New water supply

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New water supply

Postby jjbuck » Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:50 pm

I have started using charcoal filtered tap water. I have noticed that my beers , while not "bad" have a noticeable off flavor. I suspect the water doesn't have the right ions etc. If anyone is good at reading water profiles and correcting obvious deficiencies or excesses I would really appreciate your help.
Here are my numbers:
Chloride 30
Ca hardness 50
[Ca+2] 20
Mg hardness 50
[Mg+2] 12
Total hardness 100
Sulfate 50
Total alkalinity 140
Residual alkalinity 91.4
Na (calculated) 62.1
pH right out of the tap is 7.76
I use the 5.2 buffer in my mashes
Again thanks for any help. JB
PS These are in ppm.
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Re: New water supply

Postby daryl » Fri Jul 01, 2016 2:12 pm

Have you tried using RO water?

If you ran a batch with Reverse Osmosis water (it is cheap at HyVee - take in your buckets and get what you need for a 5 gallon or 10 gallon batch) and the off-flavor disappears, you will have at least nailed it to the local water (or the 5.2 buffer, haven't used it, but I am using RO and additives recommended by Gordon Strong).
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Re: New water supply

Postby andrewmaixner » Fri Jul 01, 2016 2:19 pm

What is the pH after you "buffer" it with the 5/2 gimmick? (It has a lot of salts in it)
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Re: New water supply

Postby jjbuck » Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:44 pm

andrewmaixner wrote:What is the pH after you "buffer" it with the 5/2 gimmick? (It has a lot of salts in it)

5.2
daryl wrote:Have you tried using RO water?

If you ran a batch with Reverse Osmosis water (it is cheap at HyVee - take in your buckets and get what you need for a 5 gallon or 10 gallon batch) and the off-flavor disappears, you will have at least nailed it to the local water (or the 5.2 buffer, haven't used it, but I am using RO and additives recommended by Gordon Strong).



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Re: New water supply

Postby jjbuck » Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:48 pm

I am using the same recipes and procedures that I have used before except I wanted to use my tap water and treat it if needed.

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Re: New water supply

Postby jjbuck » Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:53 pm

jjbuck wrote:I am using the same recipes and procedures that I have used before except I wanted to use my tap water and treat it if needed.

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Closest HyVee is 20 miles away , my local grocery store has gallon jugs of drinking water that I have used but I want to use my tap water.
jjbuck wrote:
andrewmaixner wrote:What is the pH after you "buffer" it with the 5/2 gimmick? (It has a lot of salts in it)

5.2
daryl wrote:Have you tried using RO water?

If you ran a batch with Reverse Osmosis water (it is cheap at HyVee - take in your buckets and get what you need for a 5 gallon or 10 gallon batch) and the off-flavor disappears, you will have at least nailed it to the local water (or the 5.2 buffer, haven't used it, but I am using RO and additives recommended by Gordon Strong).



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daryl wrote:Have you tried using RO water?

If you ran a batch with Reverse Osmosis water (it is cheap at HyVee - take in your buckets and get what you need for a 5 gallon or 10 gallon batch) and the off-flavor disappears, you will have at least nailed it to the local water (or the 5.2 buffer, haven't used it, but I am using RO and additives recommended by Gordon Strong).



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Re: New water supply

Postby tony b » Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:36 pm

John, I've always used Cedar Rapids tap water (which is decent), but run through a PUR filter in my brew room (before the brew room, I used the filtered tap in the kitchen with runs through a double filter GE system). Main goal was to remove the chlorine, and any trace industrial chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, etc.). I rarely add anything back into the water, except when doing English styles, where I'll harden up the water a bit with Camden salts. YMMV
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Re: New water supply

Postby jjbuck » Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:54 am

Thanks for all the alternatives guys but I'd really like some input on my water profile.

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Re: New water supply

Postby DrPaulsen » Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:02 am

Looks pretty soft to me. Maybe the Magnesium levels are a bit high. Can you describe the off-flavor?
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Re: New water supply

Postby jjbuck » Sat Jul 02, 2016 2:38 pm

I have found J. Palmer's water calculator on line. You are right Lee, calcium is below style guidelines and magnesium and chloride are barely in range. I am going to add about 20 grams of gypsum and about 4 mL phosphoric acid to my water along with the 5.2 buffer and see if the pH comes down and the hop and malt balance come out better. I'm doing a 3 step infusion mash for a saison (Tank 7 clone from latest Zymurgy issue.

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Re: New water supply

Postby andrewmaixner » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:40 pm

When I use RO, I've always just put my recipe and style into EZ-Water spreadsheet (http://www.ezwatercalculator.com) and adjusted my mineral additions and acid to be in range as per the sheet. It's a lot easier than bru'nwater, and my stuff has turned out well. Can't advice much beyond that.

I've also had completely acceptable results using chlorine-filtered softened Marion water when I am in a hurry.
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Re: New water supply

Postby DrPaulsen » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:58 pm

jjbuck wrote:I have found J. Palmer's water calculator on line. You are right Lee, calcium is below style guidelines and magnesium and chloride are barely in range. I am going to add about 20 grams of gypsum and about 4 mL phosphoric acid to my water along with the 5.2 buffer and see if the pH comes down and the hop and malt balance come out better. I'm doing a 3 step infusion mash for a saison (Tank 7 clone from latest Zymurgy issue.

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Seems like a good plan. You might just need to make a few batches of cream ale or kolsch to try and pinpoint the off-flavor.
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Re: New water supply

Postby carrisr » Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:58 pm

Just a couple of thoughts: nothing terrible about that profile. Sodium is a touch high, but I doubt it's causing a noticeable off flavor. Maybe in combo with the 5.2 though. I don't use it and have not heard good things about it.

Is chloramine used in your water supply? Many household carbon filters won't remove all of it as it takes a longer contact time compared to chlorine from what I've read.

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Re: New water supply

Postby Matt F » Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:27 pm

And don't forget to trust your taste. Your water supply can look fine on paper but still taste bad.
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Re: New water supply

Postby whitedj » Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:03 pm

Good call Matt. Not all parameters can be characterized in the same test, and non-standard tests get pricy quick

Is the best place to get water tested Ward Labs? I'm debating if it's worth getting mine tested or just put the $ toward a slightly better RO system.
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