Water treatment..... a subject I've wrestled with for a while now.......
Living in sunny Manchester ( where we don't get enough natural rainfall
) those clever Victorians decided to build an aqueduct all the way from Thirlmere Reservoir in the Lake District. As such, I'm 'blessed' with soft water - no lime scale, nothing firs up and a bar of soap seems to frighten hard water people (such as my brother from Nottingham ) in view of the glorious never ending lather.
Anyway, my local water company have a really zippy website that provides all the wonderful data a home brewer could possibly need......
with just one exception......Carbonate
My water report goes something like this :
Calcium ( Ca ) 8.41
Magnesium ( Mg ) 1.12
Sodium ( Na ) 6.41
Sulphate ( SO4 ) 8.70
Chloride ( Cl ) 7.31
These are average figures but they don't seem to fluctuate very much and are very similar today to when I first looked into this a few years ago.So what about Carbonate ? What about Hardness ?
The report does give some information :
Hardness level : Very Soft
Hardness Clarke : 1.750
Total Hardness : 10
( expressed as mg Ca/l --- not sure why this is different to the Calcium figure reported elsewhere in the report above
So, Plan A - a quick call to the water company to sort things out...Hello, can you tell me the Bicarbonate figure for my water supply please expressed as HCO3 ?
Why do you want to know ?
So I can review my water profile and make good beer.
In that case, no; we don't have to tell you because we supply drinking water not water to make beer - goodbye.......
Plan B - follow Aleman's advice and wait for the postman..
Follow the instructions and add 4 drops of indicator to 4ml of sample water
Fill the syringe to 1ml and add tiny drops of reagent until it goes pink
Scores on the doors
Did two tests just to be sure and got the same result. Used 0.1ml of reagent, leaving the syringe plunger at the 0.9ml mark on both occasions.
Now then.... the scale provided states
0.90ml mark equals
1.2 KH value in dKH
0.45 Alkalinity in meq/l
The $64,000 question(s)........
Have I now got enough information to satisfy a water profile calculator ?
How do I arrive at a figure of Bicarbonate HCO3 ? ( for Brewsmith or other calculators )
Is it 0.45 meq/l multiplied by 50 = 22.5 HCO3 ?
Help to make sure I'm on the right track would be very much appreciated.
ps - the test kit is really, really simple to use if anyone is thinking about buying one.