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Old 02-27-2012, 01:01 AM   #1
madchemist83
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Default Water profile

So I just tested Napa water, only metals for now anions to come later today.
Na - 12 ppm
Mg - 23 ppm
Si - 6 ppm
K - 2 ppm
Ca - 30 ppm

Does mean I need to adjust it if I too brew Porter ?

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Old 02-28-2012, 08:59 PM   #2
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Also Cl is 10 ppm and SO4 is 55 ppm.

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Old 02-28-2012, 09:25 PM   #3
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How do you do Na and SO4?

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Old 02-29-2012, 02:14 AM   #4
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All metals done by ICP OES (inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy) and anions by IC (ion chtomatography).

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Old 02-29-2012, 04:26 AM   #5
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Wrong direction. Looking for something less expensive than ISE for sodium and turbidimitry for sulfate i.e. something that the serious home brewer might be able to use. Thanks.

As to the question about Porter: looks as if your alkalinity is about 128. That's pretty hefty. With enough dark malt you might overcome that but it would probably be a good move to dilute 1:1 to cut that alkalinity in half. Dark beers are difficult as there is so much variability in possible grain bills. Dark beers are where you really need to check mash pH.

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Old 02-29-2012, 04:45 AM   #6
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I'm actually testing it at work, so it's free for me
How did you determine my alkalinity? I can run carbonate test if it'll help.

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Old 02-29-2012, 05:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madchemist83 View Post
I'm actually testing it at work, so it's free for me
I was pretty sure you didn't have ICP gear in your basement.

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How did you determine my alkalinity? I can run carbonate test if it'll help.
Just assumed that there was no ion other than the ones you listed and bicarbonate present in significant amount and calculated the amount of bicarbonate necessary to bring the net charge to 0. Any nitrate, fluoride, iron, strontium, aluminum... will throw that off and I have to assume a sample pH to make the calculation so you might want to run bicarb.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:17 AM   #8
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Ok. There is no Chlorate or Bromate though, and no heavy metals .. I ran 21 element analysis.
You know they have those strips that measure alkalinity, pH, iron, copper and bicarbonate I think, $14 for 30
http://www.omega.com/pptst/WTS_Series.html

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Old 02-29-2012, 01:34 PM   #9
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There are strips (Hach) which do both forms of chlorine, pH, total hardness and alkalinity for around that price but the readings available are pretty coarse and brewers usually don't care about water pH or chlorine/chloramine levels (they do, of course, care wheter they have them or not and whether they have combated them successfully but a nose is usually good enough to make that determination.

A brewer can move up to drop count kits for alkalinity and hardness from aquarium suppliers for modest cost and for a bit more to better kits which allow him to get separate numbers for Mg and Ca. For a bit more than that he can invest in a digital titrator (simple manual device that dispenses titrant from a syringe whose plunger is operated by a lead screw whose turns are counted on an odometer like thing) which will allow him to determine alkalinity and both hardnesses quite accurately, simply and quickly. Chloride can also be determined this way and there are simple, relatively inexpensive kits for iron, copper etc. for people plagued by those but most aren't. The other 2 things we really care about as brewers are sulfate and sodium and when you get to those you hit a cost wall. There is a simple test for sulfate in which barium chloride and a dispersant are added to the sample which turns cloudy when barium sulfate precipitates. The problem is measuring the cloudiness. If you have a nephelometer or spectrophotometer you are set but either of those is out of the question for a home brewer unless he can find a used one in good shape (and I know home brewers who have done that but they are few). The situation for sodium is worse in the sense that there doesn't seem to be a practical chemical test (I seem to recall something involving some uranium salt) so that leaves ISE, AAS and ICP. ISE electrodes cost about $450 so they are out of the question and are miserable things to work with at the levels usually encountered in drinking water because the response is not linear in that region and the things take forever to come to equilibrium. In fact they never do so you must adopt a procedure like doing the cals and taking the sample readings 20 minutes after immersing the electrode. Obviously AAS and ICP are out of the question from the cost POV at least not to mention training.

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Old 02-29-2012, 05:07 PM   #10
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Wow I didn't know homebrewes go that far. I will research on sodium and let you know.

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