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Old 11-03-2009, 07:12 PM   #1
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Default Just received my water analysis report from Ward...

...with the following results:

We have our own private well.

pH 7.8
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est 313
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.52
Cations / Anions, me/L 5.4 / 5.1


Sodium, Na 2
Potassium, K < 1
Calcium, Ca 52
Magnesium, Mg 32
Total Hardness, CaCO3 263
Nitrate, NO3-N 1.0 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 5
Chloride, Cl 4
Carbonate, CO3 < 1
Bicarbonate, HCO3 281
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 231

I'm quite familiar with water chemistry but am still new to brewing and am wondering if I need to adjust any of the parameters. I reviewed Palmer's book and HBT, and am specifically wondering if I need to adjust the Calcium to the 80-100ppm range for my mash/sparge water.

As I'm still learning, I'm brewing simple, low gravity ales for now.

Any input would be appreciated...thanks!

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Old 11-04-2009, 03:25 PM   #2
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As I understand it, you are ok in the calcium dept, but you could add more if needed. If you are brewing beers that are lighter in color, you may need to cut your water with distilled or R.O. water. If you do this, you will have to add some calcium back in, by using calcium chloride, or gypsum, depending on the style of beer you are brewing.
If you don't have it already get palmers RA (residual Alkalinity) spreadsheet from his website, and also take your water sample numbers and plug them into his nomographs.
Do the nomographs first. That really helped me understand the additions and what they do.

Good luck

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Old 11-04-2009, 03:29 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info...I'll work through the spreadsheet and nomographs.

Nice to hear from another Northlander!

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Old 11-04-2009, 05:34 PM   #4
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Cheers to you also! I love your sig. That describes me to a T.
You fish at all?
I try to get down to pepin and the river when I can.

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Old 11-04-2009, 06:51 PM   #5
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Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 52 / 52
Mg: 32 / 32
Na: 2 / 2
Cl: 4 / 4
SO4: 5 / 5
CaCO3: 231 / 231

RA (mash only): 175 (20 to 24 SRM)
Cl to SO4 (total water): 0.80 (Balanced)

Chloride/Sulfate very low, RA high which is good for dark beers in the Browns. I wouldn't try brewing a pale ale or any light beer without modification.

It's not something I've had to concern myself with, but look into boiling your water to precipitate out some of the carbonate, then replace the missing calcium with Gypsum.

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Old 11-04-2009, 08:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkyaber View Post
Cheers to you also! I love your sig. That describes me to a T.
You fish at all?
I try to get down to pepin and the river when I can.
I don't fish anymore; I spent 15 years doing fisheries work on the river so was literally on the water every day and I kinda got burned out on fishing. But it's been awhile and now that I'm retired I may take it up, again.
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 52 / 52
Mg: 32 / 32
Na: 2 / 2
Cl: 4 / 4
SO4: 5 / 5
CaCO3: 231 / 231

RA (mash only): 175 (20 to 24 SRM)
Cl to SO4 (total water): 0.80 (Balanced)

Chloride/Sulfate very low, RA high which is good for dark beers in the Browns. I wouldn't try brewing a pale ale or any light beer without modification.

It's not something I've had to concern myself with, but look into boiling your water to precipitate out some of the carbonate, then replace the missing calcium with Gypsum.
Thanks for the reply, Bobby. Funny thing, I viewed your two recent water chem videos about an hour before you replied. I've also been working through the EZ water spreadsheet to see what I need to do for lower SRM ales. I understand your suggestion about boiling to precip some fo the carbonate, but my logic tells me I'd be "guessing" how much I'd removed and how much gypsum I'd need to add. Correct?

Couldn't I add a bit (3 ml) of HCL to bring down the RA and then add 2 g of gypsum to provide similar results? That should provide -26 RA and 1.13 Cl/SO4 ratio.

I'm still a noob, and before I had our water tested, the first to batches I brewed were Patersbier (SRM 4.7) and an American Wheat (SRM 3.2). The Patersbier was bottled two weeks ago and the AW is in secondary. Oh well, we'll have to see how they turn out.

By the way Bobby, your videos were very helpful; I would highly recommend that anyone working through their water chem give them a view.

Thanks again!
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:45 PM   #8
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Your beers will turn out fine, water adjustments just make good beers better. I think it is easier to cut your water with distilled and then add what you need to make the water correct for the beer you are brewing.

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Old 11-04-2009, 10:13 PM   #9
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im in the drilling industry and your hardness is way up. other than that your well water looks good! how deep is your well. and what is the G/min? i would suggest you treat your hardness with a little soda ash if you can. i dont know if its safe for drinking though we mostly put it down the hole in our drilling mud. random question how was your well constructed? and do you know what consolidated rock formation your in? im just curious.

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Old 11-04-2009, 11:45 PM   #10
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Check out this thread
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/formula-bicarbonate-removal-boiling-125880/
apparently the amount of precipitation is predictable.

You could cut with 50% RO/distilled and build back with CaSO4, CaCl and MgSO4.

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Last edited by Bobby_M; 11-04-2009 at 11:52 PM.
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