Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Water from water filter..

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-07-2010, 04:36 PM   #1
Cazamodo
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ipswich UK
Posts: 228
Default Water from water filter..

All of our water runs through a water softner. The water filters through salt, and tbh I'm not sure what effect it has. (Apart from softening it)

Am I ok to brew with this? Im guessing all the minerals and such will not be in my water.

Am i better to use my hose water, which i beleive is quite hard, and just adjust it.

Or will i get away with this softened water and just add to that?

Im pretty confussed on this.

__________________
Cazamodo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-07-2010, 05:10 PM   #2
ajdelange
Senior Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 5,852
Liked 568 Times on 468 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazamodo View Post
All of our water runs through a water softner. The water filters through salt, and tbh I'm not sure what effect it has. (Apart from softening it)
The resin in the softener is loaded with sodium. As your source water passes through the resin sodium ions are released and "exchanged" for calcium and magnesium ions from the source water. The output water is now low in calcium and magnesium and high in sodium.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazamodo View Post
Am I ok to brew with this? Im guessing all the minerals and such will not be in my water.
It is certainly done but not a good idea. Calcium and magnesium in the mash tun offset the pH raising effects of carbonate. Carbonate passes through a softener unimpeded so pH will be higher than with unsoftened water. Sodium at high levels tastes bad and poisons yeast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazamodo View Post
Am i better to use my hose water, which i beleive is quite hard, and just adjust it.
Best to turn that belief into certainty. Get the water tested. The answer to the question really depends on the available water's analysis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazamodo View Post
Or will i get away with this softened water and just add to that?
In general, no, but in some cases (such as where the water is relatively soft) you might.
__________________
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-07-2010, 08:50 PM   #3
Cazamodo
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ipswich UK
Posts: 228
Default

I can find my areas water quality report. But what exactly would i be looking for on it?
I know that with no filter, our water is very hard.

__________________
Cazamodo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-07-2010, 10:05 PM   #4
ajdelange
Senior Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 5,852
Liked 568 Times on 468 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

Most send a sample off to Ward Labs as they return an ideal analysis for brewers. I think it's $35 or so. The advantage is that you get readings on what comes out of your tap - not the average of a month's readings at the water plant's clearwell outlet. If you decide to use your supplier's report (which is fine for getting started) the things to look for are pH, Calcium (or calcium hardness), Magnesium (or magnesium hardness), Alkalinity (or bicarbonate), Sulfate, Sodium and Chloride. Of secondary importance: nitrate, iron, and potassium.

__________________
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-07-2010, 10:53 PM   #5
Cazamodo
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ipswich UK
Posts: 228
Default

Ill have a look tomo and see what I can find. I also need to research where i can send my water off to.

I'm in the UK, and have found the biggest problem with looking for info so far is that everything is different from the US to UK. I need to move out there asap haha

__________________
Cazamodo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-07-2010, 11:33 PM   #6
ajdelange
Senior Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 5,852
Liked 568 Times on 468 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

Silly of me. I did notice that you were in the UK but it didn't click when I recommended Ward Labs.

__________________
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-08-2010, 11:21 AM   #7
Cazamodo
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ipswich UK
Posts: 228
Default

Ok from what i can make out of this report. Still looking on a place to send my water, but at least i can get a general idea of what its apparently like, i have found this....

Hardness as calcium (milligrammes per litre) - 160.4
Hardness as calcium carbonate (milligrammes per litre) - 401

Flouride - 0.302 milligrammes per litre
Lead - 1.18 microgrammes per litre
Nitrate - 32.05 milligrammes per litre.
Chlorine - 0.3 milligrammes per litre free chlorine and 0.420 milligrammes per litre total chlorine.
pH (Hydrogen ion) - 7.21
Calcium - 149 (not sure what that 149 is? it comes under the header, concentration or value, i believe its mmg per litre again.)
Magnesium - 6.9
Alkalinity - 287
Potassium - 4.14
Iron - <10
Sodium - 27.6


Where do i go from here, as i have no clue what this means?

__________________
Cazamodo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-08-2010, 12:40 PM   #8
ajdelange
Senior Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 5,852
Liked 568 Times on 468 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazamodo View Post
Ok from what i can make out of this report. Still looking on a place to send my water, but at least i can get a general idea of what its apparently like, i have found this....

Hardness as calcium (milligrammes per litre) - 160.4
Hardness as calcium carbonate (milligrammes per litre) - 401
These two say the same thing. The water is very hard! The equivalent weight of calcium is 20 grams per mole meaning that 20 grams of calcium ion has 6.023E23 positive charges associated with it thus your calcium hardness is 160.4/20 = 8 milliequivalents per liter. Hardness "as Calcium carbonate" is just 50 times the equivalence so yours is 50*8 = 400.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazamodo View Post
Flouride - 0.302 milligrammes per litre
Enough to protect your kids' teeth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazamodo View Post
Lead - 1.18 microgrammes per litre
Don't remember what the limit is here but obviously the lower the better.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazamodo View Post
Nitrate - 32.05 milligrammes per litre.
Pretty high but shouldn't be a problem for brewing. Nitrite is though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazamodo View Post
Chlorine - 0.3 milligrammes per litre free chlorine and 0.420 milligrammes per litre total chlorine.
This means that the municipality disinfects the water with chlorine and then adds ammonia to stabilize the chlorine, quite possibly after UV treatment because these levels are low (if the whole job is done with chlorine 1.5 - 3 mg/L total would be more typical. The 0.12 mg/L bound (not free) chlorine is a compound called chloramine which can be a problem in brewing but at this level you should be OK. Crush the corner of a Campden tablet and add to the water if you want to be absolutely certain that it won't bother you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazamodo View Post
pH (Hydrogen ion) - 7.21
Interestingly enough, this doesn't really tell you much. You need it if you are doing precise calculations though. 7.21 is very typical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazamodo View Post
Calcium - 149 (not sure what that 149 is? it comes under the header, concentration or value, i believe its mmg per litre again.)
This means the same thing as above wrt calcium so the question is as to why two slightly different values are given in 2 different places in the report.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazamodo View Post
Magnesium - 6.9
This is another source of hardness and it too can be expressed in mg/L as here or as ppm as CaCO3 in which case the number is 28.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazamodo View Post
Alkalinity - 287
This is actually a measure of the resistance of the water to pH reduction in the mash tun. Indirectly it is a measure of the amount of bicarbonate in the water. If you dissolve 100 mg calcium carbonate (chalk, limestone) in a liter of water using, in imitation of nature, carbon dioxide as the requisite acid, the alkalinity of the solution will be 100 mg/L and the hardness of the solution will be 100 mg/L. That's why both hardness and alkalinity are reported "as CaCO3".
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazamodo View Post
Potassium - 4.14
Quite high (typically a mg or 2 per liter) but not problematical

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazamodo View Post
Iron - <10
Not very informative. You can taste iron in water at 0.3 mg/L or more. For brewing 0.1 or less is better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazamodo View Post
Sodium - 27.6
Not by itself too high but when you use the softener it will replace the 8 mEq/L calcium we noted above and also the 0.6 mEq/L magnesium with 8.6 mEq/L sodium which will add 184 mg/L to the 28 for a total of 212. That's quite a bit but beer can be brewed with water with that level of sodium. Better not to though.

Equally important as what you have given me is what you have not i.e. levels of sulfate and chloride. There have to be appreciable amounts of those to balance the bicarbonate. IOW your water contains a goodly component of "permanent hardness". It would take 200 mg/L sulfate or or 146 mg/L chloride to balance. In fact it is doubtless somewhere between probably with more sulfate than chloride. This high sulfate has implications for many styles among them being that it defines the Burton style ales.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazamodo View Post
Where do i go from here, as i have no clue what this means?
This is going to be challenging water to brew with. It is very alkaline (problem) and, while hard, not hard enough to offset all that alkalinity. Boiling before use will cause a fair amount of the alkalinity to precipitate - you might get the alkalinity to around 50 and the "residual alkalinity" (the part of alkalinity not "cancelled" by calcium down to 15 - 20 which is very respectable (compared to the 169 without boiling). This boiled water should be fine for many ales but the high sulfate level would probably not work so well for lagers.

There's obviously a lot more to this than I can put in a single response. I'd suggest poking around the archives in various fora (such as this one) for discussions of what water is suitable for which beer. General recommendations never cover all situations but the one thing that will give you a drinkable and even good beer in nearly all cases is reverse osmosis water with a tsp of calcium chloride dihydrate in each 5 gal (US).
__________________
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-08-2010, 02:25 PM   #9
Cazamodo
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ipswich UK
Posts: 228
Default

Thanks for all the info!
Ill scour some forums to get a better idea of what water to brew with. I hope to make stouts and darker beers rather than lagers, so hopefully I can find a good water profile to base that on.
The info i left out is actually in the report, i just didnt realise i needed it!

But thanks again, Ill be sure to post back if i have any more questions

__________________
Cazamodo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
North Penn Water Authority (Montgomery Co., PA) Water Report lebshiff21 Brew Science 11 04-30-2014 10:13 PM
IPA water recipe - adjusting high bicarbonate water conpewter Brew Science 19 10-01-2010 05:29 PM
Well Water Filter bnut Brew Science 10 09-15-2010 07:01 PM
Water adjustment - Austin, TX water chloramines pale ale anastasis Brew Science 4 04-02-2010 05:31 PM
Tucson, AZ water profile results from water dept. herbler Brew Science 40 02-02-2010 04:31 PM