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-   -   Ward Water report Muskegon Michigan (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/ward-water-report-muskegon-michigan-285892/)

boostsr20 12-08-2011 01:26 AM

Ward Water report Muskegon Michigan
This is from the City of muskegon (Pere Marquette) water which is directly on Lake Michigan. Any quick insight as to how it looks? I'm getting ready to learn about water composition :D
PH 7.8
Total Dissolved Solids ppm 259
Electrical Conductivity 0.43
Cations/Anions 3.8/4.4
Sodium Na 16
Potassium, K 1
Calcium, Ca 39
Magnesium, Mg 13
Total Hardness CaCO3 152
Nitrate .5
Sulfate 14
Chloride 53
Carbonate <1
Bicarbonate 121
Total Alkalinity 99
Fluoride .95
Total Iron <.01

FWIW I've used this water untreated and have won gold thru Bronze with 4 Honorable mentions for best of show with my high score being a 43.5 by two National BJCP judges. I'm hoping there is room for improvement in here. Thanks for any suggestions and insight!

boostsr20 12-08-2011 09:40 PM


ajdelange 12-08-2011 11:11 PM

There is almost always room for improvement but making something better implies that you have defined a criterion for optimality and there are several of those which may lead to differing philosophies in water treatment. The obvious one, and one that most brewers seem to strive for, is authenticity and that means trying to duplicate the brewing water of some particular brewing center. It's reasonably hard to do, there is lots of bad advice out there on how to do it and it is seldom justified. If "better" means more drinkable then the best approach seems to be to use the softest water possible but to maintain a fairly high chloride level. If you like the traditional assertive hops character in British beers then you will also need a goodly amount of sulfate. This is by no means the totality of the possibilities.

Your water in particular is fairly typical and advice on how to brew with similar water abounds on this and other forums. It is hard to give specific advice without knowing more precisely what you are after and what styles you are brewing. There is one bit of advice that fits almost every case, however, and that is to get an RO unit which takes most everything out of the water and then build it back up with salt additions to meet whatever your requirements of the moment happen to be.

boostsr20 12-09-2011 01:55 AM

Thanks for the insight! I'm definitely not going to be chasing pipe dream water tables from all over the world. Just looking to tweak it to suit particular beer styles better. I do a lot of pale, IPA, big stouts, Belgian strongs, sours, ambers. I figured I'd need to do a 50/50 dilution with ro. Unfortunately I won't be in this house long enough to warrant installing a system.

iaefebs 12-09-2011 04:37 AM

Head over to Kohley's water & propane on Glade street between Sherman & Hackley. They sell RO water for 25 a gallon. You need to bring your own jug's and it's best to call first to be sure the equipment is up and running....

For what it's worth... I have a similar water profile. I am using straight tap for my next batch, an IPA ...11 gal. batch, recipe is 24# Pale malt, 2# Munich, 1.5# crystal combo.To bring my ph down more I use 6oz of acid malt. I use 8.6 gal for mash and 8.3 sparge water I will add 6 gram gypsum 4 gram calc. chloride (Canning salt) 2 gram epsom salt to mash. 6 gram gypsum 4 gram calc. chloride to sparge. This is not to be taken as anything more than what I did.... Mileage will vary.

rbenn 02-03-2013 11:18 AM

Thanks for posting this. This will save me from having to get water analysis done.

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