Private Well Water Results

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MTBbrewer

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I just purchased a house that is on a private well. I have never had a well before, so it is all new to me. Below are the results I got from a sample I sent to Ward Laboratories. This is straight from the well with no filtering or adjustment of any kind. How good is this for brewing? Do I need to make any adjustments?

pH 5.4
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 21
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.04
Cations / Anions, me/L 0.2 / 0.1

ppm

Sodium, Na 3
Potassium, K < 1
Calcium, Ca 1
Magnesium, Mg < 1
Total Hardness, CaCO3 7
Nitrate, NO3-N < 0.1 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S < 1
Chloride, Cl 2
Carbonate, CO3 < 1.0
Bicarbonate, HCO3 < 1
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 < 1
Total Phosphorus, P < 0.01
Total Iron, Fe 0.09
"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit

I know there are some of you on here that really know you stuff when it comes to water.
Thanks for any info.
 

grathan

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It looks like distilled purified water with some iron. Perfect for brewing.
 

schematix

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i am super jealous. you can build virtually anything from that.
 

mabrungard

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The Sand and Gravel aquifer in Pensacola is pretty much rain water. Your result is not surprising. You may need to deal with that iron content since that is near the limit.
 

ajdelange

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I know there are some of you on here that really know you stuff when it comes to water.
Not that much to know here as this is essentially pure water from the brewer's POV. Most beers do want some mineral content and will need some form of acid to get mash pH into proper range. Note that while 5.4, the pH of your water is in the range of desired mash pH it will lose CO2 from the moment you draw it from the tap and by the time it is heated and dumped onto the grain its acidity will be gone. IOW, despite low well pH, you will need acid. See the Primer at the top of this forum for ideas on how to start out and then branch off into more advanced, customized treatments (salt additions) later on if you want to.
 
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MTBbrewer

MTBbrewer

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Not that much to know here as this is essentially pure water from the brewer's POV. Most beers do want some mineral content and will need some form of acid to get mash pH into proper range. Note that while 5.4, the pH of your water is in the range of desired mash pH it will lose CO2 from the moment you draw it from the tap and by the time it is heated and dumped onto the grain its acidity will be gone. IOW, despite low well pH, you will need acid. See the Primer at the top of this forum for ideas on how to start out and then branch off into more advanced, customized treatments (salt additions) later on if you want to.
I have read your Primer and have been following it religiously. I have had consists success with it. I just always used it with RO water I bought from a dispenser. Should I treat this like the RO water and add the same additives? Also someone posted about the iron being high is that a bad thing? I am going to put a system in to bring the pH up closer to 7 for the house, but will still have access to the unaltered water from the well. Which would be better for brewing the altered water or the unaltered water?
 

ajdelange

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I just always used it with RO water I bought from a dispenser. Should I treat this like the RO water and add the same additives?
This is like RO water, in fact better (purer) than you can get from many an RO system

Also someone posted about the iron being high is that a bad thing?
The SMCL (recommended maximum concentration based on aesthetic considerations such as taste and appearance) for iron is 0.3 ppm. In brewing one often sees a recommended limit of 0.1 ppm. You have 0.09 ppm so you are OK. Now if the water or beers made from it tastes metallic to you then I'd think about going after the iron. Is there any iron pipe in the plumbing system? If so it is probably that with the low pH that is the source.

I am going to put a system in to bring the pH up closer to 7 for the house, but will still have access to the unaltered water from the well. Which would be better for brewing the altered water or the unaltered water?
The system will consist of a bed of Dolomitic limestone some of which will be dissolved by the carbonic acid in the raw water. This will put some calcium, some magnesium and some bicarbonate into the water. The amounts will be small enough that you can probably ignore them but you will want to get a post neutralizer test to see what their amounts are if you plan to use that water but why bother with it? From the POV of ultimate control the pre neutralizer water is preferred. It is a completely blank sheet of paper.
 
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