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adromo 06-28-2010 05:41 PM

Water Analysis Question
Hi All. I've been Homebrewing on and off now for 5 years and doing all grain batches for the last 18 months or so. Up to this point, I've never really done anything with water analysis or treatment.

I'm on town water, and recently received the boiler plate water analysis from the water authority. At this point, I'm only making 5 gallon batches so I have no problem diluting with distilled water and then adding salt to mimic the water profile for the origin of the beer style I am making. This may not be my final method of water treatment but for the moment I believe it is a good learning experience to determine how different water profiles effect the end product. However, I'm not sure if the analysis I received contains all of the information I need or not. I was hoping some more experience brewer could look over my profile and help me out.

Hardness, Total (as CaCO3) 171-206 ppm
ph 7.2 - 7.6
Alkalinity 180 - 210 ppm
Total Dissolved Solids 101 - 245 ppm
Chlorine 0.9 - 1.5 ppm
Fluoride 0.7 - 1.0 ppm
Nitrate 2.0 - 8.0 ppm
Sulfate 3.0 - 13.0 ppm
Sodium 1.0 - 7.0 ppm
Chloride 1.0 - 18.0 ppm
Magnesium 13.0 - 25.0 ppm
Iron less than 0.01 ppm

My basic question is this: Calcium and carbonates/bicarbonates are an important element of any regions water profile, however, I do not see calcium or bicarbonates/carbonates listed. Am I able to back calculate those values from Total Hardness and Alkalinity or do I need to order a more complete analysis?

Thank in advance for your help.

bartyen82 06-28-2010 06:19 PM

You can calculate the values you're interested in from the data that you already have. Calcium can be calculated from total hardness and magnesium concentrations, as total hardness is a function of magnesium and calcium concentrations. If you know two out of the three, you can calculate the third by:

(Ca (ppm)/20 + Mg (ppm)/12.1) * 50 = Total Hardness as CaCO3.

Using your numbers,

Ca(ppm) = 20*((CaCO3 / 50) - (Mg(ppm) / 12.1))
->Ca_min(ppm) = 20*((171/50)-(25/12.1)) = 27.1
->Ca_max(ppm) = 20*((206/50)-(13/12.1)) = 60.9

Ca: 27.1-60.9 ppm

Bicarbonate can be calculated from alkalinity by:

HCO3 = CaCO3*50/61.

adromo 06-28-2010 06:39 PM

Thank you very much. That is a great help.

adromo 06-28-2010 06:57 PM


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