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nathan

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I don't have any of my reference books with me, but here are the numbers on our well water tests from Ward Labs:

Test 1 is water through our water softener
Test 2 is through a sediment and carbon filter, but no softener

T 1 ---- T 2 ---- (type)
5.9 ---- 6.1 ---- PH
113 ---- 112 ---- Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est
0.19 ---- 0.19 ---- Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm
2.0/1.9 ---- 2.1/1.7 ---- Cations / Anions, me/L
(rest below is in ppm)
40 ---- 7 ---- Sodium, Na
<1 ---- 2 ---- Potassium, K
5 ---- 26 ---- Calcium, Ca
<1 ---- 5 ---- Magnesium, Mg
13 ---- 86 ---- Total Hardness, CaCO3
<.01 ---- <.01 ---- Nitrate, NO3-N
<1 ---- <1 ---- Sulfate, SO4-S
4 ---- 4 ---- Chloride, Cl
<1 ---- <1 ---- Carbonate, CO3
109 ---- 94 ---- Bicarbonate, HCO3
89 ---- 77 ---- Total Alkalinity, CaCO3

What do you think?

I had them both tested in case they would be useful for different profiles I was looking for, or as blends or something. Both are convenient for me to use. Both also taste great.

Should I plan on adding any distilled or RO for a bohemian pils? :)
 

woosterhoot

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I have a similar water profile as yours, except mine has a lower total alkalinity and hardness. mine has a extremly low calcium levels and was creating a muddy sweetness in my beers. People recommended Palmers How To Brew website and I highly recommend you read that and get his spreadsheet for water adjusting a brew based on SRM or target water. When I plugged both your water profiles in it spit out a SRM range for 10 -17 based on residual alkalinty. For a pils I think you want soft water and a low residual alkalinty so it may be better to just go buy some Deer Park or another soft water. Im still a baby learning this stuff so take my advice with a grain of salt.
 
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nathan

nathan

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I have his book, but do you remember the URL?
 

Bearcat Brewmeister

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I posted a spreadsheet that uses Palmer's formulas and does an optimization of additives to get your water to where you want it - works as long as you have the Solver add-in loaded in Excel. It also has a graphical depiction of his nomograph output for your water. It is in the software forum somewhere.
 

WBC

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If your water stays at these figures then you are ok to treat your water and will get good results but my water changes because of several water sources contributing to the water supply for my area. I would have to test here all the time to know what I am working with. I guess I don't have much control over it and that is why I use 5.2 PH Stabilizer now by Five Star Chemicals.
 
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nathan

nathan

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I just realized BeerSmith has a water tool. Using it, if I cut with 3 parts distilled to 1 part water, I can get very very close to pilsen.

Now the trick will be researching a solar still that can be made from parts I have in the house. ;)
 
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nathan

nathan

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Does anyone know of a way to just remove bicarbonate?
 

dblvsn

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This may be a dumb question but where can you take water samples to have them tested? Cost?
 
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nathan

nathan

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wardlabs.com
I got the W6 test and I think it was $16 a pop. I had my indoor water (softened) and my garage water which I rigged up the prefilter and carbon filter for.

The guys there were a little late with my test results and we called and found out that they had no power for 10 days after a tornado hit them. They might be a tad slow right now, but they give you basically exactly what you want to know.

Now... if you have city water, you can probably just get the info from your supplier.
 
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nathan

nathan

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Any info on how much bicarbonate you can drop out with boiling? I tried google and got tons of info on baking soda and cleaning silver, but nothing on boiling water to remove bicarbonate.

If I can figure that out, I can probably boil my water and store several gallons of boiled water and mix at 2-1 or 3-1 with distilled water to reach the pilsen style.
 
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nathan

nathan

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BTW,
I have two of these:
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=89376-43568-WHCF-DWHV&lpage=none
one has the prefilter in it, the other has a carbon filter.

Could I use an RO membrane filter in one of these? I saw them at the store and they look like the same size, but I don't know if they would work in this filter housing. I like these housings because they have bypass setup, so you can turn the tops to "on", "off", or "bypass" very easily. That, and at $35, with some snap-in plumbing fixtures and valves I set up a nice garage water system pretty easily.
 

thedude123

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The city water report, or atleast mine, will not give you everything that you will be looking for. My water also comes from two different sources and sometimes just one source, depending on the season. Therefore it is not worth me testing my water, so until I move to a place that has just one water source then I will just be using a water filter.
 
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nathan

nathan

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reading more about RO filters, I do not think I can just use a cartridge from one. Oh well, I can still research solar still designs and make a few mockups with scraps around the garage. Maybe I can make one that'll generate the 6-12 gallons a week I would need by the weekend if I was doing the softest styles every weekend (like a bo pils every weekend, for instance).
 

thedude123

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Can anyone suggest a water filter that is fairly cheap but still effective? I want to be able to hook it up to a garden hose and then run through the filter then into my brewpot.
 
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nathan

nathan

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The one I linked above is $37, and comes with a .5 micron prefilter cartridge. It has threaded input and output, so with the right adapter you could screw on a hose on each side and use it that way. I use two, and strapped them to a board and used push-in plumbing to set up my plumbing rig with a food grade hose on the other end for my beer water.
 

thedude123

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What do you mean by push in plumbing? Would you mind going into your setup further because that sounds like a good idea. Do you really need 2 filters or would one be ok?
 

Levers101

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Presumably you could acidify your water with the pH 5.2 additive and deaerate by boiling to remove bicarbonate. Since the pKa of the CO2(aq) + H2O <=> HCO3- + H+ is 6.36 then you drive the reaction towards the left by lowering the pH and boiling. But to remove the bicarbonate doesn't seem to make sense considering I always thought it was low hardness that made pilseners and not low bicarbonate?
 
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nathan

nathan

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One filter would probably be okay. The insert that comes with it is just a pre-filter, not a carbon filter, but the carbon filter I bought for the second one says it is a "prefilter and carbon filter". We have a LOT of sediment in our well still from the drought last year, so I use the separate high quality prefilter to knock that out, then the carbon filter, which is more expensive, won't get clogged as quickly. Plus I thought I might try different combos over time.

Push-in plumbing... how to describe... this is actually my first use of it, but it is RIDICULOUSLY easy. I got a tube cutter (ask the guy at lowe's for the cheap $5 tube cutter, not the $30 one on the shelf that is easy to find). Literally you cut the pipe (it's like pvc) and jam it into the socket on the fitting (elbows, tees, valves, etc.). It won't come out, and it won't leak if you do it right. If you need to undo it, you have to push the fitting ring in so it releases the pipe.

This stuff could turn a two year old into a plumber, it is SO simple if you go to lowe's and ask them to show it to you, you will laugh yourself silly at how simple it is.

The fittings cost a few bucks. In my case I made a T in the center, it has a fitting to turn it into a male garden hose size threaded end, which has a reinforced tubing that I put my own fittings on coming off it. I keep it coiled up hanging in my garage, then when I need water I put it out through a hole in the wall to hook up to my source outside. Inside the T goes two ways. One runs through a valve, then through the two filters and ends in another garden hose style, to which I have a 30' hose of I made of reinforced clear flexible tubing, and a metal sprayer end I use only for "beer water". This whole end is just for getting good clean water out. The other side of the t runs through a valve then a reducer and has a tube I made on it to feed the cold water faucet on my shop sink. I can turn off either side as needed. The drain in my sink just goes through the wall and down into the drain tile along the foundation. I don't use anything nasty in the sink, though, and it's a foot underground outside.

My wife is out with my camera now, but I'll ask her to get some photos to me of it so I can post them.

When I made my plumbing setup, I laid it all out on a coffee table so I'd see how it would go together, then I got a big scrap board and put it all together then used pipe strapping to screw it firmly onto the board. I lifted the board up and screwed that to the wall studs and viola, instant garage plumbing. With two filters I spent maybe $100 on parts, and about $80 for the shop sink. Now I can clean my pots and bottles and brewing equipment right where I brew and I always have clean tasty "beer water" ready with a sprayer that can also mist to work those hot breaks.
 
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nathan

nathan

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Looks like boiling aerated water could drop my calcium to negligible levels and pull out most of the bicarbonate. That would almost match pilsen water. Interesting.

I did a comparison and I think a tiny chalk addition matches munich water. :)

This water chemistry part is not as hard as I had thought. :drunk:
 
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nathan

nathan

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I haven't forgotten. I'm on a long shift so I emailed SWMBO to ask if she can snap the pic and email it to me. :)
 
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nathan

nathan

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If you want larger ones, send me a PM with an email address and I'll send large photos so you can see detail better.
 
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