Using well water

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RealRayDizzle

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I just shipped off a sample to ward labs, awaiting results.

https://www.wardlab.com/sample-submittal.php#water

They have 2 different options, the more expensive is the one that they send you a kit to sample. the other, you just fill out the form under the "brewer's testing" link, then send in with your own bottle.

Based on results I am guessing I will still have to add some minerals, but my biggest concern would be sulfur content, some wells have a pretty strong smell, which untreated would cause off flavors.

For brewing I currently use RO water and adjusted the water profile from scratch, but hoping that my Friends well can save some money and trips to the Watermill express
 
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Brewing1976

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I just shipped off a sample to ward labs, awaiting results.

https://www.wardlab.com/sample-submittal.php#water

They have 2 different options, the more expensive is the one that they send you a kit to sample. the other, you just fill out the form under the "brewer's testing" link, then send in with your own bottle.

Based on results I am guessing I will still have to add some minerals, but my biggest concern would be sulfur content, some wells have a pretty strong smell, which untreated would cause off flavors.

For brewing I currently use RO water and adjusted the water profile from scratch, but hoping that my Friends well can save some money and trips to the Watermill express
Ok I might have to do the brew test one. How much did cost for the brew test?
 

McKnuckle

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The terms "well water" and "tap water" (i.e. city water) only describe the water's source, not its chemistry. So those terms are pretty useless without further qualification.

My water comes from a well, and it's horrible for brewing. I used a Ward Labs brewer's test years ago to learn that. Glad I did, as it helped me stay with brewing as a hobby rather than giving up on it! I couldn't brew a tasty pale beer to save my life with my well water.

Brewing with most brands of spring water is a pretty safe bet til you get your hands around your own water's chemistry.
 

rubiconbrewer

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I have well water and it works great with a little diluting and some small brew salt additions.

Yeah I would send a water sample in to ward labs like everyone else is saying. I did that a while back and really have my water profiles dialed in.

Otherwise try making a batch. A good starting point would be 50% tap, 50% distilled or RO water. Thats what I do most of the time as well as adding a little gypsum and Calcium Chloride. Good luck!
 

RealRayDizzle

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If you ship your own bottle, the test is 27.25, the kit is over $40 i think. flat rate boxes in my area are about $8. I used a plastic vodka pint bottle since it fit in the small flat rate box better
 
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Brewing1976

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The terms "well water" and "tap water" (i.e. city water) only describe the water's source, not its chemistry. So those terms are pretty useless without further qualification.

My water comes from a well, and it's horrible for brewing. I used a Ward Labs brewer's test years ago to learn that. Glad I did, as it helped me stay with brewing as a hobby rather than giving up on it! I couldn't brew a tasty pale beer to save my life with my well water.

Brewing with most brands of spring water is a pretty safe bet til you get your hands around your own water's chemistry.
What did you have to do to get your water right for brewing?
 
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Brewing1976

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If you ship your own bottle, the test is 27.25, the kit is over $40 i think. flat rate boxes in my area are about $8. I used a plastic vodka pint bottle since it fit in the small flat rate box better
What did ward tell you to do to get your water right?
 

RealRayDizzle

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As far as getting it ready to ship? just rinse out bottle really good with the water you want tested before filling. somewhere on ward's site are the instructions.

If you are referring to if they give recommendations on how to make the water suitable for brewing if there are issues, they do not. They just email the report, and it would be up to you to determine if it is suitable and if there is even anything that can be done to fix issues.

some water mineral content is so out of wack that it is less work to buy RO than to even attempt to fix it
 
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Brewing1976

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As far as getting it ready to ship? just rinse out bottle really good with the water you want tested before filling. somewhere on ward's site are the instructions.

If you are referring to if they give recommendations on how to make the water suitable for brewing if there are issues, they do not. They just email the report, and it would be up to you to determine if it is suitable and if there is even anything that can be done to fix issues.

some water mineral content is so out of wack that it is less work to buy RO than to even attempt to fix it
How did you end up fixing your problem
 

RealRayDizzle

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I have not received the report yet, as I had just put my sample in the mail this morning. usually takes them a week or so to get the report back.

I will try and remember to post the results when I get them in.
 
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Brewing1976

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I have not received the report yet, as I had just put my sample in the mail this morning. usually takes them a week or so to get the report back.

I will try and remember to post the results when I get them in.
Just like to know how people know what to do with the water problems.
 

SEndorf

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https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/water-knowledge

give this a try, It is pretty dense, but easier to read than some more immersive articles.

Also would recommend searching you tube for - John Plamer water chemistry

getting into water chemistry is very interesting but can leave you feeling like you drank from a fire hose


That's John Palmer on water chemistry.
Please forgive the spelling correction, but a google search may come up flat.
 

McKnuckle

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I solved my water problem by distilling my well water. So I start from a blank slate, and add gypsum and calcium chloride (and occasionally baking soda) to adjust for different styles of beer. I account for pH beyond that with acid malt in the grist.

Actually learning how to manipulate water - as opposed to following "one size fits all" instructions - is worth doing, but it's not a dip in the kiddie pool. Grab your snorkle and mask.

For starters, pick up some Poland Spring jugs and have a go.
 

day_trippr

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Just like to know how people know what to do with the water problems.
In my case my well has high tds, high residual alkalinity, and borderline iron content. My solution was/is a Reverse Osmosis system. I can dial up pretty near any water profile I desire, now...

Cheers!
 

couchsending

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I generally brew with RO as my well water isn’t suitable for any style of beer. It’s like 650 TDS with alkalinity over 240 and something like 260 hardness. However if i preboil my water and decant I can get those numbers down to much more reasonable levels where they’re easily adjustable with acid and salt additions. It’s a PITA to do it all the time so only for more “rustic” styles do I bother.

Some people will be fortunate enough to have decent well water that is easy to work with others will not. Building from RO isn’t hard but if I could easily use my well water I’d much rather do that.

Ward Labs isn’t going to tell you how to manipulate the water in order to make good beer. However you can input the data they give you into one of the many water for brewing spreadsheets and one of those will help you make better beer. Or will at least tell you how to manipulate the water and take that variable out of the equation.
 
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