Beginners Guide to Water Treatment (plus links to more advanced water treatment in post #1)

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woolley2002

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I can't really see from your screenshots, what is your post-adjustment profile?
@strange-steve these are the details from my water report
Alkalinity (from a test I did) 182.5ppm
Calcium (from a test I did) 110ppm
Magnesium 1.65 mg/l
Sodium 14.9 mg/l
Sulphate 14.7 mg/l
Chloride 45.7 mg/l

Are the adjustments from previous post ok for a SMASH?
 

strange-steve

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@strange-steve these are the details from my water report
Alkalinity (from a test I did) 182.5ppm
Calcium (from a test I did) 110ppm
Magnesium 1.65 mg/l
Sodium 14.9 mg/l
Sulphate 14.7 mg/l
Chloride 45.7 mg/l

Are the adjustments from previous post ok for a SMASH?
Does Brewfather not tell you what the resulting profile is after the adjustments?
 

Braufather

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Star san. How do you lower tap water ph for that? Not sure if this is different from lowering biocarbs or not?
 

strange-steve

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Star san. How do you lower tap water ph for that? Not sure if this is different from lowering biocarbs or not?
Unless your tap water is high in bicarbonate you probably don't need to. Check the pH after dilution and it should ideally be <3.5. If not, then in theory a little of your water treatment acid of choice would do the trick in removing some bicarbonate, however I'm not sure if there are other mechanisms at work that mean it's not as simple as that.
 

Bill_g

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The best thing really is to listen to this interview with Charlie Tally of 5 Star, he invented Star San so info from the horse's mouth.
03-29-07 Basic Brewing Radio - Sanitizing with Bleach and Star San from Basic Brewing Radio | Podcast Episode on Podbay
Summary is that pH needs to be below 3. At pH 3.5 Star San effectively turns into micro organism food. Hard water isn't ideal mainly because the metallic ions bond with the soap in Star San and make it less effective. The balance of pH & soap is critical to Star San's effectiveness. But don't take it from me, listen to the interview it is quite informative.
 

Braufather

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Unless your tap water is high in bicarbonate you probably don't need to. Check the pH after dilution and it should ideally be <3.5. If not, then in theory a little of your water treatment acid of choice would do the trick in removing some bicarbonate, however I'm not sure if there are other mechanisms at work that mean it's not as simple as that.

played it safe and ordered some deironised water from tescos for star san, I’ve been using tap water but the cloudynes is unsettling even if it’s fine.

also for brewing I take it I don’t need that basic water testing kit now as my tap water with moderate calcium addions resulted in my mash ph being spot on. It’s not going to give me any other details apart from bicarbonate which is obviously fine?


its my tap water taste I’m more worried about though so gonna hold off brewing again until Tate test next week.
 

strange-steve

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also for brewing I take it I don’t need that basic water testing kit now as my tap water with moderate calcium addions resulted in my mash ph being spot on. It’s not going to give me any other details apart from bicarbonate which is obviously fine?
Sorry mate I just saw your post. That's up to you, if you're happy that your mash pH is good and that you have enough calcium then probably not.
its my tap water taste I’m more worried about though so gonna hold off brewing again until Tate test next week
What's the problem with the taste of your water?
 

Braufather

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hard to say it just doesn't taste nice, big hit of chlorine I think, but could be more than that. I remember once rinsing and rinsing a fermenter to get rid of bleach smell before I realised it was actually com ing from a full load of tap water! I should have tasted it after treating with Camden last time to see if that fixed it.
 

BeerMe

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I'm new to all of this (starting my first homebrew kit (Cooper's wheat beer) in a couple of days) so I'm wondering if this is all something I need to be worrying about?

I managed to source the latest test results for my area. I tend to think that our water quality is pretty good up here in Scotland, is it good enough for brewing from the tap?
Screenshot_20210329-162428_Drive.jpg

Screenshot_20210329-162453_Drive.jpg
 

DocAnna

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Sadly super excited at having received a water analysis report for our tap water ... and even worse since there's almost nothing in it 😁

Results here with comparison with the publicly available reports.

Ions ppmpHnitrateHardnessCaMgClSO4Alkalinity
Test Water7.401032947 as CaCO3
Turret A public report7.6 to 9.100.61
mgNO3/l
18.375.341.2312-191.6-2.222 as HCO3

I think that can be concluded as money not well spent... though it does give the reassurance that the water really is a bit of a blank canvas. Right time to get on and make some decent beer again!

Anna
 
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Sadly super excited at having received a water analysis report for our tap water ... and even worse since there's almost nothing in it 😁

Results here with comparison with the publicly available reports.

Ions ppmpHnitrateHardnessCaMgClSO4Alkalinity
Test Water7.401032947 as CaCO3
Turret A public report7.6 to 9.100.61
mgNO3/l
18.375.341.2312-191.6-2.222 as HCO3

I think that can be concluded as money not well spent... though it does give the reassurance that the water really is a bit of a blank canvas. Right time to get on and make some decent beer again!

Anna
That’s interesting. I looked up my water on the weekend (Turret A too). I thought there would be a bit of variation from the report but wouldn’t have expected such a difference.
 

Lee Brown

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So,

I just felt that I needed to make a post. The first time in a LOOOONG time. SInce I last posted, it was pre-Covid. This disease took my mother and almost a year later, I am still struggling with it.

The main reason that I wanted to post is to thank @strange-steve @Argentum for their part in my beer journey. I think I've made about 20 beers since these water treatment conversations. I 100% made the whole process to scientific and overly complex. I have now really got a grip on my dosages for my water and it really is now quite straight forward and I am making beer that all my family and friends genuinely look forward to drinking. In fact, I have been offered 'commissions' to brew for others. I can't be bothered!

But I needed the science you guys gave me to contextualise what I am dealing with. I made a few errors to begin with, but without you guys I would not be brewing the quality of beer that I do now. So, a huge thank you. And I hope you and your families are all well.
 

phildo79

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Not that I know of. You can get a calcium level meter but i think for one with the proper resolution for brewing it'd be really expensive.

What about a cheap pH pen (not too bad as long as it's calibrated before use) and a Salifert Ca kit? Under £25 quid total, plus another fiver or so for some buffer solutions.
Going AG soon and just double checking on the equipment needed. If I get one of those pH pens, do I still need to buy both types of salifert kit?
 

Oneflewover

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Going AG soon and just double checking on the equipment needed. If I get one of those pH pens, do I still need to buy both types of salifert kit?
I'm several years into all grain brewing and have never used a pH meter. Don't own one. I've always just relied upon brewing liquor calculators. My advice, for what it's worth, is focus on the basics first
 

phildo79

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I'm several years into all grain brewing and have never used a pH meter. Don't own one. I've always just relied upon brewing liquor calculators. My advice, for what it's worth, is focus on the basics first
In for a penny, in for a pound. I'd rather do it right than balls up a brew. I'll be doing BIAB, if that has any extra significance?
 

SilverShadow

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In for a penny, in for a pound. I'd rather do it right than balls up a brew. I'll be doing BIAB, if that has any extra significance?

I'd be interested to hear how you get on with biab, as it's the way I'm trying, albeit with dubious results ;)

I'd just like to ask, what are folks experiences with just using tap water without any modification?

I'm trying IPA recipes, and at the moment, just looking to get something 80-90% right without needing to buy loads of kit.

My Severn Trent water in Nottm has an Ave pH of 7.2, so sounds like I need to adjust it to around 5.5 by the sound of it. To get even close to the beer I like, are there 2 or 3 key things to adjust?
 
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I'd be interested to hear how you get on with biab, as it's the way I'm trying, albeit with dubious results ;)

I'd just like to ask, what are folks experiences with just using tap water without any modification?

I'm trying IPA recipes, and at the moment, just looking to get something 80-90% right without needing to buy loads of kit.

My Severn Trent water in Nottm has an Ave pH of 7.2, so sounds like I need to adjust it to around 5.5 by the sound of it. To get even close to the beer I like, are there 2 or 3 key things to adjust?
I’d say the only no-negotiable is to add half a ground up Camden tablet to remove the chlorine. You‘ll get decent beer with just that :-)
 
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