Author Topic: Can someone give me a rough sketch of what my water analysis tells me?  (Read 673 times)

Offline enso

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I have never really delved into water chemistry.  I am still not certain I am ready too either.  Never was good at chemistry.  Anyway, out of curioustity I had my water tested by ward labs.  Last place I lived did not provide any useful info on the town water.  It was wicked chlorinated anyway (even with filtration) so I did not use it.

Now I have well water, though I do not use that either.  It is wicked sulfery even with filtration!  I use a roadside spring up the road from me for brewing and drinking water.  Here is what I got:

pH 8.2
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est 157
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.26
Cations / Anions, me/L 2.5 / 2.7
Sodium, Na 1
Potassium, K 2
Calcium, Ca 45
Magnesium, Mg 2
Total Hardness, CaCO3 121
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.1 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 6
Chloride, Cl 1
Carbonate, CO3 9
Bicarbonate, HCO3 120
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 112
Fluoride, F 0.01
Total Iron, Fe < 0.01
"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit

Without blowing my head off with vast knowledge I am not quite ready for, can someone give me a rough idea how this water suites/does not suite beer styles?  I have brewed a flanders red and a brown ale so far since I have lived here (about a month) and also made a mead.  I am looking to brew up 10 gallons of my house pale ale, but started to be concerned after reading posts about water that maybe this water is not good for a hoppy pale ale since I do not really understand it all yet.
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Offline hamiltont

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Re: Can someone give me a rough sketch of what my water analysis tells me?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2010, 09:13:57 AM »
I played around with Palmer's spreadsheet & came up with this.  I am no expert by any means but using Palmer's spreadsheet has dramatically improved my beer. I really recommend downloading the spreadsheet!  I'm confident someone else will have more precise input but here ya go....  Cheers!!!

For 7 gallons of your water for the mash resulting in a RA ~54 for a ~10 SRM beer leaning towards the bitter side:
Gypsum  CaSO4 *2H2O = 1 gram
Calcium Chloride  CaCl2*2H2O = 2 grams
Epsom Salt  MgSO4 *7H2O = 2 grams
Baking Soda  NaHCO3 = 1 gram
88% Lactic Acid = 1ml

Adjusted Mash:
Calcium (ppm) = 74
Magnesium (ppm) =9
Alkalinity as CaCO3 = 134
Sodium (ppm) = 11
Chloride (ppm)    = 37
Sulfate (ppm) = 68

If Homebrew & BBQ aren't the answer, then you're askin' the wrong questions... Cheers!!!

Offline a10t2

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Re: Can someone give me a rough sketch of what my water analysis tells me?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2010, 09:40:24 AM »
You have medium-hardness, medium-alkalinity (RA ~60 ppm CaCO3) water. So pH-wise, you should be fine to brew anything in the 10-15 SRM range, give or take.

For a hoppy beer, you'll want some sulfates. 0.75 g/gal of gypsum (CaSO4) will bring the SO4 to ~120 ppm and Ca to ~90 ppm, and drop the RA to ~30. That's pretty much ideal for 5-12 SRM, and it's all I think you need to do for an APA. For a malty but pale beer, you'd do essentially the same thing with CaCl2. For darker beers, you'd also need to add some chalk.

This barely scratches the surface but I wrote it specifically to be a starting point:

The best link in there is an interactive version of Palmer's nomograph: His spreadsheet uses the same calculations, but I find it to be needlessly complicated for most brewing.
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