Severn Trent water

(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!
FULLERS
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Severn Trent water

Post by FULLERS » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:11 am

Anyone use their water? I live in Solihulll, Cheers

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Re: Severn Trent water

Post by Kingfisher4 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:46 pm

Yes, but they cover a massive region! The water will vary in composition. They did provide a reasonably helpful water composition report as well, via email request.

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Re: Severn Trent water

Post by FULLERS » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:31 pm

[quote=Kingfisher4 post_id=840978 time=1548686802 user_id=17366]
Yes, but they cover a massive region! The water will vary in composition. They did provide a reasonably helpful water composition report as well, via email request.
[/quote]

cheers, will ask for one, whats the main ones to ask for.

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Re: Severn Trent water

Post by Good Ed » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:42 pm

Contact WallyBrew on here and he will give you a proper water analysis, then with a Salifert kit to test alkalinity, you will be on the right track.

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Re: Severn Trent water

Post by orlando » Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:25 pm

Good Ed wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:42 pm
Contact WallyBrew on here and he will give you a proper water analysis, then with a Salifert kit to test alkalinity, you will be on the right track.
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Re: Severn Trent water

Post by Rob_85 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:11 pm

Hi everyone,

Do you know if the information provided here is accurate or reliable? https://www.stwater.co.uk/my-supply/wat ... r-quality/

I know one of the first things I should do is reduce/remove chlorine. What is the best way to do this?

My usual process is to use Tesco Ashbeck and add in minerals to match target profiles based on whatever BeerSmith tells me to add, and adjust with lactic acid if necessary (which it usually isn't). So have all the usual minerals and acid to hand.

Any tips or advice is appreciated.

Cheers,
Rob

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Eric
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Re: Severn Trent water

Post by Eric » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:29 pm

Rob_85 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:11 pm
Hi everyone,

Do you know if the information provided here is accurate or reliable? https://www.stwater.co.uk/my-supply/wat ... r-quality/

I know one of the first things I should do is reduce/remove chlorine. What is the best way to do this?

My usual process is to use Tesco Ashbeck and add in minerals to match target profiles based on whatever BeerSmith tells me to add, and adjust with lactic acid if necessary (which it usually isn't). So have all the usual minerals and acid to hand.

Any tips or advice is appreciated.

Cheers,
Rob
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Re: Severn Trent water

Post by Rob_85 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:31 pm

I get a list of minerals and various other parameters but the list doesn't include things like calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium, etc.
I may be missing something?

Try GL17 0SL (not my postcode but gives same report).

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Re: Severn Trent water

Post by Kingfisher4 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:15 pm

Rob_85 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:31 pm
I get a list of minerals and various other parameters but the list doesn't include things like calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium, etc.
I may be missing something?

Try GL17 0SL (not my postcode but gives same report).
Wallybrew sorted it!

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Re: Severn Trent water

Post by Eric » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:04 pm

Rob_85 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:31 pm
I get a list of minerals and various other parameters but the list doesn't include things like calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium, etc.
I may be missing something?

Try GL17 0SL (not my postcode but gives same report).
No, it isn't very good for your purposes. The best way forward is as Kingfisher4 advises and get a sample analysed by Wallybrew.

Meanwhile you might wish to try the following which are my own interpretation from that report.
Calcium 40mg/l
Magnesium 3mg/l
Sodium 25mg/l
Sulphate 45mg/l
Chloride 21mg/l
Alkalinity as 90mg/l as CaCO3 or 110 as bicarbonate.

Somewhere in that report is a warning that at times the water supplied will come from a different source. I would advise you buy a cheap TDS meter and take regular readings which will alert you to variations in your supply.

Your water's alkalinity will need to be reduced to brew good quality pale beers. The simplest way to do this is with acid. A Salifert KH kit will allow you to measure alkalinity both before and after treatment to get a more accurate figure than my guess as well as better quality control.
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Re: Severn Trent water

Post by Rob_85 » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:40 pm

Thanks for the replies.
I've since contacted Severn Trent and interestingly the values they have given me for calcium, magnesium and bicarbonate are all very similar to Eric's numbers above. CaCO3 is different, they've said 22.6 mg/l.
They mentioned these are averages so I've asked for a full report hopefully showing how things change over the year. If that isn't any use I'll look up Wallybrew.

As I'm brewing this weekend I'll take the values they've given me and go from there, with lactic acid to lower the mash pH. I'll get one of the kits you mentioned Eric for measuring alkalinity. According to BeerSmith the sulphate/Chloride balance is 'bitter', so (other than pH) it is probably good as is for the golden ale I'm planning.

I'm tempted to get a RO filter so I can work from a blank canvas. Especially if there are any drastic changes over the year.

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Re: Severn Trent water

Post by Eric » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:25 pm

Does Beersmith (I don't use such things) include an ionic balance function? If so, enter those water company figures to see what it finds. My numbers and the supplier's alkalinity suggest nearly 70% more cations than major anions, which is clearly impossible. This needs further investigation on your part. A Salifert KH test will give an absolute value of alkalinity.

From the water company's figures it would seem with the possible exception of the alternate source, that ionic content is normally within +/- 20% of average. I'll suggest that with the aid of a TDS meter (~£5 on Ebay) a Salifert test kit and the reading of some "less Americanised" water treatment documentation, you could simply treat your water to be suitable for the overwhelming majority of decent beers known to man, saving the expense and inconvenience of an RO system removing minerals that you later add back in the form of salts.

The average Total Dissolved Salts in my water are 530ppm. From analyses by Wallybrew they vary from +10% to -50%. Even so I can with adequate accuracy predetermine and adjust the mineral contents of my brewing liquor. By my estimates, the weight of mineral content of your water at most, is similar to mine at its least. Food for thought?
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Re: Severn Trent water

Post by Rob_85 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:38 pm

I probably need to read up on this a bit more. Are there any books you'd recommend? I've got 'how to brew' which includes sections on water chemistry - although not yet got round to actually reading any of it!

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Re: Severn Trent water

Post by Eric » Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:42 pm

Rob_85 wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:38 pm
I probably need to read up on this a bit more. Are there any books you'd recommend? I've got 'how to brew' which includes sections on water chemistry - although not yet got round to actually reading any of it!
There's a vast amount on this very site. Some others can conflict to add confusion to a subject that can be anything but unambiguous.

Start here and then have a look at the notes with Graham Wheeler's Liquor Treatment Calculator. They will give you a good start to understanding water treatment.

Water treatment has never been straightforward, there isn't one profile for all beers, there isn't even one profile for all beers of similar style (although you will be forgiven for believing so when studying texts), just that mineral content of liquor influence the final product in a great many ways that in themselves are very complex. In times past beers from different regions were different from one another. When water treatment became understood and legally allowed, local and regional breweries treated their waters to improve efficiency of their processes and quality of their beers, but beers didn't become identical or remotely similar. That happened when large national brewers standardised brews at various locations using RO water.

With the help of CAMRA and lots of beer lovers, local breweries have returned to treat and brew with their local water supplies. Most water supplies in UK are highly suitable for brewing. This is not universally so, and in some countries the choice of water treatment additives British homebrewers take for granted are not available, adding to the problem of their supply.

It would be nice to know your thoughts after reading those links given above.
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Re: Severn Trent water

Post by Rob_85 » Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:28 am

Hi Eric,

Thanks for your help with this.
In the end I brewed a British Golden Ale (Pale malt, and a bit of torrified wheat. Admiral for bittering, Celeia for aroma & flavour). This has been in the keg for a couple of days now and is tasting good.

I took a read through the info on here you had linked, listened to the Brew Strong podcast episodes on water (from April & May 2009 I think!), and read through chapters 21 and 22 of How To Brew.
My base water is suitable for amber to brown beers, so I adjusted the minerals to bring my residual alkalinity down to around -50 and sulphate:chloride ratio to favour bitterness (with help from BeerSmith!). Needed to add a few drops of lactic acid to the mash to get my pH down too.
A useful exercise.
Cheers,
Rob

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