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Old 10-08-2012, 05:26 PM   #11
ajdelange
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The water quality report was recorded in ranges and the highest was posted.
That explains the large imbalance. And also clearly most of the time your situation is not as dire as the maximum numbers might lead us to believe unless the variances (deviations from the average values) are small. This doesn't change the basic advice, however.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:21 PM   #12
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But how do you know that 200 ppm of something will make better beer then 230 ppm. It's so complex and unless you know exact composition of your water or using ro water and add 99.99% pure salts it's diffucult to judge what's better. It could be a number of other factors too.

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Old 10-09-2012, 01:49 AM   #13
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For starters it is rare that a good beer is made with water containing 200 ppm of anything with the possible exception of sulfate and that's an acquired taste. But the answer to your question is that you know 230 is better than 200 because you have brewed it with 230 and with 200 and it tastes better to you at 230. Note: as living things tend to respond logarithmically its also quite unlikely that a beer made with 230 would be perceptibly different from one made with 200.

As you suggest the way to win this battle is indeed to use RO or DI or otherwise low mineral water and build up to desired mineral levels with salt additions. You don't need 18 MΩ water or ACS grade salts - again, because of logarithmic response a few percent variability is tolerable. The other approach, again as you suggest, is to do a careful analysis of the water before each brew and adjust salt content to what you desire. This is, IMO, much more complicated than the RO approach but there are those who disagree and if it is difficult for a brewer to obtain RO water then they are right but it generally isn't difficult to obtain it these days.

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Old 10-09-2012, 09:23 PM   #14
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Isn't ro water is more expensive ? I guess if you are lucky and your water is pretty soft then all you do is just add salts. Also don't forget pH changes associated with salt addition

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Old 10-09-2012, 09:59 PM   #15
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Isn't ro water is more expensive ?
Yes, I suppose so. There are certainly capital costs and you must pay for the electricity to run the pressure pump and replace the filters and membranes from time to time. If you buy it then there is that cost plus the cost of the petrol you burn in getting to the store where you buy it. There is a trade here. If you want the best beer you have to spring for the best materials, use the best methods, have good equipment....


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I guess if you are lucky and your water is pretty soft then all you do is just add salts.
Those who have 'RO' water coming out of their taps as supplied by the municipality are fortunate indeed.

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Also don't forget pH changes associated with salt addition
These are thoroughly understood.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:43 AM   #16
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i'll get on reading about water chemistry if it improves my beer

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