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ottonut
03-05-2008, 09:18 AM
I have a question about my ridiculous water situation. Our area's water supply is very hard and comes from 6-8 wellfields all with different water and all drawn from randomly. So when I brew it is sort of like a slot machine of water. I do know that the pH is usually 7.5-8.2 and we have lots of chlorides and very little sulfates. I use a RO filter and blend with the tapwater, 60/40 generally, I tried creating from scratch but I found the beers flatter flavorwise and normally get good results with this ratio. I also acidify a bit with phosphoric. So in the sake of some consistency I'm wondering if a conductivity meter and or a TDS meter could predict some of the wild changes in the future.

Thanks
Charlie Schnable
Otto's Pub and Brewery

jtomelia
03-06-2008, 06:48 AM
Sounds like you're in a bit of spot, no? Still with some simple lab equipment, I think you could solve this.

Aside from pH most of what you need to know you can find out by a series of simple titrations. The lab equipment to run a titration is cheap and the techniques are easy to learn. I think if you get some titration equipment and the right reagents for the parameters you're worried about, you'll be able to adjust for your recipes. With the RO system, you can adjust the mix and maybe make some additions and you'll have consistent brewing water in no time. If you want to try it, everyone buys the stuff from Cole-Palmer.

I don't think your going to find an online monitor that will help much. The mix of waters probably follows a pattern throughout the day, because the water system is filling storage tanks at nite and draining them in the morning when everyone is showering and flushing, but even if you figured that out, they'll decide to change their pumping scheme or they'll repair a pump or something.

If you try it, let me know how it works out for you.

John O

ottonut
03-06-2008, 09:22 AM
Thanks for the response John, I had not thought of titration but it makes sense. I was hoping for a inline quick fix but I'll break out the Cole Parmer catalog and go from there.