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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: redzim on March 23, 2011, 06:35:34 pm

Title: help me fix this water
Post by: redzim on March 23, 2011, 06:35:34 pm
A brewer friend in SW Pennsylvania got his Ward Labs report and came to me for help. He's been doing all-grain for a year with this water and complains of his pale beers being underwhelming. (I have not tasted any.) Being a neophyte brewing water chemist myself, I thought I would crowd-source some advice.

Here's the water (call it A): 97ppm Na, 5ppm Ca, 0ppm K, 0ppm Mg, 2ppm SO4-S, 35ppm Cl, 12ppm CO3, 181ppm HCO3, 169ppm Total Alkalinity as CaCO3. pH 8.6. 

He can get water from a second well a mile away (call it B) with a similar profile: 72ppm Na, 11ppm Ca, 2ppm K, 3ppm Mg, 1ppm SO4-S, 29ppm Cl, 9ppm CO3, 163ppm HCO3, 149ppm Total Alkalinity as CaCO3. pH 8.4.

This is so unlike my own water I'm not sure what to do with it, although at first glance the Na looks like a potential problem.  Any suggestions for him?  Dilution with RO or distilled, then a lot of additions based on Martin and Kai's spreadsheets would be how I would think to attack this, for pale beers.  Is there any beer style that this water is good for?

Title: Re: help me fix this water
Post by: mabrungard on March 23, 2011, 06:56:26 pm
That water could be good for a Gose since you desire an elevated Na content.  The sodium is not way too high, its just higher than desirable.  The RA is probably kind of high with the alkalinity and little hardness, so acid will be a welcome ingredient. 

Dilution is a good solution.  It probably shouldn't take more than about a 50:50 dilution to bring the Na into a decent range.  Its not terrible, but its not great.  Water B is obviously more useable by itself.
Title: Re: help me fix this water
Post by: Kit B on March 23, 2011, 08:27:22 pm
I'd probably go to the local Walmart & get R/O (like I do, now).
I'm surprised to see such a strange profile.
It's not outrageously bad...
I'm just surprised at such a drastic difference from my own water profile (aside from the high alkalinity).