Translating my Ward Labs Water Report - Union County, NC Well Water
I just got back my lab report from Ward labs, and I have been trying to break it down into terms that I can understand.
I've done a bit of reading, checked out the EZ Water Calculator ( http://www.ezwatercalculator.com/ ), and have definitely come to the realization that I can use some help and insight.
I appreciate that there are different styles that developed in large part because of the water available to the nearby breweries. What I am hoping for is a more general understanding of my water and what the best additives are to optimize it for most styles if possible.
I am pumping from a private well in NC. Here are my numbers:
Any help is GREATLY appreciated!
That is great water. The alkalinity will require modest neutralization with acid, but its otherwise a good place to start. That alkalinity might be a little low if you are brewing with more acidic grists containing a lot of roast and/or crystal malts. I would boost the Ca to at least 40 ppm to have fewer brewing problems, but that is not a hard and fast rule. Add sulfate- or chloride-containing minerals as desired to produce the flavor effects you want in the beer.
I see that you have punted and gone the EZ way, but you should at least read up on brewing water at the Water Knowledge page of the Bru'n Water website. PS: Bru'n Water is not that hard to use.
Thanks so much for the response. I really appreciate the help. I believed it was good water from which to build, so it's nice to hear that echoed.
I wouldn't say that I've punted quite yet, I am just hoping to get a better understanding of the basics. I am still pretty new to dealing with water in the brewing process and will be sure to check out the Bru'n info.
Any idea what the best additions might be to get the best result with Sacc's Irish Red recipe? I'm thinking about trying this out next weekend.
I would stick with one of those color-based water profiles in Bru'n Water. They have relatively low mineralization and won't overwhelm the beer flavors. I'm not a big fan of Smitik's, so you would have to decide if a more balanced or malty perception is your flavor goal. Based on looking at the grist, I'm not sure if targeting a brown or amber water profile would be more appropriate. I would try the amber profiles first and see if the mash pH falls in a preferred range. You might have to move to a brown profile if the pH is too low.
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