Author Topic: Bru'n Water results - cation anion difference  (Read 571 times)

Offline masonmacphail

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Bru'n Water results - cation anion difference
« on: April 19, 2018, 01:27:08 PM »
Hey Everyone,

Wondering if I could get a little guidance. I entered this water profile into Bru'n water and the cation anion difference isn't less than 0.1 like the Bru'n water spreadsheet says it should be. Did I enter this correctly and if so is the 0.32 difference between cations and anions a problem? The report is from Ward labs and many people I talk to have success using them. Thanks in advance for the help!






Offline mchrispen

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Re: Bru'n Water results - cation anion difference
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2018, 01:44:44 PM »
The difference is not ideal, but should be fine for brewing water chemistry.


For what it is worth - that is pretty amazing water.


Do make sure to use camden or metabisulfite to eliminate chlorine or chloramines.
Matt Chrispen
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Blogging from the garage @ accidentalis.com
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Offline masonmacphail

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Re: Bru'n Water results - cation anion difference
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2018, 01:55:14 PM »
I just use a charcoal filter.

Offline masonmacphail

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Re: Bru'n Water results - cation anion difference
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2018, 01:56:54 PM »
I'm really more curious about why there is a difference between the cations and anions.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 02:03:34 PM by masonmacphail »

Offline Robert

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Re: Bru'n Water results - cation anion difference
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2018, 02:03:29 PM »
That is indeed nice water -- what is the source?  I would guess the difference is because there are trace minerals not accounted for in the analysis.  It would balance if absolutely everything present in the water was reported.  What you have should be accurate.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

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Offline masonmacphail

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Re: Bru'n Water results - cation anion difference
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2018, 02:10:34 PM »
That is indeed nice water -- what is the source?

Plain ole Dallas water!

Offline Stevie

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Re: Bru'n Water results - cation anion difference
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2018, 04:56:43 PM »
That is indeed nice water -- what is the source?

Plain ole Dallas water!
Dallas water in a wet year. During the drought years the minerals are much higher.

Offline kramerog

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Re: Bru'n Water results - cation anion difference
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2018, 07:20:44 PM »
It looks like the data is correctly entered.  There is some phosphorous that is not accounted for in Bru'n Water.  Doing some quick calcs and assuming that phosphorous corresponds to HPO3--, the phosphorous only accounts for ~ 0.02 meq/l of extra anion.  So what is left is analytical error and other substances that are not tested for.

My educated guess is that the discrepancy does not matter much for purposes of calculating your mash pH and for sparge adjustments (probably no reason to adjust due to near zero residual alkalinity).  To me, the bigger issue is that your water apparently comes from a surface source whose mineral content varies based on the weather.  The water looks good now, but might not be during a drought.

Offline mchrispen

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Re: Bru'n Water results - cation anion difference
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2018, 08:52:04 PM »
The reason I mention campden is because chloramines will break through most small activated charcoal filters. The flow rate for contact for chloramines is ridiculously slow. Campden will guarantee that all chlorine and chloramine is removed before you brew.


I have seen chloramines pass through two inline 24-inch filters at commercial breweries here in Austin, and show indicators upon titration tests. Once Austin switched to chloramines it caused a good deal of disruption here.


If you are concerned with seasonal changes, a cheap TDS meter, and a little alkalinity test (find one at a pool or aquarium shop) will let you know if things swing too far.
Matt Chrispen
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Offline masonmacphail

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Re: Bru'n Water results - cation anion difference
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2018, 10:01:18 PM »
Good info, thanks guys! Looks like I need to get water reports more often. Last one was in 2015.

Offline Robert

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Re: Bru'n Water results - cation anion difference
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2018, 11:01:13 PM »
Good info, thanks guys! Looks like I need to get water reports Not often. Last one was in 2015.
Before I went to RO, I checked water reports over several years and also tested my calcium and total alkalinity (test kits from aquarium shop) at every brewday.  I found that secondary flavor ions (sulfate, sodium, chloride) were always in a narrow range (just more than I wanted,) calcium varied seasonally but was always too low, and only total alkalinity varied widely over time.  So by just testing total alkalinity from time to time, I could have a reasonable template for water treatment.  With your water, with low levels of those flavor ions, this kind of approach could work well for you.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

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Offline hackrsackr

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Bru'n Water results - cation anion difference
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2018, 05:17:33 PM »
Why is ward labs cation total 3.1 vs Bru’n waters 3.01? The difference on ward labs results is .4 mEq/L.

Edit: also with the whole ionic balance thing, wouldn’t the theory that the ions perfectly cancel out only be for a solution @ pH 7.0, or 0mV? If the pH is higher than that (7.9) it means the probe read: -mV, or negative electrons (negative negatives), or a positive charge indicative of the larger cation  proportion.

I think that makes sense...
« Last Edit: April 20, 2018, 05:43:04 PM by hackrsackr »

Offline masonmacphail

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Re: Bru'n Water results - cation anion difference
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2018, 07:13:26 PM »
I might be wrong but I figured the discrepancy was that, it looks like, Ward could be rounding their numbers?

Offline hackrsackr

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Re: Bru'n Water results - cation anion difference
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2018, 07:21:49 PM »
That could be but I’d still expect it to be closer, could be that they measure another cation in the lab that isn’t reported, but makes it into the result.

Offline Steve L

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Re: Bru'n Water results - cation anion difference
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2018, 09:13:48 PM »
Just for the heck of it, I tested my tap water using Brewlab and also sent a sample to Wards for comparison. The two were quite close. None of the results were more than 15 ppm difference. I will say that my cation/anion balance was a wee bit closer with the Brewlab than Wards. My difference came out at .02 and Wards at .08 . Both are fine for brewing. I'd definitely trust the Ward's results.
Corripe Cervisiam