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Old 12-03-2011, 02:26 AM   #1
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Default Just got Water Profile From Ward - Questions

Just got my profile from Ward today:

pH 7.1
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm < 6
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm < 0.01
Cations / Anions, me/L 0.8 / 0.5
ppm
Sodium, Na 5
Potassium, K 2
Calcium, Ca 8
Magnesium, Mg 2
Total Hardness, CaCO3 28
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.3 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 3
Chloride, Cl 10
Carbonate, CO3 < 1
Bicarbonate, HCO3 < 1
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 < 1
"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit

Now i have some questions... is water profile only important during the mash? Do most people adjust their sparge water too?

My thought was to use a calculator to show me salt additions to add to my strike water and then heat, and strike... am i not thinking correctly?

And while I am at it, is my water bad for a certain type of beer without correcting it? My numbers seem to be a lot lower than most others i have seen online.

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Old 12-03-2011, 02:29 AM   #2
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Your numbers do seem low, but ideally, you want to match your strike/mash water with your sparge water. Maintaining pH buffering capacity is arguably crucial during sparging.

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Old 12-03-2011, 03:13 AM   #3
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I think Ward FU on your test.

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Old 12-03-2011, 04:01 AM   #4
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ugh.. dont tell me that... you think??? I will be quite ticked if that is true!

Anyone else think this as well? I am running it from the marine hose, then through a carbon filter and sent the sample from there.

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Old 12-03-2011, 11:03 AM   #5
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No, I don't think Ward messed this test up. Unfortunately the cations and anions don't balance, but in this case with the ionic content so low, an error of a couple ppm could easily create the indication of imbalance. The good news is that this water has exceptionally low mineralization. It will be a great starting point for any brewing. You can almost consider it to be an RO or distilled water source. In this case, the recommendations found in the Water Primer are pretty well suited. Just consider this tap water the same as RO water.

The low alkalinity of this water may make it problematic for brewing beers with significant roasted or crystal malts. Having a way to add alkalinity as needed to control mash pH is recommended. I suggest downloading and reading Bru'n Water after you have absorbed the information in the Primer and want to move on.

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Old 12-03-2011, 12:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jewrican View Post
Just got my profile from Ward today:

Now i have some questions... is water profile only important during the mash?
Throughout but most important in the mash. In the mash, calcium, magnesium tend to move mash pH lower which is good and alkalinity tends to move it higher which is bad. pH is important in all phases but in general get it right in the mash and it will be correct or nearly correct for the entire process.

But there are also the stylistic ions i.e. those that effect the stylistic aspects of the beer directly (hoppiness, mouthfeel, bitterness, dryness, sweetness) without having an effect on pH i.e. chloride and sulfate. These can be supplemented later in the brewing process i.e. kettle and people do make adjustments of pH in the kettle as well sometimes. With water as low in mineral content as yours you will need to supplement chloride and possibly sulfate. Might as well do it all in the mash water - just simpler that way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jewrican View Post
Do most people adjust their sparge water too?
It depends on how alkaline the water is. Most people I know don't but then the water around where I live is not too alkaline (80 or so). It certainly wouldn't be necessary for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jewrican View Post
My thought was to use a calculator to show me salt additions to add to my strike water and then heat, and strike... am i not thinking correctly?
You are thinking correctly. You can start without a calculator (see Primer) and then, if you want to understand why you are doing what you are doing under the Primers guidance or study the effects of different additions than those recommended move on to calculator or spreadsheet.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jewrican View Post
And while I am at it, is my water bad for a certain type of beer without correcting it? My numbers seem to be a lot lower than most others i have seen online.
Your numbers are lower than normal but this is a good thing in the sense that you can easily prepare water suitable for any style of beer by simple mineral addition. Your water is great for Bohemian Pilsners as is and you can brew lots of other styles with it as is but in many cases you will want to add some chloride and or sulfate. You will need acid in some form for most beers to pull the pH down.

Final note: The Ward Labs report is OK. They do some funny things but the effects are minor. For example, the alkalinity of even pure water is about 2.5 and all water contains at least some bicarbonate so alkalinity < 1 is not really a likely value unless the titration is done to a higher than normal end point. So there are errors in this report but they are "in the noise" and you can accept the report at face value.
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
The low alkalinity of this water may make it problematic for brewing beers with significant roasted or crystal malts. Having a way to add alkalinity as needed to control mash pH is recommended.
if i were to brew a beer with high amounts of roasted grains, what could i expect?

The reason that i ask this is that i could not brew a dark beer for sh*t. It would come out very unroasty and just bland... kinda sweet actually... curious if my water could have been a part in this.

I will be doing some reading as you recommended. Thanks!!
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jewrican View Post
if i were to brew a beer with high amounts of roasted grains, what could i expect?
That depends on many things. About the only thing you can say with certainty is "The pH will be lower than it would be if you didn't use high amounts of roasted grains". Obviously, the amount of roasted grain will have an effect but so does the titratable acidity of the roasted grains, the distilled water pH of the base malt and the alkalinity of the water. The only way to be certain as to what is happening is to measure the mash pH with a properly calibrated pH meter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jewrican View Post
The reason that i ask this is that i could not brew a dark beer for sh*t. It would come out very unroasty and just bland... kinda sweet actually... curious if my water could have been a part in this.
Could be (how's that for a useless answer). Believe it or not, mash pH can be too high with a roasted grain beer like a stout if the roast malt titratable acidity is low and the distilled water base malt pH high. I actually had to add some acid to the mash for an Irish stout I made last week with 10% roast barley. The words you use in describing your beer are often used when the pH is too high. But then that does not prove that this is what's responsible in your particular case. It is also, of course, possible that your pH can be too low (large amounts of dark malt, dark malt titratable acidity unusually high, base malt DI mash pH low). I've never personally experienced that so I can't comment on what the effects of overly low pH are.

In my experience, up to 30% roast barley can be mashed in 0 alkalinity water without the pH going too low. Crystal malts in addition to the roast barley could pull the pH lower. So again, and I can't emphasize this enough, a pH measurement is required to really control the situation.
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:25 AM   #9
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I did a calculator and am looking for someone to dbl check it.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/wat...-right-285682/

Thx for all the help.

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Old 12-07-2011, 08:05 PM   #10
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You can rule at light American lagers, just sayin.


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