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Reduce Sodium?

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agentbud

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New to water profiles. I received my Ward Lab report and it lists Sodium at 188 ppm. I read that Sodium should be lower than that for most beer styles but I have not found how you can lower the sodium. Any help is appreciated.
 

Silver_Is_Money

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Is it softened water that you had analyzed?

What are some of the other mineral values?
 

doug293cz

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Sodium (and pretty much everything else) can be lowered by processing your water thru an RO (Reverse Osmosis) system. Home versions of these are available. You can also by RO water at many supermarkets for less than $1.00 a gallon (often less than $0.50/gal.) Only other ways to lower sodium are by distilling the water or using a deinonized water system. There is no way to filter out sodium.

Brew on :mug:
 
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agentbud

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It's just my normal tap water.
PH 7.8
Sodium 188
Potassium 3
Calcium 4.2
Sulfate 66
Chloride 36
Total Alk 309
 

Golddiggie

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I'd avoid using that tap water right off the bat.
"Chloride 36"
Chloride (as well as chlorine) should be 0 for brewing. So either filter that to reach said levels, or start getting distilled water (if you trust the maker) to brew with. I'm on a well where I live now, with no negative/issue components in it. It a bit hard, but that can be a benefit.
 

Vale71

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There's no way that water is not coming out of a water softener. If you have no way of bypassing it then an RO system is your only option.
 

Vale71

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I'd avoid using that tap water right off the bat.
"Chloride 36"
Chloride (as well as chlorine) should be 0 for brewing. So either filter that to reach said levels, or start getting distilled water (if you trust the maker) to brew with. I'm on a well where I live now, with no negative/issue components in it. It a bit hard, but that can be a benefit.
That's nonsense. Chloride has nothing to do with either free or bound chlorine.
 

Silver_Is_Money

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Chloride is important as a malt perception enhancer. Sodium at 40-80 ppm can enhance the flavor of beer, and in the days of yore some breweries intentionally targeted such levels.

If you are not softening this water then it is likely that your municipal supplier is. Either that or you live right close to sea or ocean water, or perhaps on an island.

Though it is politically incorrect, an old pollution related jingle (when repurposed for this specific application) may prove to be your friend. "The solution to pollution is dilution.". (with dilution here being via distilled or RO water) A ratio of ~1/3 your tap and ~2/3 RO or distilled, plus some added calcium chloride and/or gypsum, should work.

Either that, or consider purchasing an RO unit or commercial RO water as @doug293cz has already indicated.
 
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Smiling Frog

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There's no way that water is not coming out of a water softener. If you have no way of bypassing it then an RO system is your only option.
I disagree. It is not typical, but there are some municipal water supplies with low Ca and Mg and high Na. College Station, Texas, for one, and I am sure there are others. When I lived there, I brewed exactly one batch before I obtained an RO system. If you search the HBD archives, you will see AJ expressing sorrow for College Station brewers having to use that water. He reluctantly suggests that the only thing to do with such water is to use an RO system. Having dealt with the issue personally, I would second that recommendation.

Now, the OP does not identify his location, and it might be helpful if he would, as it might shed some light on the issue. If it has been through a water softener, that's fine and the solution might be just to take his brewing water before the softener. It might need additional treatment to be suitable, particularly for some styles, but that is often easier than installing and using a RO system.
 

LTBrewer

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I wonder if he is in Florida, like me. I would also dilute unless he finds iron in it as well, then RO or buy all of it. What's a typical alkalinity range? I'm at 225 and thought that was on the upper side.
 
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agentbud

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I am in central mississippi. The water is not run through a softener - that is straight out of the tap. Running the numbers through a few different water treatment spreadsheets I found that I can get the sodium down to acceptable levels by diluting half with distilled water. Since I only brew a few times a year, that is much cheaper than buying an RO system
 

Vale71

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Is it an apartment building? In that case the water might be run through a softener before it enters your apartment.
 

VikeMan

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If the water is via a Mississippi River aquifier, that could explain the high Sodium and Alkalinity (Bicarbonate).
 

jseyfert3

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What's a typical alkalinity range? I'm at 225 and thought that was on the upper side.
Depends. On a pool forum I'm a member of I see values ranging from under 100 up to around 400, but that seems to be the high end. Values of 100-200 seem to be more typical. I'm not certain but I think the pool test is measuing it the same way a brewing water test does.

Note also though that what I see on a pool forum is probably skewed, there's a heck of a lot more pools in California/Arazona/Texas/Florida than there is up here in the Midwest.

Based on my pool test kit my total alkalinity is about 325-350 here in Wisconsin. I haven't yet ordered a water test but I will, and I'm in the process of buying an RO system.
 
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agentbud

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Is it an apartment building? In that case the water might be run through a softener before it enters your apartment.
No, its a house. There are no softeners before me except whatever the city does to it
 
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agentbud

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If the water is via a Mississippi River aquifier, that could explain the high Sodium and Alkalinity (Bicarbonate).
Our city has a few natural springs that provide the water. It's actually why this city was built here in the 1700's
 
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agentbud

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I had forgotten that I had requested a water analysis from the city back in Jan. What they sent me were the results from the wellhead of the spring that feeds my area so these results are the natural water BEFORE the city does its thing to it:
Ph 8.1
Total Alk 257
Chloride 23.8
Sulfate 49.7
Sodium 174
Calcium 2.00
 

Vale71

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So it's official, you have Perrier water coming from your taps...
The bad news is that it's really unsuitable for brewing unless all salts are removed (RO).
 

mabrungard

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So it's official, you have Perrier water coming from your taps...
The bad news is that it's really unsuitable for brewing unless all salts are removed (RO).
Remove all, is not necessarily the right answer. But some level of dilution is likely required for brewing a wide array of beer styles. Having a RO machine certainly is nice for me. I have about 250 ppm sodium in my tap water.
 
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