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Water chemistry help

For those of you who modify your tap water to achieve proper mash ph and just all-around better beer, could you please tell me what you would do to this water profile? I am particularly wondering what folks do to eliminate the chlorine…campden tablet??? Also, curious what to add to bump up the calcium. Oh, I should state that my main interest is brewing pales, ipa’s, and amber ales. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

FYI: mg/L is the same as ppm.

Chlorine/chloramine: at your tap perhaps 1.5-1.8 mg/L
Calcium: 24-25 mg/L
Magnesium: 9-12 mg/L
Bicarbonate: 35-39 mg/L
Sulfate: 32-34 mg/L
Sodium: 12-13 mg/L
Chloride: 19-22 mg/L
Water Hardness/Alkalinity: Total Hardness >>85-110 mg/L as CaCO3; Total Alkalinity >> 55-75 mg/L as CaCO3

Your water looks pretty good. It will serve you well on all beer styles. As for chlorine, an activated carbon filter is the defacto treatment tool. I use a “whole house” filter with 3/4" garden house disconnect and use it only brewing/cooking.

I also believe chlorine dissipates within 24 hours so you could draw your brewing water day before, stir it a few time throughout, and use next day.

You will want to pick up a scale and some gypsum and calcium chloride. The accepted calcium requirement is a min of 50ppm. Likely you would need more to hit mash pH.

For further info check out How to Brew and some brewing spreadsheets like ez water or bru’n water.

Well, that report provides fairly complete information. There is an error though. The bicarbonate content can’t be under 40 ppm and the water still have an alkalinity of 55 ppm. The bicarb is probably more like 65 ppm.

All that still indicates that this is a very good starting point for brewing. It should be well suited for styles indicated above. Those styles suggest that more sulfate is welcome. Therefore, gypsum will be a good choice for mineral additions. That will further depress the residual alkalinity and make the water even more suited for pale beers.

The alkalinity is not likely to be high enough to create great dark beers such as stout and porter, but that is an easy correction when using pickling lime. A sensitive scale is recommended when dealing with lime since its easy to overdose with that strong mineral. Bru’n Water is a tool suitable for figuring out that mineral addition.

Without getting a breakdown on each chemical in your water, I installed a Carbon filter in my garage used for brewing only. would this be all I need or should I also use campden Tabs. thanks

Depends of the filter of course, but assuming it’s a .5 micron activated carbon (believe that also means charcoal) you should be fine with the possible exception of chloramine. Verify if you water has it or not. Call/email your source and they will tell you as it is federal law IIRC. Remember the filter only removes “contaminants” like lead, silt, the like, but will not change your mineral composition at all.

My beers took a nice bump in improvement with the filtered water. Course, that was years ago when there were no internet or big box stores and I had to go to Sears… Salesperson, was like, you need this for making BEER??? Dang $20 thing is still going strong although I’ve replaced filters from time to time…

Best bump in improvement was a full wort boil though, bar none. Now your talking good beer.

[quote=“drexelbrew”]Without getting a breakdown on each chemical in your water, I installed a Carbon filter in my garage used for brewing only. would this be all I need or should I also use campden Tabs. [/quote]Use campden and know that the chloramine is gone. Carbon filtering plus campden is all I do to treat my tap water and I cut with RO to lower bicarbonates when needed.

If my water report doesn’t list carbonate/bicarbonate, can I assume it is represented by Alkalinity: 26 - 40 mg/L (33 avg)?

If so, am I right that with such low levels I won’t need to cut my water unless I’m making something quite light (< 8 SRM, in which case I’ll need to acidify, too, as my water is quite soft)?

So how do you add the campden tablet? I batch sparge, so would I need to collect all of my mash water in pales first?

I collect mash water in the kettle I’ll be using to warm it up, then add 1 pulverized campden tablet per gallon and mix until dissolved. I do split them in half for half gallons, in quarters for a quart, etc. Not sure if that’s necessary.

1 Capden tab will remove cholrine/chloramines from 15 gallons of water. I typically will use a 1/2 tab for every 5-7 gallons of strike/sparge water just for simplicity.

Whoa, really? That’s all it takes?
This thread suggests that a concentration of 1 tab/gallon is for sanitizing, in addition to neutralizing chlorine/chloramine:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/ahs-cam ... nt-241375/

interesting. If that’s right, maybe I’ll cut back to a 1/2 tab for 5 gallons.

…I think most commercially-available campden tablets are at for a ratio of 1 per 20 gallons. I use one-quarter of a tablet for 5 gallons, or anything less than 5 gallons.

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