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Old 09-05-2012, 10:26 PM   #1
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Default Water Profile for Highland IL

Just got the water report back from WardLabs and wanted to see what you guys thought. I do see a red flag when it comes to the Nitrate level with UNSAFE in parentheses.

So what do you guys think is the best style to brew with this water?

pH 7.6
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 299
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.50
Cations / Anions, me/L 5.5 / 5.8

ppm:
Sodium, Na 32
Potassium, K 3
Calcium, Ca 45
Magnesium, Mg 21
Total Hardness, CaCO3 200
Nitrate, NO3-N 11.3 (UNSAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 19
Chloride, Cl 55
Carbonate, CO3 < 1
Bicarbonate, HCO3 135
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 111
Total Phosphorus, P 0.44
Total Iron, Fe < 0.01

Thanks everybody,

John

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Old 09-06-2012, 01:08 AM   #2
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It looks like you have fertilizer (NPK) in your water. That’s probably OK, as I imagine the yeast will love it. My worry would be atrazine. Also you have moderately high alkalinity. My guess is that anything lighter than an Amber would require RO dilution or acidification.

It’s weird that your nitrates would be that high in a drought. When was the sample taken?

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Old 09-06-2012, 01:58 AM   #3
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Cooper, do you know if your water source is piped in Lake Michigan water or does you municipality use well water or a combination? Just curious if you sample is representative of the Chicagoland area.

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Old 09-06-2012, 02:35 AM   #4
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The 'safe' level is 10 so you aren't too far over that and 'safe' is defined for infants so while I wouldn't give this water to infants it's probably OK for adults. For brewing you would have to dilute with low ion water for most beers. This will, of course, in addition to lowering alkalinity to more acceptable levels, dilute the nitrate.

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Old 09-06-2012, 02:51 AM   #5
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Disregard my previous question. I just now realized Highland, IL is near St. Louis not Chicago. :-)

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Old 09-06-2012, 12:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wynne-R View Post
It looks like you have fertilizer (NPK) in your water. That’s probably OK, as I imagine the yeast will love it. My worry would be atrazine. Also you have moderately high alkalinity. My guess is that anything lighter than an Amber would require RO dilution or acidification.

It’s weird that your nitrates would be that high in a drought. When was the sample taken?
That's fantastic, SWMBO is going to LOVE hearing that...
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
The 'safe' level is 10 so you aren't too far over that and 'safe' is defined for infants so while I wouldn't give this water to infants it's probably OK for adults. For brewing you would have to dilute with low ion water for most beers. This will, of course, in addition to lowering alkalinity to more acceptable levels, dilute the nitrate.
Is it common for more rural areas to have that much nitrate in their water? Is this something I should bring to the attention of my water company or do they generally not care about "slightly elevated" levels?
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:42 PM   #8
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So I'm thinking I should pretty much stick to RO/distilled water and follow the primer.

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Old 09-06-2012, 12:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wynne-R View Post
It looks like you have fertilizer (NPK) in your water. That’s probably OK, as I imagine the yeast will love it. My worry would be atrazine. Also you have moderately high alkalinity. My guess is that anything lighter than an Amber would require RO dilution or acidification.

It’s weird that your nitrates would be that high in a drought. When was the sample taken?
I sent the sample off last week and they emailed me the results yesterday. Where did you get the Atrazine? I'm not seeing that in the results...
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:13 PM   #10
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I don't see fertilizer either - though I guess it could be. . Nitrates at that level are not that uncommon in regions with certain geologies. Munich water, for example, occasionally goes higher in nitrates that yours and I suppose that could come from fertilizer too because they do have farms in Bavaria.

Given that you mentioned that the water comes from a supplier as opposed to your own well I'm a little surprised as 10 mg/L is a primary MCL. Your water company should know about it but it might be a good idea to call over there and tell them that you have had a report of nitrate above the MCL and say you are concerned.

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/crops/00517.html is kind of a nice summary of nitrate in drinking water.

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