Ward Lab profile for my well in central NJ

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jklett

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I just got back my water profile. It is a bit Greek to me as of now but hopefully I can figure out what to do with it shortly.

PH = 8.0
TDS = 245 ppm
Electrical conductivity 0.41
Cations / Anions, me/L = 3.5/3.7

Na = 9
K = <1
Ca = 48.4
Mg = 9
CaCO3 = 158
NO3-N = 4.4
SO4-S = 5
Cl = 11
CO3 = <1.0
HCO3 = 168
CaCO3 = 139
P = 0.10
Fe = <1.0


If anybody has any feedback as to if this is a good starting point or not and what direction I should take based on what I have to work with, I'd be very interested in any advice. The beer I've been brewing with it has been good but I am always looking to make it better.
 

jdauria

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Not a water expert when it comes to what those numbers mean for HCO3 and CaCO3...but the main numbers of Ca, Mg, Na, SO4-S and Cl all look very good. Just a reminder that you need to multiply SO4-S by 3 to get SO4 for brewing software or Bru'n Water spreadsheet...but sulfate of 15 is still pretty low.
 

VikeMan

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HCO3 = 168
CaCO3 = 139

Not a water expert when it comes to what those numbers mean for HCO3 and CaCO3...

@jklett if your mash pH software asks for "Total Alkalinity as CaCO3", enter 139. If it asks for "Total Alkalinity as HCO3," enter 169.6 (i.e. 139 x 1.22). If it asks for an actual HCO3 concentration, enter 168. I've seen pH software(s) that really want "Total Alkalinity as HCO3" but are just labeled "HCO3." Fortunately, the two numbers are very close, so entering the wrong one won't really matter much.
 

Bobby_M

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I just got back my water profile. It is a bit Greek to me as of now but hopefully I can figure out what to do with it shortly.

Na = 9
Ca = 48.4
Mg = 9
SO4-S = 5 (which is entered as 15 in calculators)
Cl = 11
HCO3 = 168

I trimmed that to the important ones. Pretty similar to most wells around here. As is, it's not suited for almost any color beers without acid additions. Here's an American Lager sample recipe with that water, which would be similar to a Pilsner, Kolsch, Blonde, etc... Here's an example done as a full mash volume, BIAB style:

1648167966673.png


The mash pH is WAY too high. With 10mL of 88% Lactic Acid added you can get it down to 5.39.



Here's an amber ale:
1648168190317.png


That needs about 6mL of lactic acid.

Even with a typical Stout, you end up with 5.72 mash pH without acid.

On pale to amber beer, I would probably dilute your water with a couple gallons of distilled in the mash to reduce how much acid you need to add.
 
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jklett

jklett

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I trimmed that to the important ones. Pretty similar to most wells around here. As is, it's not suited for almost any color beers without acid additions. Here's an American Lager sample recipe with that water, which would be similar to a Pilsner, Kolsch, Blonde, etc... Here's an example done as a full mash volume, BIAB style:

View attachment 763923

The mash pH is WAY too high. With 10mL of 88% Lactic Acid added you can get it down to 5.39.



Here's an amber ale:
View attachment 763924

That needs about 6mL of lactic acid.

Even with a typical Stout, you end up with 5.72 mash pH without acid.

On pale to amber beer, I would probably dilute your water with a couple gallons of distilled in the mash to reduce how much acid you need to add.

I kind of figured it was a bit alkaline before even getting the results back based on chill haze and a little bitterness(probably tannins based on what I'm reading) but it also looks like I'm low on Ca2, Cl, and SO4 from what you posted. Can that be corrected with additions? What do those compounds effect? I'm pretty new and trying to learn how all this works. The beer still tastes good but I know it can be better.
 

VikeMan

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I kind of figured it was a bit alkaline before even getting the results back based on chill haze and a little bitterness(probably tannins based on what I'm reading) but it also looks like I'm low on Ca2, Cl, and SO4 from what you posted. Can that be corrected with additions? What do those compounds effect? I'm pretty new and trying to learn how all this works. The beer still tastes good but I know it can be better.

To increase Ca (for mash enzyme support and yeast flocculation):
- add CaCl2 (decreases mash pH and also increases Cl)
- add CaSO4 (decreases mash pH and also increases SO4)
- add Ca(OH)2 (increases mash pH)

To increase Cl (for "rounded" maltiness)
- Add CaCl2 (decreases mash pH and also increases Ca)
- Add MgCl2 (decreases mash pH and also increases Mg)
- Add NaCl (doesn't affect mash pH and also increases Cl)

To increase SO4 (for "crisp" bitterness):
- Add CaSO4 (decreases mash pH and also increases Ca)
- Add MgSO4 (decreases mash pH and also increases Mg)

You might want to check out the "Intro to Brewing Water Treatment" (PDF) presentation in my club's library linked here:
It will give you a sense of why you might want to increase particular brewing ions (for flavor), how they impact mash pH, and how to approach building your water.
 

Bobby_M

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I kind of figured it was a bit alkaline before even getting the results back based on chill haze and a little bitterness(probably tannins based on what I'm reading) but it also looks like I'm low on Ca2, Cl, and SO4 from what you posted. Can that be corrected with additions? What do those compounds effect? I'm pretty new and trying to learn how all this works. The beer still tastes good but I know it can be better.

The Ca is close enough and while Cl and S04 are both flavor and mouthfeel components, it's really nothing compared to what a high mash pH would do.
You could play around with small gypsum and CaCl additions, like 1-2 grams each but acid is going to be the most consequential addition to worry about.
 
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