Brisbane Water Analysis 2019

The table below table shows the full results of water analyses commissioned by BABBs in March 2019. Note that the City and West sources come from the same source, while the Cleveland, Northgate, and Rochedale South all come from separate reservoirs. There is quite an amount of variation in metals across samples from the City and West region, likely due to different local plumbing materials.

Brisbane water is treated with both Chlorine and Chloramine. Chlorine will evaporate or boil of quite easily. Chloramine must be either neutralised with Campden or filtered by slowly passing water through a carbon filter. If not dealt with chloramines will react with phenols in malt to produce chlorophenols. These are detectable as a plastic-like taste in just a few parts-per-billion in finished beer! Think band-aid plastic, medicinal, or listerine mouthwash flavour and aroma.

Chlorophenols can also come from your garden hose, and from bacterial infection. So use food grade hoses, follow a good cleaning and sanitation process, and treat your water if you’re getting it from the tap!

Too many numbers? Here are the numbers you need for your brewing software in the central and west Brisbane areas:

  • Calcium (Ca) 26
  • Magnesium (Mg) 15
  • Sodium (Na) 44
  • Potassium (K) 3
  • Iron (Fe) 0
  • Bicarbonate (HC03) 117.1
  • Carbonate (C03) 0
  • Sulphate (S04) 25
  • Chloride (Cl) 73

Many of our members use and recommend the Bru’N Water water chemistry calculator. See Nick’s water tips for more information.

See the map below for the source of samples in relation to Brisbane reservoirs.

Location>AverageCoorparooStaffordSalisburyKenmoreWoolongabbaMiltonHolland ParkSeventeen Mile RocksThe GapClevelandNorthgateRochedale SouthHome RO System
pH by PC TitratorpH ValuepH Unit7.697.767.617.677.747.787.77.617.717.657.427.617.226.31
Alkalinity by PC TitratorTotal Alkalinity as CaCO3mg/L9696959795989796979656889211
Dissolved Major CationsCalciummg/L26272626262525262625212427<1
Dissolved Major CationsMagnesiummg/L1516161515151515151441214<1
Dissolved Major CationsSodiummg/L444646454444434443422239423
Dissolved Major CationsPotassiummg/L3444333333133<1
Dissolved Metals by ICP-MSIronmg/L0.00<0.05<0.05<0.05<0.05<0.05<0.05<0.05<0.05<0.05<0.05<0.05<0.05<0.05
Sulfate (Turbidimetric) as SO4 2- by DASulfate as SO4 - Turbidimetricmg/L25262626252526262324122524<1
Chloride by Discrete AnalyserChloridemg/L737373737372747474744062724
[Most brewers can stop here]
Total Hardness as CaCO3Total Hardness as CaCO3mg/L12713313112712712412412712712069109125<1
Calcium Hardness as CaCO3Calcium Hardness as CaCO3mg/L64676565656262656562526067<1
Magnesium Hardness as CaCO3Magnesium Hardness as CaCO3mg/L62666662626262626258164958<1
Residual AlkaliResidual Alkalimeq/L-0.6-0.7-0.7-0.6-0.6-0.5-0.5-0.6-0.6-0.5-0.2-0.4-0.70.2
Dissolved Metals by ICP-MSAluminiummg/L0.<0.01
Dissolved Metals by ICP-MSCoppermg/L0.0610.120.0080.0280.0280.2560.0030.0560.0170.0350.0170.0480.14<0.001
Dissolved Metals by ICP-MSZincmg/L0.0250.05<0.0050.0120.0070.128<0.0050.028<0.005<0.0050.010.0060.4820.014
Ionic BalanceTotal Anionsmeq/L4.54.524.54.544.484.514.574.554.
Ionic BalanceTotal Cationsmeq/L4.54.774.724.594.524.474.434.524.484.32.363.964.40.13
Ionic BalanceIonic Balance%1.212.682.370.580.50.411.530.

6 Responses to :
Brisbane Water Analysis 2019

  1. Ben Brown says:

    Is Wynnum manly area counted as “south Brisbane” or “southeast Brisbane” as far as water profile is concerned?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Dion says:

      Thanks Ben, you would have to check with Queensland Utilities to be sure of where your water comes from but I think the Cleveland data should be a pretty safe bet

  2. Gary Taylor says:

    Thanks for this information page. I live in north Brisbane – Eatons Hill. Do you know who handles the water processing around this area? Would it be the same as the Stafford reading you’ve shown?
    Also, for my friend in the Glass House mountains, would you know where to inquire about getting that water info?

    Many thanks for any help you can offer.


    1. Dion says:

      No worries Gary, we’re happy to share this information. It doesn’t seem to far from Stafford so you should be pretty safe. You could confirm with Queensland Utilities, they would probably have the source of your water listed on their website. If it’s any consolation, the water supply across Brisbane is fairly similar.

      You’d expect the water up in the Glasshouse Mountains to be a bit different, I think you would need to contact the provider Unity Water for details about that supply. It’s worth giving them a call, they are often really helpful with information, especially if the person you catch happens to be a home brewer. Your mate might also ask at any commercial breweries in the area.

  3. Peter from New Farm says:

    I’m in New Farm and looking at turning Brisbane tap water into sparkling water.
    Your analysis is wonderful but the calculator I’m using also looks for bicarbonate and nitrate.
    Any clues please?
    And where can I buy 100g or so of Burton Salts?
    Can’t find that anywhere.
    Cheers, Peter

    1. Dion says:

      Hi Peter,

      Nitrates are pollutants from organic sources, SEQ Water own analyses will be able to give you an indication of what nitrates are present. “Burton” salts are a mixture of Calcium Chloride (gypsum), Potassium Chloride, and Magnesium Chloride (Epsom salt). The gypsum will be the main thing you need. BNE water is already high in Magnesium. Brewing shops like Hoppy Days or Craftbrewer will sell these salts. Cheers!

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