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Started by ECH, June 27, 2018, 02:09:13 PM

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Having never played around with my water profile when brewing, it has peaked my interest recently.

Water test at RPC for what I need is $130.....ummm, no.

Thought about contacting Niche to see if they would share theirs, as they are just up the street from me, but don't know if they use ground water, or distilled/RO, plus the way the house is set up, all of the water goes through a water softener before going out to the rest of the house (including the garden hose), just the way it was set up when we moved in.

So, a few questions.

When it calls for Epsom Salts.....is that the same thing as my wife sometimes uses in her bath water? Only ingredient it says on the bottle is Magnesium Sulphate (MgSO4), so I assume this is the same as what I could buy at a brewing store. If so, will just steal some from my wife's stash.

Baking soda....straight forward, and I know there is some in the cupboard.

Table salt....ditto

Gypsum & Calcium Chloride seems to be the only things I would have to buy.

Since the water test is pricey, I will be buying some RO water from one of the stores around here, but what profile in Beersmith would I use for say a NEIPA?

From what I can see there is a Hoppy Pale Ale, Light & Hoppy, then there is the 3 Yellow ones, Balanced, Dry and Full (all under 6 SRM)

Fairly simple otherwise with the software, plug in your starting water, what you are trying to emulate and hit match and it adds the ingredients and amounts you need to the recipe.


Well this is how I look at it: Water makes up over 90% of your brewing ingredients so it's arguably the most important one. So to spend some money to find out what your water profile is like isn't a big cost in the long run. I spent the money to get mine tested and it's made the single biggest improvement to my brewing. Also when you factor into account that your gonna need to spend money on water and go pick it up somewhere then lug the jugs around. When the whole time it's free out of your tap. I speak from experience I used to go buy water or fill my jugs up a a local spring but it was always more of a hassle than it was worth. @ECH your obviously no stranger to hobbies so I'm sure you realize that you have to spend a little money on your craft ever once in a while. But it usually makes a big difference in your results.
You could ask Niche what their water is like but it's highly unlikely you'd be taped into the same aquifer it's possible but probably not. Even if you were 100 feet away chances are kinda slim.
Epsom salts are the same stuff people use in a bath but you're probably not going to use much of that also baking soda is another one you'll probably not use. I tend to use kosher salt instead of table salt since it's pure NaCl. Gypsum and calcium chloride are the two main ones you'll use especially if your brewing IPA's and NEIPA's.
I've tried the software on beer Smith and it's okay but if you want to use something really good try out Bru'n water it's very in depth and a bit complicated. But once you get to know it it's wonderful...

Good luck however you decide to go!  :cheers:


I use a fair bit of distilled water for other things around the house, at at $1.50/gal, I wasn't relishing having to buy 7-8 gallons every time I do a batch of beer, but was at Sobeys and they have the RO water for $3 for 18.9l

Can buy a lot of RO water for $130+HST, meanwhile I can send a sample off to Ward Labs, and the test costs like $35US

Yeah, even if Niche is on the same ground water as me, it doesn't get me any farther ahead in the game based on the fact that I have a water softener in the house. While there is a tap on the tank before the softener, it would be a PITA to fill anything off it to any great amount based on where it is, so even if Niche was exactly the same water, it still wouldn't be the same based on the water softener, so would be no further ahead.


The new Beersmith 3 version makes it a lot easier than ver. 2 was.

Plug in your source water, choose the water you want to match, and it adds what you need to the recipe. Much easier than before.


I will second Roger on having you tap water tested. Consider it a good investment. I would prefer adjusting my existing water instead adding minerals and salts into stripped water
I haven't tried BS3 but I also use and like Bru'n Water. The knowledge section is really awesome and worth a reading a few times https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/water-knowledge
Here's an excellent article (and fabulous website in general) on neipa's water http://scottjanish.com/chasing-mouthfeel-softness/
For a pillowy mouthfeel aim for 75-100 sulfates and 150-200 chloride


I'd be happy to share our water test results any time. Like you said, it will change based on your water softener but still.

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Thanks Rob,

For now I am just going to start with a clean slate and go with R/O water from one of the stores. Thought it would cost me more that it is. $3 for 5 gal is not bad. Pay more for distilled.

Not sure how I could factor the water softener salts in the water even if I did have your water profile, nevermind assuming we are on the same ground water, which is likely, and even if we weren't, we are close enough that there likely wouldn't be much difference.