Author Topic: Post your water report  (Read 76966 times)

Offline mihalybaci

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Re: Post your water report
« Reply #195 on: September 25, 2012, 09:00:33 AM »
I have not. If the mash pH is too high, would it be enough for me to drop it with some citric acid (which I have lying around for other purposes)? Or would something like a pH stabilizer that I've seen at the homebrew store be better?

Offline denny

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Re: Post your water report
« Reply #196 on: September 25, 2012, 09:42:36 AM »
I have not. If the mash pH is too high, would it be enough for me to drop it with some citric acid (which I have lying around for other purposes)? Or would something like a pH stabilizer that I've seen at the homebrew store be better?

Based on my own experience and what I've read from many others, the pH stabilizer is ineffective and add a strange taste to your beer due to the amount of sodium in it.  I don't think citirc acid would be effective because you;d have to add so much it might affect the flavor.  I use either lactic or phosphoric acid to lower pH.  You can also use sauermalt (Yeah, I probably dickchimped the spelling) to lower pH.  But you'll have to have a way of measuring pH to know how much to use and if it's effective.
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Offline mihalybaci

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Re: Post your water report
« Reply #197 on: September 25, 2012, 10:05:03 AM »
Based on my own experience and what I've read from many others, the pH stabilizer is ineffective and add a strange taste to your beer due to the amount of sodium in it.  I don't think citirc acid would be effective because you;d have to add so much it might affect the flavor.  I use either lactic or phosphoric acid to lower pH.  You can also use sauermalt (Yeah, I probably dickchimped the spelling) to lower pH.  But you'll have to have a way of measuring pH to know how much to use and if it's effective.

Okay. I did a saison last year with a pound of acid malt for some tartness, not to lower the pH, and didn't notice any harshness, or at least I can't remember any. I'll definitely try adding some in my next beer and see what happens. Thanks!

Offline ryang

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Re: Post your water report
« Reply #198 on: October 02, 2012, 08:34:54 PM »
Finally got my well tested at our new (well, it's old... built in 1924) house in the foothills west of Denver.  Anyone care to give a brief opinion of the water?  This is a new aspect to brewing that I will have to focus in on in the months to come.

pH 8.3
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 774
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 1.29
Cations / Anions, me/L 12.5 / 13.3
Sodium, Na 243
Potassium, K 4
Calcium, Ca 19
Magnesium, Mg 11
Total Hardness, CaCO3 93
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.1
Sulfate, SO4-S 106
Chloride, Cl 56
Carbonate, CO3 12
Bicarbonate, HCO3 285
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 254
« Last Edit: October 02, 2012, 08:36:39 PM by ryang »

Offline Mark G

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Re: Post your water report
« Reply #199 on: October 03, 2012, 07:20:57 AM »
That's a lot of sodium. You need to get that number down significantly. Have you considered any water treatment options for your house? Otherwise you can dilute it with store-bought RO or distilled water.
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Re: Post your water report
« Reply #200 on: October 03, 2012, 09:54:35 AM »
That is high in alkalinity, and low in hardness (Ca). The water must go through some interesting mineral layers there.

Dilution would be an option, and then use CaCl2 to up the Ca. Said that due to the fact that you have a lot of SO4. Ward Labs reports it as sulfur unts, to get the SO4 multiple by 3 (if you have not done so) which puts that at 318 ppm.

Another option is to just buy RO water and build up to get the profile for the beer being brewed.

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Offline ryang

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Re: Post your water report
« Reply #201 on: October 09, 2012, 11:05:56 AM »
Thanks for the replies.  The sample submitted was out of the kitchen faucet, and that is the water that goes through the softener, so it may be that the sodium level is being increased quite significantly from that.  I may submit a sample with pure well water from the outside tap.

The well is hardrock (granite) drilled at about 240 foot depth.  The well was drilled in 1974.

We have talked about getting an RO system, but the majority of them are so inefficient.  I did find that Costco carries a 'no-waste' RO system, but I haven't looked into it all that much.  Any recommendations on RO systems?

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Re: Post your water report
« Reply #202 on: October 09, 2012, 07:12:11 PM »
Get a sample of the water bypassed from the softener to see what is the base water from the well. That way you will see what the calcium and magnesium are, I am not smart enough to estimate from the softened water. That is a job for a water super hero professional like Martin.  ;)
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Post your water report
« Reply #203 on: October 09, 2012, 07:16:25 PM »
Get a sample of the water bypassed from the softener to see what is the base water from the well. That way you will see what the calcium and magnesium are, I am not smart enough to estimate from the softened water. That is a job for a water super hero professional like Martin.  ;)
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Post your water report
« Reply #204 on: October 10, 2012, 03:15:23 AM »
Get a sample of the water bypassed from the softener to see what is the base water from the well. That way you will see what the calcium and magnesium are, I am not smart enough to estimate from the softened water. That is a job for a water super hero professional like Martin.  ;)
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Post your water report
« Reply #205 on: October 10, 2012, 04:01:35 AM »
Thanks for the replies.  The sample submitted was out of the kitchen faucet, and that is the water that goes through the softener, so it may be that the sodium level is being increased quite significantly from that.  I may submit a sample with pure well water from the outside tap.

The well is hardrock (granite) drilled at about 240 foot depth.  The well was drilled in 1974.

We have talked about getting an RO system, but the majority of them are so inefficient.  I did find that Costco carries a 'no-waste' RO system, but I haven't looked into it all that much.  Any recommendations on RO systems?

You guys crack me up.

Yes, the water report was typical of a ion-exchange softened water with the Ca and Mg low and Na high.  The alkalinity is also left high, so the pH reducing effect of the Ca and Mg in the mash is deleted and the mash pH ends up far too high.  The worst of both worlds.

With the amount of Na in the water, the Ca might have been in the 200 + range.  That's darn hard water.  The other troubling thing is the very high sulfate at over 300 ppm.  This is probably still not a very nice water to drink and the unsoftened water may not be much better in brewing. 

Ryan mentions this well is in granite, but the Ca and carbonates suggest that there is a carbonate aquifer somewhere upstream of the well.  Water from a strictly hard rock source would be much softer and have little alkalinity.  The typical problem for that source is that it picks up things like iron and manganese from the rock. 

I would perform a simple taste test on the unsoftened tap water and assess if it tastes good.  The ion-exchange softening also removes the iron and manganese from the water, so the unsoftened water might display a metallic taste.  If it does, its time to punt.  That water will not be suitable for brewing.  Getting a home RO system to provide the family drinking water would be a good idea. 

Don't listen to something that says 'zero waste' RO system.  A RO system uses a 'tangential flush' to keep the membranes from fouling.  If there wasn't this flush, the ion concentrations on the feedwater side would get so high that the ions would precipitate onto the membrane (scale) and clog the membrane in a heartbeat.  Waste is a part of RO operation.  Using the softened water as the feedwater will help prolong the life of the membrane. 
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Offline hd3

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Re: Post your water report
« Reply #206 on: October 11, 2012, 01:27:21 PM »
Alright. I am getting ready to brew my first batch (beyond excited ;D).  I am brewing an irish red (came with the kit) and it is extract.  I am trying to cover all my bases and have been trying to understand the water profile in my area but....I cannot even begin to understand some of the water discussion happening on the forum.  Here is my water report from my area.  Anything with a 0 was not listed on the report. Any suggestions or thoughts?  Thanks for your help.

pH= 8.02
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) mg/L= 79
Sodium, Na =3.0
Potassium, K =0.8
Calcium, Ca =17.1
Magnesium, Mg= 1.8
Total Hardness, CaCO3  mg/L= 52.0
Nitrate, NO3-N =0
Sulfate, SO4-S= 0
Chloride, Cl =0
Carbonate, CO3 = 0
Bicarbonate, HCO3 = 0
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 = 36.4
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: Post your water report
« Reply #207 on: October 11, 2012, 01:30:48 PM »
Alright. I am getting ready to brew my first batch (beyond excited ;D).  I am brewing an irish red (came with the kit) and it is extract.  I am trying to cover all my bases and have been trying to understand the water profile in my area but....I cannot even begin to understand some of the water discussion happening on the forum.  Here is my water report from my area.  Anything with a 0 was not listed on the report. Any suggestions or thoughts?  Thanks for your help.

pH= 8.02
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) mg/L= 79
Sodium, Na =3.0
Potassium, K =0.8
Calcium, Ca =17.1
Magnesium, Mg= 1.8
Total Hardness, CaCO3  mg/L= 52.0
Nitrate, NO3-N =0
Sulfate, SO4-S= 0
Chloride, Cl =0
Carbonate, CO3 = 0
Bicarbonate, HCO3 = 0
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 = 36.4

don't worry about it. with extract it's not a huge concern as most of the water chemistry stuff was handled by the folks that made the extract. Some folks even recommend using distilled water for extract brewing. Make sure there is no chlorine or chloramine in your water, if it is from a municiple source you can do this by very slow filtering through a carbon filter or camden tablets (available at your LHBS). other than that you should be fine.
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Offline hd3

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Re: Post your water report
« Reply #208 on: October 11, 2012, 01:39:19 PM »
Great. I figured it wasn't too big of a deal with extract but thought I would ask.  Thanks!
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Post your water report
« Reply #209 on: October 11, 2012, 05:15:40 PM »

pH= 8.02
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) mg/L= 79
Sodium, Na =3.0
Potassium, K =0.8
Calcium, Ca =17.1
Magnesium, Mg= 1.8
Total Hardness, CaCO3  mg/L= 52.0
Nitrate, NO3-N =0
Sulfate, SO4-S= 0
Chloride, Cl =0
Carbonate, CO3 = 0
Bicarbonate, HCO3 = 0
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 = 36.4

A more complete analysis is needed, but I can see that the 2 ions that are missing (Cl, and SO4) are probably pretty low.  This is nearly RO quality water and should be fine for extract brewing. 
Martin B
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