipping UPS

Depending on what part of the borough you are in you may want to get yours tested also they have 4 different wells but only using 3. So you maybe on a different well!!
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