Philadelphia Water Profile

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

Anavrin215

Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2023
Messages
6
Reaction score
2
Location
Philadelphia
I'm new to the PHL area and am trying to get a handle on the water profile in the area. Being in center city, I know it's a mix of the Baxter / Queen Lane plants. The report linked below seems to be the best thing I can find.

However, it only gives pretty high ranges (ex. for Cl, Baxer: 50-143ppm / Queen Lane: 75-261ppm) and has no specific ppm detail for Ca or Mg.

Would love any insight from fellow philly brewers.

 

jdauria

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Sep 14, 2010
Messages
1,715
Reaction score
1,106
Location
Braintree
Not from Philly, but kind of looks like my local water report where they give just the range for tests over a one year period. Problem you have is it looks like Philly has three separate water plants, so at any time in the year, I assume you could be getting water from any of them during different times of the year. You might be better off getting your water tested from Ward Labs...https://www.wardlab.com, they have a Brewer's test. Then maybe do it again later in the year to see if your numbers change at all.
 

VikeMan

It ain't all burritos and strippers, my friend.
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
5,351
Reaction score
5,133
Ranges that wide, sorry to say, are fairly useless. But I suspect you won't be able to get better (narrower) numbers, especially given that your water is coming from two different rivers. I would seriously consider getting an RO filter and building my water from there. Or start with distilled water.
 
OP
OP
A

Anavrin215

Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2023
Messages
6
Reaction score
2
Location
Philadelphia
Not from Philly, but kind of looks like my local water report where they give just the range for tests over a one year period. Problem you have is it looks like Philly has three separate water plants, so at any time in the year, I assume you could be getting water from any of them during different times of the year. You might be better off getting your water tested from Ward Labs...https://www.wardlab.com, they have a Brewer's test. Then maybe do it again later in the year to see if your numbers change at all.
Yeah - that's a good call. Thanks for the recco.
 
OP
OP
A

Anavrin215

Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2023
Messages
6
Reaction score
2
Location
Philadelphia
Ranges that wide, sorry to say, are fairly useless. But I suspect you won't be able to get better (narrower) numbers, especially given that your water is coming from two different rivers. I would seriously consider getting an RO filter and building my water from there. Or start with distilled water.
Yeah, I've been spoiled by the NYC water these last 10 years. Was hoping to NOT have to invest in the RO / distilled water. Some suggested the water test from Ward Lab, which can be helpful, but to your point, since it's a mix of the two plants, it's not a guarantee. Thanks for the quick response / suggestion.
 

VikeMan

It ain't all burritos and strippers, my friend.
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
5,351
Reaction score
5,133
Yeah, I've been spoiled by the NYC water these last 10 years. Was hoping to NOT have to invest in the RO / distilled water. Some suggested the water test from Ward Lab, which can be helpful, but to your point, since it's a mix of the two plants, it's not a guarantee.

The fact that each of the plants in your mix (individually) reports such a wide (and different) range pretty much gaurantees, IMO, that your water will not be the same over time. I think testing at Ward would be a placebo, one that you'll most likely be disappointed with if/when you repeat the test later (or sooner when your tap water shifts enough that your mash pH starts getting more unpredictable). But if you do decide to try multiple Ward tests, I would recommend not doing them a year apart. I'd do them in different seasons.
 

Silver_Is_Money

Larry Sayre, Developer of 'Mash Made Easy'
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
6,433
Reaction score
2,185
Location
N/E Ohio
I've spent some time looking at the 2 sources broad diversity of mineral and alkalinity data, and I've tried to normalize them whereby to evolve a nominal "real" (as in cation and anion balance) median, whereby I completely failed in this effort. Thus I must advise you to give up upon brewing with your tap water if your goal is to evolve certain of (what I refer to as 'so-called') "water profiles".

That said, there is nothing inherently wrong with your water, so if you are not "pedantically" attached to "water profiles" (so-called) I would reverse my first 'pedantic effort derived' conclusion and advise you to freely brew with it.

The choice is yours, and it depends upon your personal goals as well as your faith in adhering to "profiles, so called" whereby to actually achieve definitively provable to be differentiated brews thereby.
 

Silver_Is_Money

Larry Sayre, Developer of 'Mash Made Easy'
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
6,433
Reaction score
2,185
Location
N/E Ohio
Part of my failed methodology involved coaxing Ca++ and Mg++ values from "Hardness".

This methodology invoked a truism, and an approximation:

Truism: Hardness = 2.5(Ca++) + 4.12(Mg++)
Fresh water Appx: 70% of hardness is derived from Calcium (Ca++), and 30% from Magnesium (Mg++)

Example for Hardness = 150 ppm (as CaCO3)

150 x 70% = 105 ppm Hardness from Ca++
Ca++ = 105/2.5 = 42 ppm Calcium
150 x 30% = 45 ppm Hardness from Mg++
Mg++ = 45/4.12 = 10.9 ppm Magnesium
 

Control Freak

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Messages
22
Reaction score
16
Phila Suburban Water Per Ward Labs 02-22-2022
This should put you in the ball park.
pH 7.8
TDS 384
Cat Anions 4.8/4.9
Sodium 47
Potassium 2
Calcium 35.1
Magnesium 12
Total Hardness CaCO3 138
Nitrate 2.0
Sulphate 10
Chloride 100
Carbonate CO3 <1.0
Total Alkalinity CaCO3 65
Total Phosphorous 0.35
Total Iron <0.01
 
Top