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Water Chemistry Analysis

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1974Alby

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I recently got hold of some water quality data for my water (provided by a mate in the local water authority) and have no idea what it means or what I shoud be doing to improve my beer?

Below results are for the past 3 months. Some of these are tested for weekly, others monthly and other quarterlyso for some there is only 1 data point for the past 3 months

Min Max Ave

EC 320, 580, 482

pH 7, 7.7, 7.3

Ca 14 , 21 , 17.5

Mg 9.8 , 15 , 12.4

Sulphate 22 , 40 , 31

Total Hardness 75 , 110 , 92.5

Total Alk 36 , 41 , 38.6

TDS 160 , 160 , 160

Na 38 , 45 , 40.75

Chloride 54 , 62 , 58.25

TDS 180 , 290 , 241







Bloody formatting!!!

Any suggestions on some basic additions worth trying based on this profile would be greatly appreciated.

I have downloaded a bit of reading material on brewing water chemistry and hope to edumacate myself a bit, but thought I'd throw this out and see if I get any informed and consistent recommendations as a starting point.



Cheers

Al
 

pmastello

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I recently got hold of some water quality data for my water (provided by a mate in the local water authority) and have no idea what it means or what I shoud be doing to improve my beer?

Below results are for the past 3 months. Some of these are tested for weekly, others monthly and other quarterlyso for some there is only 1 data point for the past 3 months



Min

Max

Ave

EC

320
580
482
pH

7
7.7
7.3
Ca

14
21
17.5
Mg

9.8
15
12.4
Sulphate

22
40
31
Total Hardness

75
110
92.5
Total Alk

36
41
38.6
TDS

160
160
160
Na

38
45
40.75
Chloride

54
62
58.25
TDS

180
290
241




Any suggestions on some basic additions worth trying based on this profile would be greatly appreciated.

I have downloaded a bit of reading material on brewing water chemistry and hope to edumacate myself a bit, but thought I'd throw this out and see if I get any informed and consistent recommendations as a starting point.



Cheers

Al
Is it just me, or the the formatting of this post way out? Could you make it a bit easier to read and I'm sure people can give you a hand.
 

Midnight Brew

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This is a great article written by Tony Wheeler on the Melbourne Brewers site:

http://www.melbournebrewers.org/index.php?...&Itemid=103

This is your best guide to water treatment and use this report to make any additions. Read it a few times and invest in some brewing salts, calcium chloride and calcium sulphate is the two salts you will need to begin with.

Print it.
Read it everyday for the next two weeks.
Brew.
 

1974Alby

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Cheers MB..thats the one I printed already. havent read it yet but will over and over in the next few weeks...hoping to get a head start with this post.
 

manticle

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Tony's article will go over the ions of interest and the recommended max and minimum values.

Unless the water is super hard or super chlorinated, it won't actually be the water you should adjust but the mash, so amounts of additions may differ with grain bill.

You can adjust sparge water too. I used to add my second set of salts to the boil for flavour additions but lately have been adding them with the sparge water (so to the mash again but after draining the first runnings.

If geelong is at all like melbourne water, it will be reasonably soft and won't need much done to it.

QLDKev's isn't a bad little summary either: http://qldkev.net - click homebrew- how to- water chemistry.

Finally, download the metric version of ez water calculator.
 

hoppinmad

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Hey Al, is this data for Central Geelong only or could I assume Clifton Springs would be the same?
 

1974Alby

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Hey Al, is this data for Central Geelong only or could I assume Clifton Springs would be the same?

I gave him my home address so it will be for my local supply...I know they test at various locations across the region and I suspect Clifton Springs is likley to be a bit different...I will send my mate an email and see if I can find out for you.
 

eamonnfoley

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I would just brew with that water as it is, adjusting Mash pH to ~5.5-5.7 (measured at 25C) with lactic acid (or acidulated malt) if necessary. Its well balanced water (moderate-low sulfates, chloride and alkalinity). Could do with a bit more calcium, but it shouldnt be an issue. You could add a pinch or half a teaspoon of gypsum or calcium chloride to the mash.
 

1974Alby

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I would just brew with that water as it is, adjusting Mash pH to ~5.5-5.7 (measured at 25C) with lactic acid (or acidulated malt) if necessary. Its well balanced water (moderate-low sulfates, chloride and alkalinity). Could do with a bit more calcium, but it shouldnt be an issue. You could add a pinch or half a teaspoon of gypsum or calcium chloride to the mash.

Thanks Foles...exactly the kind of response I need at this stage...hopefully after a bit of reading up I will understand why I do these things and what effect they are likley to impart on my beer!
 

bcp

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This is all you need. It's simple and brilliant. Improved my efficiency by about 20-30%, and helped to balance flavours.

(EZ Water calculator.xls - i'm overseas with lousy internet and can't upload it yet. I'll do so later, unless someone chips in before me).

View attachment EZ_water_calculator_2.0.1_metric.xls
 

1974Alby

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I found the first post seemd to download ok...thanks for that, what a great resource...looks like I dont need to add much at all.

Why doesnt it require initial water pH as an input? I would have thought this would be critical??? or is it assumed to be neutral?
 

///

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Water is a bit of a trip, remember it makes up what, 90% of beer.

A few things going on. What is in the water that will buffer the pH (good or bad) to give a mash pH which will affect lautering, fermentation and final beer outcome.

What is in the water will also affect the beer profile,which will affect the alcohol, bitterness perception and mouthfeel.

Seems flippant, but the 2 are different but interalated. The calcium binds with the phosphorous ions to make phytic acid to drop the mash pH. Not enough of each and the pH will be to high for the mash, vis verda. Too high the pH (and permanent hardness) and this will not favour the a- or B- enzymes and you will have poor efficiency, irrespective of the stand temp of the mash, and the alcohol extract, again vis versa. Both will also affect the bitterness extraction from the hops and polyphenol extraction.

Calcium is also thermo-protective of the enzymes and also aids in yeast floculation. Have too much or not enough, well problems exist.

Also, you can manipulate the molar wights, sweat on the details ... but lastly realise that you can only ever come close with water salts if you are targeting a region and your water composition. So, try and get close, but do not sweat the small stuff. Think of what you favor, smooth bitterness over maltiness, but do buy a pH meter and try and get within the 5.2 (lager) and 5.6 (ale) range

Scotty
 

///

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Water is a bit of a trip, remember it makes up what, 90% of beer.

A few things going on. What is in the water that will buffer the pH (good or bad) to give a mash pH which will affect lautering, fermentation and final beer outcome.

What is in the water will also affect the beer profile,which will affect the alcohol, bitterness perception and mouthfeel.

Seems flippant, but the 2 are different but interalated. The calcium binds with the phosphorous ions to make phytic acid to drop the mash pH. Not enough of each and the pH will be to high for the mash, vis verda. Too high the pH (and permanent hardness) and this will not favour the a- or B- enzymes and you will have poor efficiency, irrespective of the stand temp of the mash, and the alcohol extract, again vis versa. Both will also affect the bitterness extraction from the hops and polyphenol extraction.

Calcium is also thermo-protective of the enzymes and also aids in yeast floculation. Have too much or not enough, well problems exist.

Also, you can manipulate the molar wights, sweat on the details ... but lastly realise that you can only ever come close with water salts if you are targeting a region and your water composition. So, try and get close, but do not sweat the small stuff. Think of what you favor, smooth bitterness over maltiness, but do buy a pH meter and try and get within the 5.2 (lager) and 5.6 (ale) range

Scotty
 

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