Water report, can you help me? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:33 AM   #1
Wirk
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I don't understand much chemistry but I got the water report from my company... well the thing is, they don't measure Sodium or Calcium(they measure a lot of things though), I sent them another email asking them for data and they replied me with the hardness of the water.

Here is the data I have is it enough?

PH: 7.5
Total hardness: 180 mg/l
Mg: 17,68 mg/l
Sulphate: 354 mg/l
Chloride: 305 mg/l
NO3: 2.46 mg/l

If wikipedia is right then I must have around 45 mg/l of Ca. Is this enough info to know what to do with my water? I use a carbon filter for the water.

Is the water too bad for brewing?

 
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:48 AM   #2
ajdelange
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It takes 43 mg/L calcium to get 180 mg/L total hardness.

That 180 mg/L is 3.5 mEq/L and you also have reported 354 mg/L sulphate (7.37mEq/L ) and 305 mg/L chloride (8.60mEq/L). To balance these two anions alone (i.e. assuming 0 alkalinity) would require 12.3 mEq of some metal in addition to the calcium and magnesium. Assuming that metal is sodium the amount would be 305 mg/L. That's a lot of sodium, a lot of chloride and a lot of sulfate. I expect the water would taste quite salty. As such it is not really suitable for brewing. To make decent beer with this water yoy will have to obtain and use an RO system to clear out most of those minerals. See the Primer (Stickies) to see how to brew with RO water.

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Old 10-04-2012, 12:48 PM   #3
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Ajdelange must have done better than me in chemistry class. What he said sounds about right to me. However, if you are using a carbon filter you will be at least a little better off. You would have to have your water tested (post filtration) by Ward Labs or similar to know. You might be stuck making really dark or high hop beers to mask all that salt, or add the few dollars per batch and go RO as Ajdelange said.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:57 PM   #4
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As AJ said, the water report indicates chloride and sulfate levels that are far too high for acceptable brewing results. Distilled or RO water is a more workable alternative.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodlandBrew View Post
Ajdelange must have done better than me in chemistry class.
I wouldn't assume that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodlandBrew View Post
However, if you are using a carbon filter you will be at least a little better off. You would have to have your water tested (post filtration) by Ward Labs or similar to know.
If the water contains organic substances that render it musty or earthy smelling or if it smells of chlorine or rotten eggs a carbon filter will help. But a carbon filter will not touch the chloride, sulfate or sodium which plague OP. A Ward Labs test would only confirm that (not to mention the fact that he lives in Chile).

 
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:53 PM   #6
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Good point about the chloride and sulfate levels in particular. Depending on what type of carbon filter the OP has it may not effectively remove much more than chlorine and sediment.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:10 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies, so is distilled water safe? Should I buy distilled water and then add the components I want? what about demineralised water?

 
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:29 PM   #8
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Yes, either of those will do. Adding the components you want can be quite simple (see the Primer in the Stickies) or it can be as involved as you want. I'd recommend starting simple (Primer) and working up to more precise formulations (any of several spreadsheets and calculators you will see referred to here will help you).

 
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:53 PM   #9
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Thank you very much. Will any demineralised water work for me? are there different types of it? doing a quick google search it looks like is sold for industrial uses.

 
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:54 PM   #10
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I would want some assurance that the water was prepared for human consumption. Theoretically demineralized is demineralized and the stuff used to fill batteries is as good as the stuff prepared for use in pharmaceuticals. I have no idea how it works in Chile but in the US stores that specialize in the sale of health foods, grocery stores, supermarkets and pharmacies often have reverse osmosis machines or stock deionized water.

 
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