Author Topic: Water report help/advice?  (Read 1176 times)

Online trapae

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 389
Water report help/advice?
« on: September 28, 2021, 10:36:56 pm »
I would love some advice from Martin, AJ, or other water gurus out there.  I have been brewing (allgrain) with arrowhead spring water for a decade because my house had a water softener.  The one time I tried to brew with distilled and build my water turned out flat and boring.  Anyway, the water softener died so I got a Halo 5 water filtration system ( with multi-reversing polarity…not sure if that matters ), and sent a sample to ward with hopes to be able to brew with my house water now ( which tastes great now ).  Below is the report and I would be appreciative for any advice as to if it is appropriate to brew with.  I typically brew lagers, IPAs, porters/stouts.  Thanks in advance.

Ph                                                  8.3
TDS est, ppm                                  311
Electrical conductivity, mmho/cm      0.52
Cation/Anion me/L                           5.3/4.9

                                    ppm
Na.                                48
K.                                  2
Ca.                                49
Mg.                                8
Total Hardness, CaCO3    156
Nitrate.                          0.2 SAFE
Sulfate.                          21
Cl.                                 30
CO3.                              1.8
Bicarbonate, HCO3.         163
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3.    136
Total P.                            0.02
Total Fe.                          <0.01
I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.

Offline dmtaylor

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 4481
  • Lord Idiot the Lazy
    • YEAST MASTER Perma-Living
Re: Water report help/advice?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2021, 05:07:45 am »
That looks almost identical to my tap water here (treated from Lake Michigan).  "They" will say your water is a little hard and alkaline, so it will be ideal for brewing brown beers and darker.  However personally, I use it for everything.  I think I generally make pretty O.K. beer.  If you are a water nerd, stick with browns and darks with the water as-is, and for pale styles you might want to blend like 50/50 with distilled.  Also might want to add a little gypsum for hoppy styles and CaCl2 for malty styles, but of course that's all up to you.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2021, 05:09:36 am by dmtaylor »
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline purduekenn

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 222
Re: Water report help/advice?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2021, 11:23:10 am »
I agree with Dave and your water report is similar to mine that comes from a municipal water wells in Western KY near the Ohio River. When I brew light colored pale beers like lagers, blond ales etc I dilute it with 50% distilled water. I quit using RO water from the grocery store machines because they seamed to have to much dissolved solids when testing with a TDS meter.


My Water Report East Daviess County, KY June 2021

From Ward Labs:
Total Dissolved Solids 225
pH 8.4
ppm:

Sodium Na                    22
Potassium K                    2
Calcium Ca                    26.8
Magnesium Mg               19
Total Hardness CaCO3   118     
Sulfate SO4-S                19
Chloride Cl                     32
Carbonate CaCO3        <1.0
Bicarbonate CaCO3         95
Total Alkalinity                80

Offline nateo

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2336
Re: Water report help/advice?
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2021, 01:40:48 pm »
The only real problem is alkalinity. A bit of phosphoric acid for lighter beers and you'll be fine.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline purduekenn

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 222
Re: Water report help/advice?
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2021, 06:46:26 pm »
Yes add Lactic or Phosphoric acid as needed so the mash pH is not to high.

Offline erockrph

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7366
  • Chepachet, RI
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Water report help/advice?
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2021, 11:54:20 am »
Yes add Lactic or Phosphoric acid as needed so the mash pH is not to high.
I'll third that comment. My well is a little bit softer than what you have here, but fairly close. This is a nice, fairly blank slate for building water as you see fit. I use Brunwater or the Brewer's Friend water calculator to determine my acid addition to hit my target mash pH, and can brew pretty much every style without issue.

I don't see iron, manganese, or any other ions listed here. I know they aren't really ions targeted by brewers per se, but if you have any significant amount of metal ions you will notice a big improvement by using a chelating agent like Brewtan B.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline purduekenn

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 222
Re: Water report help/advice?
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2021, 05:47:24 am »
I used BeerSmith and Easy Water calculators to get a pH between 5.2-5.6. I think Brunwater Excel spread sheet is great but it doesn't work well with Mac Numbers spread sheet.Numbers was recently updated and i'll have to try it again.

Offline purduekenn

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 222
Re: Water report help/advice?
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2021, 08:53:11 am »
I used BeerSmith and Easy Water calculators to get a pH between 5.2-5.6. I think Brunwater Excel spread sheet is great but it doesn't work well with Mac Numbers spread sheet.Numbers was recently updated and i'll have to try it again.
FYI: EZ water spreadsheet is: https://ezwatercalculator.com

Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 626
Re: Water report help/advice?
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2021, 07:57:52 am »
Go to the source!  Get the free Bru'n Water spreadsheet, treat per Martin's recommendations, and you're good to go.
It's easier to read brewing books and get information from the forum than to sacrifice virgins to appease the brewing gods when bad beer happens!

Online trapae

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 389
Re: Water report help/advice?
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2021, 03:43:37 pm »
Thanks everyone, sounds like the consensus is looks like a pretty good water if I can get the pH right? Going to have to buy a pH meter and finally deal with some water worksheets/programs to figure out how much acid malt for phosphoric acid to add.
I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.

Offline purduekenn

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 222
Re: Water report help/advice?
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2021, 05:44:05 pm »
Go to the source!  Get the free Bru'n Water spreadsheet, treat per Martin's recommendations, and you're good to go.

Lazy Ant is correct in stating that Bru'n Water spreadsheet is good. I think it is the best one to use. I can now use it on my Mac with a Microsoft Mac App.

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 10380
  • Milford, MI
Re: Water report help/advice?
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2021, 07:32:31 am »
Thanks everyone, sounds like the consensus is looks like a pretty good water if I can get the pH right? Going to have to buy a pH meter and finally deal with some water worksheets/programs to figure out how much acid malt for phosphoric acid to add.

Weyermann has a rule of thumb stating that each percent of acid malt in the grain bill reduces the pH by 0.1.
Jeff Rankert
AHA Lifetime Member
BJCP National
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline Bel Air Brewing

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1192
Re: Water report help/advice?
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2021, 05:44:16 am »
Our city water supply is very similar to what is posted here. We do one of two things -

1. Filter the water with a high quality countertop cartridge filter, one that even removes ammonia.
2. Filter the water with our built in RO system.

As our city tap water has a good base composition for most beer styles, we have never done anything with modifying it.

If making a North German style Pils, we go with plain filtered tap. If making a Bavarian style (Munich), or a Czech style beer, we will go with a blend of straight filtered tap / RO water. Sometimes a 50 / 50 ratio.

Here is a funny story...my neighbor and brewing friend (Dave) has always modified his water with various chemical additions. Dave is what I call a water "nerd". So he was asked for advice on adding Sulfate. His response..."After drinking your beers, I would not change a thing. In fact, I am wasting my time with all this water chemistry, and will follow your example."

edit: Dave is a very honest person when it comes to beer. He is the one who told me a recent beer (Festbier) that I made was flawed.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2021, 05:47:09 am by TXFlyGuy »
When the goal is to brew the best beer possible, there is no finish line.

Offline dmtaylor

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 4481
  • Lord Idiot the Lazy
    • YEAST MASTER Perma-Living
Re: Water report help/advice?
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2021, 06:06:47 am »
Here is a funny story...my neighbor and brewing friend (Dave) has always modified his water with various chemical additions. Dave is what I call a water "nerd". So he was asked for advice on adding Sulfate. His response..."After drinking your beers, I would not change a thing. In fact, I am wasting my time with all this water chemistry, and will follow your example."

edit: Dave is a very honest person when it comes to beer. He is the one who told me a recent beer (Festbier) that I made was flawed.

Dang, this sounds so familiar!

And no, I am not the same Dave.  But I've experienced similar.  I tried to chase water for a few years.  But the best brewers I know don't care about water at all.  So then I stopped caring much.

AND, I would tell you if your beer was flawed.  :)
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline Bel Air Brewing

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1192
Re: Water report help/advice?
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2021, 08:10:05 am »
Here is a funny story...my neighbor and brewing friend (Dave) has always modified his water with various chemical additions. Dave is what I call a water "nerd". So he was asked for advice on adding Sulfate. His response..."After drinking your beers, I would not change a thing. In fact, I am wasting my time with all this water chemistry, and will follow your example."

edit: Dave is a very honest person when it comes to beer. He is the one who told me a recent beer (Festbier) that I made was flawed.

Dang, this sounds so familiar!

And no, I am not the same Dave.  But I've experienced similar.  I tried to chase water for a few years.  But the best brewers I know don't care about water at all.  So then I stopped caring much.

AND, I would tell you if your beer was flawed.  :)

Cool! Dave also said the best friends you have are those who are honest with you about your beer! I agree.

I never cared about water, other than a good filtration to remove undesirable components, like Chlorine. So now I care even less, if that is possible.
When the goal is to brew the best beer possible, there is no finish line.