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chrisrush 12-21-2009 04:56 PM

Ward labs question
 
I want to find out what my water profile is like in NW Austin. I know we have very hard water, but we have a water softener. I use RO water for brewing but since I am getting into AG, I would like to start off with a good quality water. I am going to send a sample or two into Ward labs. Would sending in an RO sample and a tap sample be a good idea? With having both results, I could customize my water profile depending on the style that I am brewing, correct? Say, 50/50 RO/tap, etc.

JVD_X 12-21-2009 06:54 PM

Yes. You can send both in.

However, you should not be using softened water for brewing because it adds sodium to the water.

Is your RO water first run through the softener?

Rushis 12-21-2009 07:17 PM

The water straight from RO system should be completely void of any salts, you should be able to treat it like distilled water for the purposes adjusting water chemistry.

I'm sure there are most experiences individuals out there, but for what it's worth, I wouldn't bother sending in a water samplefrom your RO, unless you want to see what a sheet of 0's looks like. ;)

As an alternative to lab testing you could check your RO water with a multimeter, the conductivity of pure water should be 18 megaohms*cm anything lower and you still have some salts dissolved in the water.

chrisrush 12-21-2009 08:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JVD_X (Post 1756391)
Yes. You can send both in.

However, you should not be using softened water for brewing because it adds sodium to the water.

Is your RO water first run through the softener?

I believe the RO water is first run through the softener, but I'll have to check to see.

I'm using KCl for the water softener, so it won't add Na, but K instead. I wonder if this will be a problem.

chrisrush 12-21-2009 08:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rushis (Post 1756466)
The water straight from RO system should be completely void of any salts, you should be able to treat it like distilled water for the purposes adjusting water chemistry.

I'm sure there are most experiences individuals out there, but for what it's worth, I wouldn't bother sending in a water samplefrom your RO, unless you want to see what a sheet of 0's looks like. ;)

As an alternative to lab testing you could check your RO water with a multimeter, the conductivity of pure water should be 18 megaohms*cm anything lower and you still have some salts dissolved in the water.

I have a TDS meter on the RO filter and it reads in the 100ppm for TDS. I don't have a multimeter, might try and see if Ward Labs can test for conductivity.

Bobby_M 12-21-2009 09:29 PM

I would want to know the makeup of the incoming tap water before the softener or RO filter. RO alone can't strip all the ions out but it gets pretty close.

Rushis 12-21-2009 10:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobby_M (Post 1756850)
I would want to know the makeup of the incoming tap water before the softener or RO filter. RO alone can't strip all the ions out but it gets pretty close.

How efficient are home RO systems? At the laboratory level, the reverse osmosis systems are used to get a 18 Mohm water from distilled water. As you pointed out, the RO system can only do that because the input water is already distilled.

Hmmm, I must research some more...

@chrisrush

I obviously don't know much about home RO systems. ;) The TDS meter is measuring the conductivity of the solution and converting that into a reasonable measurement (ppm). The MilliQ systems used in labs only report the resistance. Good to know for the future. Thanks for the lesson! :D

chrisrush 01-06-2010 06:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobby_M (Post 1756850)
I would want to know the makeup of the incoming tap water before the softener or RO filter. RO alone can't strip all the ions out but it gets pretty close.

Thanks Bobby. I'm not sure if I can get some water before the softener, perhaps the outside tap isn't prefiltered with the softener.

Bobby_M 01-06-2010 06:52 PM

Just follow the input side of the softener back until it disappears into the foundation wall. If there are no tees/taps off of it, I think you'd probably want one installed at some point.

chrisrush 01-06-2010 06:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobby_M (Post 1789661)
Just follow the input side of the softener back until it disappears into the foundation wall. If there are no tees/taps off of it, I think you'd probably want one installed at some point.

I would have installed one if this was my house, unfortunately, it is a rental. I'll see what I can do.


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