Author Topic: what water to test  (Read 412 times)

Offline jimmykx250

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what water to test
« on: February 13, 2016, 09:25:13 AM »
I live in northern Illinois and am on a private well. I recently had a new softener installed and wanted to get my water tested by ward. So I sent them a bottle of both softened water and non softened (outside spicket) and left my number to have them call me to discuss what i should brew with and have tested. I at least will have them test to see how effective the new softener is and have the brewer test done on one but which one or both? Anybody on this forum have similar situation?
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Offline duboman

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Re: what water to test
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2016, 09:41:43 AM »
I'd just have them run the brewer test on both and then you can decide which one would be best to brew with. The same test should also verify your softener is working

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: what water to test
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2016, 11:09:01 AM »
This is a guess. Illinois, ground water, softener, all that says you have very hard water. Hardness is high Ca and Mg. softener so use ion exchange, most often with salt. Na replaces the Ca and Mg, you end up with low Ca and high Na in softened water, not good for all grain. If you only chose one, have them do the unsoftened water.
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: what water to test
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2016, 02:51:47 PM »
This is a guess. Illinois, ground water, softener, all that says you have very hard water. Hardness is high Ca and Mg. softener so use ion exchange, most often with salt. Na replaces the Ca and Mg, you end up with low Ca and high Na in softened water, not good for all grain. If you only chose one, have them do the unsoftened water.
+1
Or you could run the softened water through an under-sink style RO set-up and have blank-slate water and add salts to match whatever style fits your mood for that brew day.
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Offline euge

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Re: what water to test
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2016, 10:25:06 AM »
In my house the softened water ends up with about 275-300 ppm nacl only. I then have to run it through a RO unit to get nearly pure water- usually under 10 ppm nacl.

I don't recommend using softened water for mashing.

My brother softens his well water with a complicated pump house setup but treats it with sodium bicarbonate. It's the best water I've ever had and I bet it would be great for brewing extract at the very least. I'm going to bring some home with me next visit!

Also, RO is ok for some extracts but it has to be treated with minerals for mashing and to be really effective in all circumstances.
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