Author Topic: Water PH  (Read 950 times)

Offline jtconrad74

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Water PH
« on: April 26, 2011, 08:05:38 PM »
I bought some water testing strips, HTH 6 way test strips to be exact.  My PH reading from the tap read about 7.8-8.4.  What would be a good "addition" to help get the PH down in my mash?  The water is also about 200-300 ppm for total hardness, no chlorine present, 240 ppm total alkalinity and 0 ppm for cyanuric acid.

I don't even know what I just typed - haha, but some advice would be helpful!

Offline punatic

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Re: Water PH
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2011, 08:23:01 PM »
Your water is so hard you're gonna need a chisel to cut it.  Do you get bruised when you take a shower?

You're using a swimming pool test kit?
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Water PH
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2011, 05:04:20 AM »
Hardness is of little concern in brewing.  Alkalinity is the main concern.

If the water tastes good, its probably suited for brown and black beers as is.  To make lighter colored styles, you will need to figure out how to use acid for pH control in both mash and sparge water.  A good way to learn more about water adjustment and get the tools you need for water adjustments is to download Bru'n Water. 

The test strips get you in the ball park, but you should try and get more exacting data.  If your water is from a water company, they probably have data on the water profile.  If you're on a well, you need to send a sample to Ward Labs.
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Offline jtconrad74

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Re: Water PH
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2011, 09:14:15 AM »
Our water comes stright from the Nebraska Aquifer (basically a lake that lies under most of the state).  They don't add a thing to it so in all reality, it's like well water.  I'll try to get more info from the city water works  to see what's up.  The water tastes great and I'm brewing some great beers, mostly brown ale, stouts and porters.  I want to get some Wheat beers done and an IPA and I knew the hardness and PH would affect those more than the darker ones.  Our whole house is piped for soft water other than the spigot outside (which I get my water from). 

I was always using the "if the water tastes good, then use it" way to brew, but I just want to see if my brewing water could be better.

And yes, the kit I use is a swimming pool test kit, but it works for any water of course.

Offline nateo

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Re: Water PH
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2011, 09:39:41 AM »
http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Braukaiser.com

Kai's website is my first stop if there's something I want to know more about. He has a lot of info from basic to advanced about water treatment. I'd poke around there for a little bit, specifically the Ingredients>water sections, and the brewing science basics>mash pH sections.
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Offline Kit B

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Re: Water PH
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2011, 11:24:28 AM »
My water is insanely hard with high alkalinity, as well.
In fact, I believe it appears to be quite similar to yours, if I'm guessing correctly.
Over the last couple years, I got sick of brewing stouts, porters & other dark beers...
So, rather than try & deal with the headache of repeated failures, I opted to use R/O or distilled, with mineral additions.
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Offline hamiltont

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Re: Water PH
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2011, 11:45:48 AM »
Our water comes straight from the Nebraska Aquifer (basically a lake that lies under most of the state).  They don't add a thing to it so in all reality, it's like well water.  I'll try to get more info from the city water works  to see what's up.  The water tastes great and I'm brewing some great beers, mostly brown ale, stouts and porters.  I want to get some Wheat beers done and an IPA and I knew the hardness and PH would affect those more than the darker ones.  Our whole house is piped for soft water other than the spigot outside (which I get my water from). 

I'd say our water is pretty much the same. I'm on a well. Alkalinity is an issue. When I brew lighter beers I use 25% to 100% RO water depending on the beer.

You can send a sample of your water over to Ward Labs in Kearney & then you'll know exactly what your dealing with.  Here's Ward Labs web page. You want the W-6 Test. http://www.wardlab.com/FeeSchedule/WaterAnalysis.aspx

Cheers!!!
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