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Old 11-24-2008, 02:47 PM   #1
mangine77
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Default Anyone willing to analyze my water??

would really appreciate someone who can interpret all this information comprehensively.

Alkilinity-Calcium Carbonate_ 190-195
Hardness- 250 mg/L
Mangenese .2 mg/L
Iron .03 mg/L
Chlorine .4-.5 mg/L
Chloride 30 mg/L
Sulfate 60 mg/L
Sodium 20 mg/L
Calcium 80 mg/L

Total Disolved Solids 380 mg/L

Water pH- 7.1-7.3

All I can make of this is that I have really Hard Water. Do folks see other things that might be concerning?? Hard water is good for brewing though right??



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Old 11-24-2008, 03:08 PM   #2
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Yes hard water.

You are set for brewing dark beers (of course you'll need to run through a carbon filter to remove the chlorine)

For lighter styles you are either going to want to dilute your water (with reverse osmosis or distilled water), or pre-boil it to precipitate out the bicarbonates (Alkalinity), those are too high for anything but a porter or stout.

If you are doing a hoppy style you'll want to cut it with distilled or RO water (by half or so) and add gypsum, how much depends on your batch size.

Magnesium numbers would be helpful.



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Old 11-24-2008, 03:12 PM   #3
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I don't know about your water....but
Palmer says soft water is good for brewing b/c you can add various salts to change the profile. This lets you match the historic ground water from whatever region you are trying to mimic the predominant beer style.

I have well water that has high disolved iron so I had to get one of those expensive ion water treatment systems...had my treated water profile worked up a lab and there were zeros accross the board. It's so soft it won't rinse soap away.

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Old 11-24-2008, 05:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conpewter View Post
Yes hard water.

You are set for brewing dark beers (of course you'll need to run through a carbon filter to remove the chlorine)

For lighter styles you are either going to want to dilute your water (with reverse osmosis or distilled water), or pre-boil it to precipitate out the bicarbonates (Alkalinity), those are too high for anything but a porter or stout.

If you are doing a hoppy style you'll want to cut it with distilled or RO water (by half or so) and add gypsum, how much depends on your batch size.

Magnesium numbers would be helpful.
So what would not filtering out the chlorine do to the brew?? The reason I ask is because I'm having difficulty in flavors with my dark beers and my lighter styles have turned out good.

It's almost a solventy like taste at the end of my recent oatmeal stout and porter. Do I have high chlorine levels??
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:53 PM   #5
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I have similar numbers to you in my water, I always pre-boil and cover till cool. Whirlpool and then drain my kettle as normal leaving the precipitants behind. Makes the water taste a little more "twangy", but when used to brew has always yielded superior results to just carbon filtering cold from the tap. This is with my pale ales, IPAs, and even a lighter golden ale. I would leave it be for anything darker like porter or stout though. Our water tastes great but pre-boiling has always made a better beer (style specific) from it for some reason.

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Old 11-24-2008, 06:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WortMonger View Post
I have similar numbers to you in my water, I always pre-boil and cover till cool. Whirlpool and then drain my kettle as normal leaving the precipitants behind. Makes the water taste a little more "twangy", but when used to brew has always yielded superior results to just carbon filtering cold from the tap. This is with my pale ales, IPAs, and even a lighter golden ale. I would leave it be for anything darker like porter or stout though. Our water tastes great but pre-boiling has always made a better beer (style specific) from it for some reason.
Sorry for being a newbie but what do you mean by whirlpool and leaving the precipitants behind?

Do most brewers here use a filter from their tap? I've just been using water directly from the tap. Maybe this is taking away from the quality.

What do you think? Are we talking about starting with like a Brita faucet filter. Sorry for the basic questions.
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:45 PM   #7
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Well Chlorine can cause

Medicinal
These flavors are often described as mediciney, Band-Aid™ like, or can be spicy like cloves.


Generally if you just put it through a brita filter as you mentioned that will clear out chlorine, boiling it will help precipitate out the bicarbonates (taking calcium with them)

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Old 11-25-2008, 05:12 AM   #8
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When you boil water the Mg and Ca make the carbonates precipitate out into a salty looking mass on the bottom of your boil kettle reducing the total hardness of the water, but also decreases the pH a little in doing so (which is a good thing). Whirlpooling is a centrifugal action brewers do after the boil to cause everything to pool to the middle so siphon/draining without sediment is possible. Simply stir the water/wort and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. You will see all the precipitates/break in the center of your kettle. If you allow pre-boiled water to be exposed to air after the boil it will start to reabsorb the CO2 in the air and hence back-step what you are trying to do precipitating out carbon linked sedimentation. Try it in your microwave with a coffee cup to see what I am talking about. Boil water and cover and let cool, then see the Mg and Ca on the bottom of the cup. If you induce oxygen during the cool down more will precipitate, but it isn't really necessary.

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Old 11-25-2008, 05:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangine77 View Post
Sorry for being a newbie but what do you mean by whirlpool and leaving the precipitants behind?

Do most brewers here use a filter from their tap? I've just been using water directly from the tap. Maybe this is taking away from the quality.

What do you think? Are we talking about starting with like a Brita faucet filter. Sorry for the basic questions.
Yup, and the Brita will work just fine, it's actually what I use.
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:13 PM   #10
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So if you were going to brew tomorrow with this water profile and you didn't have access to a water filter, what would you do to the water ahead of time.

Should I pull all the water I need the night before and let it sit?? In the fridge? On the counter?

Ultimately with what you see in my water should I be letting the water sit and then running it through a Brita?

I realize that it is different for different styles of beer? Should I just leave it alone for darker beers besides filtering?

From what I've read it sounds like if I want to do any "lighter varieties" I'm going to have to add something to the water? Is that right?

I'm going to try and brew a Pale Ale tonight. What should I do with the water for a better pale ale?

Sorry about all the questions but I obviously need to get this water thing figured out if I'm going to improve my brewing. Thanks!



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Last edited by mangine77; 11-25-2008 at 01:35 PM.
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