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Old 09-24-2011, 04:32 PM   #1
vicratlhead51
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Default Lake Huron water treatment

Ok I've got a few all grains under my belt and am working on improving my efficiency and clarity. I haven't really tackled water treatment and I was wondering if there were other brewers who's water supplies come from Lake Huron (Saginaw Bay would be even better) could help me get an idea of what works for them. My dad works for the Saginaw water treatment plant and said the water has what's considered moderate hardness with the CaCO3 at around 30 to 33ppm, from what I understand this is pretty soft in brewing terms. I'm going to see if he'll get me a full water report this week sometime, then I can muddle through treatments. I just thought I'd throw up a t post and see if anybody else has already monkeyed around with Huron water and if they had any info.

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Old 09-30-2011, 03:51 PM   #2
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My tap is in Wixom, MI which is connected to Detroit City Water that is drawn from Lake Huron. According to Ward Labs I have

Na 6
K 1
Ca 30
Mg 8
Total Hardness, CaCO3 108
NO3-N 0.3
SO4-S 7
Cl 10
CO3 6
HCO3 97
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 89

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Old 01-18-2012, 05:23 PM   #3
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Did you ever get that water report? I'm in freeland and I do believe we are connected to the same supply.

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Old 01-18-2012, 06:17 PM   #4
ajdelange
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicratlhead51 View Post
My dad works for the Saginaw water treatment plant and said the water has what's considered moderate hardness with the CaCO3 at around 30 to 33ppm, from what I understand this is pretty soft in brewing terms.
This is confusing as there is actually no CaCO3 in the water. It is common practice, however, to express the calcium hardness, magnesium hardness and alkalinity "as Calcium Carbonate". If your dad said "The total hardness is 30 - 33 ppm as CaCO3" (which I strongly suspect is what he actually did say) then yes, that is pretty soft water.

So why do they do it this way? If your dad said "The calcium hardness is 30 ppm as CaCO3" that means that the water has the same calcium level as would be obtained by using carbon dioxide to dissolve 30 mg of CaCO3 in a liter of water.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:24 PM   #5
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The water quality across the Great Lakes is similar. That Wixom report is typical for the reports I've seen across the Great Lakes. There will be some minor variation, maybe 5 to 10 ppm, but they tend to similar quality since they are relatively connected.

30 ppm hardness as CaCO3 is pretty soft. The 30 ppm Ca and 8 ppm Mg equates to 108 ppm hardness as CaCO3 which is moderately hard. Probably just a bit of mis-communication in that first post.

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Old 01-19-2012, 04:45 PM   #6
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Wow I made this post a few months back I'm kind of suprised it just came to life out of the blue. You're right it was the total Ca not CaCO3. Dad's not a drinker so I didn't push him too much to help me. He just said our tap water is a lot softer than ground water. I got kind of disinterested in trying to do the water treatments when I didn't get any responses. SWMBO's grandma has property in Blanchard with a nice artisan well on it. The water tastes great so when I need harder water I just get some of that if I want soft I just use my tap water. Its been working pretty good just going that route. My efficiency stays between 70 and 80% now and the beers clear up pretty nicely too. Maybe since this thread became live again I might look into treating my water again. Any suggestions or rules of thumb anybody uses would be greatly appreciated since water chemistry obviously isn't my thing

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Old 06-16-2012, 08:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicratlhead51 View Post
Wow I made this post a few months back I'm kind of suprised it just came to life out of the blue. You're right it was the total Ca not CaCO3. Dad's not a drinker so I didn't push him too much to help me. He just said our tap water is a lot softer than ground water. I got kind of disinterested in trying to do the water treatments when I didn't get any responses. SWMBO's grandma has property in Blanchard with a nice artisan well on it. The water tastes great so when I need harder water I just get some of that if I want soft I just use my tap water. Its been working pretty good just going that route. My efficiency stays between 70 and 80% now and the beers clear up pretty nicely too. Maybe since this thread became live again I might look into treating my water again. Any suggestions or rules of thumb anybody uses would be greatly appreciated since water chemistry obviously isn't my thing
Bump...

I live in Saginaw County and would love to know our water more accuratly. I just recieved the 2011 Drinking Water Quality Report in the main, but unfortunatly it isnt very detailed. Any more information from anyone in the region would be greatly appriciated.

Thanks
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