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Old 01-25-2012, 02:00 AM   #1
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Default Water

So the only thing I really know about water is that it is wet and some taste better than others. So I called my water company and got my readings.

What if anything should I do to this water to make better beer?
Tampa, Florida
pH 7.8
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est 463
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.77
Cations / Anions, me/L 8.1 / 8.3
Sodium, Na 44
Potassium, K 3
Calcium, Ca 102
Magnesium, Mg 12
Total Hardness, CaCO3 305
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.6 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 76
Chloride, Cl 40
Carbonate, CO3 < 1
Bicarbonate, HCO3 144
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 118

Thanks in advance


Rhino Brewing Company
Valrico, Florida
Est. 2010
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:18 AM   #2
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Does it taste good to you? Good water will make good beer. I use tap water, taste it first, and drop a campden tablet into every 10 gallons to get rid of chlorine/chloramine taste (not usually noticeable anyway, but I have the tabs so I use them). Otherwise I never bothered to look at pH or anything like that. And I love my beer!

I'm sure some more hardcore brew chemists will have some input, but there's always the rule of thumb that I stated at the beginning.

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Old 01-25-2012, 04:02 AM   #3
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You should move this thread to the Brew Science forum, where it will get more looks from some pretty smart people...

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Old 01-25-2012, 02:25 PM   #4
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That is pretty darn hard water and the sodium is getting on up there. The sulfate is the real problem. At 228 ppm as SO4, its way over the top for most styles excepting pale ales. The best thing that could be done with this water is to dilute it roughly at least 2 to 1 with either RO or distilled water. If brewing a delicate style, you may have no choice but use mostly RO or distilled. That will solve the elevated sulfate and sodium and give you room to add other ions if desired.

The alkalinity isn't ridiculous, so it looks like a pale ale would work out adequately with this raw water, but a touch of acid or acid malt might be needed to help drop the mash pH properly.
Martin B
Carmel, IN
BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

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Old 01-25-2012, 02:44 PM   #5
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Read up on the various minerals to get a good understanding of what role they play in brewing. Palmer's "How to Brew" and Bru'n Water are both good resources. I had no idea about mineral composition before I switched to all grain. After getting a detailed water report and researching my ass off I now comfortably adjust ALL my water during brew day. It really is pretty simple once you get a decent understanding of it all. I'd also suggest EZWater Calculator, it's a great tool.

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