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Old 01-03-2011, 09:13 PM   #1
May 2010
Chandler, AZ
Posts: 2,116
Liked 159 Times on 115 Posts

I live in the Phoenix area(Chandler to be exact), and due to being a desert, and there being a perpetual drought, our water makeup changes frequently depending on the water source, how much well water is used, and which municiple the water happens to be coming from. I'll pulled the data from the areas where Chandler states my water is coming from, but I have a pretty big range to work with. Chandler's water report doesn't contain the data i'm looking for.

I did speak to a very nice water engineer at the city who is going to get back with me in a few days with some good data for my exact area, but he confirmed the same thing, all the values I'm looking for can change a lot depending on what time of year.

Here's what I do have from two of the surrording cities that we get some of our water from(25-40%), and these ranges are for the last year. Both cities ranges and vaules were extremely similar so I combined them. I checked the water reports for 5 other cities here in the valley, and found very similar results, so I believe where I live will be similar. What I can tell you from living here, is that the water feels/is fairly hard, and slightly salty.

Calcium: 40-70 Typical: 45
Magnesium: 15-45 Typical: 19
Alkalinity as CaC03: 42-197 Typical: 135
Sodium: 96-250 Typical: 100
Chloride: 96-310 Typical: 100
Sulfate: 51-280 Typical: 85
ph: 7.5-8.3 Typical: 7.8
Hardness as CaC03: 38-370 Typical 186

Now what worries me is the huge swings that were recorded in alkalinity, hardness, chloride, and sodiums. I'm just learning about water chemistry, but I know it's going to be tough to consistently guess what water I'm working with. With measured ranges this big, I'm not sure a report from Ward labs would give me an accurate assesment of my water, as it seems to change so much.

I'll hopefully get some better info in 3-4 days what kind of ranges i'm looking at for the water that is coming out of my tap.

From what I can tell, my Typical numbers don't seem to bad for darker beers, but aren't great for pale beers. I'm hoping someone who knows more can give me an idea.

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Old 01-04-2011, 02:56 AM   #2
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Dec 2009
Shelby Twp, MI
Posts: 1,755
Liked 47 Times on 41 Posts

Wow, with such an inconsistent supply, I would be tempted to buy a reverse osmosis water filter and "build" my own water from scratch. Kai (another HBT member) has a fantastic website on the subject (as well as some other really cool stuff: and:
I love the sound of an airlock bubbling in the morning. It sounds like.....VICTORY.

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It's now degenerating into nu uh and uh huhs and it no longer serves a point.

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Old 01-04-2011, 07:15 PM   #3
Aug 2010
McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 9,660
Liked 1604 Times on 1222 Posts

In the past I would have recommended obtaining simple kits for measuring the mineral content of your water before each brew and that is still a possible approach to some extent. Certainly the hardnesses (Ca and Mg) and alkalinity can be readily measured as can the chloride with out much additional difficulty. Sulfate is more difficult still and sodium pretty much out of the question without some equipment (ISE, AAS, ICP). You could generally assume that if hardness and alkalinity were up chloride, sodium and sulfate would be up too but that is not 100 guaranteed. A TDS (conductivity) measurement might also be helpful here.

That said, it seems that with RO equipment available as readily and inexpensively as it as today, that would probably be the way to go. Should you decide to go that route don't let people sell you on complicated procedures for tailoring water, at least not initially. It generally isn't needed. See the sticky at the top of the Brew Science page. Tailoring is definitely "advanced" IMO but if you want to get into that later on (for authenticity or whatever reason) you can. Just calcium chloride and calcium sulfate with RO water will generally get you a good or very good beer.

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Old 01-04-2011, 07:43 PM   #4
May 2010
Chandler, AZ
Posts: 2,116
Liked 159 Times on 115 Posts

Thanks for the info guys.

AJ: the water engineer said he did had TDS data as well as some other info for me. I'll be hearing back from him around tomorrow or thursday.

Personally, I'm thinking RO myself. I have a feeling the water profile is just too inconsistent to make accurate adjustments to.

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