Marion water question

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Marion water question

Postby andrewmaixner » Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:59 am

I read over all of the water threads in the tech / brewing / equipment forums. The most relevant seemed to be this one: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=2986 though I didn't quite answer my question.

My Marion water comes in to a whole house Hague softener and chlorine (and chloramine??) filter unit from Linco. Also there is a currently-bypassed inline filter unit to the kitchen sink, the kind with a replaceable cylindrical filter.

I'm starting AG brewing with my next batch (6), a infusion + sparge, simple 2-row and corn (16%) lager with cascade and cali commons yeast. I have campden tablets in case there is still chloramine.
Should I use my softened water + campden tablets, or is there more that I should take into account?
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Re: Marion water question

Postby carrisr » Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:56 pm

Do you know what the sodium content of your softened water? It's usually the reason people recommend against using softened water.
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Re: Marion water question

Postby andrewmaixner » Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:07 pm

No, I don't know my Na+ levels. Is that an easy test?
I also have the option of bypassing the softener if the Marion water plus the right additives would work. How do i handle that, or do I really have to get RO to use home water?
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Re: Marion water question

Postby whitedj » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:00 pm

honestly I just take a couple carboys to hyvee or fairway and buy their RO water. If you wanted you could dilute your water using the unsoftened marion water [treated withh campden] Here is the old water report for marion... it's a baseline of sorts. http://www.crbeernuts.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1938&p=19033&hilit=marion+and+water#p19033

As far as building water I'd suggest Bru'n water. Personally I just add some calcium chloride and gypsm to balance 'fullness vs sharpness' in the flavor department
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Re: Marion water question

Postby DrPaulsen » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:41 pm

Switching to RO water has made a significant improvement in my beers. If you really like the taste of your water, give it a try. If not, then you'll be able to detect what you don't like about your water in the beer. Give RO a try - you might be surprised.
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Re: Marion water question

Postby andrewmaixner » Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:25 am

I'll maybe just have to buy RO for this batch then, not sure if I'll have time to go over the current marion water report, reread the water chem sections of Palmer, and calculate stuff. Was hoping someone in marion may have already worked out a general procedure for treating the local water.
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Re: Marion water question

Postby Matt F » Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:33 am

Even though I am on CR water, I use to fill 5 gallon containers of RO water at Hy-Vee. I still think my beers tasted better with the RO water. CR water is pretty good but I still go with the RO water from time to time. I may do two batches at some point to compare and see if I should go back to RO. I did better in national comps with the RO water. Maybe people not use to CR water taste something I do not since I am accustomed to it.
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Re: Marion water question

Postby carrisr » Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:16 pm

I get RO water from Hyvee too. I also use it for Starsan too. It lasts months that way. Also, don't use "How to Brew"s water info, it's really out of date. I can walk you through using a tool like Bru'n Water (what I use) if you like. Brewersfriend.com has good calculators too I've heard.
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Re: Marion water question

Postby whitedj » Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:44 pm

for a quick and dirty guide to water additives this is my 'go to' with additions to RO water. added to strike water while heating. Other than that I just add RO water for sparge. If using roasted grains add them at the sparge [may need to increase them if doing something with a lot of roasted flavor].

balaced:
1/2 tsp CaCl2 [~2.5g]
1/2 tsp gypsum, not packed [~2g]

hoppy:
1 tsp gypsum
1/4 tsp CaCl2

malt forward beers
1/4 tsp gypsum
1/2 tsp cacl2

also I do recommend reading the first couple tabs in brun water spreadsheet as they are more upto date than palmer's text [
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Re: Marion water question

Postby mjhora52 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:43 pm

I just saw this thread. I had found through my own experiments with marion water that 2 parts marion "hose water" and 5 parts RO yields very good results. I have a house RO system so it was easy access. This is a similar ratio related to that old Marion water report whitedj had.
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Re: Marion water question

Postby mjhora52 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:44 pm

72% RO, 28% Marion Hose water
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Re: Marion water question

Postby whitedj » Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:10 am

Have you tried 100% RO? It'll be even better!
... At least that is what I found.
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Re: Marion water question

Postby carrisr » Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:28 pm

Whatever RO's your boat I guess. I use 100% too, but have well water that's actually worse for brewing than Mario water.
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Re: Marion water question

Postby mjhora52 » Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:35 pm

I guess I was always trying to make sure there were enough nutrients for the yeast. If the grain gives enough, then I will try all RO on a lighter beer to see if that ROs my boat too.
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Re: Marion water question

Postby whitedj » Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:33 pm

mjhora52 wrote:I guess I was always trying to make sure there were enough nutrients for the yeast. If the grain gives enough, then I will try all RO on a lighter beer to see if that ROs my boat too.

You are correct that you do need something in the water, the problem is what you have even after diluting has a lot of other things in it that you don't need. Complete RO is not likely going to get the pH of the mash in line with what the enzymes prefer, in addition there are 'clearing' type reactions that are associated with [calcium] oxalate.

I use bru'n water to calculate the mash additions [typically I only add CaCl2 and CaSO4], and I typically run RO water as sparge. I ran into this thread last year where they were discussing what is actually needed for minerals and found it interesting that ales and lagers have different needs

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=20105.0
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