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Old 08-06-2012, 04:41 PM   #1
jk025
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Default Question about water report

So I've done about 5 or 6 all grain batches so far with decent results, but i'm not exactly sure about my water quality, or more so i was wondering if these online water reports tell me anything useful at all. Thanks for the help.

http://www.emwd.org/modules/showdocu...ocumentid=1034
or
http://www.wmwd.com/DocumentCenter/View/1139

still figuring out what area im in

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Old 08-06-2012, 09:55 PM   #2
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The water reports are not really complete. The emwd reports are very incomplete.

In addition, you mention that its unclear what your source is. I also notice that the water quality from some of those sources are very mineralized and they could significantly change an areas water quality if they have to be drawn from. But, it appears that they perform RO treatment on those mineralized sources to bring those high concentrations down. Its unclear what their output water quality is. They would not output pure RO quality water, but would blend the RO water with the raw water to bring the overall quality to some desired water quality for distribution.

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Old 08-08-2012, 12:21 AM   #3
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If you can figure out which area you're in, most of the stuff you need is in there. Of course, they look like they vary a lot between them, so if you can figure out which area serves you it might be help a lot. Really, all you need to figure out is hardness (alkalinity), calcium, magnesium, sodium, chloride, and sulfate. I thought I saw all of that in there, although they reported hardness as grains and I have no idea what that means. Otherwise, figure out where you're getting your water from, and it should be pretty helpful!

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Old 08-08-2012, 02:25 AM   #4
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Ok thanks. I think I'm in the east district. I haven't really looked close enough yet. My homebrew shop just uses a filter so I'm thinking of getting one of those

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Old 08-08-2012, 06:47 AM   #5
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A filter is great for things like chlorine, but unless you're going to set up an RO system, the minerals will still be present. It looks like all the info is there, but you'll have to take a look at the map and figure out which source leads to you.

For instance, if you're in the east district (I'm assuming that means the emwd link), let's say you receive water from the Mills Filtration Plant. Page 10 says your chloride is 67ppm, sulfate is 52ppm, and sodium is 55ppm, so your taste ions look pretty good. If you were brewing a hoppy beer you could add a little more sulfate, otherwise I wouldn't start messing around until you think you need to tweak something.

The trouble is they've combined magnesium and calcium hardness and just give you a single value of 5.3 grains/gallon. Was able to figure out that that's about 90 ppm CaCO3 (17.1ppm = 1 grain/gallon), so that's your total hardness. Now what proportion of that is calcium and what part is magnesium can't be figured out. But that's fairly soft water, certainly good for most things besides the lightest pilsners. Assuming you're able to drink your water fine, the magnesium probably isn't too high, which means you've probably got enough calcium around to buffer the mash and flocculate the yeast. If you wanted you could add a little CaCl2 and gypsum (CaSO4) to make sure you've got enough calcium, but I think you'd be fine the way it is.

Of course, source waters don't look as nice as the first one on the list, but it at least gives you a place to start!

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Old 08-08-2012, 03:36 PM   #6
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ok, so thanks erikpete, you've helped me narrow in on helpful things to know about the water. I would guess that I'm in emwd link in the skinner service are. The reason i say guess is because right where on the map that a little white part jets in where the 15 and 215 freeway split, that's generally where i live. So if its not the skinner area it seems to be the wmwd murrieta service area...but we'll assume I'm in the skinner area. the CaCO3 is about 239ppm. the chloride is 93ppm, sulfate 210ppm, and sodium 87ppm. My homebrew shop is in the skinner area and the water they use is making some pretty good tasting beers so I think I'm good and shouldn't worry too much.

--I just got smart and looked on their website for a better map of what area i'm in and it is 100% the ewmd skinner area with the numbers i posted above

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Old 08-08-2012, 06:12 PM   #7
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That water looks like it would be great for about any hoppy beer with sulfate that high. If you were trying something really malty you could cut it with a little RO and add back some chloride if you really wanted, but it might not matter too much to begin with. Also might wind up a little higher on pH (due to the higher hardness) if you were doing a really light beer, but you could correct that with a little lactic acid or acid malt. Good luck!

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Old 08-08-2012, 09:45 PM   #8
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I just recently kegged an IPA i brewed and although it isnt carbed yet it tastes great. I also have a blue moon clone in the kettle going right now that i used a filter on so we'll see if it comes out any different. I did notice sprouts in the mash which was weird...just saw a recent post on that...but the mash ph was 5.4-5.8. this one has turned out great in the past so im not too worried

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