DC Brewers? Has your water become really soft this Fall and Winter?

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Bramling Cross

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Writer's preemptive strke: Yeah, I know you use R/O water and it's a great way to brew, most good brewers do what you're doing. This thread is about DC water, not R/O water.

I've brewed with DC tap for decades. Despite the brain-dead, reflexive jokes, DC tap is amazing brewing water that just needs a bit of acid and calcium to make incredible beer. Since September, I've noticed that my mash and post-mash pH values have been falling rapidly. At first, I figured my calibration fluids had packed it in, so I changed them. Further decreases in my pH were observed. No biggie, I've brewed with DC water for decades...my pH meter bulb must be bad. Nope, new bulb, same values. Then, two weeks ago, I mixed up a new batch of StarSan.

That stuff has been clear for two weeks.

Stuff like that doesn't happen in DC.

Anyone know what's going on?

Yeah, I know you brew with RO, piss off.
 

Rish

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Writer's preemptive strke: Yeah, I know you use R/O water and it's a great way to brew, most good brewers do what you're doing. This thread is about DC water, not R/O water.

I've brewed with DC tap for decades. Despite the brain-dead, reflexive jokes, DC tap is amazing brewing water that just needs a bit of acid and calcium to make incredible beer. Since September, I've noticed that my mash and post-mash pH values have been falling rapidly. At first, I figured my calibration fluids had packed it in, so I changed them. Further decreases in my pH were observed. No biggie, I've brewed with DC water for decades...my pH meter bulb must be bad. Nope, new bulb, same values. Then, two weeks ago, I mixed up a new batch of StarSan.

That stuff has been clear for two weeks.

Stuff like that doesn't happen in DC.

Anyone know what's going on?

Yeah, I know you brew with RO, piss off.
I thought you were in Puerto Rico!😉
 

JLisle

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Good morning. The pH of our water is controlled at the water treatment plants and consistent. However, the calcium and magnesium naturally in our water from the Potomac River provide buffering of the pH and vary depending on rain and seasons. The amount of calcium and magnesium in the water affect how much acid you need to add for your desired brew. Please contact our Water Quality and Technology Department at 202-612-3440 or [email protected] to help investigate your issue.

John Lisle
DC Water
 

JLisle

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Good morning. The pH of our water is controlled at the water treatment plants and consistent. However, the calcium and magnesium naturally in our water from the Potomac River provide buffering of the pH and vary depending on rain and seasons. The amount of calcium and magnesium in the water affect how much acid you need to add for your desired brew. Please contact our Water Quality and Technology Department at 202-612-3440 or [email protected] to help investigate your issue.

John Lisle
DC Water
Sorry, mistyped the email address. That should be [email protected].
 

CascadesBrewer

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Anyone know what's going on?
Not sure it helps...I am in the Sterling area of Loudoun county and my understanding is that my water comes from Fairfax County and is primarily water from the Potomac. A while back I picked up a $10 TDS meter from Amazon. I sometimes check my water on brew day and it is typically in the 190 to 200 range. I just checked it and I got 196. I have not had my Star San solution stay clear.

It might be worth getting a cheap TDS meter...though I am not sure what useful info I get from my TDS meter.
 
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