Ward Labs Report

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danmdevries

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pH 7.9
TDS 551
Conductivity 0.92
Cations/Anions 10.8 / 11.4

Sodium 34
Potassium 3
Calcium 81
Magnesium 62
Total Hardness CaCO3 461
Nitrate 0.2
Sulfate 37
Chloride 2
Carbonate <1.0
Bicarbonate 552
Total Alkalinity as CaCO3 456
Total Phos 0.02
Total Iron 1.13

I ordered this to help me guide future brews. I've never really gotten too technical with my brewing, nor do I really brew to style. I experiment a lot, I enjoy recipe development, and figured this may help guide me in the future as I'm currently working on building up a better system with automated RIMS.

Long story short, after years of experimentation and stuff I've found that tossing a handful of dark malts into my mash with lighter styled beers makes them taste better than if I don't. This report seems to confirm my suspicions.

My preferences lie in bigger darker beers anyhow, but I do like to brew to share, and the lighter stuff has always been a challenge to make something palatable, let alone good. Aside from adding dark malts (which seems to work most of the time, but not on all), I've tried mash temperature modification with varied results, and have also used store bought tap water for lighter brews.

From what you see, any recommendations you'd make for my brew days?

Obviously I'd benefit from filtration and RO system, but for now, that's not on the table. Maybe someday. I've tossed around the idea of an iron filter, but again, that's not quite on the horizon at this point. Once I've got my new setup up and running I may be more interested and willing to standardize my water. But for now, I'd rather just work with what I've got.

My bigger and darker beers turn out excellent. Could probably be better if I worked at it, but they've been great and I and others enjoy them. The lgihter stuff is where i have issues. Using storebought water has had mixed results, likely due to poor mash temp control with current setup. I'm hoping an automated RIMS will help to stabilize those issues. Considering I prefer stouts/porters/barleywine over APA/IPA I've not really given this much consideration over the years.
 

mabrungard

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I'm assuming you can see iron stains on your plumbing and taste iron in the water?

I also note that your Mg level is pretty darn high. You do need to strongly consider RO as your primary brewing water source. Too many poor results in that water.
 
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danmdevries

danmdevries

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Iron is no secret in my raw water. The softener with iron reducing salts takes care of it for home use but I've had quite undesirable effects using softener water for brewing.

Guess I'll just have to stick with dark beers (which I prefer anyway)

Any issues with the report when used for porters, stouts, barleywine etc? I don't notice iron in the beers, though I may just be accustomed.
 
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