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Old 06-20-2014, 11:22 PM   #1
Bartp
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Default Need Feedback on my water please.

Hi Guys,

I just moved to a new city, Morgan Hill in California. I've been brewing with hard water for a while (in San Jose, CA), but this water seems to be very hard.

Here's the city report:
http://www.morgan-hill.ca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/10731

What do you guys think of this water and what should I do with it?


I mostly brew West Coast pale ales, English pale ales etc... lighter beers.


Thanks!

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Old 06-21-2014, 10:40 PM   #2
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That report isn't complete enough to tell if it is a problem for brewing. However, I do expect that the alkalinity is probably high and that will be the primary concern. The high hardness may not be a concern unless the magnesium content is high. The report does not provide that info. You will have to ask the water company if they have info like the Ca and Mg content along with the alkalinity. Then you can start figuring out what treatment you will need for your brewing. If they can't provide the info, then you have to send a sample out for testing.

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Old 06-22-2014, 03:57 PM   #3
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Alkalinity is high - around 190 based on the given numbers. That will be a problem.

There are lots of approaches to hard, highly alkaline water. The simplest solution in terms of understanding is to throw it away, i.e. install an RO system (preceded by a softener) and proceed from there. Other solutions include decarbonation by lime treatment or boiling. Less expensive but more to do on brew day.

How's the garlic residual?

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Old 06-22-2014, 08:55 PM   #4
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thanks for the info guys! I'll try to get a hold of the water treatment guys...

You don't even notice the garlic after a while

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Old 06-30-2014, 02:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
Alkalinity is high - around 190 based on the given numbers. That will be a problem.

There are lots of approaches to hard, highly alkaline water. The simplest solution in terms of understanding is to throw it away, i.e. install an RO system (preceded by a softener) and proceed from there. Other solutions include decarbonation by lime treatment or boiling. Less expensive but more to do on brew day.

How's the garlic residual?
If the pH is as high as my water this might be a bad idea. You replace ions with sodium which is a positive charge and doesn't get diminished much at all the RO system. The positive side to my water is that there isn't much sodium. Since Calcium is a positive ion I get some of that through. Sulfate and chloride are virtually eliminated since they are negative. That allows me to dial in my numbers easily while adding more calcium for break and yeast health.
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:55 PM   #6
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Your pH is the highest I have ever seen reported and is not by any means typical. This man's pH is much more reasonable and there would be no pH related problems for him.

The problem with high pH water and RO systems is that hydroxyl ions are small enough to pass through the membrane so that if they are plentiful they do. This results in an accumulation of negative charge in the permeate and that implies and electrical potential difference across the membrane and this subjects cations to additional force so that their flux is larger than it would be absent the electric field. At first blush we might suppose that magnesium would be preferentially sucked through as it is small and has a double charge on it but there are doubtless other factors at play here.

In cases where RO treatment of high pH water is desired the pH is adjusted to a more reasonable value by in line injection of acid. In cases of hard water with more normal pH the combination of softener and RO system is common as calcium carbonate becomes the limiting salt way before anything else. In general RO systems seem to be designed to be especially effective against sodium as this is such a common configuration.

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