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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > maybe i don't know enough, but...(water report)
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:38 PM   #1
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Default maybe i don't know enough, but...(water report)

Yeah, sorry, another water report question.

I just got mine and for some reason everything seems really low to me. Especially when i compare it to target water reports.

Sodium, Na 7
Potassium, K 2
Calcium, Ca 8
Magnesium, Mg 2
Total Hardness, CaCO3 28
Nitrate, NO3-N 1.7
Sulfate, SO4-S 2
Chloride, Cl 5
Carbonate, CO3 < 1
Bicarbonate, HCO3 24
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 20
pH 7.7


does that seem odd to anyone else?

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Old 09-15-2009, 10:46 PM   #2
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Did you send in some ro water for analysis? looks pretty mineral free. Should be good for brewing light colored beers.

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Old 09-15-2009, 10:49 PM   #3
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And a nearly clean slate for building up to match any other style.

I fail to see the problem here. Low minerals, near neutral pH......

I'd have to buy and haul water that clean.

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Old 09-15-2009, 11:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Donner View Post
Yeah, sorry, another water report question.

I just got mine and for some reason everything seems really low to me.
Low is good. It is fairly simple to add in what you need as compared to remove, filter or dilute too much of the wrong ion.
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Old 09-15-2009, 11:37 PM   #5
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When you say it seems low compared to target water reports, do you mean target levels for specific beers, or target levels for your local water? If you mean target levels for your local water it could be that where you live they are running the water through a filter to clean it up some.

Your water is very similiar to Seattle water. It is good for very light beers, but will need some additions for most others for the best result. You specifically need to at least get that calcium up.

There is plenty of info out there and on this forum to get your feet wet on basic mineral additions.

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Old 09-15-2009, 11:50 PM   #6
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Yeah, it's clear i dont have as firm an understanding as i'd like. I punched the numbers into brewers friend and am starting to get a sense of how each addition changes the water profile.

Up to this point i've been using spring water from walmart since i wasn't sure what the water here was like. Now that i have an understanding i think i'll probably start using water right from the tap here.

I think the thing that surprised me most was that entering common profiles BOT and Dublin, etc, all yielded mineral concentrations in much greater numbers than i have here. I know there will be differences, but it was the difference in the two numbers that had me worried.

thanks for the help. Now i just need to figure out how to balance my additions so that i end up with all the numbers in the correct target area (i currently can't seem to get my bicarbonate level to stay low enough while hitting all the other target numbers for BOT water profile.)

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Old 09-16-2009, 12:53 AM   #7
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...I think the thing that surprised me most was that entering common profiles BOT and Dublin, etc, all yielded mineral concentrations in much greater numbers than i have here. I know there will be differences, but it was the difference in the two numbers that had me worried...
Both of these locales have very HARD water, and that is what may have lead to the evolution of their particular beer styles. Most regional beer styles evolved out of necesity according to the local water contents combined with an appropriate grain bill to get a drinkable beer. See Palmer Balancing the Malts and Minerals
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:34 AM   #8
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thanks for the link.

I do have a question for you all (or a couple of them maybe).

First, if i can't get all the numbers to match up using the brewers friend, is there one way or the other to err? Say, for example, i'm working on a water profile to brew a bitter. Brewers friend tells me when i'm within 20 ppm of each ion, but if i can't get enough CA without going over recommended level of HCO3. Obviously, you can add more CA via chalk or gypsum, but each would add more of an ion i don't need.

I know this isn't an area where i have to be exact, but i just want to know if i should avoid too much of one in exchange for the proper amount of another etc?

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Old 09-16-2009, 02:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donner View Post
thanks for the link.

I do have a question for you all (or a couple of them maybe).

First, if i can't get all the numbers to match up using the brewers friend, is there one way or the other to err? Say, for example, i'm working on a water profile to brew a bitter. Brewers friend tells me when i'm within 20 ppm of each ion, but if i can't get enough CA without going over recommended level of HCO3. Obviously, you can add more CA via chalk or gypsum, but each would add more of an ion i don't need.

I know this isn't an area where i have to be exact, but i just want to know if i should avoid too much of one in exchange for the proper amount of another etc?

Don't worry about hitting a number exactly. It's virtually impossible. Bear in mind as well that target numbers of a famous brewing water are based on averages so they are not stationary targets anyway. As long as you are reasonably close and have roughly the same curve in the profile you will be absolutely fine.
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:28 AM   #10
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Since the type of beer dictates what to add to the water, is it best to play with the numbers until i get a combination that indicates it'd be good for the style of beer i'm brewing? Basically, just adjust the numbers until i get a profile that is good for the style i'm brewing?

The comment is in reference to the results that Brewing Water Chemistry Calculator | Brewer's Friend tells me.

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