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Finally going to water adjustments

So I recently moved into a new house and the couple of batches that I have done here have not been quite as good as I am used to despite using the same equipment and process. I am thinking that it has to be the water, so I am finally going to take the plunge into water chemistry.

I downloaded the Bru’n water spreadsheet and read through the intro which gave me some pretty good insight but is obviously just a start. What else should I be reading or what tips can you guys give me here?

I am going planning on sending in a sample to ward labs this weekend, is it worth getting the w-5 complete household testing or should i save the 10 bucks and just get w-6.

Also what salts/finings should I plan on having around? Or should I wait until I get my water analysis to see what will actually get used so I dont spend money on something that is just going to be unused.


I think the w-6 will be plenty sufficient. Salts I keep around are gypsum, epsom, canning salt, calcium chloride, and baking soda. I rarely use all of them. Bru’n water is a pretty good spread sheet. One of the best. I assume you use camden also to remove chlorine? I just use a whole tablet in my strike water and another in my sparge water. Throw it in when I start to heat it up.
Water chemistry is a good thing to get into if you want to improve your beer. I’m still learning about it too, it’s hard stuff.

Palmer and JZ have 4 Brew Strong episodes devoted to water chemistry. I think they’re worth listening to. I download the episodes of interest from the archives and listen to them driving to and from work rather than trying to find time at home. ... arch/water


Calcium Hydroxide (Pickling Lime) should be an essential part of your chemistry set.

Only if the alkalinity is high though. He may have, say, 50 ppm CaCO3 total alkalinity, in which case he’ll never need to lower it.

It’s good to have around for adjustments since it doesn’t effect the Sodium, Magnesium, Sulfate, or Chloride count and dissolves better than Chalk which make the results more predictable.
I found that since I started using it I’ve come to rely on it more and more. It’s just another tool in my water chemistry arsenal.
P.S. My water alkalinity is 63.

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