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Old 04-02-2009, 02:37 AM   #1
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Default Best book for reading about water profiles? And tell me about mine...

I have a lot of brewing books, so there's a good chance I have a book that is already the best resource for this, but I would like your recommendations.

And here's my water profile (averages for the region I am in.) Let me know what you think.

Local Water - San Diego Alvarado
Calcium(Ca): 36.3 ppm
Magnesium(Mg): 17.0 ppm
Sodium(Na): 81.0 ppm
Sulfate(SO4): 165.0 ppm
Chloride (Cl): 90.7 ppm
Bicarbonate(HCO3): 133.0 ppm
PH: 8.1 PH



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Old 04-02-2009, 02:56 AM   #2
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There's a fair amount of minerals in your water with a relatively high level of carbonates. The closest traditional brewing water is perhaps London water. As is it is maybe best suited to dark ales, certainly porter. Palmer's "How to Brew" should have some good water information and "Brewing Lager Beer" by Noonan is very good in that area. The link below is a good overview.

Water And Homebrewing



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Old 04-02-2009, 03:13 AM   #3
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There's a fair amount of minerals in your water with a relatively high level of carbonates. The closest traditional brewing water is perhaps London water. As is it is maybe best suited to dark ales, certainly porter. Palmer's "How to Brew" should have some good water information and "Brewing Lager Beer" by Noonan is very good in that area. The link below is a good overview.

Water And Homebrewing
According to that article most everything falls within acceptable ranges. I should also probably try to figure out what my filter does for me.
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:23 AM   #4
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So, my filter removes chlorine and "sediment" but WTF are they removing in there? Anything I should be adding back in?

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Old 04-02-2009, 03:38 AM   #5
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So, my filter removes chlorine and "sediment" but WTF are they removing in there? Anything I should be adding back in?
AFAIK the typical home filter isn't going to remove any of the brewing ions in your water. As far as adding anything you need to compare your water with the traditional water profile for a particular beer style. For beers using water with low ion counts you will probably have to dilute your water with distilled or RO water as the first step.
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Old 04-02-2009, 04:02 AM   #6
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Easy enough. RO water is cheap from the machines. I will have to read further into it. My beer comes out pretty good, but I am always looking for refinement.

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Old 04-02-2009, 12:34 PM   #7
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My profile is AFAIK close to yours though I am waiting for the results of lab analysis I sent out for this week. For pale beers I mix 50-50 RO water and add back some calcium to make up for the dilution, for darker brews I use straight tap. I don't have an expensive carbon filter, just a cheap one which doesn't remove chlorine, so I treat with Campden to get rid of chloramine.

Water varies a lot around here, just a few miles to the southwest in Austin their water is about 1/3 the bicarbonates we have here in NW Pflugerville and over in E Pflugerville two miles away from me Soperbrew is still getting well water which is a stunning 430ppm bicarbonates! Did you get those #s from a lab test? If not you may want to have an analysis done since municipal sources can vary a lot...

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Old 04-02-2009, 03:29 PM   #8
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My profile is AFAIK close to yours though I am waiting for the results of lab analysis I sent out for this week. For pale beers I mix 50-50 RO water and add back some calcium to make up for the dilution, for darker brews I use straight tap. I don't have an expensive carbon filter, just a cheap one which doesn't remove chlorine, so I treat with Campden to get rid of chloramine.

Water varies a lot around here, just a few miles to the southwest in Austin their water is about 1/3 the bicarbonates we have here in NW Pflugerville and over in E Pflugerville two miles away from me Soperbrew is still getting well water which is a stunning 430ppm bicarbonates! Did you get those #s from a lab test? If not you may want to have an analysis done since municipal sources can vary a lot...
I did just use the averages from the municipal site. I could probably send it off for analysis, but when I talked to the director of the water authority, he said that the numbers have been pretty consistent for years.

I also checked the ranges in the bordering treatment plant, and their numbers are very close, so I went with the worse of the two each time. Maybe I will still get my water tested, but for now, I'm thinking this is a good start.
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Old 04-02-2009, 05:51 PM   #9
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Palmer's How to Brew is the best source I have found for water information. It took me awhile to understand it all, but I'm finally there.

How to Brew - By John Palmer - Understanding the Mash pH

Palmer's spreadsheet is helpful to understand how dilution or salt additions change the water profile. It is at the end of the water chapter listed above.

That being said, your water looks pretty good. I would dilute with about 50%-70% distilled water for pale beers to bring down the bicarbonate levels. Add back some calcium to keep that level above 50 ppm. That water would work fine for amber and dark beers as is.



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