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Thread: Water Analysis Specs.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Worcester, MA USA
    Posts
    32

    Water Analysis Specs.

    I am getting an analysis of our brewing water done. What are the Minerals that I absolutely have to get tested for ppm and what would suffice.

    A package by a local company will provide: Coliform, Calcium, magnesium, Iron, Manganese, lead, sodium, turbidity, arsenic, sulfate,chlorine,potassium, chloride,conductivity,hardness, nitrite, nitrate, pH, copper, alkalinity, Ammonia, totoal dissolved solids. This is a basic home water analysis. What should I add? Bicarbonate, zinc, sodium chloride, calcium sulfate...?

    Any reccomendations would be great.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Posts
    618

    Dont pay

    You should be able to get all the info you need for free by contacting your municiple water source.
    Operations Director, Tin Roof BC
    ted@tinroofbeer.com
    "Your results may vary"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    121
    Yes you should be able to get the analysis for free from your municpal water source. Also ask them where the water is sourced from (wells, lake, etc?). If there are multiple wells in the district your water could change in mineral content from day to day causing you to have uneven fermentations.

    If you get water from a lake, be aware that after a large amount of rainfall the lake could "roll" and cause your water analysis to change also.

    If you want to get a quick check and handle on incoming a cheap an easy way is to find some "waterworks 5" strips, that give you free Chlorine, pH, Total Alkalinity, Total Chorine, and Hardness on one test strip. They also make 7 and 9 parameter tests also. Just google the name, many places carry them.

    You can also get ion selective electrodes for your pH meter and read ion concentration directly.

    Make sure you don't have a lot of THM's (tri halo methanes), nitrates, and sodium. Zero is preferable! Make sure your water is Iron free.

    Are you running your brewing water through a carbon filter?

    Main thing is to check and see if your water source has a consistent composition. It will make your brewing life SO much easier!

    Good Luck,
    B

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Worcester, MA USA
    Posts
    32
    Actually the water is sourced from our own well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    53
    A couple of notes on water analysis.

    If relying on you municipalities water analyses remember there can be large swings in what you receive (as pointed out above). Municipalities can use wells or reservoirs or wells and reservoirs! You can have seasonal variability even in the case of one well. So taking seasonal measurements of your water is a good idea. Over a few years you will get a sense of what your trends are.

    Be aware that your municipalities water analysis does not account for any change in the water in the distribution system. For example your water can pick up iron and manganese on the way to you that you would not know about until you started noticing all your stainless rusting.

    For folks using a municipality you should set up an appointment to tour their facility if you havenít already done so. Water is our biggest ingredient and should not be overlooked. Most water folks are really excited to talk to brewers who actually appreciate there hard work. The old joke was milk came from a store but ask people in your town where the water comes from and nine out of ten will tell you the tap! Building a relationship with the water folks before there is a problem is invaluable.

    You will find good reviews of water quality parameters in the brewing textbooks that will be very thorough and helpful.

    Hope this helps.

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