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Old 08-01-2006, 08:36 PM   #1
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Default Brewing with rain water

We have been getting hammered lately with rain and I am in the process of putting together a rain catchment set-up. Which has me thinking about using that nice soft rain water for brewing. I have never done it before and don't remember reading anything about it, so I thought, "Why not post it to the forum?"

I believe rain water is close to distilled water, if not the same, but who can fill in the blanks? It would be very nuetral I would guess, but I am looking for insight here. I should add that I am aware of the problems of brewing with distilled water and fear rain water might be chasing down that same alley.

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Old 08-01-2006, 08:45 PM   #2
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I have heard negitive things on brewing with distilled H2O because it dosent have the nessessary minerals needed to assist in things like hop saturation and starch conversion. I personally wouldnt try it because I like alot of calcium in my beers. calcium is one of the biggest factors when concidering hop additions.
Just a thought.
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Old 08-01-2006, 08:47 PM   #3
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This might be of interest:

http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/GG/ASK/rain2.html

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Old 08-01-2006, 08:54 PM   #4
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I would never use rain water, but then again, I'm in Los Angeles. I wouldn't want smog as an ingredient. Plus, except for the record rain last year, I'd need an area the size of a football field to collect enough water.

Brewpastor, I know you're out in God's country, so I would think the quality of your rain water is better. I say try it. It would be a good experiment. Maybe in what not to do, but who knows.

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Old 08-01-2006, 08:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwmgdman
Thanks. From this article I take it that rain water isn't nuetral in the same way distilled water is. What I was thinking of was brewing an Oktoberfest with some. I know Munich has soft water, but I am weighing the pros and cons before I commit.
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Old 08-01-2006, 08:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewsmith
I would never use rain water, but then again, I'm in Los Angeles. I wouldn't want smog as an ingredient. Plus, except for the record rain last year, I'd need an area the size of a football field to collect enough water.

Brewpastor, I know you're out in God's country, so I would think the quality of your rain water is better. I say try it. It would be a good experiment. Maybe in what not to do, but who knows.
I am finding myself in agreement with the "go for it and see what happens" camp. But I haven't fired up the kettles, so, keep up with the input.

The air is really pretty clean out here in New Mexico and we are over a mile high. It can't be any more contaminated then my well.
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Old 08-01-2006, 09:39 PM   #7
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Well being that your 5,000 ft. in elevation you might have some C02 problems. CO2 combines with H2O to make carbonic acid. I dont know if it's stable at boiling temps. or if it would denature. One other consideration is that rain water has a ton of dust and crap in it like pesticide when I lived in Ks. that would have been a huge inhibitor to me.
JUst the thought of Anhydrous ammonia makes my junk hurt definetly would not want that in my beer.

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Old 08-01-2006, 11:08 PM   #8
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Why dont you collect a sample of water and test it out.

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Old 08-01-2006, 11:27 PM   #9
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Using rain to sparge may be difficult (temperature) unless you have a Tesla coil.
Make sure the coil is properly grounded..and wear rubber boots.
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Old 08-02-2006, 03:30 AM   #10
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At a minimum I would check the pH of the water and not use it if it is acidic.

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