Brewing water

Dan_Ell_Wang_Er

Barley Legal Member
Does anyone have a Lamotte Brewlab kit or any other water ion test kit that they wouldn't mind either loaning to me briefly or coming by for a few beers and test my house water. I'm starting to get into understanding my water, and what I've been learning tells me I shouldn't be using my water softener. So, I'd like to test my source water and get an understanding of where I'm starting from. I'd get the kit myself, but I'm pretty short on spare change this holiday season and that stuff ain't cheap!
 

Chris Smith

Tech Officer
The only thing I have is a cheap TDS (total dissolved solids) meter. But I don't think that's what you're looking for, is it?

I really used it to make sure my new RO system was working. It is, took TDS from over 100 down to 1-2.
 

Dan_Ell_Wang_Er

Barley Legal Member
Thanks, but that's not what I'm looking for. I'm looking for something that will give me readings on specific ions so that I can use brewing software to build my water profiles to what I'd like to use for specific styles. I want to use something like Bru'n Water or Beersmith to calculate water salt additions to specific water for specific styles. I've been messing around without knowing what I'm doing with different waters, for example my water softened house system, reverse osmosis water without any treatment, my untreated water from home, and spring water from the store, without actually understanding what I'm doing. The results have not been satisfying. My IPAs never dry out the way I want them to, always leaving a full body, and my dark beers always turn out to sharp. I'm hoping that understanding water treatment will help me guide my beers the way I want them to be, but in order to adjust my water the way I want to I'm going to need understand where I'm starting from.
 

John Eaton

Barley Legal Member
I don't know what the kit you refer to costs, but you can send a cup of water to Ward Labs and get a full analysis for $27, if you can spare that.
 

Dave Greenbaum

Barley Legal Member
I'm going down this trail, too, Dan. I read through "Water" and was going to try to adjust my tap water, but it went over my head. I'm going to get RO water and add treatments per Gordon Strong's Modern Homebrew Recipes. Maybe someday I'll try to get through "Water" again, but this seems like a more manageable step.
 

Dan_Ell_Wang_Er

Barley Legal Member
So, the Lamotte Brewlab Plus runs about $190, and comes with a pH meter that is highly recommended by Jamil. From. What I understand, you can test calcium, magnesium, total hardness, residual hardness, total alkalinity, residual Alkalinity, sulfate, chloride, and sodium, and can run about 30 complete tests. I may be purchasing this with Christmas money...
 

Dan_Ell_Wang_Er

Barley Legal Member
@Chris, yeah, I have unlimited access to RO water at work, but part of our testing is pH, and the product is a pH5, And I don't know why. Not sure an under the counter system would be the same or not. I assume it's probably not much by way of ions (99.8% pure water w the less then 2 TDS) but also would require me to haul it back and forth. I figure if I get the tests, I can check once a quarter, and be in the ball park for years to come...
Was just hoping someone in the club already had one so I could put off purchasing for a couple months.
 

Bob Thompson

Barley Legal Member
So in talking about adding salts.... What is the minimum amount of salt to add where it actually makes a difference? If I did the BeerSmith calculator right it is saying less than 1g of most additions, the most being 11g of gypsum. Is adding .5g like adding 1oz of water thinking its going to change the OG of a 5gal batch?
 

Bob Thompson

Barley Legal Member
I have read the same but nothing that says at 5 gallons less than .1g is pointless or something to that effect
 

Bob Thompson

Barley Legal Member
I just have a hard time believing that this little bit will make a difference in 5 gallons

Stoopid phone rotations to follow:

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