Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Trying to wrap my head around water additions

Alright guys, looking at St Paul’s water report they’ve got “Sulfur - S (ppm as Sulfur) as 10.33”
Some of the water calcs I see are asking for SO4 -2, do I simply multiply this value by 3 to achieve the sulfate level?

Nope, its not the same animal, SO4/sulfate is not listed on the monthly report.
It is only listed on the semi-annual report also available as a link alongside the monthly.

http://www.stpaul.gov/index.aspx?nid=431

I once asked the lab tech how often it is tested as it seemed like yearly per the statement saying annual report,but she replied that it was done once every 2-3 years etc… So I am unsure as too how often exactly. As over the last 4 years I have seen the “annual” report updated only once and that was in March of 2010.

Prior to 2010 the reported value for SO4 was 20ppm
The current version you can see online is 21.2ppm
These numbers are what you should use in the calculators. I have record of every month going back 4 years and being that our values across the board change very little I have to assume 20 is going to be a good all around number.

If anybody from St Paul main watershed has ever gotten a wards lab done, it would be interesting to hear the results.
Also do you live right around downtown St Paul? And are for sure supplied with St Paul municipal source? The reason I ask is the composition and supply can be vastly different if you goto Inver-grove, Woodbury etc…To be honest I am not certain what communities receive St Paul muni but it seems to be the main areas 5 miles around downtown and then communities north along the watershed again I am purely speculating and if you are in a weird zone on the outskirts you might want to be certain you are on the main St Paul supply line. As the outlying communities have really hard water vastly different from St Paul’s Awesome water.

If you are not aware St Paul pumps river water up to Centerville, Lino lakes and the water filters down through the chain of lakes running through north oaks to vadnais lake at 694 and rice st/hwy 49. The lake in north oaks and vadnais do not allow swimming or boating of any type basically no contamination is allowed to take place and they pump this water and blend with deep aquifer well water to bring us the water we see.

The current values listed for April 2012 are:
Ca: 19 Calcium
Mg: 7 Magnesium
Na: 18.6 Sodium
Cl: 36 Chloride
SO4: 21 Sulfate
HCO3: 56 Bicarbonate
Alk: 46 Alkalinity

Bicarb is found by Alkalinity: 46 x 1.22 = 56
Usually they publish the prior month mid-month of the current month, so we should be seeing the may report in a couple weeks.

Here are the average numbers for '09 & '10 I have yet to compile the '11 numbers.

2009
Ca: 28
Mg: 5
Na: 16
CL: 34
SO4: 20
HCO3: 62
ALk: 51

2010
Ca: 23
Mg: 7
Na: 17
CL: 37
SO4: 21
HCO3: 61
ALk: 50

Hows that for an answer?

I had 2 Ward lab reports done on the St. Paul water one was from up just east of the fair grounds and the other from the east side of town east of 35E and north of 94 there wasn’t a lot of difference in the reports and they match within a point or two of what your posting.

Chuck, real nice to hear. Thanks for the feedback. I wasn’t quite sure how far east you can go daytons bluff/maplewood/oakdale etc… would be on St Paul muni, it might go right out to 494/694 but I wonder now where it all terminates. I know the source but never really thought about which cities are something other than the St Paul plant.

He lives around White Bear Ave and Maryland area where I get water from and did the test.

Sure would be nice to be starting with that water vs. the well water in the northern suburbs. My bicarb is ~250, have to use a lot of RO water for most brews. :frowning:

Thanks for the reply guys!!
Just plugging numbers into EZ water, so I’ll edit the sulftate from 31 to 21.

When messing with additions of gypsum and calc chloride, would you evening split additions between mash and sparge?
I’m brewing the Shining Star Pale this weekend, and typically most of my brews use Rahr 2-row, which seems to acidify fine, but this is pils based.

Would you guys mind looking at the below additions to see if they look reasonable?

Edit The higher mash to water ratio is taking into account my mashout infusion***

[quote=“dsidab81”]
When messing with additions of gypsum and calc chloride, would you evening split additions between mash and sparge?[/quote]

I do exactly as touted in your sheet the mash minerals goto the mash and the sparge minerals go into the sparge water along with some acid always to bring the sparge PH down(see below), some reserve sparge minerals and add to boil kettle.

Everything looks fine, but maybe I am missing it, but you will want to acidify the sparge water.
w/o adjustment the PH is close to 8.5/9 you want the sparge water either really close in PH to your mash or under six as a rule to prevent the runnings from rising above 6.0 PH

I could just acidify the mash and sparge and save gypsum for the boil, right?

No the gypsum and CaCl add calcium to the mash which has the effect of lowering acidity naturally and also serves many other important functions in the mash as a whole.

So leave the mash additions exactly as shown and the lactic as prescribed also.
But sparge you will need to acidify only if you wish and then add the “sparge” minerals directly to the kettle. You want to add exactly what is shown. You are doing two things by adding to the sparge or kettle which is keeping your desired SO4/CL ratio and adding calcium to the boil as much of the mash calcium will not make it to the kettle and calcium plays important functions in the boil also.

Thanks… I’ve got alot to learn! Do the sparge additions change if I batch sparge?

Not really, many claim that they dont see a rise because of the bulk addition done in batching, but many such as board member zwiller claim that they have seen a rise. So it easy to simply drop er down to around 5.6-5.7 just to ensure any runnings are for sure under 6.0 every time no fail.

Edit* I guess I was speaking to acidifying only, The minerals do not change from one to the other.

Have any of you watched this John Palmer NB video on brewing water it will either confuse you or make sense.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJj__jEkFUE

Yes, great info. I found it was able to do both in my case. :lol:

Just watched it this morning!! Talking about timing.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com