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Old 01-26-2013, 12:27 AM   #1
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Default Water for mashing only?

Hi

The water I have is very good for dark beers. Yet, tomorrow I want to brew a Pale Ale. I bought some RO water for brewing.

My question is: Once the mashing process is over can I simply sparge with my local water rather than the RO?

I think I can but simply want to confirm.

Thanks

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Old 01-26-2013, 12:31 AM   #2
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We would need to know more about your local water. If it is good for dark beers it may need some acidification or diluting to sparge with.

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Old 01-26-2013, 12:32 AM   #3
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Actually, the lower alkalinity water is perfect for sparging. I bought an RO
machine, just so I can sparge with RO water. My beers are much better for it!

I'd suggest using whatever what combination you need for mashing, and then trying to use mostly RO water for the sparge if you can.

You want your pH of the sparge to always be lower than 6, so using distilled or RO water really makes a difference. Or you can treat your sparge water with acid, if you know your water chemistry, to drop the alkalinity of your sparge water.

I really like Bru'n water spreadsheets for that- how much acid (and what kind) to add to your tap water if using it to acidify the sparge water. I used it before I bought my RO machine.

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Old 01-26-2013, 12:52 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses.

From Ward's

pH 7.7
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 373
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.62
Cations / Anions, me/L 6.7 / 6.9
ppm
Sodium, Na 6
Potassium, K < 1
Calcium, Ca 65
Magnesium, Mg 38
Total Hardness, CaCO3 321
Nitrate, NO3-N 1.4 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 25
Chloride, Cl 3
Carbonate, CO3 < 1
Bicarbonate, HCO3 315
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 259
"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit

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Old 01-26-2013, 01:15 PM   #5
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Definitely don't sparge with the tap water. The alkalinity is far too high. I suggest that the tap water could be a good additive. But the main focus would be using a water with lower mineralization. Put a RO unit on your wish list and plan on using RO water as the primary source with the tap water added as needed for alkalinity.

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Old 01-26-2013, 02:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
Definitely don't sparge with the tap water. The alkalinity is far too high. I suggest that the tap water could be a good additive. But the main focus would be using a water with lower mineralization. Put a RO unit on your wish list and plan on using RO water as the primary source with the tap water added as needed for alkalinity.
Thanks Martin

I wanted to brew two ten gallon batches this weekend. I have enough RO water for one but not the other. So I was hoping to use some well water but wanted to check in first with you folks.

Although I did not get the answer I wanted, I did get the advice I will take.

I knew my water was suspicious for brewing the light ales I enjoy. I will be researching a RO system for my home.

Again, thanks all.

Joe
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:55 PM   #7
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I have done this in the past. My well water is great for dark beers as well. I'm close to getting a new water calculator released that will support sparging with a different water source. Stay tuned.

Kai

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Old 01-28-2013, 04:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser View Post
I have done this in the past. My well water is great for dark beers as well. I'm close to getting a new water calculator released that will support sparging with a different water source. Stay tuned.

Kai
Calcium hydroxide included in the toolkit also I trust?
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Calcium hydroxide included in the toolkit also I trust?
Yes. But I still prefer chalk, though.

Kai
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