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pH and brewing

For those of us brewing with malted barley, as opposed to malt extract. It's not as hard as it sounds, so why not give it a go? The mash tun beckons.

Postby Davebhoy1888 » Sat Feb 27, 2016 6:42 pm

Who wants to try help me understand my water report and how to use it to brew ?
We have our own well for water, I got a report done last March.
I'm assuming the water hasn't changed much in the last 11 months.

The pH of my water is 6.4

What else do I need to take into consideration and what does adding the grain do to the pH?

I'd appreciate any/all the help I can get.

Thanks
Dave
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Postby nigel_c » Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:13 pm

A lot of brewing software has water treatment calculatord built in. Beersmith is what i use. You can get a more advanced calculator if you Google EZ water calculator.

To treat your water for a specific style you will also need a reading for calcium, magnesium, sodium , Sulfate, cloride and bicarbonates. Plug your numbers against what you want and you can make the water profile for any city you want.
Lots and lots of reading material out there on the subject. Can take a while to get your head around it but once you do it can turn an alright beer to a cracker.

also a brewwiki from NHC below.
http://www.nationalhomebrewclub.ie/word ... r-brewing/
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Postby Tube » Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:21 pm

At 6.4 you're probably not going to have to do a lot. It's only when water is very hard that your beer can come out shit.
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Postby Davebhoy1888 » Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:36 pm

Thanks lads. I'll go check out the calculators and it's good to know my pH isn't bad to start with.

I also have the following info

Ammonium NH4 <0.03
Nitrites NO2 <0.016
Nitrates NO3 21.6
Hardness CaCO3 83.0
Alkalinity CaCo3 67.8
Manganese 0.004
Iron 0.057
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Postby Ciderhead » Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:03 am

I'm on a well also and it changes dramatically between sept when ground water levels are low v's Feb/March so get it tested 2 or 3 times a year to allow you see variance


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Postby Dr Jacoby » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:35 pm

The pH of your water doesn't matter. It's the pH of your mash that counts. As Nigel mentioned, a calculator will make your life easier. A rough rule of thumb is: pale beers work well with soft water, dark/roasty beers work well with alkaline water.
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Postby Davebhoy1888 » Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:08 am

Ok thanks again
I'm starting to get it.
Do any of you guys know how to calculate the calcium and bicarbonate levels from the CaCO3 levels in the report?
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Postby Dr Jacoby » Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:40 am

Most water companies don;t give a carbonate figure directly but use alkalinity instead, which can be expressed in several ways (e.g. as CaCO3, as HCO3 or as CO3).

CaCO3 tends to be the one that most water treatment calculators ask for. Sometimes you'll be given an option to enter an alkalinity figure (expressed as CaCO3) or a bicarbonate figure (expressed as HCO3). It doesn't matter which one you use.

Basically there's lots of variation!
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