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Parks

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Hey guys,

I just had a sample of Brisbane (Mt Crosby) water tested. The sample was taken from my house tap after going through a simple sediment then 1 micron carbon filter. This filtration will have zero impact on the mineral content.

This is also a once off test. I will be getting it done again in a few weeks to compare.

The really interesting one is the Chloride level at approximately twice normal (confirmed by the tester that it is higher than normal). Having said that it's a pretty damn good level for everything based on what I've read.

Brisbane Water Analysis.png
 

Adr_0

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Cool. I am trying to get Hanna to send me 0-100ppm test kits for chloride and sulphate because I'm sure I have the same curiosity as you.

Any explanation for the CaCO3 as this looks remarkably low; different test method? The (total) range should be in the 90-140mg/L range I would have thought.

EDIT: Are you sure the filtration doesn't do anything do the hardness?
 

Parks

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CaCO3 is the measure of residual alkalinity as far as I know. I know Ca should be in the 50-150 range - that's not what you're thinking about, is it?

--EDIT--
Just looked and the EZ Water calc uses CaCO3 as it's basis for alkalinity
 

Parks

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I don't believe it can be removed by a 1 micron Carbon filter.

The guy I got to test with said they use a 0.45 micron minisart filter to pre filter the test water so I'm pretty sure that isn't the case.
 

Paul H

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Parks said:
This is also a once off test. I will be getting it done again in a few weeks to compare.
??????????????
 

Parks

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Paul H said:
??????????????
I don't really know what is hard to understand.

I got a sample analysed yesterday, I'm getting another one done in a few weeks to compare values (incase of some weird variation).

--edit--
OK, so maybe it sounded like I was only going to get one test done but then get a second test done.

What I meant to say was the results were only taken from 1 test sample.

Bastard.
 

Parks

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Adr_0

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Yeah, not sure what the go is there.

By the look of it there are a few samples that lean towards chloride being in the 100-140ppm range. I have zero basis for this but judging by a lot of reading - and zero tasting... "Oooh, tastes like 148ppm chloride" - it should probably stay about there in our beers.

The total hardness vs alkalinity is interesting though. Going on most published test results (and I would probably lean towards Urban Utilities as they are further downstream) we should be fairly good for pH, possibly needing a little extra calcium if we are really concerned about mash pH. If the alkalinity is actually that low, it has a pretty big impact on expected mash pH.

...or we can relax and have a homebrew. :)
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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After the 2011 floods I ended up having to put some acidulated malt in most by brews, because I was getting poor efficiency compared to pre-deluvian beers. That fixed me right up.

But in terms of hardness - I never adjsuted for it. Great from IRA, APA, AIPA and most the stuff I brewed.

Now to get figures for Cradle Mountain water......
 

Parks

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Yeah, now I see most state hardness as total hardness (even if expressed as CaCO3) but could actually be the combination of Magnesium Carbonate and Calcium Carbonate. I might have only got the actual Calcium Carbonate hardness.

I note that there are 26ppm of Magnesium now I really am not a chemist but I wonder if possibly that's the main contributer of hardness hiding...

From wikipedia (must be true)


The calcium and magnesium hardness is the concentration of calcium and magnesium ions expressed as equivalent of calcium carbonate.
Total permanent water hardness expressed as equivalent of CaCO3 can be calculated with the following formula: Total Permanent Hardness (CaCO3) = 2.5(Ca++) + 4.1(Mg++)
 

Parks

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I have an update on this.

After talking to the tester again I can confirm the CaCO3 reading is correct as measured specifically as CaCO3. It seems that commonly CaCO3 is actually a total hardness measurement which can be calculated as above (proper link).

Based on the Ca and Mg readings total hardness calculated as (2.5*Ca + 4.1*Mg) or 221ppm. Calcium hardness would be 110ppm.

So while I'm still not 100% on the actually reading we want there, there are some more numbers to look at ;)
 

GuyQLD

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I've been looking into this lately using the urban utilities report and ez water calc. The calc reckons my PH is too high, I've only measured it using strips so my accuracy isn't spot on but it confirms the calc results. I'll have to try the acidulated malt I think, citric acid didn't really help much and I've been getting really poor efficiency with biab (max 72%).
 

Parks

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I have also been testing with PH strips and seem to sit just above range (about 5.7-5.8) which is one main reason I have been looking into this. Good to hear you have similar issues.

My main problem is I don't think about it until I'm ready to brew and it's too late ;)
 

Parks

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OK, so Palmer's page http://howtobrew.com/section3/chapter15-1.html confirms a few things.

He has some measurements:


Additional Parameters

Alkalinity as CaCO3 114
Calcium 68
Hardness as CaCO3 283
Magnesium 27.5
Potassium 4.5
Sodium 96


So,

Total hardness (expressed as equivalent CaCO3) = 2.5*Ca + 4.1*Mg

I don't know why he complicates the equations by saying it's divide by 50 and multiple by 20. If you are doing the math this isn't going to ease your comprehension.

Alkalinity as CaCO3 seems unrelated so it might actually be its own specific measurement. It does look like these figures are "of equivalence" to CaCO3 so I'm not really certain to the value of that reading.
 

rich.angus@hotmail.com

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Just read this topic so apologise for the late reply.

There appears to a lot of confusion with terminology and units of measurement in this post that I hope I can clarify. A lot of the units of measurement and terminology are a result of history and don't necessarily reflect the methods used today to determine concentrations.

Alkalinity is the buffering capability of water and is generally reported as CaCO3. The alkalinity in solution is in the form of bicarbonate ions (HCO3-)
Residual Alkalinity is a brewing term and considers the affect of the reaction of Ca and Mg with phosphates in the malt to precipitate out as calcium phosphates leaving H+ ions in solution and increasing the acidity (decr pH) and neutralising some of the alkalinity. What is left is the residual alkalinity which tries to buffer or raise pH.Ca and Mg have no affect on water pH alone.
Hardness relates to the Ca and Mg in solution and usually given as CaCO3. The term hardness originally referred to the soap-consuming power of water. Basically, they form precipitates with the soap which prevented lathering.

Why are these reported as CaCO3? Simplistically, the old method of measuring alkalinity and hardness was to boil and aerate the water causing CaCO3 which is insoluble to precipitate out. This precipitate was then weighed to determine the amount of bicarbonate/ alkalinity present.

As for JP maths around /50 *20. This is a conversion of units. Generally, the units reported are ppm or mg/L. The calculation he is doing is converting it to mEq/L which is a unit that takes into account the charge of the ion. We don't need to worry too much about this as our alkalinity is reported as ppm CaCO3.

Parks the alkalinity from the test does look low. Generally, I have measured my tap water in the 60-70 ppm as CaCO3 range. You can buy test kits from aquarium stores for testing hardness and alkalinity if you are keen.

As for pH strips, go and buy a pH meter. Even the cheap ones on ebay tell you more than those strips.

From personal experience with Brisbane water, the calculators such as EZwater etc are broad estimates at the best. They can help you get in the ball park but can also be wildly wrong especially with some of the dark beers and the addition of sodium bicarbonate ( I use this instead of chalk as it is a lot more soluble - just watch the sodium addition). From actually measurements pale ales etc with some crystal are usually fine with mash pH. Dark beers will need some carbonate addition and light beers, particularly with a reasonable percent of wheat (pH @ RT = 5.7-5.8) will need some acid addition even after salts are added.

Brisbane water lacks sufficient Ca. This should be a minimum of 50ppm. I actually go a bit higher now days.

I have only touched the surface on water.

There are a lot of good resources on the web of pH etc. Have a look at www.braukaiser.com , http://www.wetnewf.org/. Also there is some good publications at the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. Have a look at the papers done by Tim O-Rouke (The Role of pH In Brewing, by T O'Rourke) http://www.ibd.org.uk/cms/file/312.
 

Parks

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Thanks abc.

As I mentioned the measurement taken for CaCO3 is precisely CaCO3 and not other compounds reported as CaCO3. I am fairly confident this is the reason most people think it is low.

I might get an aquarium test kit and see myself. I also will be getting another test done soon so I will ask for total alkalinity this time instead.

Thanks for the links - I will read :)
 

rich.angus@hotmail.com

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Parks said:
Thanks abc.

As I mentioned the measurement taken for CaCO3 is precisely CaCO3
OK that makes some sense. They have tested for CaCO3 literally!

I ran a check after writing the previous post with my aquarium kit and it came in at around 70ppm. The kit is only accurate to the nearest 10ppm. I don't test it much at all for brewing. I make the assumption that Brisbane water alkalinity is around 68ppm and Ca is about 25ppm and adjust up the Ca to >50ppm and measure the mash pH and make the adjustments on the fly to get pH at 5.4-5.5 @RT within approximately 15 mins. I find now I generally know where I will be based on the beer type and previous measurements etc.

Just keep an eye on the monthly reports to look for any major shifts also take a quick pH measurement of the water. The pH number in its own right doesn't help much but trending does alert you to if changes are occurring.

http://seqwgm.qld.gov.au/bulk-water-quality/customer-confidence-report-bulk-water
 

HBHB

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Something else worth considering is that water tested in Kenmore will have a different analysis to water from Everton Park, Redcliffe, Redland Bay etc etc. while the water will be coming from the same dams, it will go through different storages, travel different pipes etc. Therefore, the analysis will vary quite substantially from suburb to suburb and even street to street. We have that issue in Hervey Bay as well. The local Lab Techs brought this to our attention when gathering data for brewers in the area from Wide Bay Water.

Martin
 

TidalPete

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HBHB said:
Something else worth considering is that water tested in Kenmore will have a different analysis to water from Everton Park, Redcliffe, Redland Bay etc etc. while the water will be coming from the same dams, it will go through different storages, travel different pipes etc. Therefore, the analysis will vary quite substantially from suburb to suburb and even street to street. We have that issue in Hervey Bay as well. The local Lab Techs brought this to our attention when gathering data for brewers in the area from Wide Bay Water.

Martin
Quite agree Martin.
The water from my nearest pump house at Currimundi (where my water is tested) less than a kilometre away differs significantly from say, somewhere in M'dore & so this should obviously apply elsewhere else I would imagine?

Now that water from Sunshine Coast storage areas will be pumped into selected Brisbane dams in times of lean rainfall means that this will add another element to the equation for those poor buggers in Brissie seeking the perfect mash pH .

Sunshine Coasters OTOH have nothing to worry about because in times of drought nothing will be pumped back to us from Brisbane thus saving us the hassle of seeking another water analysis to solve our mash water problems. ^_^
Any info to the contrary up this way is just filed under the heading of "Brisbane Propaganda" :lol:
 

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