Nice forum folks. I walked into our local home brew shop a few weeks ago and got "bit." Background: I'm a 52 year old health professional who has a great love of wine, single malt scotch and beer. I did some home brewing about 30+ years ago in college and it was all extract and the quality was, shall we say...there was a reason I gave it up. There was no internet, no local HBS, few resources and money at the time. I DO plan on doing all grain as that's the way I roll, I want total control and am an obsessive note and record keeper (I will start off again however with extract to get my rhythm going). I have well water with a water softener. Right from the get go I would like to know what factor water plays in my brewing so I would like recommendations for having my water tested? I DO have the ability to pull water off the main before it gets softened if that's the smart thing to do. If it helps at all I count among my favorite beers Troegs Nugget Nectar and Perpetual IPA, Sam Smith Pale Ale (yup...), Sierra Nevada and Dales Pale Ales...etc. I was lucky enough to get some Society and Solitude #5, #8 from Hill Farmstead from my mother in law (nice surprise). Loved Heady Topper and The Pliny Elder of course but not enough to go to all the baloney to get them. I am a hop head but can get over hopped at times and drink a few stouts or wheat beers for a break. I do not enjoy overly malty flabby beers that much. I have a much more refined nose/palate for Bordeaux and cabernet than beer but that's due to what I've been focused on for the past 20 years, so I'm still learning to taste. With that overload of information does anyone have a recommendation for how I test my water? I asked the local HBS and he said don't bother if using extract. If you think I'm wasting my time just tell me. I do know before the water is softened it is pretty hard and scaly and all our fixtures in our house had white deposits on them. Thank you in advance.