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-   -   Got my water report. Please help. (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/got-my-water-report-please-help-142699/)

Lodovico 10-21-2009 03:05 AM

Got my water report. Please help.
 
Got a few numbers back from my water company. Can someone give me an idea of what this means for my brews?? How would you adjust for various styles or can I leave my water alone??

I would really appreciate any help because these numbers mean nothing to me. Thanks!


Calcium Ca (ppm)- 81 ppm

Sodium NA (ppm)- 20 ppm

Sulfate SO4 (ppm)- 50 ppm

Chloride Cl (ppm)- 30 ppm

PH level- 7.1 to 7.3

Hardness as (CaCO3) 238 ppm

Alkalinity as (CaCO3) 190 ppm

HarkinBanks 10-21-2009 03:18 AM

Download Brewater 3.0 and adjust to your desired water based on style. You will need to bring down your ph for mashes to around 5.2 to 5.4. Might want to use 5.2 mash for that. Where in PA is this water?

Lodovico 10-21-2009 03:24 AM

Meadville. About an hour and 10 minutes north of Pittsburgh.

Lodovico 10-21-2009 03:24 AM

So I've been brewing with this water for a long time now and not adjusting anything.

What effects is that PH level having on my beers??

desertbronze 10-21-2009 03:54 AM

From How to Brew

http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter15-1.html

There's a very good spreadsheet at the end of that chapter that will help you to determine the best beers for your water and how to adjust the water to suit your needs. I entered your data in the spreadsheet - your water is ideal for beers around 18-19 SRM according to Palmer's spreadsheet.

Did you get a test for magnesium? Not a critical element, but it is usually included in water reports.

In general, I aim for these ranges
calcium - 50 to 150 ppm
sodium - 0 to 50 ppm
sulfate - 50 to 150 ppm (up to 350 ppm for very hoppy beers)
chloride - 50 to 150 ppm
carbonate - under 50 ppm for light colored beers - 50 to 150 ppm for ambers - 150 to 250 + for dark beers

Your water should be good for dark beers as is. I would dilute with 50% distilled water for ambers and 80% distilled water for pale beers.

MattHollingsworth 10-21-2009 08:07 AM

I use the spreadsheet from Palmer that desertbronze posted above me here.

I also preboil my water to remove carbonate. If you want to get your number down, you might try that.

See my thread on this here:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/effe...bonate-134108/

Dave Miller says:

Quote:

You can estimate the effect of boiling for decarbonation (removing bicarbonate) by the following formula: boiling will remove all but about 30 to 40 ppm of carbonate-bicarbonate; at the same time, it will remove 3 ppm of calcium for every 5 ppm of carbonate. For example, if your water has a total alkalinity of 150 ppm, boiling will remove 110 to 120 ppm of that amount. At the same time, the calcium content of your water will be lowered by 66 to 72 ppm.
Which essentially means that with your water, if you preboil it and rack the water off of the chalky crap in the kettle, with your calcium of 81, you can remove around 135 ppm of bicarbonate. I do this and then dilute with distilled water. If this is too much effort, you can just dilute with distilled water and adjust with salts if necessary. That spreadsheet has dilution with distilled water. With my method I nail the pH every mash.

Look at Palmer's info on bicarbonate and the other salts to see what levels are good.

Lodovico 10-21-2009 06:55 PM

So is this a bad water profile for IPA's?? It seems that my dark beers turn out better than my lighter ones. Could this profile explain some of that??

Is this profile so off that I shouldn't attempt brewing any pale beers until I learn to adjust my water?? I've read the links posted but some of it is still over my head.

Thanks!

Bobby_M 10-21-2009 07:06 PM

If you have Excel, get this: http://www.huizingh.net/EZ_water_adjustment.xls
If not, use this: www.huizingh.net/EZ-water-calculator.htm

Correct. You have too much alkalinity for a light beer as is. You'd be fine for a hoppy amber but not a pale IPA. You'd probably need to cut with 50% RO/Distilled and add back in a pinch (1gram in 6 gallons) of CaCO3, CaCl, and MgSO4.

Lodovico 10-21-2009 08:30 PM

I just emailed the Commercial Brewery that is down the road from my house and asked them what they do with their water in preparation for brewing.

They emailed back and said that they simply boil all of the brewing water for 2 hours and that's it. They don't add a thing for any of their beer styles. The use the water as is and they make a good variety of beers.

Given the water report I posted, is this surprising?? These guys make great beer (Voodoo Brewing) http://www.voodoobrewery.com/ Meadville, PA.

Is there a way I can get this same result without boiling for 2 hours?

What exactly do you think the boiling is accomplishing?? Thanks!!

desertbronze 10-22-2009 12:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HarryHood1 (Post 1624250)
I just emailed the Commercial Brewery that is down the road from my house and asked them what they do with their water in preparation for brewing.

They emailed back and said that they simply boil all of the brewing water for 2 hours and that's it. They don't add a thing for any of their beer styles. The use the water as is and they make a good variety of beers.

Given the water report I posted, is this surprising?? These guys make great beer (Voodoo Brewing) http://www.voodoobrewery.com/ Meadville, PA.

Is there a way I can get this same result without boiling for 2 hours?

What exactly do you think the boiling is accomplishing?? Thanks!!

They are reducing the carbonate in the water. Only problem - it also drives off the calcium. I would just buy distilled water to dilute and work from there. I have water with very high bicarbonate levels - 289 ppm - that is what I do. The brewery may also be adding salts to reduce the alkalinity. I would not expect that a brewer would give up all his methods to someone, unless he knew them well.

Also - it takes a lot of energy to boil all the brewing water for two hours. I just buy distilled water from the dispenser in the grocery store. 30 cents a gallon. I'm not wasting time and propane boiling water when distilled water is that cheap.


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