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cwheel 05-11-2011 12:45 AM

Ward Labs report and whether I need to treat soft water
 
I've tried to read up as much as possible on water quality, and downloaded and messed around with Bru'n Water, but was wondering if anyone could quickly scan my Ward Labs report and let me know if I really need to treat the water to make Pale Ales. IPAs, and modest pale ales are about all I brew. I understand that my water is soft, but my pH looks fairly decent. Any advice? Thanks in advance!

Ward Report:

pH 5.9
TDS 54
Conductivity 0.09
Cations/Anions 0.6/0.6

Sodium 5 (all in PPM)
Potassium 2
Calcium 5
Magensium 1
Total Hardness (CaCo3) 17
Nitrate (NO3-N) 1.8 (SAFE)
Sulfate < 1
Chloride 7
Carbonate < 1
Bicarbonate 18
Total Alkalinity 15
Fluoride 0.25
Total Iron < 0.01

ajdelange 05-11-2011 01:28 AM

This water will make fine beer if supplemented with calcium chloride to get the calcium level up a bit for yeast health etc. and with sulfate to taste. It will also be necessary to add an acid source for mash pH control. The Primer in the Stickies section gives general guidance on what to do with water like this.

cwheel 05-11-2011 01:50 AM

Thanks! Where in VA are you?

ajdelange 05-11-2011 03:37 AM

Northern - Fairfax County.

cwheel 05-11-2011 01:39 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Grew up there, and still work there. Still hate 66!

I've spent a lot of time looking into the various recommendations, and have used Palmer's spreadsheet, which is pretty straightforward.

Would you mind looking at the attached jpg of my calculation page? With a target SRM of 16 (basic pale ale/IPA), and a target RA of 80, in addition to wanting to get my magnesium up to a minimum of 10 ppm and the Calcium up to a minimum of 50 ppm, I've basically determined that I need to add the following to an 8 gallon total mash:

2 grams Gypsum
4 grams Calcium Chloride
3 grams Epsom Salts
6 grams baking soda

This results in 11 ppm Mg, 59 ppm Na, 86 RA and a Sulfate to Chloride ratio of "balanced".

Does this mineral plan seem OK to get the water to the proper chemistry? Seems like a like of different salts to add, but that's the problem...I don't really know if any of those counteract each other ???

Thanks in advance!

cwheel 05-11-2011 01:41 PM

Hmm, just realized HBT downgrades the quality of that image so you can't really see it. Let me try something else...

cwheel 05-11-2011 01:42 PM

http://img146.imageshack.us/img146/2826/image2fr.jpg

wildwest450 05-11-2011 02:28 PM

I have similar water. I used to put epsom, calcium chloride and gypsum in every batch. I'm starting to be in the less is more camp. I always add calcium chloride, gypsum if it's a hoppy beer, with acid malt or lactic acid to bring the ph down. I nixed the epsom salts as I've been told there's plenty of magnesium in the grain.

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cwheel 05-11-2011 02:57 PM

thanks for the response!

Problem is, without the baking soda, my RA is way negative. Do you have a similar low alkalinity, and if so, do you do anything about that, or just add the Calcium Chloride and gypsum for taste in hoppy beers?

wildwest450 05-11-2011 03:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cwheel (Post 2913028)
thanks for the response!

Problem is, without the baking soda, my RA is way negative. Do you have a similar low alkalinity, and if so, do you do anything about that, or just add the Calcium Chloride and gypsum for taste in hoppy beers?

I don't believe that's a problem, it hasn't been for me. Once you add lactic acid or acid malt it throws all my beers into negative numbers on the calculator.

I'm sure aj will chime in, he's far more knowledgeable than me on the subject.


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