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Old 10-23-2012, 02:53 AM   #1
mattrennert
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Default Two water questions...

First, My city water in Madison supplies my house from two wells, problem is, I never know which one the water is coming from. Seems as the chloride and sulfate levels have the most difference between wells. Is there any treatment I could do that would cover both water profiles?

Second question. My water is very hard. Does a softener completely remove Ca and MG and replace it with Na and or CL in the same ppm? If my MG levels are a bit high, and my Na and CL levels are on the low side, couldn't I run soft water to eliminate the MG and replace it with epsom?


Well 29, 40-60% Usage
Well 15, 40-60% Usage

Well 29
Alkalinity 321 ppm
Calcium 77 ppm
Chloride 3.5 ppm
Hardness Total 353 ppm
Magnesium 39 ppm
Sodium 19 ppm
Sulfate 6.2 ppm

Well 15
Alkalinity 318 ppm
Calcium 91 ppm
Chloride 49 ppm
Hardness Total 433 ppm
Magnesium 50 ppm
Sodium 19 ppm
Sulfate 31 ppm

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Old 10-23-2012, 04:44 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by mattrennert View Post
First, My city water in Madison supplies my house from two wells, problem is, I never know which one the water is coming from. Seems as the chloride and sulfate levels have the most difference between wells. Is there any treatment I could do that would cover both water profiles?
Only a process that removes everything and those processes are distillation, reverse osmosis and cation/anion exchange (which would be preceded by reverse osmosis). Of these RO is much more practical than distillation. The ion exchange is not really necessary as RO gets out enough of what you need to remove for brewing.

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Second question. My water is very hard. Does a softener completely remove Ca and MG and replace it with Na and or CL in the same ppm?
The usual softener replaces calcium and magnesium with equivalent amounts of sodium. Thus 77 mg/L calcium is 77/20 = 3.85 mEq/L and would be replaced with 3.85*23 mg/L sodium because 20 is the equivalent weight of calcium and 23 the equivalent weight of sodium.


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If my MG levels are a bit high, and my Na and CL levels are on the low side, couldn't I run soft water to eliminate the MG and replace it with epsom?
The softener does not substitute chloride for anything.

There are things that can be done to eliminate much of the calcium, magnesium and alkalinity but this is not great brewing water. Starting with a clean sheet of paper i.e. removing almost everything from the water and starting from there is the most practical way to go for you.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:27 PM   #3
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Hmm, he could probably do a beer with 30+% black malt or something :P

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Old 10-24-2012, 01:32 PM   #4
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Yes but what would that taste like? The inside of our Hibachis?

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