Water analysis

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Chris05

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Been reading thru Palmer's book and Bru'nWaters info and got a lab test done.

I need some advise with this W5a report from Ward Labs.
pH 7.7
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 341
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.57
Cations / Anions, me/L 6.7 / 6.2
ppm
Sodium, Na 3
Potassium, K < 1
Calcium, Ca 69
Magnesium, Mg 37
Total Hardness, CaCO3 327
Nitrate, NO3-N 5.1 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 3
Chloride, Cl 4
Carbonate, CO3 < 1.0
Bicarbonate, HCO3 336
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 277
Total Phosphorus, P 0.01
Total Iron, Fe 0.02
"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit

Per what I've read my concerns would be total hardness and total alkalinity are very high.

The water sample is from a private well, straight from a tap in my utility room.
I do have an ionizing water filter, that will dispense either alkaline, acid or purified water.
I tested for pH (Omega phh 7011) from each of the water profiles, with acid being the lowest at 6.95.
I am considering sending a purified sample to Ward for testing to see what the filter changes, or I could buy an Alk/hardness test and perhaps a Ca and Mg tests to see what changes the filter provides. For the price of Ward test + shipping, I can buy the tests myself.

What you recommend as to the water and testing.

Thanks,
Cj
 

Silver_Is_Money

Larry Sayre, Developer of 'Mash Made Easy'
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
5,649
Reaction score
1,713
Location
N/E Ohio
It looks like ~6.33 mL of 85% Phosphoric acid added to every 5 gallons would bring your well water to a pH of ~5.4 and for all practical purposes negate (neutralize) your alkalinity. Be careful and take all due safety precautions, as 85% Phosphoric acid is some nasty stuff.

In addition you may want to consider adding minerals like calcium chloride and calcium sulfate to boost your chloride and sulfate ions a bit. Table salt might also be a possibility for adding chloride ions, when you consider that your calcium level is already quite decent.

Boiling, settling, and decanting to reduce the alkalinity is also an option. But in the end you will likely find that skipping your well water altogether and going with RO water and adding minerals to it will be an easier and much safer option.
 
Last edited:
OP
C

Chris05

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Ok. Thanks for the info.
At this stage, I'd like to experiment with my water and see what my filter (using the purify mode) will accomplish. However I need to be able to test again, so back to my question. Do another test with Ward Labs or buy the seperate test kits for Ca, Mg and Alk/hardness from Salifert ? Are these tests accurate?
Anyone have experience with them?
 

Silver_Is_Money

Larry Sayre, Developer of 'Mash Made Easy'
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
5,649
Reaction score
1,713
Location
N/E Ohio
My first inclination is that a machine that portends to alter water pH will not remove its alkalinity. They are two different things. In the end you will likely still have to address alkalinity.

Do you have something along the lines of a Kangen Water machine?
 
OP
C

Chris05

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Yes, it's an older version by Akai, called an Ionizer plus.

I consider that investing in $12 Alk/hardness test, would be a good to have and it allows me to test the (purify mode) of this filter.
 

daveMN

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2015
Messages
435
Reaction score
120
Location
St. Paul
I use the LaMotte test kit and I like the alkalinity test it has. I have similarly hard water. Like Silver said, boiling will reduce alkalinity by precipitating out the calcium carbonate. The magnesium is a bit high and will stay around even if you boil. I'm not familiar with your filter, so not sure what that would do for the minerals.
 

Silver_Is_Money

Larry Sayre, Developer of 'Mash Made Easy'
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
5,649
Reaction score
1,713
Location
N/E Ohio
Yes, it's an older version by Akai, called an Ionizer plus.

I consider that investing in $12 Alk/hardness test, would be a good to have and it allows me to test the (purify mode) of this filter.
I could be wrong, but I don't believe this device will remove your well waters alkalinity (bicarbonate).

A simple KH drops (liquid) test will assist you in determining your waters alkalinity. Multiply the resulting KH value by 17.848 and you have ppm of Alkalinity. Divide alkalinity by 0.82 and you have bicarbonate.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003SNCHMA/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
 
Last edited by a moderator:
OP
C

Chris05

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Ok. I will get a test kit and verify what my filter is producing.

OTOH... I can also see buying an RO system, so I have a blank slate to start with.

I've seen a few threads discussing this one.
Bulk Reef Supply
4 STAGE RO ONLY SYSTEM - 75GPD. Considering I would only use it for brewing would this unit fit my needs?
 

cire

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Messages
333
Reaction score
149
Location
UK
I could be wrong, but I don't believe this device will remove your well waters alkalinity (bicarbonate).
Agree.

http://www.alkalinewaterionizers.org/consumer-reports-why-are-kangen-water-ionizers-so-expensive/

Ignoring the water ionizer for a moment and concentrating on the results of Ward's analysis might help towards deciding the next step.

For brewing purposes potassium, nitrate, phosphorus and iron at low levels are of no importance. The quantities of sodium, sulphate and chloride are sufficiently low that even if they were to vary by plus or minus 100%, the effect on a typical home brewed beer would be minimal. This just leaves calcium, magnesium and alkalinity to have concern for any variation which would likely be caused by rainfall patterns and therefore effecting each ion in equal proportion.

I think it would be necessary to only purchase and alkalinity testing kit to measure variation sufficient for your needs, then decide which acids to use.
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,724
Location
McLean/Ogden
Interestingly enough these machines can reduce alkalinity if there is chloride in the water. It is oxidized at the anode where it becomes chorine gas. This, if prevented from escaping, reacts with water to produce hydrochloride acid and hypochlorite acid. The HCl can neutralize alkalinity. Now this water contains little chloride which is probably why the 'acid' water wasn't very acidic. The message here is that were one to rely on this mechanism to neutralize alkalinity he'd also have hypochlorite to deal with.
 
OP
C

Chris05

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Aj,
Thanks for that. I will post results when I get test kit later this week. After more reading and research it seems to me that getting a basic RO system, would give me flexibility when brewing. So to that end, I've also ordered a 3 stage unit from BuckeyeHydro.
 

ajdelange

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
11,959
Reaction score
2,724
Location
McLean/Ogden
BTW if anyone has looked at the link in #9 please be aware that while the statement that Kangen machines cost more than other similar machines because they are sold via a pyramid marketing scheme is true that is where the truth ends. The rest of the material on that site is pure bunkum. FDA should bar their sales in the US or at least force them to put another spigot on them labeled "Snake Oil".
 

Latest posts

Top