Water Chemistry

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by JB Brew Dad, Dec 11, 2020.

  1. JB Brew Dad

    JB Brew Dad New Member

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    What is everyone doing to test their water. I had a vendor who charged like $40.00, they sent me two empties and then I sent back samples water to them and they gave me a detailed readout. They've since stopped doing that type of testing analysis.

    I don't want a water test every time I brew up 15 gallons, but every 6 months I wouldn't mind getting another sample tested to see how far the local water company has drifted on water chemistry makeup, if at all.

    Love to hear all of the solutions people are doing today...

    Peace,
    JB
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I relied on the city water report. Got me clise enough. I dechlorinated with Campden tabs and adjusted on the fly. Now I use RO water.
     
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  3. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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  4. Hamner Brewhouse

    Hamner Brewhouse Active Member

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    I have not done this yet, but I assume that some local breweries may already have the water tested on a regular basis. If your friendly enough with them, maybe they would give you the breakdown. I may have to try that when this lockdown fiasco is over.
     
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  5. JB Brew Dad

    JB Brew Dad New Member

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    Good call. I have to twist a few arms, probably file a FOIA to get the water report with what I need from the City. I haven't ruled that out... I toss in Potassium Metabisulphite which is the same thing as campden (but cheaper) and coasting off of a 3 year old water analysis to tweak... lol
     
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  6. JB Brew Dad

    JB Brew Dad New Member

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    Ya, there is something. Looks a bit more than 28, but in a zone of reasonability... Thanks
    upload_2020-12-10_22-42-16.png
     
  7. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Our water report is pretty reliable (Melbourne Water). I've actually worked with some of the people who put that together. They take their job very seriously and most of them are bloody good at their job.
     
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  8. JB Brew Dad

    JB Brew Dad New Member

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    It's important if you know people. They'll tell you if anything is off. I think so far we've got 3 who have a good city report... I bet there's an average trend of mineral composition if you were to plot data. If I were getting a city report, I would prefer to know the average over 2-3 years since it can fluctuate some amount daily...
     
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  9. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    As long as there's no politics being pulled on your report it's a pretty reliable document. One of the advantages down here is that our water utilities are fairly politics free (it's more around drought and reservoirs when it happens, not water quality).
     
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  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    You shouldn't need a FOIA: Call the water department. They'll more than likely be happy to tell you what's in the water! Since switching over to RO, I got a TDS meter and quickly learned that our water changes with the seasons. A RO filter doesn't take all of the ions out of the water so this summer I was getting a TDS of 13 ppm, now in Winter I'm getting 9ppm. So your municipal water may change with seasons, depending on where the water comes from. But before hiring goons and lawyers, try calling the water department. Ours was very helpful when I did so (and shortly thereafter, started publishing the "aesthetic" ion concentrations in the water report).
     
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  11. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I switched to RO water a couple of years ago, and have never looked back.
    It adds about $5 to a 5 gallon batch, but I now have complete predictability.
    Sorry, doesn't really answer your question, but for me it removes a variable, and a headache.
     
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  12. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I trust the city report too but use RO for everything but dark beers. I end up at about 3ppm.
     
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  13. ^Tony^

    ^Tony^ Active Member

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    Diddo with Hawkbox. The water here changes with the season and in the spring has so much chlorine in that my showers smell like I'm at the public pool. It's usually only for a day or two but enough for me to just go RO and never look back. As for a water report, I can go online and get a very detailed monthly water report which is pretty close to what I got when I used my water test kit. Still, it's pretty hard water so, again, RO is just easier and more consistent for me.
     
  14. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    Same here. It's about $42. In three tests (two by friends) over the course of 2 years, the numbers changed less than the precision of the report. In other words, one report should be enough, the water really doesn't change unless they draw from a new source.
     
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  15. Zambezi Special

    Zambezi Special Well-Known Member

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    I don't really do anything (yet).
    I use river water, but I am at part of the river where there are no commercial growers, otherwise I could get a water report from them.
    The alternative is a sample and send to a lab. But the water changes with the rainfall.
    So I bought a test kit (with strips).
    It isn't going to be very reliable, but I figure it will be good enough for now and better than nothing.
    It will give me an indication.
    So far, I would say that we got very limited hardness as there is no scale on the kettle elements, even after years of use :)
    And, there is no (heavy) industry on this river and it has a very low population and only a little farming.
     
  16. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like reasonably clean water which is good, being downstream of a hog or cattle farm can be a bad experience.
     
  17. Zambezi Special

    Zambezi Special Well-Known Member

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    For sure.
    We (well, most of us) actually drink the water straight from the river. Maybe with a little whisky to disinfect it ;)
     
  18. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Do you know what fish do in that stuff.... :):)

    Hey, if it's clean and not giving you cholera, it's definitely good enough for beer!
     
  19. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Yup. I don't know what they call Beaver Fever in Zambezi but it's definitely not fun.
     
  20. Zambezi Special

    Zambezi Special Well-Known Member

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    It's the hippo's you got to worry about ;)
    But seriously, we've had some people doing tests over the years (doctors/ngo's/researchers) and the general conclusion was:
    Water taken from middle of river: safe to drink, better than Harare and Lusaka water.
    Water from closer to the shore: too much sediment, otherwise safe.
    Since I don't mind a bit of Silicium, and since I've been drinking it for years, I'll continu to do so :)
    To be honest, we generally advise tourists to buy bottled water, or to boil their water
     

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