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Ward Labs Report is in! Please help decipher!

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tomthebrewer:
I bit the $16.50 bullet and sent a sample in and here's what I got. So...what do I have?

pH 8.2
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est 230
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.38
Cations / Anions, me/L 3.7 / 3.7
ppm
Sodium, Na 18
Potassium, K 5
Calcium, Ca 32
Magnesium, Mg 14
Total Hardness, CaCO3 138
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.4 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 8
Chloride, Cl 22
Carbonate, CO3 6
Bicarbonate, HCO3 140
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 125

Kaiser:
You have moderately soft water that will work for a wide range of styles. I recommend getting gypsum, calcium chloride and chalk to augment it's mineral content as necessary.

Kai

tomthebrewer:
I noticed my pH was 8.2. In my amateur opinion, this seems a bit high. Am I wrong to think so? Does the pH lower during the mashing of normal grains (i.e. pale malt, crystal, non-highly roasted grain)?

a10t2:
Yes, any grain will tend to acidify the mash, although like you said, the darker the grain the larger the effect will be. As far as the pH, though, the buffering power of the water is going to be very low. The water pH has almost no impact on what the final mash pH will be.

And more generally, I agree with Kai. You may need to dilute with distilled water for very pale beers, but for a "normal" mash (10-15 SRM) all you need to worry about is adjusting your Cl/SO4.

bo_gator:
You have a good Cl:SO4 ratio for malty beers.

Remember you want to get you Ca to 50-150 ppm to get you hot break and yeast to flocculate out right.

If you go to www.howtobrew.com and go to the mash PH section you can download Palmer's Residual alkalinity spread sheet,and put you profile numbers in the source water section. From there it will tell you the srm range your water will work best for untreated, and it will calculate ion additions to the RA you want for a specific color beer.

Remember that proper RA will not turn a crappyrecipe or poorly brewed beer into a great one,but can help well brewed beer to be better. It will also help with mash PH which can help ensure conversion of the starch :D

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