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Old 12-25-2012, 02:31 AM   #1
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Default New to the science, interested

I am planning to begin my first brew in the next two weeks. While I intend to mainly use a kit at first, I want to do it right from the get go. This includes diving head first into the science of this awesome art form.
What exactly do I need to do to analyze the water I have in my house? Would it be best for me to take it to a local "professional" (e.g.- a pool store that specializes in water testing) or is there an analyzation kit I could purchase to do it myself?

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Old 12-25-2012, 02:43 AM   #2
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https://producers.wardlab.com/BrewersKitOrder.aspx
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:57 AM   #3
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Excellent.
Bummer is my wife and I will be going through there on our way home next weekend, but obviously didn't anticipate this so....
But I'll get this going and post the report on here for more advice!

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Old 12-25-2012, 04:33 AM   #4
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You can either send it off to a lab or you can do it yourself. You will get a quicker, more accurate, more detailed report for a lot less money if you send it off but if you really want to embrace the science you will eventually want to be able to do a subset of the tests yourself. There are several manufacturers of kits and equipment for water testing. Hach is probably the first one that most people would mention.

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Old 12-25-2012, 08:38 PM   #5
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Interesting that Ward Labs now has a brewer's test when all you need is the W6 household mineral test for $16.50.

Most of the additional minerals in the more expensive tests are not needed unless you suspect a problem with them.

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Old 12-26-2012, 10:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser
Interesting that Ward Labs now has a brewer's test when all you need is the W6 household mineral test for $16.50.

Most of the additional minerals in the more expensive tests are not needed unless you suspect a problem with them.

Kai
So I only need to the that w6 at the bottom of the list?
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:11 AM   #7
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Yes, the W-6 is all that's needed.

But the price doesn't seem right. Either there is a typo or they are trying to get us brewers to pay more. If you go here: http://www.wardlab.com/FeeSchedule/WaterAnalysis.aspx you see that the W-6 test is only 16.50.

On this page https://producers.wardlab.com/BrewersKitOrder.aspx it is 26.50 and the W-5 is also $10 more expensive.

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Old 12-27-2012, 02:27 AM   #8
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Yeah, I thought it seemed a bit expensive when I posted it (recalling the $16 price point) but have never used them myself and that was the only thing I was able to navigate to.

So... what does one get with the $20 premium?

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Old 12-27-2012, 02:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vogtenstein222 View Post
I am planning to begin my first brew in the next two weeks. While I intend to mainly use a kit at first, I want to do it right from the get go. This includes diving head first into the science of this awesome art form.
What exactly do I need to do to analyze the water I have in my house? Would it be best for me to take it to a local "professional" (e.g.- a pool store that specializes in water testing) or is there an analyzation kit I could purchase to do it myself?
If you use municipal water, you should be able to find a report online. If you draw off a well, you now have the links for a test kit.

Why not consider RO or bottled water the first time around?
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:04 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by maddad View Post
Why not consider RO or bottled water the first time around?
That's what I do. Distilled water and add minerals as needed. No testing required because you know that the levels of everything will be 0ppm anyways, and you can add your own salts to get the EXACT mineral profile you want.

And as AJ said, if you really want to get into the water science, you need some rather expensive equipment and supplies to check your water every single time you brew, to account for possible changes. But, despite the cost of buying bottled water, simply building your water from distilled is probably cheaper for most homebrewers - and you don't have the headaches of dealing with too much of certain minerals.

Of course, if you're a professional brewery or otherwise making enormous batches, using distilled water for brewing is neither cheap nor practical, and the proper equipment for testing all relevant aspects of the water becomes a smaller proportional cost and the much more reasonable option.
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