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Old 08-02-2012, 01:45 PM   #1
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Default Can you help me decipher my town's water report?

My town utility board has posted it's water quality report online, and it appears to contain a lot of useful information but I'm having a tough time deciphering what it means for brew water. These two pages contain most of the hard numbers:

I've been trying to use John Palmer's nomograph to figure out my beer my water is best suited for.

The report states my Alkalinity is 55ppm, but should I consider that the Alkalinity (2nd scale) or the Residual Alkalinity (top scale)?

It also states the water Hardness is 125ppm. Should I use that as my effective hardness? If I plug that into the graph and use the 55ppm on the second scale, I end up with a fairly low starting PH around 5.6. If I just use it as the Residual Alkalinity, it a much more average 5.8!

If anyone could help me learn more about my reading this report I'd certainly appreciate it.

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Old 08-02-2012, 02:58 PM   #2
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The water doesn't look too bad excepting that is could be from two differing sources with substantially different quality. That could be a problem.

With proper brewing water treatment, this water should be suitable for a range of styles. It does not appear to have really excessive levels of any ion, excepting that the sulfate might be a little high for some beers. Check out Bru'n Water and the Water Knowledge site to help yourself figure out what you might do to treat this water for brewing.
Martin B
Carmel, IN
BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

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