Home tap water analysis

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phildo79

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Hi all

Been going deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of water chemistry these last few months. I would really like to get my tap water analysed as I have heard those generic water reports for your area are a bit useless. Anyone know where I could get this done for a reasonable price? First place I checked out was looking over £200.

Thanks
Phil
 

trueblue

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I used Neil from phoenix analytical as recommended on the forum Here

I paid £28 for the test.
100% agree with you best in the business, because of previous experience I would not touch Murphy's with a barge pole.
 

trueblue

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What's the story? I've looked at using them before.
Back in the day when they sold to homebrewers and you could by sulphuric acid I bought some for water treatment Going buy their stated strength I did the calculation but my targets were well out. Phoned them and got no help so with a the help of chemist friend I managed to work out the true strength and from then on reached all my targets. If they can't analyse their own products they are not touching my water.
 

Sadfield

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I would really like to get my tap water analysed as I have heard those generic water reports for your area are a bit useless.
That's not always the case, some are very detailed and most will give you an idea of the range with which you'll be working in. Getting your water analysed is only a snapshot of the day you draw the sample. A bit like buying a car with an MOT, it was legally roadworthy on that particular day, but won't tell you much more about the overall running condition of the car. Regularly checking the local report will tell you if your supply changes source and how certain parameters fluctuate.
 

Sadfield

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Not really. Get a sample tested at Phoenix Analytical, just consider it as as one set of data, not a definitive profile of your water. Supplies change with the seasons and demand. Buy a Salifert Alkalinity test kit and then through out the year, use it and all the free and valid data the water authority provide, to work out your best fit water profile from the all the data. Total cost of this would be roughly £40, versus the cost of installing and running an RO system.
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@phildo79 I was thinking similar to @Sadfield ...

I use the Salifert test kits for Alkalinity and Calcium - there's a guide here.

(I assume you've already read strange Steve's guides on water treatment?)

As I recall, the gist of it is these are the things you need to know accurately and are often missing from water reports.

The remaining stuff (e.g. chloride, sulphate etc) can be taken from the water report.

I test my water only once in a blue moon but I haven't measure a change in the 2-3 years I've been doing it. Also the local water reports haven't changed either.

But of course it may vary from region to region!
 
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I used Neil at Phoenix Analytical too
Had my tap water and RO checked at the same time. A real game changer. Will be doing it every 12 months or so from now on
 

scomet

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G’Day Phil, OMG is water a rabbit hole (one that i’m currently stuck down) My first thought was for 200 pounds you can buy a really good RO system and your problems are over!!

But do you have any problems to start with? The UK has one of the best water supplies in the world, I would think from your general water report you can tell if its hard soft etc and is this an issue for your beer? or do you have a 'local water supply' that may be be anything!

If you’re unsure by a cheap good RO system (make sure it has a US made Dow-filmtech membrane in the RO unit the Chinese ones are crap - Problems solved (that’s what I did!)

Now you just have to worry about your brewing water profiles…
 

Alastair70

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I spent under £50 on a Vyair 3-stage system a year ago, the water I collected today still came out at 6ppm TDS, same as when it was new. I keep an eye on that and won't be changing the RO membrane until it starts to climb. You don't need to spend a lot to get up and running.

Our local water report offers mean values for very a small set sample numbers with a huge range. I'm no statistician but I know enough to know that even if they reported the median value, it would still bear no realtion to what's coming out of the tap on the day.
 

Druncan

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I use local Scottish Water reports that contain actual measurements. Murphy's as well. But our water changes as it's borehole and on a meter. Sadly I cannot afford to waste water with a RO system as local ones use lots of water during the treatment process. Is that correct?
I have also just done a recipe design course with Brewlab Brian Yorson. It was great on brewing water and brewing chemistry. Craft Brew Recipe Formulation - Brewlab £60. Online 1/2 day course.
I now have all his water, recipe spreadsheets and process log sheets a wealth of detailed info. Well worth it IMHO!
 

phildo79

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As @Alastair70 mentioned, my local water report gives mean results with quite a wide margin either side, in some cases. It also only reports the mean value of calcium and magnesium. It also reports the waters hardness as 164.1 ppm but I have a salifert kit and calculated my tap water at 96.66 ppm. That's a good bit of difference. I would be interested to see the difference a private analysis produced and if it is significant, I will be testing it on an annual basis, like @Mash Monster
 

jayk34

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I spent under £50 on a Vyair 3-stage system a year ago, the water I collected today still came out at 6ppm TDS, same as when it was new. I keep an eye on that and won't be changing the RO membrane until it starts to climb. You don't need to spend a lot to get up and running.

Our local water report offers mean values for very a small set sample numbers with a huge range. I'm no statistician but I know enough to know that even if they reported the median value, it would still bear no realtion to what's coming out of the tap on the day.
Trying to resist the urge to purchase an RO system but my curiosity is getting the better of me 😄 How long does it take to collect enough water for your brewday ?
 

jayk34

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As @Alastair70 mentioned, my local water report gives mean results with quite a wide margin either side, in some cases. It also only reports the mean value of calcium and magnesium. It also reports the waters hardness as 164.1 ppm but I have a salifert kit and calculated my tap water at 96.66 ppm. That's a good bit of difference. I would be interested to see the difference a private analysis produced and if it is significant, I will be testing it on an annual basis, like @Mash Monster
I have to say that when I got my report from phoenix analytical, that the ni water report wasn't that far off from the tested results.
 

Alastair70

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Trying to resist the urge to purchase an RO system but my curiosity is getting the better of me 😄 How long does it take to collect enough water for your brewday ?
It's about 3 or 4 hours. I collect the water and do my additions the day before brewing, that way there's plenty of time for everything to dissolve into solution.
 

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