Looks like the difference in price is $11 between the brewers test and the household mineral test. It appears the only difference is Iron and Phosphorus. I’m on Cleveland municipal water so I think that information is available in the water report. Does knowing the exact iron and phosphorous content help me at all and is it worth the extra couple bucks?
You get a lot of phosphorous from the grain, more than would be in the water, plus it does not affect flavor, so wouldn’t worry about that, most tap water is low enough in Iron to not worry about either. If you get metallic/blood flavors, might be worth knowing about, but if you aren’t having that flavor problem, probably don’t need to worry. The brewer’s test has everything you need to adjust alkalinity, sulphate/chloride balance, etc.
You don’t need to know iron or phosphorus. If the test without them is cheaper, go with the cheaper one. If there was too much iron in your water, it would taste nasty. Phosphorus… I’m not sure what that tastes like… probably metallic as well.
Get test W-6. It has all the info you need.
Since I’m also on Cleveland water, I’ll split the cost with you if you’re up to it.
I’ll post the results here when I get them. Free of charge Merry Christmas!
I ordered the W6 test kit as well. I’ve just been too afraid to send it in because I’m thinking the sample might freeze on the trip rupturing the plastic container.
This might help you as well before you order the test. MAybe not, but I found it interesting.http://ohiodnr.com/water/maptechs/wellogs/appNEW/
I have a pretty high opinion of Ward Labs. Quick and easy. (Just wish they tested for chloramine). As others have stated, the cheap test has all the good info, although I find myself wondering about the extra info from the pricier test. I moved from Cleveland to the Cincinnati area almost 2 years ago, but I wasn’t brewing when I lived up north. I will probably order a text from Ward annually or bi-annually to make sure there are no major changes. Cheers!