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Old 01-05-2013, 08:53 AM   #1
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Default Water profile advice

I haven't used any water adjustment yet, so i have no idea what numbers i should be adjusting and how. I know my water is probably better suited for a darker beer but i was thinking of making an APA or an IPA.
This is the profile from my local water spring (so tap water is similar but i don't know the amounts of chlorine used, but i could probably find out if needed):
PH: 7,50
Calcium: 169,69
Magnesium: 43,55
Sodium: 1,90
Sulfate: 17,02
Chloride: 13,01
Bicarbonate: 189,22

This is the profile from the bottled water that i had at hand:
PH: 7,40
Calcium: 62,90
Magnesium: 33,50
Sodium: 2,00
Sulfate: 6,70
Chloride: 1,50
Bicarbonate: 354,40

So are these two any good, or should i start at zero then build up? Any help would be appreciated

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Old 01-05-2013, 03:49 PM   #2
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Don't worry about how much chlorine is in the water. Just treat to get rid of all of it. See the Sticky on Campden tablets.

As you are not in the US I am not clear on what the units may be. It appears that the calcium and magnesium numbers are hardnesses (ppm as CaCO3) and the other numbers mg/L. Based on that assumption your water is pretty hard and somewhat alkaline. You will have to remove bicarbonate or neutralize it with acid. If you are in the UK then you will be able to obtain CRS which is great for water like yours as it simultaneously removes the bicarb while supplementing the chloride and sulfate which are both low for most ales and quite a few lagers. Another option is to boil the water. This will remove some hardness and some alkalinity. It's very easy to do but not so easy to know what the results are (i.e. how much hardness and alkalinity did you actually remove) unless you do some testing to determine that. These tests are pretty simple but the kits do cost a bit and it takes some time to carry out the tests. You can achieve the same results with lime but to do that right you really should monitor the pH during the process.

You should not use the bottles water you describe as it is laden with bicarbonate.

Starting from zero and building up is simple and always works but you must invest in a system which produces low mineral water or obtain it some other way (i.e. buy it). Another thing to consider is that you will learn a lot more water chemistry by treating your water than by synthesizing every time you brew.

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Old 01-05-2013, 04:14 PM   #3
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I agree that it appears that the Ca and Mg values are reported 'as CaCO3', so the concentrations of those ions are much lower. The water report comes reasonably close to balancing with that conversion to actual concentrations.

The calcium (68 ppm) and magnesium (10 ppm) are quite reasonable and hardness reduction is unnessary. All other ions are quite low. The only problem with this water is the excessive alkalinity. Therefore, there is no need to start with a system that produces low mineral water and building a profile up. Simple acidification is all that is needed. The alkalinity level is not likely to create taste effects from the acidification from lactic acid. If rice is from the UK (why are you cryptic with your location? the boogy man can't get you here), then CRS is a suitable alternative since the sulfate and chloride levels of the spring water are low. The bad thing about CRS is that it adds to both ion levels and that may be undesirable in a particular brew. The version of Bru'n Water provided to supporters includes CRS acidification calculations.

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Old 01-05-2013, 04:45 PM   #4
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In view of Martin's comment I'll get on board that hardness reduction is not necessary, in most cases, but may be desirable as a means of getting at the bicarb which, if you did it, would necessitate replacement of the calcium that precipitated (in most cases).

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Old 01-05-2013, 06:12 PM   #5
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i was not trying to be cryptic my location is croatia (short HR), i don't have a LHBS here so im not sure if i can get any of those things you mentioned. the values are all in ppm (i used an online convertor to input the profile to beersmith), witch i obviously entered wrong...
here are the original values, under 51 Jadro izvor

voda.jpg  
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:26 AM   #6
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So doing some research on campden tablets, i've found that ascorbic acid (vitamin c) is also good for removing chloramine.
http://www.fs.fed.us/eng/pubs/pdf/05231301.pdf
Can it be used in brewing?

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Old 01-06-2013, 10:41 AM   #7
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Yes, ascorbic acid is effective. One reason its not more widely used is that it is more costly than metabisulfite.

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Old 01-06-2013, 01:01 PM   #8
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Ascorbic acid has been used in brewing to keep finished beer in the reduced state (prevent staling) the problem with this being that the oxidized ascorbic acid is itself an oxidizing agent so that the effect in that particular application is not long term. I don't know what the implications of this might be in terms of using ascorbate to reduce chorine/chloramine (which it will do). I assume you are asking about this because of lack of availability of Campden tablets. Campden tablets are made up of sodium or potassium metabisulfite which is used by wine makers so if you have access to wine making supplies that is a potential solution for you or purchase of some of one or the other of these from a chemist (pharmacy) might be a possibility. Photographers 'hypo' (sodium thiosulfate) should also work (though that is hardly as readily available as it used to be). See the sticky here on Campden tablets even if you can't get them because it tells you how to use the minimum possible dose of any of these chemicals and be still be sure you got all the chloramine.

You can also remove chloramine by allowing the water to stand with aeration and by boiling but this takes longer than it does with simple chlorine. Details on some of these methods can be found at
http://hbd.org/ajdelange/Brewing_art...T_Chlorine.pdf

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Old 01-06-2013, 05:03 PM   #9
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thanks, i'll check out the wine making supplies stores as soon as i can.
so what about those other values, have i gotten them wrong?

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Old 01-06-2013, 07:11 PM   #10
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Actually, you should be able to buy Campden tablets at wine making supply shop

My surmise about the meaning of the numbers was good with the exception that the bicarbonate is listed "as CaCO3" which means that the number given is actually the alkalinity number. That doesn't change the conclusions.

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