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Old 11-21-2012, 01:03 AM   #1
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Default My water test results, please analyze.

Hey guys,


Got my water report from Ward Labs today. I'm on a well and I bypassed our water softener, letting the water run from the tap for about 7-8 minutes before collecting my sample.
Here's the results:

pH: 7.9
Sodium, Na: 121 ppm
Calcium, Ca: 55
Magnesium, Mg: 45
Sulfate, SO4: 15
Chloride, Cl: 135
Bicarbonate, HCO3: 444
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3: 364

Right off the bat I saw I was rather high in Sodium, considering I was bypassing my softener....maybe I have to let it run longer? Like I said, I ran the faucet for 7-8 minutes bypassing the softener, so you'd think that would clear the lines out.

I think I can use this water though, but I might want to dilute it 1:1 with distilled water, though.

What are your guys thoughts? Is my water good for any styles without dilution?

Cheers,

Nick

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Old 11-21-2012, 01:21 AM   #2
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Your water is too high in Magnesium, WAY too high in sodium, and WAY WAY too high in bicarbonate.

You'd have to dilute with RO like 9 to 1 to make that water usable.

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Old 11-21-2012, 01:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by CanadianQuaffer View Post
Hey guys,


Got my water report from Ward Labs today. I'm on a well and I bypassed our water softener, letting the water run from the tap for about 7-8 minutes before collecting my sample.
Here's the results:

pH: 7.9
Sodium, Na: 121 ppm
Calcium, Ca: 55
Magnesium, Mg: 45
Sulfate, SO4: 15
Chloride, Cl: 135
Bicarbonate, HCO3: 444
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3: 364

Right off the bat I saw I was rather high in Sodium, considering I was bypassing my softener....maybe I have to let it run longer? Like I said, I ran the faucet for 7-8 minutes bypassing the softener, so you'd think that would clear the lines out.

I think I can use this water though, but I might want to dilute it 1:1 with distilled water, though.

What are your guys thoughts? Is my water good for any styles without dilution?

Cheers,

Nick
I think you're going to need to dilute for everything but really dark beers. You might even need to dilute to making something like a porter, but others with more knowledge will surely weigh in on that. Your sodium, magnesium, chloride, bicarbonates, and TA are very high. To make a lighter beer you're going to have to dilute the hell out of it, then add back in some calcium. You might even consider building your water from RO or distilled.

Have you read this?: http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter15-1.html

Also, I use Bru'n water to make my water adjustments and have been quite happy with the results. It's a little overwhelming at first, but once you use it a few times I becomes very helpful.

As in normally goes with water, I'm sure you'll get a bunch of opinions on that report. It's got a whole lot going on...
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:29 AM   #4
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Your water is too high in Magnesium, WAY too high in sodium, and WAY WAY too high in bicarbonate.

You'd have to dilute with RO like 9 to 1 to make that water usable.
Magnesium and Sodium aren't THAT bad...on the higher ends, yeah, but yes, the bicarbionate level had me worried the most.

Was pretty sure I was gonna hafta buy water, but was hoping.

F**k this God forsaken place I live in.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:02 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by CanadianQuaffer View Post
Magnesium and Sodium aren't THAT bad...on the higher ends, yeah, but yes, the bicarbionate level had me worried the most.

Was pretty sure I was gonna hafta buy water, but was hoping.

F**k this God forsaken place I live in.
Sorry! I didn't mean to insult your water.

But yeah, the Mg is too high- over 30 ppm it starts to have a distinct flavor in the beer. The sodium is at the higher end and still considered acceptable but too high for me. The chloride is also too high (I'd use no more than 100 ppm and that's even about twice what I normally use).

The bicarb level is out of the ballpark, though.

You could easily add an RO system to your softened water and get perfect water, if that is something doable for you!
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:08 AM   #6
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We have an RO system, but the tank is VERY small....two gallons maybe? After collecting a gallon or so it starts to trickle.
SO I either upgrade to a larger RO tank or more likely I'll just buy bottled water in the big 5 gallon jugs. They have their water profile printed on the side and it's generally pretty soft. It's what I've been using but I was really hoping to be able to use my tap water rather than pay 16 bucks for 15 gallons of water everytime I brew.

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Old 11-21-2012, 02:13 AM   #7
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You can put a secondary tank on that RO system. A 25 gallon tank was what I would look at but that's for 10 gal batches

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Old 11-21-2012, 02:42 AM   #8
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I do ten gallon batches most of the time, I was thinking a 15 gallon tank, if they're available.

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Old 11-21-2012, 12:27 PM   #9
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All good advice above. Since you have a RO unit, the only thing you need to do is plumb in an extra storage tank. Just tee in a larger tank and keep the original tank. I have my original 3 gal tank and an extra 20 gal tank plumbed into my RO system. Be aware that you can only get about half the tank volume out of the tanks since the other half is the air-space used to pressurize the tank. In my case, I can get about 11 gallons before the supply is exhausted. That is iffy for 10 gal batches, so I plan ahead and draw off some water beforehand. My tank volume is fine for 5 gal batches.

PS: There isn't much use for that water, but it might be useful for blending with your RO water to add alkalinity when needed. Enter that tap water profile into Bru'n Water and you'll be able to assess if using a little of that water will meet your brewing needs without exceeding some recommended ion concentrations like sodium and magnesium.

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