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LaMotte BrewLab

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dannymars

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Based on my reading of the Melbourne water thread it seams it's pretty hard to know exactly which reservoir you are getting your water from (in the case you're billed by Yarra Valley Water).

Mosdef different depending on where you are.
 

crowmanz

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Ah yes a bit harder in Melbourne, helps I am in a regional city and work with trunk infrastructure.

Was googling to see if anyone has different local kits, this mob seems to have some http://www.testkits.com.au/home-brewing/ but they are $295 to $440 for the same kits.
 

Goose

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fwiw I recently acquired one of these kits. If you buy the "plus" version of the kit you also score a pretty fancy pH meter with automatic temperature compensation, if you don't already own a decent pH meter.

the kit is very compact, probably smaller than a sherrin and contains inside everything you need to test small water samples,including flat bottomed test tubes and a bunch of reagent solids (measured tablet form) and solutions. really neat.

using it did take me back to my early high school chemistry days. you need add 3 drops of this and a drop of that, then a tablet, dissolve, then count the number of drops of a final reagent you add such that the solution changes colour. thats pretty much it except for one test for sulphate which needs you to compare with a neat greyscale chart.

it will give you a result for chloride, sulphate, total alkalinity, total hardness and calcium hardness, from which can be determined by simple calculation the Ca2+, Mg2+ and Na+ ion concentrations.

its quite nifty if you want an idea of where you stand with your brewing water quality, but before you buy one, understand its limitations. Its not very precise but probably well acceptable for what you need for most homebrewing setups. You can discern sulphate only within a 50 ppm range, and the Alkalinity and hardness determinations to within a 10 ppm range.

the other thing to note is that because its reagent based its probably only good for 50 tests or so depending on how much of the reagent you need for the water quality you are testing.

for me, it just really confirmed the quality report that I acquired by local council but for me it also told me what my water filtration system was doing, at least in part and that gives me some peace of mind.
 

fungrel

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crowmanz said:
link to the brewlab page

Looks like the test would give me the same data I get monthly from the council.
I bought the Brewlab Plus kit a while ago.

It's not precise, but fluctuations in the council's water supply can vary greatly at times. How much the water reports vary in my area is clear from the tests between May and last night (29th August):

Chloride: up ~20%
Sodium: up ~30%
Calcium: up ~100%
Sulfate: down
RA: down ~10%

Your council's water may not vary as much as mine, but i had no idea how much variation exists until i tested it.

Considering the tests work out to be around $5 each, and i'm starting to get serious about the hobby, it's a no-brainer for me.
 

Mardoo

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Refining estimations seems like the best use for something like this. I'd like to get a better general sense of where the averages I derive from the water company figures fall within the changes in the flow. Not crucial (I hope!) but certainly interesting.
 

Goose

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fungrel

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stewy

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fungrel said:
I got free shipping from Morebeer which was great.
How did you get free shipping???
The shipping rate I saw online was $56
 

fungrel

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I'm not really sure, perhaps a bug? I haven't ordered any more gear from there since but it was during a sale.
 

HendoNZ26

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Brewmart in Perth now supplies the basic version for $170 (no pH meter but seriously you can get a good one for under $50 on ebay).

I'm an industrial chemist by trade, formerly i used to work in labs and I'm absolutely happy with an accuracy of +/- 20% for homebrew for two reasons.

1. The major thing we're targeting with water chemistry adjustment is a ratio i.e sulfate to chloride that's very easy to achieve with kits like this.
2. The reagents we're adding to the brew are likely not pure and certainly aren't dehydrated unless you dry them out in the oven before each use, therefore the amount being added is likely not accurate within 10% anyway.

http://www.brewmart.com.au/brewmart-shop/catalogue/?detail&ItemID=5101&SZIDX=0&CCODE=45016&QOH=0&CATID=326&CLN=1
 

HendoNZ26

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Update:

I bought the LaMotte Brewlab basic. I'm very happy. really easy to use and balancing ions and comparing predicted pH etc. to my pH meter the results seem to be accurate. Certainly accurate enough for home brewing.

Interestingly my water in Harrisdale (southern Perth Suburb) does vary quite a bit, the ratios of the elements tend to stay relatively similar but my Chloride varies from 60-120ppm. I'm guessing my main water supply is sometimes supplemented by water from the desalinisation plant in Kwinana.

Hayden
 

stewy

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HendoNZ26 said:
Update:

I bought the LaMotte Brewlab basic. I'm very happy. really easy to use and balancing ions and comparing predicted pH etc. to my pH meter the results seem to be accurate. Certainly accurate enough for home brewing.

Interestingly my water in Harrisdale (southern Perth Suburb) does vary quite a bit, the ratios of the elements tend to stay relatively similar but my Chloride varies from 60-120ppm. I'm guessing my main water supply is sometimes supplemented by water from the desalinisation plant in Kwinana.

Hayden
. Do they sell the kit that comes with the pH meter?
 

HendoNZ26

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No they only have the basic, you can get a good pH meter off eBay pretty cheap though
 

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