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Old 04-02-2012, 07:30 PM   #1
alexavery
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Default Help with Water Report

I received my water report from Wards lab. Here it is:

water1.jpg
I plugged in the info into the EZ Brew spreadsheet, to the best of my knowledge (this whole water chemistry thing makes my head spin).

From what I can tell, my Calcium seems a little lower than Palmer recommends, and my Chloride/Sulfate ratio seems a little low. I think if I add a touch of Calcium Chloride, that will help.

Any other glaring issues here that I am missing?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Old 04-02-2012, 08:22 PM   #2
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For correction, I would purchase Calcium Sulfate and Calcium Chloride. You may find yourself using Calcium Sulfate a bit more.

What style beer are you going to be brewing with this water profile? There are different water requirements for different beer styles.

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Old 04-02-2012, 08:54 PM   #3
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Thanks bobbrews. I tend to brew American Pale Ales more than just about everything else.

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Old 04-02-2012, 11:57 PM   #4
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The calcium level is less than ideal, but its OK. The sulfate level is 60 ppm and that is moderate for beers that are malt focused. The sulfate level is lower than most drinkers prefer for bitter beers, so a boost is OK for those beers. The chloride level is low and can afford an increase to accentuate malt character. The chloride/sulfate ratio is not a good way to assess water's character. Its the total level of those ions that matter. Don't put much faith in the ratio for that reason.

The pale ale profile in Bru'n Water boosts the sulfate level to 300 ppm to accentuate the bittering and dryness that is characteristic of that style. That is about as high as I recommend for pale ales. The chloride level doesn't have to rise when the sulfate concentration is that high, but its OK. If you just added gypsum to this water without raising the chloride, it would still produce an acceptable PA or IPA.

You can learn much more about brewing water chemistry from the Water Knowledge page of the Bru'n Water website.

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Old 04-03-2012, 12:21 PM   #5
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Martin... am I missing something? I see 20 ppm sulfate on the report, not 60 as you suggested.

And the calcium is way lower than ideal at 32 ppm. Calcium is the most important mineral in brewing. Ca ions alone will: decrease pH in the mash, improve beer fining performance, encourage yeast flocculation, and protect the enzyme a-amylase from inhibition by heat.

OP, leave the sodium and magnesium where they are. You'll brew a fine standard pale ale within these ranges:

Calcium: 75 - 150 ppm
Sulfate: 100 - 175 ppm
Chloride: 45 - 85 ppm

Calcium Sulfate and Calcium Chloride will get you there. The additional calcium will also harden your soft water a bit more, which is a good thing.

A ratio of about 2:1 sulfate to chloride is about right for a bitter beer, and a ratio of 1:2 sulfate to chloride are recommended for mild ales, whilst a ratio of 1:3 may give best results for stouts or porters.

http://www.brewersfriend.com/water-chemistry/

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Old 04-03-2012, 01:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbrews View Post
Martin... am I missing something? I see 20 ppm sulfate on the report......

http://www.brewersfriend.com/water-chemistry/
Bob, I think he's getting that from EZ water, in the surfer block it says to multiply the number by 3.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherpa FE View Post
Bob, I think he's getting that from EZ water, in the surfer block it says to multiply the number by 3.
Oh, because it's listed as SO4-S. I gotcha.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Sherpa FE View Post
Bob, I think he's getting that from EZ water, in the surfer block it says to multiply the number by 3.
It's not from EZ water, but the spreadsheets do tell you to multiply by three!

That's because Ward Labs gives the sulfate as S04-S.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:24 PM   #9
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Yooper,
What I meant was, on the EZ water calculator, It says to take the SO4-s number and multiply that by three. I figured the water report was from Ward, I just said it wrong probably. I was still waking up when I typed it in.

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Last edited by Sherpa FE; 04-03-2012 at 01:25 PM. Reason: Darn you auto correct!!
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:35 PM   #10
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Yooper,
What I meant was, on the EZ water calculator, It says to take the SO4-s number and multiply that by three. I figured the water report was from Ward, I just said it wrong probably. I was still waking up when I typed it in.
Yes, but I was trying to explain (probably badly!) WHY you need to multiply it. Ward Lab reports it as sulfur (S04-s) and so the number needs to be "converted" to as sulfate for it to make sense in brewing water.
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