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J. Steinhauer
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 240
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Saturday, October 09, 2004 - 03:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It will probably be under construction forever. I was able to throw this much together after hours this week. A lot of pictures need captions, and a lot of additional pictures are needed to illustrate some things.

Comments and constructive criticisms are appreciated.

Junior Member
Username: Frizedo

Post Number: 37
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 12:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Looks great Jon!! So where you hinting with that pump and hoseing, thats how you get the water from the lake?? I currently brew in my house, but my wife no likey. So Ive been refurbishing my detached garage which is about 100 feet from the house. No water of course, so Im sure Ill be bucketing brew water over. Im using a 55 gal barrel to recycle cooling water, hope it works out. I just finished the crown molding and painting, so its on to the floor. I have left over quarry tile Im going to use. what a great location you have!! As far as your site goes, more captions maybe synch the story line between your surroundings and the brewery. Ill be next with some pics.


Bill Pierce
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 791
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 01:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Your water situation is very interesting. I've done quite a bit of study of Great Lakes water, having spent about half my life near three of them, including at present (I'm less than a mile from Lake Ontario).

Lake Superior water has less dissolved minerals and alkalinity than the other lakes, which are actually quite similar to each other in terms of water quality. The water off your property is remarkably good for brewing; I can see why you are using it.

I assume you also had the water biologically analyzed. I would have some concern about using untreated lake water; perhaps minimally a UV light such as used with some RO filter systems would be adequate.

I spent part of each summer at the other end of Lake Superior from you when I was a kid (this was many years ago), and we and most of the neighbors had simple systems that merely pumped water from the lake, which we used for all household water, including drinking. Perhaps it's still as pure today, but I'd have my doubts. Certainly I wouldn't drink the untreated Lake Ontario water near my home.

The Great Lakes are simply amazing. Geologically they are extremely young and can be thought of as melted cubes from the last Ice Age, a piece of history from only a few seconds ago in terms of the universe.

Ken Anderson
Intermediate Member
Username: Ken75

Post Number: 431
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 07:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm not sure it's fair to claim your water is "unsuitable for all but the darkest beers." That's a little extreme.

Steven Edward Haun
Username: Stevehaun

Post Number: 123
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Monday, October 11, 2004 - 12:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I recently relocated to WI and analyzed my well water. My alkalinity and [HCO3] were double the values from your well. Unfortunately, I don't have the big lake out my back door. I currently am in the process of deciding between RO water and using slaked lime Ca(OH)2 to precipitate out the HCO3. I think the latter will be cheaper.

J. Steinhauer
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 250
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, October 11, 2004 - 01:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

We are quite a ways up the shore from the city, though I would not use the water without boiling it first (as in boiling the wort), and I won't use it right after a heavy rain. I also make sure not to take it from the surface or the bottom. Though I have consumed it directly without treatment, by dipping a mug into it. Our neighbors, while building, pumped from the lake to a holding tank, before drilling their well, and consumed it untreated. I will eventually charcoal filter it, just to remove hydrocarbons.

While I agree, the well water can be used to make something brown, as opposed to black, I would have to treat it with too much calcium chloride and adjust the pH more than I want to bother with. A pilsner would be out of the question.

Ken Anderson
Intermediate Member
Username: Ken75

Post Number: 433
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Monday, October 11, 2004 - 03:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You could make a pilsner with your water. Do you really thing someone would taste it and conclude your water was too hard to brew with? Wouldn't happen.

J. Steinhauer
Intermediate Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 256
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 01:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I agree with the last point. I would taste it, though, and think it might be better with less alkaline water. You know how it is. Some swear by decoctions, some by first wort hopping. It's all in the perception.

But, pale malts are not going to bring the pH into a range that is suitable for conversion, optimal protein coagulation during the boil, and avoidance of tannin extraction during the last part of the sparge and the final clarity of the beer. The adjustment couldn't be done with salts alone, and acid would have to be used.

I don't typically measure a pH but once, if that, and brew sessions are already busy enough without having to add another task. The times when I use salts to adjust the mash, I usually forget to adjust the sparge water, anyway.

The lake water simply tastes better than the well water, anyway, and other advantages include the ability to leave the pump running all day for cleaning and chilling and indiscriminantly "wasting" water on the ground, because it simply runs back the way it came. I would have to keep running back and forth to the spigot the other way, and guard against hose freeze in the winter.

On the other hand, there are days when the waves hit the top of the rock ledge, and this would definitely lead to use of the well water.

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