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Old 10-01-2013, 10:59 PM   #1
Glynn
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Default i got a new water report from the city

how bad is it

Total Hardness avg: 137 mg/L

Calcium Hardness avg: 90 mg/L

Magnesium Hardness avg: 47 mg/L

Sodium: 120 mg/L

Sulfate: 71 mg/L

Chloride avg: 182 mg/L

Total Alkalinity avg: 84 mg/L

pH: 8.73

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Old 10-01-2013, 11:42 PM   #2
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A bit briny perhaps but the alkalinity and hardness are pretty nominal. A dilution 1:1 with RO water would get that brine level down but 2:1 or even 3:1 would be better. OTOH you could try brewing with this water and seeing if things are too salty.

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Old 10-02-2013, 12:38 AM   #3
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I'm with AJ. Beers brewed with this water might have a bit of a salty note. But I'm only moderately concerned that it would be perceptible since the median taste threshold for sodium as NaCl is around 60 ppm with older folks being more tolerant and younger less tolerant.

A real problem could crop up if you add sulfate containing minerals to this water due to the antagonistic interaction with sodium and chloride.

In general, AJ's recommendation to dilute is wise. I guess I would dilute to at least 1 to 1 so that the sodium content is at 60 ppm or less.

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Old 10-02-2013, 01:52 AM   #4
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i ve brewed with this water a lot and i have never felt it was salty that i could tell

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Old 10-02-2013, 01:47 PM   #5
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Your findings fit with the simple taste trials that John Palmer performed while we were finalizing the Water book. He spiked a neutral beer with varying levels of sodium-containing salts to try and assess the effect on flavor. I don't recall the upper sodium level he tested, but it was well over 100 ppm. I do recall that he just commented that the beer flavor got sweeter and fuller.

So that is why I'm not overly concerned with the level in your water. Just be aware that it can have an effect on flavor and in some cases, its negative.

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Old 10-02-2013, 02:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
A real problem could crop up if you add sulfate containing minerals to this water due to the antagonistic interaction with sodium and chloride.
While I certainly haven't investigated this thoroughly I've never noticed an antagonism between chloride and sulfate. In fact the concept of chloride/sulfate ratio suggests that one ameliorates the other's effect. While I don't subscribe to that notion as religiously as others I do recognize that chloride tends to smooth, sweeten and soften whereas sulfate tends to dry, sharpen and render more harsh but I don't think it does that more in the presence of chloride than it would alone.

I did investigate the taste of sodium with sulfate a wee bit during the book writing by tasting samples of water and beer (I think) doped with bits of sodium sulfate. I didn't note anything other than a minerally taste in the water and don't remember about the beer. In fact I don't even really remember doing beer.

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Your findings fit with the simple taste trials that John Palmer performed while we were finalizing the Water book.
The gentleman's tag says he has been brewing for 20 years. If he started at 25 then he us getting into your 'more tolerant' group.

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He spiked a neutral beer with varying levels of sodium-containing salts to try and assess the effect on flavor. I don't recall the upper sodium level he tested, but it was well over 100 ppm. I do recall that he just commented that the beer flavor got sweeter and fuller.
That would be from chloride. The same thing happens with calcium chloride except that the 'salty' component of the taste is more subtle i.e. less 'salty'.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:27 PM   #7
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OP are you using a water softener?

pH is 8.73. That's quite alkaline. pH 7 is neutral, 8 is 10x more alkaline, and 9 is 100x more alkaline than neutral. So you are about 85x more alkaline than neutral.

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Old 10-02-2013, 03:18 PM   #8
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His alkalinity is 84 ppm as CaCO3, his pH 8.4. This is pretty nominal. My well here (QC) has alkalinity of 164 and pH 7.6. My well in VA has alkalinity 80 and pH 6.4. Thus alkalinity and pH are, while not completely are quite independent of one another. You are confusing hydroxyl ion concentration with alkalinity. They are not the same thing. Alkalinity in the brewing context, is the amount of acid it takes to reduce the pH of the sample to pH 4.3. This is the so called M-alkalinity. It obviously depends both on the pH of the sample and on the amount of bicarbonate dissolved in it. It is unfortunate that they teach kids that pH is a measure of the alkalinity or acidity of a solution without telling them the rest of the story. Acidity and alkalinity must always be specified with respect to a reference pH. That reference pH is not always 7. For example, in brewing water chemistry, the reference pH is 4.3 (or sometimes 4.5) not 7. As the OPs sample pH is > 8.3 we could also specify for him another alkalinity known as the P-alkalinity with reference pH 8.3. It would be only 0.25 ppm as CaCO3.

Interestingly enough, his alkalinity with respect to neutral, that is, the amount of acid he would have to add to a sample of his water to get the pH to the point where H+ and OH- are in equal concentration (which is acutally pH 7.085 at room temperature) is 0.263 mEq/L or 13 ppm as CaCO3.

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Old 10-02-2013, 03:27 PM   #9
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I live down the street from Glynn and we both use the water. I usually add a little bit of lactic acid to my mash, which seems to produce better results then when I forget. I have not tasted a salty or briny finish to any of my beers, but I eat a ton of Thai food so I may not be the best point of reference! I also read that there are chloro-mines in our water in the annual water report so I add sodium bicarbonate and let it sit overnight. I bought a RO system for my home so i am going to try and cut it with half RO and see if that makes any difference.

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Old 10-02-2013, 03:47 PM   #10
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Chloramine is is indeed a 'chloro mine' that needs to be swept! I like that. The treatment for chloramine is 1 campden tablet per 20 gallons and there is no need to let it stand. See http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/cam...-water-361073/ for details.

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