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Chicago Water Report?

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pdog44450

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I live in Naperville, IL and there are no helpful water reports on the internet. I brew with tap water and am wondering if I need to start adding things to my mash. Here's a Chicago report that I believe may be the tap water I get. I've made a lot of batches and as bad as it sounds I've never looked at/worried about my mash ph but want to start getting more advanced here. What should I add to my mash just to get to standard beers or are there any helpful calculators you use? Thanks.

(mg/L)
Magnesium - 12.6-12.8
Sodium - 8.97-9.1
Calcium - 34.9-35.7
Sulfate - 31.1-31.4
Chloride - 16.9-17.2
 

daksin

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If the beer is tasting good, honestly, I wouldn't bother with your water. When you want to make a very light beer with a certain hop character, build that water up from RO or distilled from the grocery store. If a beer isn't tasting good, look to everything else (recipe first, technique/equipment, sanitation) before looking at your water.
 

berheidebrau

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Also I think I saw an interview with a Revolution brewer and he said they don't really touch the Lake Michigan water.
 
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pdog44450

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If the beer is tasting good, honestly, I wouldn't bother with your water. When you want to make a very light beer with a certain hop character, build that water up from RO or distilled from the grocery store. If a beer isn't tasting good, look to everything else (recipe first, technique/equipment, sanitation) before looking at your water.
I kind of figured that. I have very good tap water which is what I use for brewing. Probably not a big issue since I can turn out some pretty good beer with my set up. I may try half tap water have ice mountain next brew day just to see if it's noticeably different... Thanks for the reply
 

millstone

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I'm in Hammond IN same Lake Michigan water. I get a water analysis every other year from the Hammond Water Department. The 2013 numbers were:
Calcium (Ca) 34.0
Hardness (CaC03) 130
Magnesium (Mg) 12.0
Sodium (Na) 12.0
Sulfate (SO4) 32.0
Potassium (K) 1.5
Chloride (Cl) 18.0
Iron (Fe) 0.1
Nitrate (NO3) 0.4
Fluoride (F) 1.1
Alkalinity (CaC03) 110
pH 7.3.- 7.5
Chlorine Residual - Leaving Plant 1.7 - 2.0
In Distribution 1.0 - 1.7

Hope this helps,
tom
 

Titleist3

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I found this at the City of Chicago web site:

http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/e...ndreports/comprehensive_chemicalanalysis.html

It doesn't get updated very often, but it does give a pretty detailed analysis of the water. A guy at the water district told me we are most likely on the Jardine Central branch, which means eiterh column 5B or 6, not sure which, but they are both pretty close.

I've only done 1 all grain batch and used Bru'n Water and added some Gypsum and Calcium Chloride and some Lactic Acid to bring the PH in line for a pale ale. The beer had a nice mouth feel and was quite hoppy and not too bitter; not sure how much the water treatment had to do with that. I don't have a PH meter, so I'm letting Bru'n Water tell me what to do based on the above water profiles.

One thing I can't find in these reports is whether Chicago water uses Chloramine; I assume they do, so I also treat with Campden tables.
 

newB_newyorker

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I just moved to Chicago from NYC and my tap water tastes reminiscent of a public pool. I got a Ward Lab's test done to get a better idea of what's going on. So here you go...

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 9.03.47 PM.png
 

secretlevel

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For anyone looking for brewing water profile for Schaumburg, Palatine, and other suburbs, they all come from the Jardine plant and thus are pretty close to the numbers mentioned above.

Here are North Burbs reported numbers for 2019:
Calcium 35.8
Magnesium 12.7
Sodium 10
Chloride 15.5
Sulfate 26.6
pH 7.9

It's been great water to brew with. Only issue I have is that Calcium jumps up as soon as I increase Chloride or Sulfate. Has anyone managed to keep the Calcium level below 100ppm while increasing others?
 

VikeMan

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It's been great water to brew with. Only issue I have is that Calcium jumps up as soon as I increase Chloride or Sulfate. Has anyone managed to keep the Calcium level below 100ppm while increasing others?
MgCl2, MgSO4, NaCl
 

mirthfuldragon

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One thing I can't find in these reports is whether Chicago water uses Chloramine; I assume they do, so I also treat with Campden tables.
Chlorine. I fill my water jugs after each brew day, and let them sit so the chlorine dissipates.

Also I think I saw an interview with a Revolution brewer and he said they don't really touch the Lake Michigan water.
Lakefront up in Milwaukee says the same thing, and we are all pulling from Lake Michigan.

Getting mildly off topic, the history of why Milwaukee and not Chicago developed as such a brewing hub is really interesting and complex, going back prior to prohibition. Bob Skilnik's The History of Beer and Brewing in Chicago is a great read.
 
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