Author Topic: My water profile  (Read 2018 times)

Offline wort-h.o.g.

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My water profile
« on: February 12, 2013, 07:27:14 PM »
Hello all. New to the forum. Just got my water profile today, and as expected, light beers are problematic for my water. I can adjust the bicarbonate and sulfate and ph no problem, but the sodium of 114ppm sucks. Until I put in a RO system, I understand using brunwater software that all I can do is dilute my mash water with distilled or bottled water- that sound about right? I'm making a Czech pilsner this weekend, adjusting my ph to 5.2 with lactic acid additions, and a little gypsum to up my sulfate. Will need to use about 3 gallons of distilled water to lower my sodium down to under 50ppm.

Here's my water profile:

pH 8.0
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 283
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.47
Cations / Anions, me/L 5.3 / 5.4
ppm
Sodium, Na 114
Potassium, K 2
Calcium, Ca 4
Magnesium, Mg 1
Total Hardness, CaCO3 14
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.1 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 3
Chloride, Cl 3
Carbonate, CO3 6
Bicarbonate, HCO3 297
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 253

Offline denny

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Re: My water profile
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013, 07:32:44 PM »
That sounds like the way I'd approach it.  I have to do something similar with my water for a pils, although it's nowhere near as extreme as yours.  Hopefully somebody smarter than me will chime in here, but I think you're going in the right direction.  I'd try it, taste the beer, and adjust from there if needed.
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Offline ukolowiczd

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Re: My water profile
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2013, 07:38:31 PM »
How much pilsner are you making? I only use bottled water. 2.5 gallon water jugs cost $3 or so (maybe less; I can't think how much off the top of my head). That water profile was high in CO3 and alkalinity. Since most of bottled water is low in most ions, I basically treat it like soft water. It's perfect for pilsners which usually use soft water.

Offline wort-h.o.g.

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Re: My water profile
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2013, 07:44:20 PM »
So it's just about 6 gallons in the fermenter. If I use all bottled water for a pilsner, any recommendations for additions in chemicals- or do you just figure out desired ph  ? I need about 9.5 gallons of water for the mash, so no big deal to buy the water.

Offline denny

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Re: My water profile
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2013, 07:47:36 PM »
Based on what I've read, some RO water can have some minerals in it.  Distilled doesn't.  If you want to be safe, you could go with all distilled and adjust per Bru'nwater.  Pick a color/flavor profile (like Yellow Balanced) and try that.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: My water profile
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2013, 09:05:06 PM »
Yes, the sodium and alkalinity are quite a bit high.  Is this from an ion-exchange softener?  The profile would suggest so. 

But dilution with RO water should do a world of good.  All the other ions are very low, so after diluting to meet the desirable sodium concentration, I'd plan of adding a little acid to further reduce the alkalinity to meet the needs of your current brew. 

Another option would be to forget the tap water and just use all RO if you have your own machine.  Then I would either use lime or this tap water to add alkalinity to the water as needed. 
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Offline wort-h.o.g.

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Re: My water profile
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2013, 04:31:19 AM »
Actually no, this water is straight from my well if you can believe it.

I hear RO term used,and understand that there are many RO systems I can put in my house. When people use RO- are they referring also to bottled water? I know some like aquafina bottled water claims RO process. And if I use bottled water- am I assuming negligible ions in my water profile, and adjusting according to my beer profile? I know with distilled it's neutral, but I'm not real sure with bottled water.

i also have problem with my starters taking off like they should - always a long delay of 24+hours.

im thinking i better use bottled water for my starters now that in know the water profile..its probably why they are slow to take off - not optimal conditions for the yeast.

what do you think?


by the way, it did take off last night and finished this morning - im at 1.010FG so into cold crash and step up tomorrow night with another .5 gal of 1.040 wort (with bottled water).
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 05:03:10 AM by wort-h.o.g. »

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: My water profile
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2013, 06:20:19 AM »
I buy RO water from a machine at the grocery store, and adjust for the beer being brewed. It tested at 12 ppm dissolved solids, all of the brewing ions were <1ppm. YMMV.

If you care to say as to the region, where are you at? Looks like the water goes through a layer of baking soda. Always wonder what the local geology is like.


Edit - there are many water profiles that members have poster here.
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=1887.0

« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 06:22:58 AM by hopfenundmalz »
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Offline brewmichigan

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Re: My water profile
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2013, 07:04:40 AM »
How can the alkalinity be so high here but the brewing minerals we care about are so low?
Mike --- Flint, Michigan

Offline Kaiser

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Re: My water profile
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2013, 07:10:21 AM »
How can the alkalinity be so high here but the brewing minerals we care about are so low?

It's because the sodium level is so high. Cl and SO4 are low, too. That leaves bicarbonate as the only anion.

wort-h.o.g, are you sure that this is straight from a well. It seems unusual to have that little calcium in well water. You may not be aware that there is a water softener somewhere.

There are elegant ways of removing calcium and bicarbonate from water, but its not so easy to remove sodium. I agree with the others, RO water would be the way to go.

Offline wort-h.o.g.

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Re: My water profile
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2013, 07:13:07 AM »
i understand how strange it is, but absolutely no softener, filter or anything. my well is very deep, about 375ft. my well system comprises a submersible well pump and pressure tank inside the house..thats it.

so live about 30 miles southeast of cleveland in suburbs - chagrin falls ohio 44023.

so when you use bottled water, whats the PH of it (does it matter?)- or do you not make any adjustments for PH when using bottled water. my grist for this pilsner is calculated at about 1pt of acidity if recall correctly.

sorry if this sounds stupid, but is RO water the same as bottled water? 

using Ro water, im still adding 3.3gr of gypsum, 2.6gr cal chloride, and 1.3ml lactic acid - result is 5.3PH, and brings everything in target range for this beer profile (according to bru'n water yellow balanced)
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 07:49:16 AM by wort-h.o.g. »

Offline mmitchem

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Re: My water profile
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2013, 08:26:02 AM »
Like others have said, some, if not most, RO waters you buy from a grocery store exchange system do have minerals added for flavor. Before making any adjustments, I went to the manufacturer of the particular brand that is available to me here in Suffolk, VA where my water is REALLY bad. They informed me that their mineral additions were proprietary and they could not release the actual mineral content. I found this troubling, because I wanted to know what I would be ingesting. At that point I wrote them off and decided to go distilled just because I know what is in there and have a consistent baseline, which will make the process repeatable.

I am not sure if anyone else has ever had a similar experience trying to obtain a water report from a company producing RO water. I could have simply sent a sample to Ward Labs, but the cost of the test IMO was better spent on distilled water that I could brew with and have confidence of the mineral content.

FWIW, since I started building my water from distilled and getting a little friendly advice from the folks on the forum, my beer has become much better. These guys know their shiznit!
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: My water profile
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2013, 09:28:57 AM »
i understand how strange it is, but absolutely no softener, filter or anything. my well is very deep, about 375ft. my well system comprises a submersible well pump and pressure tank inside the house..thats it.

so live about 30 miles southeast of cleveland in suburbs - chagrin falls ohio 44023.

so when you use bottled water, whats the PH of it (does it matter?)- or do you not make any adjustments for PH when using bottled water. my grist for this pilsner is calculated at about 1pt of acidity if recall correctly.

sorry if this sounds stupid, but is RO water the same as bottled water? 

using Ro water, im still adding 3.3gr of gypsum, 2.6gr cal chloride, and 1.3ml lactic acid - result is 5.3PH, and brings everything in target range for this beer profile (according to bru'n water yellow balanced)

Without knowing your grist details that sound about right to me. I build my water from RO and for 5 gallons ~3 g gypsum, ~3 g calcium chloride and enough lactic acid/pickling lime to bring the pH in line is all I add.
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: My water profile
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2013, 09:31:20 AM »
For all intents and brewing purposes you can assume that RO water is free of minerals. You may even want to pick up one of the cheap TDS (Total Dissolves Solids) meters and check it. A sufficiently good RO system should produce water with a measured TDS value of less than 30.

Don't worry about the source water minerals, leave them all empty, and add salts to get your desired water profile.

Kai

Offline wort-h.o.g.

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Re: My water profile
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2013, 10:23:45 AM »
ok understood. im just adding some gypsum to get sulfate level of 8ppm, cal chloride to get calcium level of 40ppm, and lactic acid to hit mash pH of 5.3-4.

are the 2.5 gallon jugs of water considered RO water?(ive answered my own question after posting this - it is not as I can see from the various bottled water manufactures product sheets and water quality reports. huge variance in most minerals and sodium levels in bottled water -excluding aquafina with list "non-detected for everything. they dont sell in gallon or larger jugs from what i can see)

 i dont have the RO system installed yet.  i will have to buy distilled water and use that.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 11:03:16 AM by wort-h.o.g. »