Author Topic: More Water Report help  (Read 1156 times)

Offline gimmeales

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More Water Report help
« on: March 16, 2011, 07:23:18 AM »
The brewing-water scholars here have noted on a couple occasions that something is seriously out-of-whack with the water report provided from my local utility.  Not knowing where to start in telling them they were wrong (lol), I asked for the most recent report, hoping for any errors to have been rectified.  Unfortunately, numbers haven't changed much from last year and the new Bru'n Water application says my water is 'unbalanced' with these numbers:

Calcium:     25.9
Magnesium: 0.4
Sodium:      1.3
Chloride:      2.8
Sulfate:      1.9
Alkalinity as CaCO3:   19.2
Iron              41

So, my assumption is something is still wrong here, so I've included a link to my water report to see if I'm just grabbing the wrong numbers here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rangerover/5532207906/lightbox/

Any help is much appreciated!

edit:  added iron amount as Bru'n Water asks for it and my number seemed quite high for something that can be assumed is 0.

 
« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 07:25:12 AM by gimmeales »

Offline mabrungard

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Re: More Water Report help
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2011, 09:30:47 AM »
The iron concentration can't be correct.  The water would be running red with rust and it would be unpalatable.  I think the units may have been misinterpreted.  If they show 41 for the concentration, it is probably in units of micrograms per milliliter or parts per billion.  That is equal to 0.41 ppm which is more palatable in a drinking water.  Double check that.
Martin B
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: More Water Report help
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2011, 09:38:34 AM »
I just noticed this is from Cedar/Tolt - so you're local to me :)

Yes Martin, it is reported as ug/ml.  I wouldn't worry about the iron, I've never tasted a local homebrew with metallic off-flavor that didn't have another explanation.

Also, your water is never unbalanced, just the reported numbers.  They don't include all of the useful numbers in the water report, pH?  Nitrate?  But that is enough for you to work with, I just wouldn't worry about it much.  I've had my water tested by Ward Labs and Bru'n Water still says it's out of balance, but my water is also high in manganese according to my supplier (Union Hill Water Association) which is not included in either Bru'n Water or Ward Labs.

So RDWHAHB about if it is "balanced" or not.  You can go with the report from SPU or get it tested yourself, it's up to you.

If you don't feel like sending a sample to Ward Labs, I'm sure there are a lot of people around here (geographically, not interwebs) on Tolt water that have had it done.  Are you in a club?  Your water should be similar to your club members'.  If not let me know, I can probably track down a report or two.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline gimmeales

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Re: More Water Report help
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2011, 11:26:43 AM »
Thanks Tom (and Martin!), yeah I'm not much of a water-tweaker anyway, but assumed our super-soft water was a factor in
low extraction efficiency of my dark beers (I've run through all other potential factors at this point).  Also, I was concerned that the various water calculators out there (now includin Bru'n Water) giving me inaccurate suggestions if the numbers I entered were way off. 

So Basically, this is a excercise in confirming if the water calculators are giving me accurate suggestions for additions based on the numbers I have.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: More Water Report help
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2011, 12:25:45 PM »
For our water, I'd recommend some CaCl in the mash for darker beers, maybe some CaSO4 if you're going for hoppy.  I was on Cedar when I lived in Ballard, there's not much difference between Cedar and Tolt for relevant brewing ions.

I would use Bru'n Water and adjust to get the calculated pH up.  Let us know how it turns out.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: More Water Report help
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2011, 02:00:00 PM »
The concentrations are given in the limits column.  Iron is ug/L which is ppb, 1/1000 of a ppm.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline malzig

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Re: More Water Report help
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2011, 03:40:30 AM »
For clarity,
1mg/L = 1/1000th of a gram in 1000 grams of water. 1000 x 1000 = 1 million, so 1 mg/L = 1 ppm

1 µg/L = 1,000,000th of a gram in 1000 grams of water. 1000 x 1000 = 1 billion =1000 million, so 1 µg/L = 0.001 ppm.

41 µg/L = 0.041 mg/mL = 0.041 ppm.
For our water, I'd recommend some CaCl in the mash for darker beers, maybe some CaSO4 if you're going for hoppy.
I also have very soft, low alkalinity water.  I find that CaCO3 or NaHCO3 in combination with CaCl2 works well for black beers.  The slightly higher pH seems to round out and mellow the roasted flavors to make very dark beers more pleasant.  The Na and Cl help, as well.

Just adding CaCl2 will be sending the pH in the wrong direction.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: More Water Report help
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2011, 11:49:34 AM »
Good point, which is why I also said:

I would use Bru'n Water and adjust to get the calculated pH up.  Let us know how it turns out.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline gimmeales

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Re: More Water Report help
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2011, 08:07:20 AM »
resurrecting this old thread as I'm just now getting around to plan for my Porter brewday.  I *think* I 've walked through Bru'n Water correctly, but would like the more erudite water scholars to do a sanity check on the final suggested additions to see if I've missed anything big. 



Also, I've never acidified brewing liqour - how crucial will that be in this scenario?

Thanks in advance!

Offline mabrungard

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Re: More Water Report help
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2011, 10:02:35 AM »
You're adding a base (pickling lime) and over doing it.  Then you're adding acid to correct the pH.  You need to back off the lime until there is no need for an acid addition. 
Martin B
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Offline gimmeales

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Re: More Water Report help
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2011, 10:48:19 AM »
Thanks Martin, I get your drift reducing the lime to cancel out any acid addition.  Might just need some direction in using the tool.  Bringing the lime down to .75 gram\gal, brings the Ph down to 5.2, but the Total Acid Addition in the Mash Water column stays at 1.6.  Do I need to be making adjustments elsewhere in the tool, or do I just need to play around with the Water Additions column to get the right balance?

edit:  disregard that last question I see I must have entered the .40 Lactic number by accident.  Removing that, raised my Ph, but can bring it down to appropriate range by reducing the Lime.  Thanks again!
« Last Edit: June 07, 2011, 10:55:40 AM by gimmeales »