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Old 11-27-2011, 07:51 PM   #1
jdevers
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Default Some water questions

Hello all, I am new to posting on the board but have been reading for a while and have brewed 15 or so batches of beer in the past. I haven't brewed in about two years (graduate school and two children since my last brew), but am really wanting a couple gallons of fresh hefe.

To make a long story short, I have brewed several extract and several all-grain batches in the past and am going to attempt a brew-in-a-bag hefe sometime in December. I have my recipe all lined up and know how to do everything, but have some water questions.

I have moved since my last batch and while only a hundred or so mile away, the water source is quite different. My water department has a water quality analysis available and I've looked at it and have a few questions. Firstly, it looks like they use chlorine instead of chloramine but I would like some confirmation on this from you guys before proceeding. The disinfection by-products are a bit worrisome, what is the best way to remove these? I have an under the sink water filter installed, but it is just basic activated carbon. I think my water here tastes great even without the filter (other than when the lake "turns" which is why we have the filter...), are the levels high enough to give me nasty chlorophenol and other band-aid flavors? Then some info on water salts etc would be nice.

Beaver Water District:
chlorine disinfectant: highest locational average (HLA) 0.69, range 0.1-1.50
haloacetic acids: HLA 55.1, range 13.1-40.9
total trihalomethanes: HLA 79.6, range 20.4-96.1
chloroform: 22.6
bromodichloromethane: 3.91

alkalinity total: 53 ppm as HCO3
calcium: 25.6 avg, range 22.8-30 ppm Ca
hardness total: 71, range 62-84 ppm CaCO3
magnesium: 2.1
sodium: 5.41
pH: 8.3 average
sulfate: 20.7ppm
TDS: 106ppm

Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 11-27-2011, 08:47 PM   #2
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Always use activated carbon filtering or better on your brew water...especially if it has chlorine or chloramine. Yes you can get away without it, but why risk it, activated carbon takes out a ton of stuff you don't want anyway so it will only make the beer better. Other than that, download EZ Water (google-fu it) its a great spreadsheet and will help you dial in the rest of your water adjustments.

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Old 11-27-2011, 10:49 PM   #3
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That pond water taste is typical of surface water sources. Geosmin and MIB are the typical sources of that 'flavor' and carbon filtering is effective at removal as long as the flowrate is less than 1 gal/min when using the typical 10" filter. That slow filtering also removes the disinfectant and disinfection by-products.

EZ Water is helpful, but if you really want to learn and understand brewing water, you'll need to download and read Bru'n Water.

Enjoy.

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