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Old 03-04-2013, 07:41 PM   #1
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Default My water report (MAWC Mckeesport PA) .....

…results arent in yet! Man I am feeling like a kid of Christmas Eve!

I sent the prepaid shipping labeled package on Saturday 2/23 and I just got confirmation from Wards Lab that it was delivered on Friday and should have results today or tomorrow… I held off a brewday this weekend because I don’t want to brew with my unknown water chemistry anymore!

I’ll be posting back here when I get ‘em to see what everyone has to say about my water.

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Old 03-04-2013, 10:28 PM   #2
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Okay, just got my results! What am I looking at? Seems relatively benign from what I've read?

pH 8.8
TDS 155
Conductivity 0.26
Cat/Anion 2.2/2.2
Total Hardness (CaCO3) 63
Total Alkalinity 31

Calcium (Ca) 17.0
Magnesium (Mg) 5.0
Sodium (Na) 20.0
Potassium (K) 2.0
Iron (Fe) n/t
Bicarbonate (HCO3) 26.0
Carbonate (CO3) 6.0
Sulfate (SO4) 30.0
Chloride (Cl) 31.0
Nitrate (NO3) 1.8
Nitrite (NO2) n/t
Fluoride (F) n/t



Crazy how it seems like my water is better suited for lighter colored beers but my darker beers come out better. Maybe Im reading this wrong! (I thought I did some of my homework)

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Old 03-05-2013, 11:22 AM   #3
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That's a good base for brewing water treatment. All the ions are fairly low. For lighter beers you'll still need to add some acid.

Kai

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Old 03-05-2013, 01:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by kpr121 View Post
Okay, just got my results! What am I looking at? Seems relatively benign from what I've read?
....
Sulfate (SO4) 30.0
.....

Crazy how it seems like my water is better suited for lighter colored beers but my darker beers come out better.
That sulfate number is actually 90 (note that the report actually reads 'SO4 -S') which, while it is certainly well below the amount of sulfate that many guys want in their ales, would be disastrous with a lager made with noble hops.

Also, as has been hinted at, dark beers contain acid in their dark malts. Light beers do not and so acid must be added by the brewer. This could be why your dark beers seem better.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:10 PM   #5
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I've adjusted the sulfate number from the Wards Lab results (S04-S read 10, I multiplied by 3 to get my SO4 number of 30). I also multiplied the Nitrate (N03-N) by 4.43 to get an NO3 value of 1.8, even though I don’t believe that result is very substantial to my brewing water.

I've been inputting my past brews into Bru’n Water and EZ Water Calculator last night and this morning and its clear to see that I could afford to add some Acid Malt to my lighter beers, and maybe even to a few of my amber/brown ales.

I am also thinking that I could use some more calcium so I plan to add some gypsum to bitter/hoppier beers and Calcium Chloride to maltier beers, maybe even a combination of both depending on the beer to get up above at least 40 or 50 ppm. For the past couple brews I’ve been adding a tsp or two of gypsum blindly and I think I’ve noticed some better efficiency and fermentation quality. Does this sound like a pretty good plan? Any other general recommendations?

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Old 03-05-2013, 02:18 PM   #6
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Looks like a good plan to me.

Under other general recommendations:
1)Get a pH meter
2)Try all your beers with reduced sulfate. You may find you like them.

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Old 03-05-2013, 02:50 PM   #7
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Looks like a good plan to me.

Under other general recommendations:
1)Get a pH meter
2)Try all your beers with reduced sulfate. You may find you like them.
1) Thanks, my dad gave me a pH meter a few years back for our pool but I haven’t ever used it (I just use the strips for the pool water). I’ll see what it needs (probably a new probe and some calibration media).

2) I suppose that all my beers prior to my *blind gypsum additions* have had a relatively small sulfate content, and generally I believe I prefer the brews with gypsum additions more (of course most of my ales are hoppy IPAs or Pale Ales). Is 30 ppm too much for light lagers/pilsner with noble hops? Should I try to dilute with RO water for these type of beers? Or would I be okay with just adding Calcium Chloride and not Gypsum to my light beers?
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:15 PM   #8
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1)Is 30 ppm too much for light lagers/pilsner with noble hops? Should I try to dilute with RO water for these type of beers? Or would I be okay with just adding Calcium Chloride and not Gypsum to my light beers?
It is to my taste. I put in an RO system to beat a sulfate level comparable to that but then I'm pretty sure that my distaste for sulfate runs deeper than it does in most folks. Try a batch with the sulfate diluted down to 5 or less and see what you think.
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