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Old 12-10-2012, 05:54 PM   #1
Jukas
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Default Water Report :High Alkalinity and PH?

So I recently pulled the most updated copy of my local water report and I'm wondering if I should be worried about what I think are relatively high levels of Alkanity, and PH.

PH 7.2 (Says Avg after Adjustment 8.29)
Sodium: 53.3 ppm
Total Hardness CaCO3: 144 ppm
Total Alkalinity as CaCO3: 250 ppm
Calcium: 28.6 ppm

Now I know Vinnie has said Russian River uses Santa Rosa municipal water and I believe they add gypsum but I have no idea if they make adjustments for alkalinity or for PH.

When I plugged my grist into ez water it estimated the PH at 6.03 and a recommended range of 5.4 - 5.6. Even if I used 100% RO water I would only hit 5.7 PH.

My recent batches have tasted great, with no water additions. I only started looking into water chemistry because I felt my IPA's were getting quite the hop profile I thought they would. Up until now all I've been doing is using campden tablets to treat for the chloramine I know is added.

So water chemistry is kind of a weak point currently, and I plan on sending off a sample to ward labs to have an accurate baseline report to go off of. I was planning on adding some gypsum to the boil, but should I now be workied about the alkalinity of the mash, and should I use something like mash 5.2 ph stabilizer?

Water Report:



Ez Water Calc with grist from Wheat IPA.

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Old 12-10-2012, 06:50 PM   #2
ajdelange
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukas View Post
I'm wondering if I should be worried about what I think are relatively high levels of Alkanity, and PH.

PH 7.2 (Says Avg after Adjustment 8.29)
Sodium: 53.3 ppm
Total Hardness CaCO3: 144 ppm
Total Alkalinity as CaCO3: 250 ppm
Calcium: 28.6 ppm
You are right to be concerned about your alkalinity. Don't worry about the pH. Whatever the pH may be an alkalinity at this level is of concern. The sodium is pretty high too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukas View Post
When I plugged my grist into ez water it estimated the PH at 6.03 and a recommended range of 5.4 - 5.6. Even if I used 100% RO water I would only hit 5.7 PH.
What it is telling you is that you need to add acid to most mashes to get proper mash pH even if alkalinity of the water is low.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukas View Post
So water chemistry is kind of a weak point currently, and I plan on sending off a sample to ward labs to have an accurate baseline report to go off of. I was planning on adding some gypsum to the boil, but should I now be workied about the alkalinity of the mash, and should I use something like mash 5.2 ph stabilizer?
This is the smart thing to do as you need to know what you are working with in order to know how to work with it. The alternative is to effectively throw your water, whatever it is like, away and use RO or RO/DI for all your brewing and quite a few brewers do exactly that. If you don't take that route there are things that can be done to most waters to combat alkalinity to at least some extent.

The Primer here will give you an idea as to what good brewing water is like and how to obtain it from RO water or another low mineral source. It's not the whole story by any means but it is a start.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:37 PM   #3
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You're looking at the wrong column of data. The values I would use are the reporting values in gray. Those agree with what the water quality report says in the pages before that report table. The alkalinity is not too bad and most of the hardness is temporary. There is no need to resort to RO water because of this tap water. Its an easy water to fix.

One thing I note is that the City draws from 2 deep wells during the summer dry period. I'm betting the water quality falls then. You should have aquarium test kits for hardness and alkalinity to assess when the water quality is lagging. You should visit the Bru'n Water website and read the Water Knowledge page.

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