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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > How to get your water profile (artesian well)?
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Old 02-10-2010, 02:02 AM   #1
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Default How to get your water profile (artesian well)?

I am (as I do with everything) slowly over-analyzing the move to AG. While I collect the equipment that I need to start I thought that I would try to find my water profile, so that I have one more thing to obsess about.

Anyway - I have a well, so there is no simple way to get my water profile from a town website. Google brings me to (not-so) relevant posts here, and some BYO info, and a bunch of useless info. I tried searching the AG posts, and all I found was how important water is.

So... one of the things that I did find is that there is a local company that will do an analysis for you, but I have no idea what it will cost. Is an $80 really worth it? If so what info am I looking for exactly?

Another suggestion was that aquarium supply stores (I am hoping this applies to small local pet stores) carry freshwater test kits. Will these give me the info that I need?

Do I keep obsessing? Wait 'til a batch comes out bad? Fork over $$ (that I frankly don't have at the moment)?

Thanks in advance for any info/ help/ advice, etc

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Old 02-10-2010, 02:07 AM   #2
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Search for Ward laboratories on Google. They will send you an sampling bottle, an envelope to send it back in and a shipping label for free. The mineral test that you are looking for is only 16.50 and it will tell you everything that you need mineral and alkalinity wise that is relevant to brewing.

Just took a sample of my tap water today to get it done right instead of relying on the vague info at my LHBS

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Old 02-10-2010, 02:07 AM   #3
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I wouldn't worry about it for your first AG brew. Try your water. If it works great. If it doesn't, by water for $1/gal. When you really start to dial in your process, then worry about it.

Disclaimer:I am an extract brewer, so I know nothing.

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Old 02-10-2010, 02:11 AM   #4
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Do you drink your water straight from the tap? Does it taste good? In my experience most artesian wells have awesome water.

You can get into water chemistry and for certain beers it does matter to some extent, but it's not something you HAVE to worry about if you don't want to.

I make decent beer with my filtered tap water, and sometimes I don't even filter it.

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Old 02-10-2010, 02:21 AM   #5
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My water tastes good and we do drink from the tap (well the cats do... we use glasses), but my worry is that there is a lot of "salt" residue on my pots/ knives, etc if I don't dry them right away. Not really sure what it is, but it leads me to wonder...

I would brew one batch and see how it goes... but the reality is that I will probably brew several batches before I even taste the first, so if it has been bad all along it will be a real disappointment knowing there are 4-5 more batches to follow the first bad one...

Will Ward do testing for Canada?

Thanks again!

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Old 02-10-2010, 02:28 AM   #6
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1. Assuming your water tastes good, make some beer and see how it turns out.
2. After a batch or ten, get your water tested (at Ward Labs) and use Palmer's simple chart (in the back of "How to Brew" but I don't see it on the web version) to see the "ideal" type of brew for your water profile.
3. If you want to brew a style that is far off from the "ideal" consider modifying your water - wither by adding distilled water, or various compounds.

just my $0.02, which, along with about $1.50 will buy you a cup of coffee in most convenience store.

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Old 02-10-2010, 02:54 AM   #7
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Might as well get your water tested. It's nice to know, and it's cheap and easy. Ward should test whatever water you send them, but you will probably have to pay in US dollars.

You don't have to do anything with the results just yet. But I'm of the opinion that it is better to have them on hand than scrambling to get them later. Plus, it may help start you on the road to understanding water chemistry!

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Old 02-10-2010, 03:09 AM   #8
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Thanks! I will check them out... suits my compulsions.

I did way to much chem in university, means I freak out a little more about this stuff...

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