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Slightly confusing water quality report

Discussion in 'General Brewing Techniques' started by OldMaltyDog, 31/7/18.

 

  1. OldMaltyDog

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    Posted 31/7/18
    Hi all,

    I received the following water quality report from the WaterCorp in WA. Can anyone tell me which of these areas I need to deal with in regards to brewing pale ales and whether I need to treat it for any brewing I do?

    All mean values.

    Alkalinity (as CaCO3): 86
    Aluminium: 0.040
    Chloride: 93
    Hardness: 110
    Iron: 0.048
    Manganese: <0.002
    pH: 7.75
    Silica: 4.1

    Any light shedding will be most appreciated.
     
  2. MHB

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    Posted 31/7/18
    Assuming the numbers are in conventional units (ppm - mg/L), it looks like pretty decent water, just a touch too much Carbonate, you might need a bit of acid.
    Unfortunately it isn't really telling you how much of the essential brewing salts are there, nothing on Calcium (Ca) and Magnesium (Mg), the Chloride is high enough to make me think there will be a bit of Salt (common salt NaCl).
    Get in touch with the supplier and ask for a more detailed report. You might need to ring them and get put through to the lab, I find the guys there tend to love a chat about beer!
    Lacking that, add 100ppm of Ca in what ever form you need (Sulphate or Chloride or a blend of the two - to style) and adjust your pH to 5.2-5.5 with acid (I prefer Lactic) and you will go a long way toward getting a better beer.
    Mark
     
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  3. markp

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    Posted 1/8/18
    I also live in WA and I phoned the water Corp and asked for a report and told them it was for beer brewing purposes and they emailed me a more comprehensive copy, only prob was is that they give upper and lower levels of the minerals and salt in your water and levels can vary anywhere in between those levels so you’re never going to be totally accurate with your additions. I started using rainwater or RO water for this reason.
    Cheers
     
  4. MHB

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    Posted 1/8/18
    It's true that a report wont tell you exactly what is there on any given day, At the foot is my local (Grahamstown Water) report, if you look at the Ca value you will see 10th Percentile 10ppm, 90th Percentile 23ppm and the Median is given as 11ppm.
    What this means is that if we took 100 samples we could expect 10 of them to have 10ppm or less of Ca and 10 of them to have more than 23ppm, 80% would be between 10-23ppm.
    But the Median value is 11, that means that if we ranked the 100 tests in order from smallest to largest the middle one (50th) would be 11ppm. Half the results are between 0-11ppm and 40% are between 10-11ppm. Means the odds that any sample will be in 10-12ppm range are startling high around 3 SD(Ok over a decade we had a drought or flood or two).
    So pretty useful information if you drill down into it a bit.
    f you plotted out all the data, the graph would look something like this
    upload_2018-8-1_18-20-18.png

    Largely its a so what - I just add 100-150ppm of Ca to all my brews, if that gets me 100 or even 173ppm I really don't care all that much, its a Goldilocks answer, enough to do the job but not enough to cause any trouble (I think we need something like 450ppm of Ca to cause any issues - problems from too much Sulphate or Chloride will show up way before any problems from the Ca)
    Mark
     

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  5. OldMaltyDog

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    Posted 1/8/18
    Thanks troops...could you also tell me if Campden tablets would do any good?

    Great advice by the way!
     
  6. rude

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    Posted 1/8/18
    Hey fellow sandroper from Bridgetown good farming down that way plus nice ciders
    Here in metro Melville high in chloride and salt so I've gone R/O as well
    Might be better down youre way have ya got a rain water tank mate
    You need a report with calcium , chloride ,sulphate ,magnesium ,salt ,cac03
    Keep ya sparge water at or below 6 ph
    Will have a look see if there is an old report around here as there is a thread on them somewhere
     
  7. MHB

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    Posted 1/8/18
    Just a quick Google found water.wa.gov.au looks like it might be your local water see p19.
    Mark
    upload_2018-8-1_23-56-37.png
     
  8. OldMaltyDog

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    Posted 2/8/18
    Thanks heaps you guys...great to know that there is a fantastic resource and willing helpers out there.

    Sorted me right out!
     

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