I've been studying water and messing with all of the calculators out there over the past few days. I realize that I only have a few options moving forward:
1. Go with what I've been doing for the past 5 years or so. I make good beer, right?
2. Trust the highly generalized aquifer water profile data that I found on the Internet and attempt to make adjustments from there. I don't think I'm going to do this. I wish I could get an accurate test from my Podunk water department, but my inquiries have been fruitless. Additionally, the mineral content and hardness are so high, and adjustment with salts has a second order effect on one of the other elements to undesirable levels. I've pondered buying on of the Brew Lab kits to test my own water, but I'm still left with the liquid rock that comes out of my faucet.
3. Build my water profile with distilled water and salts. Seems like the easiest and least expensive (short term) option. I'll obvious use my local hard water to brew those styles commensurate with it, as all the other historical brewers have done throughout time around the globe.
4. Buy an RO machine. Daddy ain't that rich.
The great thing about being in the army is that I will move again, probably soon. I hope to at least go somewhere that I can get a water report when I ask for it. In the end, I just want to learn more. I'd also like to apply it through practical application as well. My biggest push for trying to figure things out is my plan to brew a kolsch this weekend. Not really a beer that benefits from additional bitterness. I'm cutting my water with distilled water, which should help. I'd build a desired water profile if I could get ahold of the salts from the LHBS, but a round trip up there takes a whole day.
My beer is good. I look forward to making a beer that will jut knock my socks off one day.
I guess I better get back to work...