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Old 08-02-2010, 01:42 PM   #11
JerD
 
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I use the following for all my water adjustments.

http://www.ezwatercalculator.com/

I follow it to the tee and haven't been disappointed yet.

 
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanselv View Post
I am a former chemist who lived in the Chicago area for 40 years. I cannot count the amount of times I did a water analysis on Chicago water. The water in all the Great Lakes is soft water. The hardness was usually around 6 or 7 grains. The chemistry of Chicago water was also very consistent. You can check with the Metropolitan Sanitary District to get all of the specifics. However, you should pay attention to the amount of chlorine in the water, especially if you are an extract brewer.

When the malt company dries the extract or concentrates it for the liquid all of the salts, metals etc from their water supply is left behind. Combining these minerals, salts ions etc with the Chicago water may give you some different tastes than you were expecting. To prevent this from happening when I brewed in Chicago I used bottled deionized water with no problem.

If you decide to use Chicago tap water, I would suggest a good charcoal filteto remove the high chlorine content from the water. If you decide to go thForest Preserve and use some of their well water you will avoid the chlorine but willnow be using hard water and will typically have elevated levels of calciumand iron.
That's weird........I just received the water quality report in my town (Mt. Prospect) and noticed the chloride level was very low. I sent an inquiry about it to the supervisor of public works and he said Nowhere in Chicago do they treat their water with chlorine gas.

 
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donshizzles View Post
That's weird........I just received the water quality report in my town (Mt. Prospect) and noticed the chloride level was very low. I sent an inquiry about it to the supervisor of public works and he said Nowhere in Chicago do they treat their water with chlorine gas.
From what I've been hearing lately, they're using chloramine more, which is supposed to be harder to get out of your strike water than chlorine. It won't evaporate overnight, and you can't just boil it off. Campden tablets are the way to go, from what I've been told.
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:18 PM   #14
donshizzles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjung View Post
From what I've been hearing lately, they're using chloramine more, which is supposed to be harder to get out of your strike water than chlorine. It won't evaporate overnight, and you can't just boil it off. Campden tablets are the way to go, from what I've been told.
I'll be curious to see what the 2010 report looks like when it comes out in June. Chloramines were what I specifically asked about which triggered the response about chlorine gas not being used.

 
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:53 PM   #15
ajdelange
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A couple of things

1. Chlorine/chloramine and chloride are different things
2. It is generally recommended that people do not drink water from their hot water heater. If you wish to use your hot water heater as an HLT flush it out and use newly heated water.
3. 5.2 is pretty worthless
4. You can have chloramines (and chorine) without using chlorine gas. Since 9/11 it has been generally assumed that a terrorist's view of a railroad car full of liquid chlorine is a dream second only to the 72 (or however many) sloe eyed virgins. So many municipalities have converted their treatment plants to use hypochlorite. Hypochlorite treated water can still be chloraminated (by dissolving ammonia gas). It's also interesting to note that one of the largest releases of chlorine gas in the US happened at a hypochlorite treatment plant (when a truck driver accidentally dropped his load of sulfuric acid into a hypochlorite storage tank).

 
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:56 PM   #16
SickTransitMundus
 
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Old thread, but I'd like to share what I know about Chicago water:

-The City of Chicago's water comes out of Lake Michigan and in general is good for brewing unless you want to burtonize or otherwise futz with the water chemistry. It is moderately hard at ~140 mg/mL carbonate.

http://www.cityofchicago.org/content...orts/cca09.pdf

-The city supplies water to all of Cook County and parts of the collar counties. If you are too far from the lake you get water from a municipal well, which will be quite hard and probably contaminated with agricultural runoff.

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/...aspx?id=119335

-It is unclear whether the city uses chloramine, but at a minimum they use chlorine. Calling the water department is useless - they didn't know what I was talking about and referred me to my alderman. The general consensus among local brewing professionals I've talked to is that Chicago uses chlorine, not chloramine.

-I installed a basic undersink charcoal filter and noticed a subtle taste improvement, particularly with paler beers. Softer finish for sure.

-If it rains hard after a dry spell, the tap water tastes funky. I don't know exactly why. Wait a day or two to brew.
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SickTransitMundus View Post

-It is unclear whether the city uses chloramine, but at a minimum they use chlorine. Calling the water department is useless - they didn't know what I was talking about and referred me to my alderman. The general consensus among local brewing professionals I've talked to is that Chicago uses chlorine, not chloramine.
It's very simple to tell. Just let a tumblerful stand over night. If, next day, you can smell chlorine when pouring the water back and forth between this and another tumbler, then chloramine is present. Elemental chlorine will leave the water over night. To confirm you might leave it a second night. Chlorine will definitely not survive 2 nights though chloramine will. It is, given the size of the service area, likely that chloramine is being used.

 
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:30 PM   #18
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Well, it can be a little more complicated than that. Water providers that have problems with elevated cancer-causing trihalomethanes (THM's) will typically use chloramine as their disinfectant through much of the year. When the organic carbon concentrations in the raw water drop to acceptable levels (typically early spring or late winter), some providers temporarily switch to chlorine disinfection since its cheaper and has a better lethality to the microorganisms in the water. Since chlorine is more noticable than chloramine in tap water, the water provider may publish a notice that they are going to conduct this temporary change. They don't typically publish when they go back to chloramine since the user wouldn't typically notice the drop in chlorine odor.

To check for chloramine in your water, you can use a Total Chlorine test kit from either a pool store or aquarium store. A Free Chlorine test kit only works when the water supply is disinfected using chlorine and it does not pick up chloramine.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:52 PM   #19
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I usually use 1/2 distilled and the rest filtered with a charcoal filter then I use the EZ calculator to adjust. I have spoken to the manager at the Elmhurst pumping station and he said all the Chicago area water has chlorine in it not chloramines but this was when I started to brew. This may or may not be true but I have never had an issue with using the city water even straight from the tap non filtered. Guess itís time to call the city again to inquire about any changes. But in Elmhurst our water has a very strong chlorine smell all the time same at my office in Morton Grove.

Not to mention none of my beers in the HBT contest had any off taste issues reported by any judges.
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Old 04-23-2011, 12:25 PM   #20
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FYI, not sure if this helps, but it is more information. Just got a water report for the Oak Park/River Forest Area. Here's the information:

Alk: 106
Total Hardness: 120
pH: 7.9
Ca: 30.3
Mg: 10.7
Na: 7.26
Cl: 15.0
SO4: 22.2

This gives a Cl:SO4 ratio of: 0.67
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