Sodium can also be a contaminant that can create a metallic taste, which is why smart brewers never use softened water. It's almost always a good idea to keep sodium levels below 50 mg/l. Additionally, Carbonate and Bicarbonate are desirable at certain levels and detrimental at higher levels. Darker beers with high acidity sometimes have up to 300 mg/l of carbonate, while IPA's may taste best at under 40 mg/l.
Chloride is another two-edged sword " small amounts can give the beer a complex and full taste, but too much can be detrimental. Sulfates can also be good or bad depending upon the type of beer you are brewing. Sulfates can actually improve flavors of beers that are on the œhoppy side.
Iron, Sulfur and Manganese are almost never good when it comes to brewing beer. If you have any of the three in the water, they should be removed by oxidation and filtration. Chlorine and Chloramine are never desirable for brewing beer. They prevent the yeast from doing it's job, especially chloramine which is created by adding ammonia to chlorine. It cannot be boiled out of the water and must be removed by prolonged contact with carbon and catalytic carbon.
It should go without saying that Sediment, Solids, Sand and Silt are never desirable in water which is used for craft beer brewing. You don't want frogs and fish in your beer and you certainly don't want to chew it! Finally, Bacteria, Cysts and Virus may not be an aesthetic problem, but they have no place in the water used for craft beer brewing¦ for obvious reasons.