Author Topic: Water Questions  (Read 597 times)

Offline crakers540

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Water Questions
« on: February 25, 2016, 02:20:50 AM »
I am sure this has been addressed many times, looking for a short answer:

I am getting ready to do my first all grain brew.  My water is from my well, and it is softened.
I have ran some tests on it in my lab.  Al, Cu, Pb, Sn, Ag, Zn, Ca, Mg, Si, P, B, and K are zero.  Na is at 19 ppm.  TDS =   355.  Specific Conductance is 670.

My main concern is that my pH is 7.8.  I think I need a pH of around 5.4 for mashing, and I plan to only mash grains for simple, basic recipes (simple ales, lagers, to start with) until I get a grip on all-grain. 

What do I need to do , if anything, to treat my strike and sparge water (plan on batch sparging)?

Offline braufessor

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Re: Water Questions
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2016, 02:24:46 AM »
Some of the important numbers to know:
Calcium
Magnesium
Sulfate
Chloride
Sodium
Hardness/Bicarbonate

pH of the water itself is less important.....

The thing I would be most concerned about is that you say your water goes through a water softener.  You don't want to use water from a water softener.

You also want to address chlorine/chloramine

Do you know the numbers for the minerals listed above?

Offline jthaworth

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Re: Water Questions
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2016, 02:34:08 AM »
Some of the important numbers to know:
Calcium
Magnesium
Sulfate
Chloride
Sodium
Hardness/Bicarbonate

pH of the water itself is less important.....

The thing I would be most concerned about is that you say your water goes through a water softener.  You don't want to use water from a water softener.

You also want to address chlorine/chloramine

Do you know the numbers for the minerals listed above?

Why would one not want to use water from a Water Softener?

Offline erockrph

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Re: Water Questions
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2016, 02:45:45 AM »
Why would one not want to use water from a Water Softener?
Softened water typically contains a high level of sodium - enough to potentially affect the flavor of your beer.
Eric B.

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Offline crakers540

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Re: Water Questions
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2016, 03:00:48 AM »
My Sodium is only 19 ppm, relatively small, I think.  Most elements are zero, and no sulfates or Chloride.  Hardness should be reduced (actual amounts not tested for in my labs).

I have made several extract brews with grains, so my main concern is hitting the pH when I do all grain mashing, sounds like that may not be a concern?

Offline braufessor

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Re: Water Questions
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2016, 03:11:49 AM »
My Sodium is only 19 ppm, relatively small, I think.  Most elements are zero, and no sulfates or Chloride.  Hardness should be reduced (actual amounts not tested for in my labs).

I have made several extract brews with grains, so my main concern is hitting the pH when I do all grain mashing, sounds like that may not be a concern?

Your water pH is not really a concern.... your mash pH is a concern.

What is making your water alkaline?  It would really help if you gave numbers for those other minerals.

Do you have a water softener..... or an RO filter?  Generally, water is "Softened" with some sort of ion exchange.  Often sodium.  If you sodium is 19, is there something else that is really high??
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 03:14:32 AM by braufessor »

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water Questions
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2016, 03:15:26 AM »
Can you post the unsoftened water mineral content? That would help.

Softening reduces Ca and Mg, and adds Na (usually for salt). You want Ca And Mg to a certain extent. The amount of bicarbonate in the water is very important, as that is what will controll mash pH to a large extent, as that will buffer the pH.
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: Water Questions
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2016, 04:07:56 AM »
Some of the important numbers to know:
Calcium
Magnesium
Sulfate
Chloride
Sodium
Hardness/Bicarbonate

pH of the water itself is less important.....

The thing I would be most concerned about is that you say your water goes through a water softener.  You don't want to use water from a water softener.

You also want to address chlorine/chloramine

Do you know the numbers for the minerals listed above?
He said well water so probably no chlorination.
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline Philbrew

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Re: Water Questions
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2016, 04:11:04 AM »
I am sure this has been addressed many times, looking for a short answer:

I am getting ready to do my first all grain brew.  My water is from my well, and it is softened.
I have ran some tests on it in my lab.  Al, Cu, Pb, Sn, Ag, Zn, Ca, Mg, Si, P, B, and K are zero.  Na is at 19 ppm.  TDS =   355.  Specific Conductance is 670.

My main concern is that my pH is 7.8.  I think I need a pH of around 5.4 for mashing, and I plan to only mash grains for simple, basic recipes (simple ales, lagers, to start with) until I get a grip on all-grain. 

What do I need to do , if anything, to treat my strike and sparge water (plan on batch sparging)?
I'm no water chemist, but softened water with 355 TDS and only 19 ppm Na seems odd.
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Water Questions
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2016, 05:11:39 AM »
My Ro water is 13-15 TDS.  It is the combination of softened then RO filtered water.  Not sure how those numbers are reached.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Water Questions
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2016, 01:29:49 PM »
Something does seem amiss. Although a TDS or conductance reading is an inexact measure with respect to ionic content, the 19 ppm Na seems several times too low with respect to the TDS reading. In addition, the water report information is missing the anions and most importantly, the alkalinity. Nothing can be deduced from this report.
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