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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Help Decipher my water report
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:39 PM   #1
mrdauber64
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Default Help Decipher my water report

Hi,

I just received my water report from the place I buy my bottled water from(Great Value Spring Water from Walmart, bottled by Chippewa Premium Waters Inc.). Now I don't know what any of it means. Do I need to add anything to it? Also I do both All-Grain and Extract, would I need to adjust my water when doing extract batches too? I brew more hoppy beers than anything with the occasional stout mixed in there.

Please note that I don't know what any of this means, so if I include something that isn't important please ignore it. Also if I am missing something important please let me know and I will find that on the report. The report I got from them is 5 pages long!

Alkalinity: 21
BiCarbonate: 21
Calcium: 14.5
Chloride: 19.6
Corrosivity: -2.3
Hardness, Calcium: 36.2
Hardness, Total: 56.8
Magnesium: 5
pH: 6.5
Sodium: 7.6
Sulfate: 8
TDS: 122

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

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Old 02-25-2012, 07:53 PM   #2
tgmartin000
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Pretty decent brewing water. Low alkalinity water, with a relatively low pH, means your mash pH should be in about the proper range. If anything you may need to add alkalinity, especially with darker beers. I'd probably add some gypsum to get your calcium in range and to balance out your chlorides.

Also download a water calculator like ez water, it's free and user friendly.

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Old 02-25-2012, 09:27 PM   #3
Holter
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I am very new to this stuff, but from what i see your water is very low in most of the numbers you should care about, meaning if it tastes good you should be able to use it to brew most styles without much dilution by adding different salts to hit specific profile goals.

My first question would be about the water report you requested, is that something you sent in a sample of or is it something you requested from the water provider? Did they tell you if these numbers are going to be consistent throughout the year or if you should expect fluctuations? Most municipal water suppliers provide water that varies a lot between different times of the year. Obviously this water supplier is different and they may see less fluctuations, but it would still be good to know what to expect.

My second question would be how were each of the numbers reported to you? Some of the elements, like sulfate, can be reported in different methods which will need to be converted to use in most of the calculators available online or in your brewing software. So i would make sure you are using the same values when you adjust your water.

From there, I would expect to almost always add something to your water whenever you brew. Calcium sticks out to me as something i would want higher. I believe you would want it to be above 50 for brewing because yeast like calcium. Just remember that using a calculator is the best way because when you add one salt to adjust your calcium levels, it is going to adjust more than just calcium. Its almost like a rubix cube where if you just focus on one side of the cube all of the other sides will be out of whack. It takes careful attention to detail.

What i learned from posting my water report on here is that you cannot expect people to look at your water report and tell you if you need to add anything to your water to use i for brewing. You need to take the values provided to you by the water company and plug them into a water calculator along with plugging in the recipe you want to brew.

Using those spreadsheets, especially Bru'n Water, will teach you the basics of what each brewing salt will do to your water. Once you get a better understanding of that, the questions you will need to ask are about the levels you are trying to achieve and if the more educated people on this forum think that your water profile with your adjustments will make a good beer with your ingredients.

I hope this helps and I hope my info is close to correct! I only started learning about this stuff in the last two months or so.

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