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Advice on Water Profile

I sent a sample of my water to Ward Labs and got the results below. I don’t see anything too alarming here but my concerns are that the water is slightly basic and seems to lack much magnesium(which I thought was an essential component of yeast health.)

BUT, I know nothing about brewing water and would love hearing some comments from those with experience.

Water Profile

7.5 pH
68 Total dissolved solids, est (ppm)
.11 Electrical conductivity (mmho/cm)
.9/.8 Cations/Anions (me/L)

6 Sodium (Na)
1 Potassium (K)
11 Calcium (Ca)
<1 Magnesium (Mg)
32 Total hardness (CaCO3)
.1 Nitrate (NO3-N)
1 Sulfate (SO4-S)
<1 Carbonate (CO3)
22 Bicarbonate (HCO3)
18 Total Alkalinity (CaCO3)
.79 Total Phosphorous (P)
.2 Total Iron (Fe)

Looks like pretty neutral water…a good starting point. Don’t worry about Mg. The grain supplies all you’ll need.

You can definitely build on this water.
You will need to add Calcium, so:
Malty beer? add calcium chloride
Hoppy beer? add calcium sulfate, plus go ahead and add some magnesium sulfate as well.
BUT, before you go anywhere/do anything, download a copy of Brunwater. Study it, understand it. Then play with your water profile.

Thank you both. I have been reading through the chapter on water in Noonan’s New Lager Brewing but it is pretty intimidating. Definitely will check out Brunwater, I really appreciate referring me to something that is (hopefully) more accessible.

That should be a great starting point for brewing water. My only concern is the iron content. That is a little high. Is there rust staining or metallic taste from the water?

No rust staining or metallic taste from the water but I started detecting a metallic taste in my ales this year. That is part of why I had my water tested. Thought it might come from mashing in my brew pot BIAB style.

I already filter our water with an under the sink carbon activated filter. It was this filtered water that was tested. Any suggestions for additional treatment to remove iron? Setting overnight? I have seen some discussion of aeration …

BTW - I used Brunwater tonight on my ipad but I think it operated better on my laptop when last I tried it.

[quote=“Maltoftheearth”]No rust staining or metallic taste from the water but I started detecting a metallic taste in my ales this year. That is part of why I had my water tested. Thought it might come from mashing in my brew pot BIAB style.

I already filter our water with an under the sink carbon activated filter. It was this filtered water that was tested. Any suggestions for additional treatment to remove iron? Setting overnight? I have seen some discussion of aeration …

BTW - I used Brunwater tonight on my ipad but I think it operated better on my laptop when last I tried it.[/quote]

I can’t seem to get it to work on my iPad. Not sure what I’m doing wrong it won’t let me input any info on it. It works on my desktop just fine.

I did not know that you could get an Excel application to operate on IOS devices. It sure would be great to be able to use those devices in the brewery. I’ll keep hoping. I sure wish I could figure out how to port Bru’n Water to other formats, but that would be a huge amount of programming and utility that Excel already has in it.

One technique for iron removal is to aerate the water and allow any precipitate to settle out. I’m not sure if that water has enough iron in it to make that occur very well. Spraying the water through a fine nozzle can help aerate. Spraying into a large open vessel will also help with the aeration and settling. Another option is to get a Greensand filter. That will remove iron and manganese. But another more available option that is not often recommended but IS OK for your low hardness water is an ion-exchange water softener. Those softeners can add excessive sodium or potassium to water when used with hard water. But your water is quite soft and the amount of those less desirable ions will not be high. Ion-exchange does remove iron and manganese from water since they are divalent cations that also contribute hardness like calcium and magnesium do.

Interesting, I may just have to try the aeration given the cost of other options.

I opened Brunwater in a free app called Numbers on my iPad 4 operating version 7.0.4 I was given a warning that not all formulas would port over and that a couple fonts were replaced. Looked similar to the real deal but the formulas were clearly failing out on some of the pages and the cell notes weren’t available. Haven’t done a specific comparison with my laptop running Windows but the two versions look close enough that it may be possible to reengineer using Numbers.

About that ion exchange filter. When I read the following link to see how they work I got an idea:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/im ... or/1275126

The article indicates the iron will still to the polystyrene beads in the filter, there is a brine that later cleans the beads of the attached iron. Rather than install another filter on our home (we have a Filtrete under the sink filter) why not just buy a large quantity of polystyrene beads and set them in the water prior to mash? The beads could be brined and reused.

Any thoughts on this approach to removing iron from water? I would really prefer this approach to installing and maintaining a pricey filter (and basically a second filter for my water.)

[quote=“Maltoftheearth”]About that ion exchange filter. When I read the following link to see how they work I got an idea:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/im ... or/1275126

The article indicates the iron will still to the polystyrene beads in the filter, there is a brine that later cleans the beads of the attached iron. Rather than install another filter on our home (we have a Filtrete under the sink filter) why not just buy a large quantity of polystyrene beads and set them in the water prior to mash? The beads could be brined and reused.

Any thoughts on this approach to removing iron from water? I would really prefer this approach to installing and maintaining a pricey filter (and basically a second filter for my water.)[/quote]

Hmmmm…Not sure the polystyrene beads will sink in your water, and don’t think they’ll do you a lot of good floating in it.

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