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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: trapae on September 28, 2021, 10:36:56 pm

Title: Water report help/advice?
Post by: trapae on September 28, 2021, 10:36:56 pm
I would love some advice from Martin, AJ, or other water gurus out there.  I have been brewing (allgrain) with arrowhead spring water for a decade because my house had a water softener.  The one time I tried to brew with distilled and build my water turned out flat and boring.  Anyway, the water softener died so I got a Halo 5 water filtration system ( with multi-reversing polarity…not sure if that matters ), and sent a sample to ward with hopes to be able to brew with my house water now ( which tastes great now ).  Below is the report and I would be appreciative for any advice as to if it is appropriate to brew with.  I typically brew lagers, IPAs, porters/stouts.  Thanks in advance.

Ph                                                  8.3
TDS est, ppm                                  311
Electrical conductivity, mmho/cm      0.52
Cation/Anion me/L                           5.3/4.9

                                    ppm
Na.                                48
K.                                  2
Ca.                                49
Mg.                                8
Total Hardness, CaCO3    156
Nitrate.                          0.2 SAFE
Sulfate.                          21
Cl.                                 30
CO3.                              1.8
Bicarbonate, HCO3.         163
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3.    136
Total P.                            0.02
Total Fe.                          <0.01
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: dmtaylor on September 29, 2021, 05:07:45 am
That looks almost identical to my tap water here (treated from Lake Michigan).  "They" will say your water is a little hard and alkaline, so it will be ideal for brewing brown beers and darker.  However personally, I use it for everything.  I think I generally make pretty O.K. beer.  If you are a water nerd, stick with browns and darks with the water as-is, and for pale styles you might want to blend like 50/50 with distilled.  Also might want to add a little gypsum for hoppy styles and CaCl2 for malty styles, but of course that's all up to you.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: purduekenn on September 29, 2021, 11:23:10 am
I agree with Dave and your water report is similar to mine that comes from a municipal water wells in Western KY near the Ohio River. When I brew light colored pale beers like lagers, blond ales etc I dilute it with 50% distilled water. I quit using RO water from the grocery store machines because they seamed to have to much dissolved solids when testing with a TDS meter.


My Water Report East Daviess County, KY June 2021

From Ward Labs:
Total Dissolved Solids 225
pH 8.4
ppm:

Sodium Na                    22
Potassium K                    2
Calcium Ca                    26.8
Magnesium Mg               19
Total Hardness CaCO3   118     
Sulfate SO4-S                19
Chloride Cl                     32
Carbonate CaCO3        <1.0
Bicarbonate CaCO3         95
Total Alkalinity                80
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: nateo on September 29, 2021, 01:40:48 pm
The only real problem is alkalinity. A bit of phosphoric acid for lighter beers and you'll be fine.
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: purduekenn on September 29, 2021, 06:46:26 pm
Yes add Lactic or Phosphoric acid as needed so the mash pH is not to high.
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: erockrph on September 30, 2021, 11:54:20 am
Yes add Lactic or Phosphoric acid as needed so the mash pH is not to high.
I'll third that comment. My well is a little bit softer than what you have here, but fairly close. This is a nice, fairly blank slate for building water as you see fit. I use Brunwater or the Brewer's Friend water calculator to determine my acid addition to hit my target mash pH, and can brew pretty much every style without issue.

I don't see iron, manganese, or any other ions listed here. I know they aren't really ions targeted by brewers per se, but if you have any significant amount of metal ions you will notice a big improvement by using a chelating agent like Brewtan B.
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: purduekenn on October 01, 2021, 05:47:24 am
I used BeerSmith and Easy Water calculators to get a pH between 5.2-5.6. I think Brunwater Excel spread sheet is great but it doesn't work well with Mac Numbers spread sheet.Numbers was recently updated and i'll have to try it again.
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: purduekenn on October 01, 2021, 08:53:11 am
I used BeerSmith and Easy Water calculators to get a pH between 5.2-5.6. I think Brunwater Excel spread sheet is great but it doesn't work well with Mac Numbers spread sheet.Numbers was recently updated and i'll have to try it again.
FYI: EZ water spreadsheet is: https://ezwatercalculator.com
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: Lazy Ant Brewing on October 02, 2021, 07:57:52 am
Go to the source!  Get the free Bru'n Water spreadsheet, treat per Martin's recommendations, and you're good to go.
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: trapae on October 04, 2021, 03:43:37 pm
Thanks everyone, sounds like the consensus is looks like a pretty good water if I can get the pH right? Going to have to buy a pH meter and finally deal with some water worksheets/programs to figure out how much acid malt for phosphoric acid to add.
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: purduekenn on October 04, 2021, 05:44:05 pm
Go to the source!  Get the free Bru'n Water spreadsheet, treat per Martin's recommendations, and you're good to go.

Lazy Ant is correct in stating that Bru'n Water spreadsheet is good. I think it is the best one to use. I can now use it on my Mac with a Microsoft Mac App.
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 05, 2021, 07:32:31 am
Thanks everyone, sounds like the consensus is looks like a pretty good water if I can get the pH right? Going to have to buy a pH meter and finally deal with some water worksheets/programs to figure out how much acid malt for phosphoric acid to add.

Weyermann has a rule of thumb stating that each percent of acid malt in the grain bill reduces the pH by 0.1.
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on October 16, 2021, 05:44:16 am
Our city water supply is very similar to what is posted here. We do one of two things -

1. Filter the water with a high quality countertop cartridge filter, one that even removes ammonia.
2. Filter the water with our built in RO system.

As our city tap water has a good base composition for most beer styles, we have never done anything with modifying it.

If making a North German style Pils, we go with plain filtered tap. If making a Bavarian style (Munich), or a Czech style beer, we will go with a blend of straight filtered tap / RO water. Sometimes a 50 / 50 ratio.

Here is a funny story...my neighbor and brewing friend (Dave) has always modified his water with various chemical additions. Dave is what I call a water "nerd". So he was asked for advice on adding Sulfate. His response..."After drinking your beers, I would not change a thing. In fact, I am wasting my time with all this water chemistry, and will follow your example."

edit: Dave is a very honest person when it comes to beer. He is the one who told me a recent beer (Festbier) that I made was flawed.
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: dmtaylor on October 16, 2021, 06:06:47 am
Here is a funny story...my neighbor and brewing friend (Dave) has always modified his water with various chemical additions. Dave is what I call a water "nerd". So he was asked for advice on adding Sulfate. His response..."After drinking your beers, I would not change a thing. In fact, I am wasting my time with all this water chemistry, and will follow your example."

edit: Dave is a very honest person when it comes to beer. He is the one who told me a recent beer (Festbier) that I made was flawed.

Dang, this sounds so familiar!

And no, I am not the same Dave.  But I've experienced similar.  I tried to chase water for a few years.  But the best brewers I know don't care about water at all.  So then I stopped caring much.

AND, I would tell you if your beer was flawed.  :)
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on October 16, 2021, 08:10:05 am
Here is a funny story...my neighbor and brewing friend (Dave) has always modified his water with various chemical additions. Dave is what I call a water "nerd". So he was asked for advice on adding Sulfate. His response..."After drinking your beers, I would not change a thing. In fact, I am wasting my time with all this water chemistry, and will follow your example."

edit: Dave is a very honest person when it comes to beer. He is the one who told me a recent beer (Festbier) that I made was flawed.

Dang, this sounds so familiar!

And no, I am not the same Dave.  But I've experienced similar.  I tried to chase water for a few years.  But the best brewers I know don't care about water at all.  So then I stopped caring much.

AND, I would tell you if your beer was flawed.  :)

Cool! Dave also said the best friends you have are those who are honest with you about your beer! I agree.

I never cared about water, other than a good filtration to remove undesirable components, like Chlorine. So now I care even less, if that is possible.
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: denny on October 16, 2021, 08:12:32 am
The best water treatment is the least water treatment.  But that doesn'tnecessarily mean none.  Try adding some sulfate to a glass to see if you like the results. Just because yiur beer is good doesn't necessarily mean it couldn't be better.
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on October 16, 2021, 08:28:51 am
The best water treatment is the least water treatment.  But that doesn'tnecessarily mean none.  Try adding some sulfate to a glass to see if you like the results. Just because yiur beer is good doesn't necessarily mean it couldn't be better.

That is a good idea. I do know this...drinking straight (unfiltered) tap water, then filtered tap water, then RO filtered water, the hands down winner is the water filtered with a countertop filter.

Unfiltered has a definite chlorine taste. The RO water is very dry.

RO water is good for cleansing the palate in between samples of different beers.
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: denny on October 16, 2021, 08:40:36 am
The best water treatment is the least water treatment.  But that doesn'tnecessarily mean none.  Try adding some sulfate to a glass to see if you like the results. Just because yiur beer is good doesn't necessarily mean it couldn't be better.

That is a good idea. I do know this...drinking straight (unfiltered) tap water, then filtered tap water, then RO filtered water, the hands down winner is the water filtered with a countertop filter.

Unfiltered has a definite chlorine taste. The RO water is very dry.

RO water is good for cleansing the palate in between samples of different beers.

I'm lucky to not have to deal with that stuff.  The water from my well is fantastic for brewing and drinking.  I do minimal adjustment for s0me beers, little to nothing for others. It depends on the beer style and desired results.  But for German pils there's always a sulfate addition to supplement the 57 ppm already in the water.
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on October 19, 2021, 04:44:30 am
Here is the response from the Hofbrau Brewery, in Munich, when asked about water treatment:

The well water runs through the so-called double-deck filter , means it runs through gravel + active carbon filters, ion exchangers (strongly acidic) and remove Na +, Ca2 + and Mg +.

The degree of hardness is further adjusted with lime saturators, softening the water.

Then an activated carbon filter is used again for the perfect brewing water.


So it looks like they mainly taketh away, adding nothing to the water.

 
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: ynotbrusum on October 19, 2021, 04:54:01 am
It would be nice to know some numbers or even just ending pH, but I’d guess it is pretty neutral….
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on October 19, 2021, 05:43:21 am
It would be nice to know some numbers or even just ending pH, but I’d guess it is pretty neutral….

I agree, but that info most likely is proprietary.
My take is the water is pretty soft.
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on October 19, 2021, 08:08:05 am
Two good German breweries use local, low mineral soft water. So water does not need to be high in mineral content (sulfates) to brew a classic German Pils.

Krombacher, situated in the hills of Westfalia, uses local mountain spring water which is soft and low in minerals, making for an ideal beer.

Warsteiner - The Kaiserquelle, a natural reserve of extra soft water, is the water used at the brewery since 1927.
 
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: denny on October 19, 2021, 08:56:22 am
Here is the response from the Hofbrau Brewery, in Munich, when asked about water treatment:

The well water runs through the so-called double-deck filter , means it runs through gravel + active carbon filters, ion exchangers (strongly acidic) and remove Na +, Ca2 + and Mg +.

The degree of hardness is further adjusted with lime saturators, softening the water.

Then an activated carbon filter is used again for the perfect brewing water.


So it looks like they mainly taketh away, adding nothing to the water.

That means nothing unless you know what was in there to start with.
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: denny on October 19, 2021, 08:57:29 am
Two good German breweries use local, low mineral soft water. So water does not need to be high in mineral content (sulfates) to brew a classic German Pils.

Krombacher, situated in the hills of Westfalia, uses local mountain spring water which is soft and low in minerals, making for an ideal beer.

Warsteiner - The Kaiserquelle, a natural reserve of extra soft water, is the water used at the brewery since 1927.

I really think you're misinterpreting the info.  They could remove stuff and still have high mineral water.
Title: Re: Water report help/advice?
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on October 20, 2021, 04:29:07 am
Here is a some interesting info on water profiles for various beer styles. We are lucky, as our city water supply fits nicely in the middle of these stats.

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Various_water_recipes