Water analysis issues (thanks to my not so helpful water authority)

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Brewer #89247, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. Brewer #89247

    Brewer #89247 New Member

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    To those who know water pH testing/analysis:

    Ok, so long story short, I'm having issues with my new local water authority in getting exactly what I need in order to compare local analysis to target style. To keep it simple, here's what I have:

    pH - 6.94 (I'll check that with my meter, but sounds about right after my last mash hitting 5.1 with the malts used.)
    Chloride - 16.1 mg/l
    Sulfate - 7.4 mg/l
    Sodium - 4.0 mg/l

    Alkalinity - 112 average ppm (but I'm not sure if that's "as Hardness CaCO3" or "Bicarbonate HCO3" - they won't reply to that)
    Hardness - 114 average ppm (same issue)

    In a separate email they mentioned Total Hardness as (Ca, Mg, Bicarbonate, and Carbonate combined) at 135 mg/l average. Apparently they don't test for those Additional Parameters here, so getting such from a local engineer isn't an option.

    From pulling out my brewing library and trying to pull Ca and Mg mathematically, it appears that's a no go. Question(s) here: Can I deduct Ca and Mg from what I have....and if not, any suggestions to getting these values? Lastly, is there a way to decipher whether or not the aforementioned Alkalinity is in terms of CaCO3 or HCO3? If it's easier to run a one on one discussion, please feel free to contact me! Thank you ahead of time for any insight my friends.
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    I would get a true beer brewing report from ward labs
     
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  3. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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  4. Brewer #89247

    Brewer #89247 New Member

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    I'll take a look into the Ward Labs idea when I have a little extra discretionary for sure.
     
  5. ACBEV

    ACBEV Active Member

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    I can't help you specifically with your water issues... However, my water seems to yo-yo constantly, taste and PH can change overnight, let alone seasonally. It is very hit or miss for making beer.

    on average I use around 33L for brewing, 25L (5 x 5L) of that I buy from a local supermarket, which has the water analysis on the label.
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    The supermarket idea is a good one: Two five-gallon carboys will make most five gallon batches and costs around $4 here in the States. Those water machines at the front of the store are delivering pure RO water.
     
  7. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    I understand what you are up against there. I work part time helping keep up with tests and such with our small water system. We are not required to test for all the elements you need info for beer. Testing gets quite extensive (and expensive). After several years of just making good beer cause the water tasted good, I sent for a Ward Lab report. Glad I did. Considering sending one in every year at different times of the year to check the variance. My water is not a bad base to work from. In the mean time RO from the store would save the guessing.
     
  8. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    I recently used Ward Labs after wasting $ on various kits that produced conflicting results. Wish I had gone with Ward Labs from the start. Very clear report. Easy peasy. :)
     
  9. Brewer #89247

    Brewer #89247 New Member

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    Awesome, thank you for the feedback. I will likely send for it in the near future....looks like it's roughly $35 for the one I need.
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    That's about 10 brews done with the RO water you can get at Walmart (assuming that you're in the States).
     
  11. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    I think it's $26 for the one you would need now (It was a lot cheaper when I started brewing!). It's called something like W6(?) Household minerals test.
     

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