Originally Posted by syvmn
Hi everyone. I am using well water for brewing and am wondering if there is something I should be doing to improve my beer.
I don't have a lot of information to go off of because all I have are simple test strips. What I can tell you from them is that my "Total Hardness (CaCO3) grains per gallon" is about 500, my "Total Alkalinity ppm (CaCO3)" is around 250, and my pH is 8.5-9.0.
I know there are other things of importance, but how bad is my water and what can I do about it?
Probably not "bad" but way too much alkalinity and that should be reduced. You can dilute with reverse osmosis water, try lime softening, boil the water and decant off of the precipitate, etc. There are a lot of ways you can go with this.
The first thing I'd do is send a sample to Ward Labs. For about $26.50 (household minerals test), you can get a complete report and we can really help more.
My alkalinity is a bit lower than yours, and for a long time I hauled home jugs of RO water from the "water machine" at the store. I finally bought a home RO water system for $119 so I can brew any beer style at any time. It works for me, but you have a lot of other options! I tried lime softening, and while it works extremely well it just wasn't worth the water treatment and time to me.