Water profile

(That's water to the rest of us!) Beer is about 95% water, so if you want to discuss water treatment, filtering etc this is the place to do it!
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orlando
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Re: Water profile

Post by orlando » Sat May 20, 2017 9:03 am

private4587 wrote:Thanks for your quick replies, so where is the best(cheapest) place to get a water sample tested.
The best IS the cheapest. See above.
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Coffeeuk
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Re: Water profile

Post by Coffeeuk » Sat May 20, 2017 9:59 am

Personally I don't see the benefit of sending your water off to get tested, unless your willing to have it done on a regular basis and build up a reference database, as it only gives a snapshot of the water at that point in time, by the time you get the results your water could be completely different. I think people think that they can get their water tested and then happily plug the received figures into the water calculators for the rest of there brewing life. For a lot of places around the country this isn't the case. Myself for example, my water changes dramatically week by week, depending on which bore hole Yorkshire water are drawing from at the time, my alkalinity is double today what it was last week, and if I were still using the results from my original water test, the figures would be so far out and I may have well just have guessed the inputs.

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Hanglow
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Re: Water profile

Post by Hanglow » Sat May 20, 2017 10:22 am

private4587, a quick google of your water area brings ups the hardness report, which says alkalinity varies between 35 and 140 as HCO3 so maybe an RO unit might be best for you then build it from there. Or get one of the salifert test kits and you can at least then get the alkalinity in the right area each time you brew, which would be the most important thing

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Eric
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Re: Water profile

Post by Eric » Sat May 20, 2017 12:00 pm

Coffeeuk wrote:Personally I don't see the benefit of sending your water off to get tested, unless your willing to have it done on a regular basis and build up a reference database, as it only gives a snapshot of the water at that point in time, by the time you get the results your water could be completely different. I think people think that they can get their water tested and then happily plug the received figures into the water calculators for the rest of there brewing life. For a lot of places around the country this isn't the case. Myself for example, my water changes dramatically week by week, depending on which bore hole Yorkshire water are drawing from at the time, my alkalinity is double today what it was last week, and if I were still using the results from my original water test, the figures would be so far out and I may have well just have guessed the inputs.
With respect, I think the average brewer has a great deal more sense. I think far, far, far too many brewers are put off water treatment by scaremongering. Some comes from those who have failed to grasp the nettle, themselves possibly put off by the others, those with a vested interest in pushing a piece of software that usually applies a little chemistry to then do calculations of similar complexity to those a junior school pupil might have for homework in their final year and can be done on a four function calculator in a minute or so. This results in the often heard advice to avoid the minerals that come freely from your tap and at great expense remove as much of them as possible and then replace some to likely make a universally bland beer. This might be fine for accountants in the commercial world who buy brewery names to make a universally bland but consistent product by contract anywhere in the world.

A couple of graphs of my water. Four tests and a five quid TDS meter. Oh, and some junior school maths.


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Sadfield
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Re: Water profile

Post by Sadfield » Sat May 20, 2017 6:33 pm

Eric wrote:
Coffeeuk wrote:Personally I don't see the benefit of sending your water off to get tested, unless your willing to have it done on a regular basis and build up a reference database, as it only gives a snapshot of the water at that point in time, by the time you get the results your water could be completely different. I think people think that they can get their water tested and then happily plug the received figures into the water calculators for the rest of there brewing life. For a lot of places around the country this isn't the case. Myself for example, my water changes dramatically week by week, depending on which bore hole Yorkshire water are drawing from at the time, my alkalinity is double today what it was last week, and if I were still using the results from my original water test, the figures would be so far out and I may have well just have guessed the inputs.
With respect, I think the average brewer has a great deal more sense. I think far, far, far too many brewers are put off water treatment by scaremongering. Some comes from those who have failed to grasp the nettle, themselves possibly put off by the others, those with a vested interest in pushing a piece of software that usually applies a little chemistry to then do calculations of similar complexity to those a junior school pupil might have for homework in their final year and can be done on a four function calculator in a minute or so. This results in the often heard advice to avoid the minerals that come freely from your tap and at great expense remove as much of them as possible and then replace some to likely make a universally bland beer. This might be fine for accountants in the commercial world who buy brewery names to make a universally bland but consistent product by contract anywhere in the world.

A couple of graphs of my water. Four tests and a five quid TDS meter. Oh, and some junior school maths.


Image


Image
I'm presuming from that Eric, that you take a TDS reading prior to brewing to ascertain your water profile at that point in time, but what is your method beyond that? Are you varying your choice of acid for carbonate reduction to achieve the desired chloride/sulphate ratio for the style to be brewed? Or do you not worry about that? Your comment about 'universally bland but consistent product' suggests you allow a certain degree of variance, which has me wondering what your process is. Certainly makes sense to work with what is already in there.

Further to this, do you generally brew the same style of beers?




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Eric
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Re: Water profile

Post by Eric » Sat May 20, 2017 7:17 pm

Universally bland applies to beers made with RO water with limited refined salt additions, a bit like some foods from supermarkets that have been grown in clinical conditions and are relatively tasteless. I suspect that once convinced to take the RO route there can be little desire to put back the likes of sodium and magnesium with whatever else isn't known to have been removed.

Yes, a TDS reading first, it takes seconds. From that the amounts of major ions present are determined and alkalinity treated. Then a Salifert test will confirm the accuracy of the initial reading with alkalinity reduced as required.

Sulphuric, hydochloric, and CRS are available to adjust alkalinity, Epsom salts, common salt, Gypsum and calcium chloride flake are the most commonly used salt additions. I am not convinced the sulphate:choride ratio works as is commonly proffered and generally believed.
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Sadfield
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Re: Water profile

Post by Sadfield » Sat May 20, 2017 8:29 pm

Sorry, was reading the universally bland as applying to matching to genetic water profiles for style, which made me wonder what your approach was. Agree with your point on RO probably being a too blank a canvas.

I too use CRS and salts to adjust my water. Living at the foot of the west side of the peninnes, with its persistent supply of water to the local reservoir, I find my supply is pretty consistent and don't bother salifert testing very often, the TDS meter might be a good addition to the kit.

Contrary to coffeeuk point, I initially based my treatment on a salifert test and the local aurthority report, to find it matches closely to the private water test reports other brewers at our club have had, who are on the same supply.

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