Author Topic: Got my water report-- Now what?  (Read 765 times)

Offline Pi

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Got my water report-- Now what?
« on: August 18, 2011, 12:12:46 PM »
All you water chemists sharpen yer pencils:
pH: 7.7
Na:2
K:2
Ca:48
Mg:2
Total Hardness (CaCO3):128
NO3-N: 0.1
SO4-S:2
Cl:7
CO3:<1
HCO3:138
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3: 113
That's straight from my well, and thru a carbon filter (to remove the Iron which is pretty high). We have a "softener"  (i guess that's what it is- bags of salt etc.) but the water tested came straight from the well/carbon filter. Do you think the water softener water would be better, should I get that tested, or stick to using bottled/spring water? I have noticed sometimes the filtered well water has a slight rotten egg smell. I live in Davidsonville MD. Is treating it an option, or beyond hope for brewing with? what should I do?????
Primary:Stella Rosemary IPA
Lagering: Sto Lat Gratzer
Drinking: Whenever I'm not working or driving

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Got my water report-- Now what?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2011, 12:42:32 PM »
Damn good water excepting you didn't post the iron content.  If the plumbing fixtures will be stained red if you didn't have the softener, then the well water may not be usable.  The taste threshold for iron is really low. 

If a rotten egg aroma is noted from the tap, running out your brewing water supply into the kettle the day before will help dissipate the hydrogen sulfide.  Activated carbon filtration can also strip that gas.  Flow at 1 gpm or less if you're using a typical 10" undersink filter.

Don't bother using the softened water.  You'll just add more sodium to the beer and remove the calcium that you actually want in your beer.  If iron is a problem, then the softened water is ideal feed water for a RO unit.

Martin B
Carmel, IN

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Offline Pi

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Re: Got my water report-- Now what?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2011, 01:09:20 PM »
Damn good water excepting you didn't post the iron content.  If the plumbing fixtures will be stained red if you didn't have the softener, then the well water may not be usable.  The taste threshold for iron is really low. 

If a rotten egg aroma is noted from the tap, running out your brewing water supply into the kettle the day before will help dissipate the hydrogen sulfide.  Activated carbon filtration can also strip that gas.  Flow at 1 gpm or less if you're using a typical 10" undersink filter.

Don't bother using the softened water.  You'll just add more sodium to the beer and remove the calcium that you actually want in your beer.  If iron is a problem, then the softened water is ideal feed water for a RO unit.


Thanks for your help Martin. Wont the carbon filter strip out the Iron?
Primary:Stella Rosemary IPA
Lagering: Sto Lat Gratzer
Drinking: Whenever I'm not working or driving

Offline Pi

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Re: Got my water report-- Now what?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2011, 05:23:38 AM »
2 questions:
Will a carbon filter take the iron out of my water? And
Does the Hydrogen Sulfide have an effect in mashing/brewing? 
Primary:Stella Rosemary IPA
Lagering: Sto Lat Gratzer
Drinking: Whenever I'm not working or driving

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Got my water report-- Now what?
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2011, 01:57:56 PM »
Activated carbon takes out organics, halogens, and some heavy metals.  Iron is not "heavy" enough for it to be adsorbed to activated carbon. 

Considering the presence of H2S and iron, a Greensand filter may do the trick for you.  I'm not sure if the H2S would affect the mash, but it does smell and that may prove detrimental to the finished beer quality and perception.
 
Martin B
Carmel, IN

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Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Got my water report-- Now what?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2011, 02:32:56 PM »
Some lager yeast produce H2S.  The trick is to have a vigorous fermetnation tha tdrives it off.  I think your water could work if you have good yeast management, that assure that the H2S is driven off.  I used to have some of that in the water at my old house, didn't notice that in the beer, but that was a long time ago. .
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
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Offline Pi

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Re: Got my water report-- Now what?
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2011, 05:52:48 AM »
Greensand filter? I just googled it. Right now I have something that looks similar. A fiberglass tank with a meter on top, and a brine tank that I feed salt. We still get iron in our (treated) water, though virtually tasteless, it does leave rust stains. And, of course the HS gas smell. Do you think replacing with a greensand filter would solve this? And with a greensand filter do you need to add stuff to it like I do now with the salt?
Primary:Stella Rosemary IPA
Lagering: Sto Lat Gratzer
Drinking: Whenever I'm not working or driving