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Is My Brewing Water Terrible?

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  • Is My Brewing Water Terrible?

    Hi All,
    We received a water report from our building and I know its not ideal brewing water, but I don't really want to go through the expense of an RO filter.

    The report is:

    pH 7.5
    Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 735
    Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 1.23
    Cations / Anions, me/L 13.3/ 13.2 ppm

    Sodium, Na 36
    Potassium, K 3
    Calcium, Ca 117
    Magnesium, Mg 70
    Total Hardness, CaCO3 584
    Nitrate, NO3-N 0.2 (SAFE)
    Sulfate, SO4-S 25
    Chloride, Cl 93
    Carbonate, CO3< 1.0
    Bicarbonate, HCO3 551
    Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 453
    Total Phosphorus, P 0.01
    Total Iron, Fe 0.02"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit


    I've brewed successful test batches with this water on a homebrew system by adding lactic acid to get my mash ph in line, but will I run into mineral buildup problems in my HLT when used on my pro equipment? Will this water cause problems for use with CIP?
    Brewer
    Riverlands Brewing Company
    St Charles, IL

  • #2
    That is highly mineralized water. You will have difficulty in brewing most styles well. Embrace your RO savior.
    WaterEng
    Engineering Consultant

    Comment


    • #3
      It's also a disaster for cleaning - as said previously - RO is your only friend here
      dick

      Comment


      • #4
        That level of bicarbonate will make your life a living hell. You'll be scaling your HL system so fast it'll make your head spin.

        I've got about 1/3 your level of bicarb, and I fight constantly to keep my water heating system clean and functioning.
        Timm Turrentine

        Brewerywright,
        Terminal Gravity Brewing,
        Enterprise. Oregon.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the feedback guys, I appreciate it!
          Brewer
          Riverlands Brewing Company
          St Charles, IL

          Comment


          • #6
            And you'll want a softener before the RO system.
            Probrewer.com Advertising Supporter

            Buckeye Hydro
            Water Treatment Systems & Supplies
            www.BuckeyeHydro.com
            Info@buckeyehydro.com
            513-312-2343

            Comment


            • #7
              Please explain why you believe a softener is required before the RO kit. I worked at one brewery where the bicarbonate was far higher than this and it didn't go through a softener first. Thanks
              dick

              Comment


              • #8
                Dick - your Total Hardness is 584 ppm - or 34 grains per gallon. Typically anything over 10 gpg needs a softener before an RO, or you'll scale the membranes. Between 5 and 10 gpg a softener is helpful. 34 gpg is reeeeaaaaallly hard water.

                Russ
                Probrewer.com Advertising Supporter

                Buckeye Hydro
                Water Treatment Systems & Supplies
                www.BuckeyeHydro.com
                Info@buckeyehydro.com
                513-312-2343

                Comment


                • #9
                  Aha

                  That makes sense. Thanks. Presumably I didn't know the full process for that particular water source (we had two completely different ones) at the brewery.

                  I looked up some results I have - no carbonate, bicarbonate or alkalinity - slightly odd considering both water sources were limestone aquifers. I calculate approximately 9.5 gpg!! So maybe that's why they got away with it.

                  Thanks again

                  Cheers
                  dick

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