Water Report

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Texas Ale Works, Aug 22, 2018.

  1. Texas Ale Works

    Texas Ale Works Active Member

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    Just got back mt water report from Ward's Lab

    PH - 7.6
    TDS - 140
    Elect Con - 0.23
    Cations/Anions - 2.4/2.2

    Sodium, NA - 14
    Potassium, K - 3
    Calcium, Ca - 27
    Magnesium, Mg - 4
    Total Hardness, CaCO3 - 84
    Nitrate, NO3-N - <0.1
    Sulfate, SO4-S - 8
    Chloride, Cl - 4
    Carbonate, CO3 - <1
    Bicarbonate, HCO3 - 100
    Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 - 83
    Total Phosphorus, P - 0.01
    Total Iron, Fe - 0.01


    Need to add it to the data base and my profile....

    T
     
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  2. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    That water is nive and low in minerals but hardness is high o_O there is so much i dont know about water...

    Id expect a low mineral concentration to yeild a low bicarbonate level.

    Look good but any acid additions will lower this anyhow.
     
  3. Texas Ale Works

    Texas Ale Works Active Member

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    I can't remember if the numbers transfer directly, or if there are conversions for some of them....
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Ppm equals mg/l. Hard, yes, but it's mostly temporary hardness. The kind that boils out. You need calcium. Should make great light-colored beers.
     
  5. Texas Ale Works

    Texas Ale Works Active Member

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    I was referring to the hardness and sulfate, I think I had to multiply by 3 for one...

    due to the way Ward's reports them
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    It all looks pretty normal to me - your water shouldn't be all that different than ours. You do have a lot less permanent hardness than we do. Hardness looks about right for our area.
     
  7. Texas Ale Works

    Texas Ale Works Active Member

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    How are you treating your water, I am new to it...... I always used RO water.
    Thinking I might just go half & half and add some calcium chloride and start using acid malt in my light beers, then if I am brewing an IPA add some gypsum.

    QUESTION: if I add acid malt to my grain bill, does it get calculated in the water chem calculator, or do I have to re-add it there?
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Second question first: Yes, acid malt is factored in when using the water calculator. First question: My water treatment regime is rather easy: Give the mash enough calcium that the beer can clarify, generally greater than 50 ppm in the liquor. Yes, low calcium mashes can remain cloudy. From there, it's more a matter of where I want to go with it. If I want malty, I'll add calcium or magnesium chloride, if I want hoppy, gypsum. If I want balanced, somewhere in between. Then I'll add other acids, usually lactic or phosphoric, to get my mash pH to where I want it. I never add carbonates. The end result of that has been beers with a tendency to gush. If for some unforeseen reason I ever have a need to raise the pH, sodium hydroxide works well.

    Most of the hardness in our water supply is permanent, that is, sulfates and chlorides rather than carbonates. So I can't boil it out. I've considered going to RO water but have never really seen the need, I can get just about anything I want to come out with the right combination of salts and acids. I dechlorinate with Meta, adjust the mash pH, and generally call it good.
     
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  9. Texas Ale Works

    Texas Ale Works Active Member

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    I have never been able to brew with my tap water, in Belgium it went through a softener and fermentation was an issue because of it ( I think) I switched to spring water an lag time issues went away....

    In Fountain, CO the water was just crap, hardness at about 180ppm and the rest of the stuff was all over the place. So I used RO water added gypsum, and Epsom salt....

    If I could use tap water here in Monument that would be awesome, even if I have to add a few salts/acids to it, or cut it some with RO.

    Again,water is sort of my Witchcraft.....it scares the crap out of me, and I am sure if I get it wrong I will tune into a newt.....

     
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  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    But you'll get better.... Don't fear it! Here's Nosy's Brewing Water for Dummies:
    - Make sure you don't have anything that tastes bad, like iron (blood-like, rusty), organics (musty, compost, swampy) or too much salt (water softener). If you do, use RO or distilled water and build it up.
    - Make sure you have no chlorine at all in your water. Dechlorinate with half gram of metabisulfite if you're not sure.
    - Make sure you have enough calcium in your water. 50 ppm is pretty much the minimum, around 250 should be the maximum.
    - Set a target pH for your mash (5.3 for helles/light ales, 5.4 for ambers, 5.5 for darks. Simple method: Target 5.4 and accept the variability in municipal water supplies).
    - Adjust the water with acids (lactic or phosphoric, although you can use any flavor-neutral acid) to hit your mash pH.
    - Add "flavor" salts (sulfate, chloride, sodium, to a lesser extent magnesium and carbonate) to the kettle.
    See, easy-peasy!
    And by the way, your tap water is not much different than ours, rather easy to brew with, as long as you don't fall into the trap of trying to reproduce another area's water. Water, if you get your mash pH right, is so far down in the stack of flavor influencers, I wouldn't worry too much about it other than sulfate for hoppy, chloride for malty.
     
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  11. Texas Ale Works

    Texas Ale Works Active Member

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    Rock On!!!

    I use Lactic Acid for PH, and will start using a bit of Acid Malt as well.

    So my take away is: use my tap water - add some calcium - manage PH - flavor as needed

    T
     
  12. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    If you can carbon filter your water thats a bonus my 2c anywho... if you pour a cup of water in a beer glase then drink it and find you dont like something in it then i wouldnt brew with it. All my brew water runs through a 2 step filter a cartridge then carbon filter the end result is near beautiful if i may say so myself ;). Then i brew with this and have been pretty much matching Noeybears recommendations above on water but around 80ppm calcium then the flavor salts sulfate and chloride and setting a target ph in BF water calc and adusting mash and sparge water with acid.

    All ive found in brewing in regards to water is dont be backward in coming forward on it its not going to ruin a good beer heck itll make it better. Cheers ill have another one then:D!
     
  13. Texas Ale Works

    Texas Ale Works Active Member

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    i thought about running it through a filter, even a hose end filter, but then I would have to get another water report done....lol
    ain't nobody got time for that.....

    I like my water out of the tap, and will stick with it for now......
     
  14. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I used to run my water through an activated charcoal RV filter to dechlorinate - was insufficient. You can filter both chlorine and chloramines with activated charcoal, but it takes a lot longer contact time than most of us would like - read slow flow rate. That's why I started reducing the chlorine and chloramine to chlorides with meta - it doesn't take much (a single 0.6g Campden tablet will treat 20 gallons of water) and it's effective almost immediately - you can even smell the difference before and after.
     
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  15. Texas Ale Works

    Texas Ale Works Active Member

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    As I will fill my kettles from a hose, this is still going to be something I use (RV filter) but I am still going to use the campden tablet as well.
    So 1/2 tab should work right? Never used them before...was thinking about filling the night before, but damn all that moving a kettle filled with water, even if it is only a few feet.....lol.
     
  16. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    A single tab is good for 20 gal but a slight overdose won't hurt.
     
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