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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: tomthebrewer on December 01, 2009, 12:28:05 AM

Title: Ward Labs Report is in! Please help decipher!
Post by: tomthebrewer on December 01, 2009, 12:28:05 AM
I bit the $16.50 bullet and sent a sample in and here's what I got. So...what do I have?

pH 8.2
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est 230
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.38
Cations / Anions, me/L 3.7 / 3.7
ppm
Sodium, Na 18
Potassium, K 5
Calcium, Ca 32
Magnesium, Mg 14
Total Hardness, CaCO3 138
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.4 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 8
Chloride, Cl 22
Carbonate, CO3 6
Bicarbonate, HCO3 140
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 125
Title: Re: Ward Labs Report is in! Please help decipher!
Post by: Kaiser on December 01, 2009, 12:47:36 AM
You have moderately soft water that will work for a wide range of styles. I recommend getting gypsum, calcium chloride and chalk to augment it's mineral content as necessary.

Kai
Title: Re: Ward Labs Report is in! Please help decipher!
Post by: tomthebrewer on December 01, 2009, 12:50:09 AM
I noticed my pH was 8.2. In my amateur opinion, this seems a bit high. Am I wrong to think so? Does the pH lower during the mashing of normal grains (i.e. pale malt, crystal, non-highly roasted grain)?
Title: Re: Ward Labs Report is in! Please help decipher!
Post by: a10t2 on December 01, 2009, 01:01:02 AM
Yes, any grain will tend to acidify the mash, although like you said, the darker the grain the larger the effect will be. As far as the pH, though, the buffering power of the water is going to be very low. The water pH has almost no impact on what the final mash pH will be.

And more generally, I agree with Kai. You may need to dilute with distilled water for very pale beers, but for a "normal" mash (10-15 SRM) all you need to worry about is adjusting your Cl/SO4.
Title: Re: Ward Labs Report is in! Please help decipher!
Post by: bo_gator on December 01, 2009, 01:01:45 AM
You have a good Cl:SO4 ratio for malty beers.

Remember you want to get you Ca to 50-150 ppm to get you hot break and yeast to flocculate out right.

If you go to www.howtobrew.com and go to the mash PH section you can download Palmer's Residual alkalinity spread sheet,and put you profile numbers in the source water section. From there it will tell you the srm range your water will work best for untreated, and it will calculate ion additions to the RA you want for a specific color beer.

Remember that proper RA will not turn a crappyrecipe or poorly brewed beer into a great one,but can help well brewed beer to be better. It will also help with mash PH which can help ensure conversion of the starch :D
Title: Re: Ward Labs Report is in! Please help decipher!
Post by: Kaiser on December 01, 2009, 01:04:55 AM
I noticed my pH was 8.2. In my amateur opinion, this seems a bit high. Am I wrong to think so? Does the pH lower during the mashing of normal grains (i.e. pale malt, crystal, non-highly roasted grain)?

the pH of the water matters little in brewing. What matters is the alkalinity which determines how much the water balances the acidity of the malt the darker the malt, the more acidic it tends to be. Your alkalinity is fairly low. You shouldn't have any problems brewing beers from light amber to dark brown. 
Title: Re: Ward Labs Report is in! Please help decipher!
Post by: bo_gator on December 01, 2009, 01:10:03 AM
I swear that picture reminds me of Jamie from Mythbusters :'(
Title: Re: Ward Labs Report is in! Please help decipher!
Post by: tomthebrewer on December 01, 2009, 01:19:10 AM
Okay, so riddle me this: I'm planning on brewing a porter next with a SRM of 45. I'm playing around with the water profiler on Promash and I'm not real sure of how to adjust what I need. I was going to use London water as a target, but some of my #'s are higher than the target and some are lower. How should I compensate adding stilled water and salts to get to where I want to go?

I'm a newb at this, so please have patience!

Also, what effect will adjusting the water have on mash efficiency?
Title: Re: Ward Labs Report is in! Please help decipher!
Post by: a10t2 on December 01, 2009, 02:05:34 AM
For a dark beer you'll want to add carbonates as either CaCO3 or NaHCO3. I find it easiest to use this version of Palmer's nomograph: http://nomograph.babbrewers.com/

Getting your residual alkalinity to match up with your grist will get the mash pH into the desirable range (something like 5.1-5.6). Optimizing the pH will increase your mash efficiency.

Your water isn't all that similar to mine, but this details my decision-making process in building a water profile for a beer: http://seanterrill.com/2009/08/08/water-water-everywhere/
Title: Re: Ward Labs Report is in! Please help decipher!
Post by: tomthebrewer on December 01, 2009, 03:01:22 AM
Awesome, thanks for the help guys!
Title: Re: Ward Labs Report is in! Please help decipher!
Post by: tomthebrewer on December 02, 2009, 02:08:26 AM
Hey guys, while working out how many grams of salt needed to achieve desired levels, something occurred to me: how to I add the salts?

Can I add all of them to the mash water, or do I have to proportionally add them to the mash and sparge water?
Title: Re: Ward Labs Report is in! Please help decipher!
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on December 02, 2009, 03:59:59 AM
Palmer was talking about adding salts to the mash and to the Brew Kettle in proportion with your water volumes.
Title: Re: Ward Labs Report is in! Please help decipher!
Post by: drf255 on December 03, 2009, 10:58:58 AM
I add the correct amount to the mash water, and the rest to the brew kettle.  If you add extra alkalinizing salts to the sparge water, it could possibly allow the pH of the runoff to rise quicker.