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Old 01-15-2013, 01:51 AM   #1
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Default Help with water report

I just received my water report from Ward Labs. I have entered the numbers in the EZ Water Calculator Spreadsheet, but I still can't determine what adjustments I need to make. It looks like calcium and sulfate levels are low. I have also purchased a PH meter but haven't used it yet. Any help is much appreciated. Thanks.

pH - 9.8
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm - 202
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm - 0.34
Cations / Anions, me/L - 3.6 / 4.6

Sodium, Na - 17
Potassium, K - 2
Calcium, Ca - 18
Magnesium, Mg - 23
Total Hardness, CaCO3 - 141
Nitrate, NO3-N - 0.6 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S - 9
Chloride, Cl - 32
Carbonate, CO3 - 46
Bicarbonate, HCO3 - 91
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 - 152

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Old 01-15-2013, 03:38 AM   #2
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Depends entirely on what you want to brew.

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Old 01-15-2013, 12:26 PM   #3
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That water looks fine in many respects, excepting that alkalinity will need to be neutralized in most brews. I suggest that you read the Water Knowledge section of the Bru'n Water website to understand more about what needs to be done with that water and why. There is no EZ answer to brewing water chemistry.

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Old 01-15-2013, 02:40 PM   #4
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I mainly brew APAs and IPAs.

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Old 01-15-2013, 04:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
There is no EZ answer to brewing water chemistry.
Is than an attack on the EZ water calculator?

If yes, why is BrunWater so much better?

Kai
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser View Post
Is than an attack on the EZ water calculator?

If yes, why is BrunWater so much better?

Kai
Bru'n Water is not necessarily always better. But it is trying to help the brewer avoid screwing up. I don't see that guidance in EZ.

Just because a bit of software code can be packaged into a seemingly simple format, does not mean that the user is better off because of it. Brewing water chemistry has a lot of IF's, AND's and THEN's (so to speak) that can easily screw up what a brewer should or should not be doing with their brewing water. There isn't a single way to screw up your brewing water, there are hundreds of ways.

What I've tried to do is include prompts, warnings, and alarms to help the user avoid the common pitfalls. Those prompts start with the initial ion inputs to help ascertain if the data makes sense. A program that doesn't include that simple ion balance check is just assuming that every water report or ion information is correct and makes sense. That is not always true.

Garbage In, Garbage Out. I'm not saying that Bru'n Water will prevent anyone from spitting garbage out, but it does try to help a user avoid that at the input and output stages.

I got a big laugh the other day when a post somewhere said that Bru'n Water didn't provide much handholding, while EZ Water did. That poster confused that fact that 'you put some numbers in and you get some numbers out' with that being a good answer. I'll admit that with several pages that need a user's inputs, Bru'n Water looks far more complicated than some programs. But every user that takes the time to understand how the program is put together and operates, reports that it is quite easy to use and logical. Its a sad fact that many people look at something for 5 seconds and say its too complicated and move on. I thought about simplifications, but those measures often reduce the utility and versatility of the product. Those may not be compromises that all brewers want to make.

To each his own. Learn, Create, Enjoy!
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
Bru'n Water is not necessarily always better. But it is trying to help the brewer avoid screwing up. I don't see that guidance in EZ.
I'm TRYING not to screw-up, hehe.

I just got back my analysis of some primo bottled water. It came back like this:

Code:
pH - 7.3
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm - 37
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm - 0.06
Cations / Anions, me/L - 0.5 / 0.5

Sodium, Na - 2
Potassium, K - < 1
Calcium, Ca - 6
Magnesium, Mg - < 1
Total Hardness, CaCO3 - 19
Nitrate, NO3-N - 0.2 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S - 1
Chloride, Cl - 10
Carbonate, CO3 - < 1
Bicarbonate, HCO3 - 6
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 - 5

"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit
But I can't get it to balance.

On the first image, I've put "0" in for ALL of the "< 1", and it comes out to .84.

On the second image, I've (arbitrarily) put 0.6 into Mg and K and it balances, but I'm not sure that's the best approach. This is manufactured bottled water (RO water with additives to get it to be drinking water).

What am I screwing up?

--Dale--
primo1.jpg   primo2.jpg  
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:20 PM   #8
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You're not screwing up anything. You haven't been given good enough data to cause the system to balance. You have done the 'right thing' in fiddling around with the numbers to see what it might take to get it to balance but less than one means 0.99 or 0.01 and you have no way of knowing which of those is closer to the truth.

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Old 01-28-2013, 02:15 AM   #9
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Does it really matter with that water? It appears to be almost distilled or at least RO quality. IMO even if you leave it unbalanced in the spreadsheet you will be close enough. There are plenty of other opportunities to mess things up with salt additions without spending time worrying about it balancing perfectly.

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Old 01-28-2013, 01:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sengsational View Post

But I can't get it to balance.

On the first image, I've put "0" in for ALL of the "< 1", and it comes out to .84.
That is the problem with water with very low mineralization, even a tiny variation in the concentrations can substantially alter that cation/anion ratio. I think that if you hover the cursor of that cell, you should see a message to the effect that you would like that ratio to be close to 1.0, but it also goes on to say that the cation and anion totals should be within 0.5 meq/L of each other. I'm betting that it easily passed that test.

As noted in that post, it only took tiny adjustments of any of those ions to get it perfect. But as Chumpsteak mentioned, 'does it really matter?' No it doesn't, its close enough.
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