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Old 02-25-2011, 12:40 PM   #1
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Default Help with water report.

Ok I just got my water tested, now what is this telling me???

pH 9.9
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est 287
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.48
Cations / Anions, me/L 4.9 / 5.3
ppm
Sodium, Na 50
Potassium, K 6
Calcium, Ca 20
Magnesium, Mg 20
Total Hardness, CaCO3 133
Nitrate, NO3-N 1.6 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 42
Chloride, Cl 33
Carbonate, CO3 27
Bicarbonate, HCO3 40
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 78
Fluoride, F 1.12
Total Iron, Fe < 0.01
"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit


Any help would be appreciated.


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Old 02-25-2011, 01:15 PM   #2
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That water is not too bad, but the sulfate, pH, and alkalinity are a little high for some styles.

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Old 02-25-2011, 01:27 PM   #3
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Thank you I will check it out. I thought the PH was a bit high, messing with the numbers in the EZ water calc seem to say I needed to add some Calcium Chloride to the water. I don't brew again for a couple of weeks and i would like to not have to buy 10 gal of bottled water if I don't have to.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:27 PM   #4
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The pH of the water doesn't really matter much. It is the alkalinity that counts. Your water is a good example of the situation where the pH is high but the alkalinity is low. An the opposite case can happen too.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:45 PM   #5
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So ajdelange would you recommend cutting this with RO water?

Would this be considered "Hard" water?
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smakudwn View Post
So ajdelange would you recommend cutting this with RO water?

My brewing world changed since I installed an RO system. I have a separate set of faucets, hoses, bibbs etc. throughout my brewery and lab and it's as easy for me to get a gallon of RO water from a tap as it is to get a gallon of well water (which is not too different from yours except lower in sodium and sulfate). I see a sulfate level that is quite high and a sodium level, that while it is not that high is higher than I like. You can add as much of anything as you like to water but getting it out is difficult so reducing it by dilution is the way to go IMO. So my answer is "Absolutely!" to a question like this.

I know not everyone is going to install a "whole brewery" RO system but some do have whole house systems and under-sink systems are readily available at home improvement stores for reasonable money. RO water is available inexpensively at health food stores. I think RO water is the home brewer's salvation.

Would this be considered "Hard" water?
No. I forget the grade names but I think your water is the next step up after "soft" - perhaps "moderately hard". Your potential problems with this water are the high sulfate and somewhat elevated sodium. If you like beers made with sulfate water then you don't have a problem. There are certainly lots of beers you can make with this water without having to do a thing to it. And with the high fluoride level your teeth should be good!
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:09 PM   #7
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According to a handout from my water supplier I have laying around, that is indeed "moderately hard".
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:10 PM   #8
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thank you very much. So when i want to make a beer with a lower sulfate and sodium level I will just cut it with RO water. Thank you very much!
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Old 03-16-2011, 03:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
If you like beers made with sulfate water then you don't have a problem.
And what beers would that be? Pale Ales? And do you recommend adding Calcium Cloride to up the calcium?
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:03 PM   #10
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That would really be any beer that you brew that you like with sulfate in it. Pale ales, Burton ales, Export all have quite a bit of sulfate, Viennese beers all traditionally contained a lot of sulfate. Bohemian Pilsners and Helles didn't. If you brew a Boh. Pils with sulfate in it and like the result better than one with out then Boh. Pils goes on your list (though you would really have transformed it into a German Pils). OTOH if you like your Vienna with lower sulfate water (and I do) then don't use sulfate when you brew V/M/O.

Thinking about this last question got me to thinking about the earlier question "Would you recommend cutting this with RO water." and I've had a new thought. Yes, do dilute it 10 + 1 or so (keeps trace minerals but knocks everything way down). Now brew the same beer with this water plus CaCl2 but no CaSO4, with CaSO4 but no CaCl2, with equal amounts of each etc. controlling pH with sauermalz. This seems like a great way to learn the effects of chloride and sulfate. When you get those to your liking play with mash pH through changes in the amount of sauermalz. After a several brews and tastings you should have an idea as to what works for you and what doesn't and can then turn to one of the spreadsheets to let you tailor your existing water to close to what you have synthesized.


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