Water Chemistry

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by CausticWolf, Jan 25, 2021.

  1. CausticWolf

    CausticWolf Active Member

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    Alright guys, so I've been doing pretty well in the world of brewing, and I'm getting to the stage where I'm looking to improve good recipes to great recipes. However, one of the essentials in doing that, is water chemistry. I've been on hold for 20 mins trying to get the chemistry of Woolworths water, and can't seem to find a detailed report of the water like you can find in the US.

    Is there anything I can buy to measure these things out for me?
     
  2. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    You could send it out if there are any labs in your area.

    You didn't ask, but...
    I personally purchase RO water, and build from there. Water for a batch is about $5 Canadian, money well spent for me. My municipal water is sh*t.
     
  3. Under Deck Brewing

    Under Deck Brewing New Member

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    I send my (tap) water in yearly to Ward labs:
    https://www.wardlab.com/product/water-test-kit/
    The 'W-501 Brewers Test + Kit' : Comes to (currently) $42
    They send you the kit, you fill up the vial, and mail it back to them, they email you the results.
    I plug those right back into Brewers Friend. That + confirmation with my pH meter usually gets me pretty dang close to the pH I'm after based on the Brewer Friend water adjustments.

    On the flipside, if you can get RO water from the store, then you can just enter in a bunch of zeroes and go from there (yah, they're not all zero's but close enough).

    Edit : I should note: I also compare this against my local municipality's yearly water report: Most values fall within their ranges, but their ranges are pretty broad. So even taking the average of the range isn't accurate vs the report I get.
     
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  4. CausticWolf

    CausticWolf Active Member

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    Yeah I found a RO water at Woolworths called Pureau, and they're confirmed 0's across the board and 6.8-7.2 ph. So I should be able to get some pretty accurate water chemistry from now on.

    Thanks guys
     
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  5. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Sydney Water has a home brewing water report. Just need to enter your address - https://www.sydneywater.com.au/SW/w.../safe-drinking-water/water-analysis/index.htm.

    It looks pretty good from what I'm seeing and from drinking it personally I'm wondering why you're using supermarket water? Sydney water looks like it'd support any profile even a very neutral profile. Minimum would be a bit of calcium and some acid.
     
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  6. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    As Mark said check out your local water providers website they should do Quarterly water reports.
    My local is Unity water I run this through a carbon filter with good results.
     
  7. CausticWolf

    CausticWolf Active Member

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    That isn't inner Sydney, I used that website, and they don't service my area, or where the LHBS is. I have a feeling that the water for actual Sydney is much different to Penrith or Parra. We use Acidulated malt 24/7 with this water, so do the commercial brewers I know.
     
  8. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    What's it like to drink?
     
  9. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Australian water (ignoring those poor crow eaters) is pretty good. Needing acid doesn't really mean much, you'll need it for RO water as well. You're probably with WaterNSW if you're out west. I'll see if there's a report there.
     
  10. CausticWolf

    CausticWolf Active Member

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    I'm in the Inner West, Petersham, couldn't find a report
     
  11. CausticWolf

    CausticWolf Active Member

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    Pretty terrible, a lot of chlorine, and it's hard on the skin
     
  12. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    By jingo I'd invest in a good Carbon filter and some Metabisulphate;).
    You have any ideas what your local water profile numbers are?
    You local water providers will disclose this on there website in water reports.
     
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  13. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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  14. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    According to this (https://www.waternsw.com.au/supply/Greater-Sydney/where-your-drinking-water-comes-from) you could be getting water from a few places. Here's a report for the biggest one, Warragamba - https://www.sydneywater.com.au/web/...ments/document/zgrf/mja2/~edisp/dd_206424.pdf.

    No idea what the desal plant supplies (though you'd think it'd be pretty clean). I've also heard of a few problems with the dams due to the fires last year. Maybe they've been chlorinating more than usual because of that. I think if they fix up those problems they'll turn off the desal as the dams are relatively full. Then it might settle back down to usual and I'd imagine you could use the tap water. The metabisulfate/Camdent tablet will remove the chlorine quickly though.
     
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  15. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Also didn't Sydney nearly run out of water?
    I remember 2019 it was getting pretty dire.
     
  16. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Can't remember about Sydney. I know we nearly did. They built a desalination plant as an emergency and by the time it was ready the La Nina/El Nino had flipped around and we had plenty of water and west coast US was getting the drought. So it's never been turned on in anger.
     
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  17. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Well it beats recycling sewerage and drinking that:eek:
     
  18. Silver_Is_Money

    Silver_Is_Money Active Member

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    A simple and very inexpensive GH/KH fish water test kit from your local pet store can give you a decent analytical outlook on your water. GH is general (or total) hardness, and KH is alkalinity. Both as measured with respect to (or as) CaCO3.

    One dH unit is equal to 17.848 mg/L (ppm).

    A first approximation of total (general) hardness for fresh water is that often (on average) it is found to have about 70% of its hardness contribution from Ca++ ions, and 30% from Mg++ ions.

    Hardness is the measure of combined MgCO3 (Magnesium Carbonate), and CaCO3 (Calcium Carbonate). But they are conflated into CaCO3 only, and reported as such (I.E., Total Hardness as CaCO3).

    The molecular weight of CaCO3 is 100.0869
    The molecular weight of the Ca++ ion is 40.078
    The molecular weight of the Mg++ ion is 24.305

    Therefore, the Ca++ ion percent of CaCO3 by weight is 40.078/100.0869 = 0.400432, and the inverse of this is 2.4973
    And likewise the Mg++ ion percent of CaCO3 by weight is 24.305/100.0869 = 0.242839, and the inverse of this is 4.11796

    So:
    Total Hardness (as CaCO3) = 2.4973(Ca++) + 4.11796(Mg++)

    Lets say that your water is hypothetically at a GH of 10 per the test kit.
    This means that in terms of mg/L your hardness is 178.5 mg/L.

    70% x 178.5 = 125 mg/L of the hardness is (on average) due to calcium ions.
    30% x 178.5 = 53.6 mg/L of the hardness is (on average) due to magnesium ions.

    2.4973(Ca++) = 125
    Ca++ = 50 mg/L (if the water is average in nature)

    4.11796(Mg++) = 53.6
    Mg++ = 13 mg/L (if the water is average in nature)
     
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