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Old 03-24-2011, 08:07 PM   #1
stanley1271
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Default Water Profile Help



So I contacted my water supplier (the county) and they sent me the information in this image. So I have looked at both BeerSmith and the EZ Water Calculator Spreadsheet 2.0, but they are both looking for Magnesium and Sodium and I am not chemist so I am not sure if what they are looking for is in the above image (unless they were to spell it out that is). So is this enough information to figure out how I need to adjust my water? I will be looking into getting the Ph strips this weekend.

According to the EZ Water Calculator Spreadsheet 2.0 the Magnesium is the only thing that is out of "Palmer's Recommended Ranges", but that is because it is at 0 right now. This is with no adjustments, just the "Starting Info" filled in.

So if i went on just what I have below, I would say that my water is fine as is, however I am not sure what to do about the Magnesium & Sodium values.



EDIT: Just noticed the first image has conflicting data from what I put on the EZ Calc one.
EDIT: Fixed second image.

TIA
-Stanley
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:00 PM   #2
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They've told you the total hardness is 205 and the calcium hardness is 152. The difference between these, 53, is (absent strontium or other things that show up in the total hardness test, the magnesium hardness. Although the hardnesses are listed as 'mg/L' it is certain that they are actually 'mg/L as calcium cabonate' so that the calcium number must be divided by 50 and multiplied by 20 to give 60.8 mg/L and the magnesium number must be divided by 50 and multiplied by 12.15 to give 12.8 mg/L.

I'd call them up and ask about the sodium. I doubt they put salt on the roads very often and the moderate chloride is an indicator that the sodium probably isn't too high. Sodium is a "don't care" in brewing unless it gets pretty high and that's high enough that you would be able to taste it in the water.

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Old 03-24-2011, 10:21 PM   #3
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Ok using the number you calculated ajdelange, to make a Balanced brew I would need to add about one-half gram of Calcium Chloride to the mash. The part I am unsure of on this spreadsheet is where I check the "Adj for Sparge Water" and the spreadsheet says "Sparge Additions (add to boil)". This is telling me to add another 1.6 grams of the Calcium Chloride to the sparge water correct?

So from what I have been reading the Ph ideal level should be 5.2. This spreadsheet has an acceptable range of 5.2 - 5.7 and a Desired Range of 5.2 - 5.4 and as stated it is merely an estimate based on some calculations. I intend to actually check the Ph levels before my next brew day, but figured I would get a head start on the water part.

As far as the Sodium levels go, I do not think it would be anything to worry about, but I will be calling them later to see what they can tell me.

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Old 03-25-2011, 12:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanley1271 View Post
Ok using the number you calculated ajdelange, to make a Balanced brew I would need to add about one-half gram of Calcium Chloride to the mash. The part I am unsure of on this spreadsheet is where I check the "Adj for Sparge Water" and the spreadsheet says "Sparge Additions (add to boil)". This is telling me to add another 1.6 grams of the Calcium Chloride to the sparge water correct?
I am as confused as you about the sparge water thing. 99.999% of the time I sparge with the same water I brew with and just prepare as much of that as I need. I don't actually do it that way but it's equivalent to doing it that way. Actually someone might find my method useful so her it is. My HLT is 36" deep. I put all the salts I am going to need for 55 gal in each of two 50 mL centrifuge tubes and add DI water to make each up to 36 mL. At the outset I dump one tube into the full HLT and mix it in. As I top up the HLT during the brew day I add 1 cc of salt concentrate (from the second tube) for each inch of water I add to the HLT.

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Originally Posted by stanley1271 View Post
So from what I have been reading the Ph ideal level should be 5.2. This spreadsheet has an acceptable range of 5.2 - 5.7 and a Desired Range of 5.2 - 5.4 and as stated it is merely an estimate based on some calculations. I intend to actually check the Ph levels before my next brew day, but figured I would get a head start on the water part.
There is room for lots of discussion as to what the ideal pH range should be. I tend to favor 5.4 as the sweet spot.

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I intend to actually check the Ph levels before my next brew day, but figured I would get a head start on the water part.
This implies that you may be under the misapprehension that it is water pH that is important. It is actually mash pH. You want to check that right after dough in an a few other times as you brew.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
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This implies that you may be under the misapprehension that it is water pH that is important. It is actually mash pH. You want to check that right after dough in an a few other times as you brew.
Yes I understand that is the mash pH that is what I am worried about and I guess I missed that in my post. My plan is really to log the pH as I go along. So I will get the pH of the water before the mash, then take a sample of the mash and let it cool to get the pH and then again after fermentation.

This is mostly for me to learn every aspect I can about my brew and find ways I can improve my beers. I have a notebook that I have been making notes in and keeping track of what I have found along the way. I really need to find a way to make my notes more usable, because right now I have to keep searching through pages and pages.

Thanks.
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:36 PM   #6
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If you figure that one out, let us know.

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Old 03-25-2011, 03:04 PM   #7
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Send your water sample to Ward Labs. They give you all the info you need.

Home Brewer Water Sample

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Old 03-25-2011, 05:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jetmac View Post
Send your water sample to Ward Labs. They give you all the info you need.

Home Brewer Water Sample
Ya I was going to do that, but then I found the local water contacts. My water tastes fine from the tap, so I have been using that for the last couple of batches. One was an IPA and the other a Pale Ale. Both will be bottled (IPA = 2.5gal) and kegged (Pale Ale = 5gal) so I should know if there is anything up after I have tasted them. So far I have not noticed any off flavors in them. They taste like flat beer at this point.

If things seem off on something else I might use Ward Labs later.

-Stanley
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