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-   -   Water analysis (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/water-analysis-357372/)

dalex2004 09-28-2012 01:42 PM

Water analysis
Just curious how many all grain brewers are testing there water and adjusting with breeing salts for different style beers. I haven't as of yet and I am on a city water system. I also haven't noticed any problems yet with any of my beer almost all turn out great.

ArcaneXor 09-28-2012 02:08 PM

I don't use city water for homebrewing. The profile isn't that bad per se, but I never liked the way the beer came out with it as a base, even after treating it with campden to remove the chlorine. I buy RO water for $0.30 per gallon at the grocery store Glacier vending machine, and build up my water from there with salts. Makes a big difference, and is easy to do.

When I brew at the pub, I use a blend of RO and filtered city water that goes through an enormous sediment and carbon filter. For some reason, that seems to work out pretty well.

dalex2004 09-28-2012 03:20 PM

Did you send the water off to be tested or did they have that info for you.

ArcaneXor 09-28-2012 03:44 PM

The city water info I got from the utility company. The RO-filtered water I am assuming to be <15 ppm in all the relevant categories, and is probably fairly close to 0, but I haven't gotten it tested.

VladOfTrub 09-28-2012 04:47 PM

In the beginning, I used tap water, and did the same general treatments that a NooB would do. I thought the beer was OK, but, not exactly what I was looking for. After becoming geeked out on brewing water chemistry, and tired of buying water. I bought an RO system that has a meter on it. Upstream of the RO I use 2 sediment and 2 charcoal filters. What I noticed was that the RO meter wasn't accurate enough for brewing purposes. The membrane was failing before the meter would move. The way I found this out was that I noticed a little too much powder in the water boiler. About 10 years ago, I purchased a TDS test kit. With the kit, I didn't have to rely so much on weighing a few grams of this or that. It, also, took away quessing whether the chemical was of the same strength after time, as it was when new. Also, it lets me know in the beginning, when the RO membrane was starting to fail. The biggest plus is that I know exactly the PPMs in a 20 gallon solution, for each chemical I use. I brew Pilsner using tri-decoction and to be true to style I try to duplicate the water profile of that style. The kit has helped to be very consistent with each brew. I don't think it's a priority for a home brewer to get into home water testing like I do. Except for the desire to achieve consistency in a particular style of beer. But, it is necessary to get a read-out of what chemicals are in the tap water before adding anything to it. An accurate scale is good to have. Instead of using a teaspoon to measure with.

Boerderij_Kabouter 09-28-2012 04:52 PM

I have my water tested and adjust to the beer I am brewing. It made a large difference for me.

eyedoctodd 09-28-2012 05:55 PM

B_K - where did you send your water for testing?

I noticed at Home Depot they had a send-away kit (obviously to try to sell you a water softener) but the results were very vague - just TDS and pH etc.

Where can I get my water tested in detail for the PPM of each of the relevant brewing ions?


tom_hampton 09-28-2012 06:18 PM


tally350z 09-28-2012 06:38 PM

Just got mine tested about 3 weeks ago. Found out I have pretty good water for making stouts and porters. Need to adjust the mash in the lighter beers, for the PH.

ArcLight 09-29-2012 01:57 AM

Even if you don't adjust the water Ph/minerals, at least find out if your water is Chlorinated (or has Chloramine).
At the very least you want to remove that.

I sent my local (Millburn) water to Ward labs, so I'd know how to treat it. But I use New York City tap water I carry home from work :)

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