Brewers analysis of well water

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Hi Keith,

I took your level 2 brewing class on June 3rd and really learned a lot. I mentioned my well water tasted metallic. Here are the results of the brewer’s water test for my well water at ppm:

pH 5.7 Cations/Anions 0.3 Sodium 2 Potassium <1 Calcium 2 Magnesium 1 Total Hardness (CaCo3) 9 Nitrate 0.8
Sulfate <1 Chloride 3 Carbonate <1 Bicarbonate 11 Total Alkalinity 9 Total Phosphorus 0.01 Total Iron <0.01

Thanks for any tips!
Gary Pierpoint

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Gary,

Your water has a very low pH, which is really rare. Low water pH is typically the sign of a water with little buffering capacity (aka: alkalinity). The solution is providing a way to increase alkalinity as needed to keep mash pH within bounds. That means adding some minerals to the water. Your water has almost no mineral content, so we are going to have to add it.

Assuming you are doing a 5 gallon back, you’d need to add the following to 7 gallons of water:

  • 1 tsp chalk
  • 1/4 tsp gypsum
  • 1 tsp Calcium Chloride
  • 1 tsp Epsom Salt
  • 1 tsp Canning Salt

that is a fairly complex addition to the water, but that would give you a very good launching point for most beer styles.

You can also use a pH calculator, as well. A free one is located here: https://www.brewersfriend.com/water-chemistry/

At the very least, this will cost you much less than buying bottled water for your brewing.

Warmest,

Keith

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