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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Water Chemistry Check
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:28 PM   #1
TopherM
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Default Water Chemistry Check

I live in FL, where we have a limestone water aquifer and thus notoriously hard water. I currently use a teaspoon of gypsum in each batch to offset that issue.

Attached is the latest drinking water analysis for my county. Does anything else jump out at all you water chemistry experts?

http://www.pinellascounty.org/utilit...s/CCR_2011.pdf

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Old 11-16-2012, 04:41 PM   #2
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That water report is not much help. The stuff on that report is what the feds require as contaminant levels. They did mention chlorine and chloramine, you should be using a half of a Campden tablet.

What you need is usually called ‘secondary constituents.’ It would look like this:
Bicarbonate ppm 106 to 125
Calcium as CaCo3 ppm 89 to 175
Chloride ppm 12 to 28
Conductivity μmhos/m 366 to 423
pH units 8.1 to 8.4
Magnesium as CaCo3 ppm 3 to 10
Sodium ppm 14 to 22
Sulfate ppm 22 to 29
Total Alkalinity as CaCO3 ppm 106 to 125
Total Dissolved Solids ppm 224 to 250
Total Hardness as CaCO3 ppm 103 to 194

This is my moderately hard water. You are probably going to have more bicarbonate and total alkalinity. You will need to either acidify or dilute with reverse osmosis water to get your pH into a better range.

See if you can get them to email you those numbers. If not you need to get your water tested. People here use Ward Labs and it’s 16 bucks.

When you get the report, post to Brew Science and you’ll get all the help you need. Read the water primer sticky on Brew Science.

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Old 11-16-2012, 05:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopherM View Post
I live in FL, where we have a limestone water aquifer and thus notoriously hard water. I currently use a teaspoon of gypsum in each batch to offset that issue.
Just to clarify, hardness is a measure of how much calcium and magnesium are in the water. Adding more calcium (gypsum is calcium sulfate) is increasing your hardness.

If your water hardness is mainly due to limestone (CaCO3), then a lot of the calcium and carbonate will precipitate out by heating/boiling the water, but it's hard to say much without seeing a water report that lists the relevant stuff.
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