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Old 06-30-2009, 04:52 PM   #1
illin8
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Default Water Quality Report: What can you tell me about it?

I just received the annual water quality report from my town, can anyone tell me how my water looks or direct me to info to compare it to? After some off taste in my last brew, I'm curious how this stacks up.

Alpha Emitters - 4.7 pCi/L
Barium - 0.035 ppm
Benzo(a)pyrene - 5.8 ppt
Beta/Photon Emitters - 12.4 pCi/L
Chlorine - .44 ppm
Combined Radium - 1.7 pCi/L
Fluoride - 0.014 ppm
Haloacetic Acids [HAA] - 1.85 ppb
Nitrate - 1.44 ppm
TTHMs [Total trihalomethanes] - 12.5 ppb
Total Coliform Bacteria - 2 (% positive samples)
Copper - 0.73 ppm
Lead - 15 ppb
Sulfate - 10.25 ppm
Nickel - 0.0003 ppm
Sodium - 16.6 ppm


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Old 07-01-2009, 10:13 PM   #2
BigEd
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That's just what it is, a quality or health report to assure customers the water is safe to drink. Unfortunately it has little or no value from the standpoint of brewing. What you need is a report that includes all of the important brewing ions and their concentrations in the water. Do you know the specific source of your tap water? If it is from surface water the overall content of the water will probably be somewhat similar to Providence Water which happens to be my water source.

If wells are the source you might ask the water department for a report that looks like the one in the above link. Failing that do a search for Ward Lab and send them a sample for analysis.

This link Water And Homebrewing has very good information to get you started understanding water and brewing.
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:31 PM   #3
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Not much use.

You need to

1) Neutralise that chlorine/chloramine with a campden tablet added to your brewing liquor, or carbon filtration. This is the most important step.

2) Test your residual alkalinity. You can buy kits from ebay to do this. Armed with this information you can use acids or chalk to adjust your mash PH.

3) Find out from your water supplier amounts of Calcium, Sulphates, Magnesium, Sodium, Chloride... etc. You can then balance your liquor with Gypsum, CaCl and Epsom salts.
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