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Old 04-08-2008, 01:56 AM   #31
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I always use distilled water... never knew that wasn't a good idea.

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Old 04-08-2008, 02:01 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTpilot
I think Edwort made a Rainwater Kolsch that he mentioned last summer when I was thinking about collecting some. He said it turned out well, but maybe he could chime in on this one.
Yeah, I brewed my Koslch recipe with rainwater from a neighbor who uses it 100% for their water supply. They have a 8,000 gallon collection tank from a metal roof.

Anyway, I used their water, same Kolsch recipe and pitched on a Kolsch cake. Fermented out fine.

The main difference was the hops utilization. The Rainwater Kolsch was very light on hops bitterness, but aroma was there where as the Tap water Kolsch had a pilsner like flavor & body to it.

It was a very quaffable session beer and I'll do it again when I can round up some water from the neighbor. They enjoyed it immensely and help float the keg.
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Old 04-08-2008, 02:01 AM   #33
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i say go for it. i bet it makes a good blonde or kolsch

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Old 04-08-2008, 04:56 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Born Brewing Co.
I'm a self proclaimed treehugger, so I like the idea of conservation. I cringe when I watch gallons and gallons of water from my wort chiller run down the driveway.
my first 5g goes into a bucket for sanitizing, then the next 14 goes in to the HLT for the next batch, after that i let it run, but i save all that i can.
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:39 PM   #35
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I reuse my heat exchanged water in my HLT for cleaning. Now that I insulated my HLT way better, it actually is still hot the next morning when I come in to clean.

I am glad to hear the rainwater Kolsch was a hit, as I am thinking all my planned lighter beers would benefit from a mixture of mostly rainwater and a little of my naturally hard city water. We have really tasty water here, just very hard in bicarbs. When I pre-boil and cool my brewing water I get about 2 cups of mineral deposit in the bottom of my keggle. I tried with and without pre-boil, and for my APA I didn't taste any difference. Now, I don't pre-boil anything and just clean my HLT every brew. Rainwater will be a nice addition I think. I will definitely filter, but not so worried about pre-boiling it.

Is there any problem with not boiling prior to mashing? I mean, I am obviously going to kill any bacteria or yeast picked up on it's fall to the planet by boiling 60-90 minutes. I am curious as to any volatile chemicals or something like that, but I have heard people just use a whole house filter for their rainwater and drink it. I would have already done this step prior to brewing so...?

I am on a huge environmental kick right now and would love to get more green than I am right now. This is why I am researching/fooling around with wood-gas stove burners for boiling wort and heating water.

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Old 04-08-2008, 03:48 PM   #36
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Rain harvesting, kudos. Especially where you live, I think it's a grand idea. Pollutants could be the #1 problem though, but as mentioned here, a pH check is probably in order.

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Old 04-08-2008, 03:49 PM   #37
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I was thinking about using solar to kick start my HLT water.

Hmmm.

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Old 04-08-2008, 03:50 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olllllo
I was thinking about using solar to kick start my HLT water.

Hmmm.

You could modify a solar cooker. At least that would be a leg up...
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:08 PM   #39
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Yeah, forgot about the pH. That is easy enough to test, and I have been needing some strips for a while now just for curiosity sake. Oh another reason, Star-San. Now I would be able to see if the stuff I left out overnight (or half a week) is still viable as a bug slayer.

I like the solar idea of pre-heating water also, but researching these wood-gas stoves has really opened my eyes to higher heating capacity and low fuel consumption. It is possible I could heat or boil all I need during a session for less than a few pounds of scrap wood laying around my yard. Just thinking out loud, this combined with a my brewing equipment I could also make a water distiller without the need for fuel cost worries. I still think a solar water distiller would be better though for brewing or drinking, as distilling in a metal container with direct fire causes a metallic/stale taste in most distilled water I have tasted. They are so slow that it would have to be one huge solar distiller to collect enough water fast enough for brew day. So many ways to go on this that I haven't really ironed anything out yet. Although, when I build a house it will have very soft water before it enters my pipes. I hate the crud that builds on the pipes here. It makes the shower/tub nasty, but you do "feel" cleaner and not slimey, lol. I know, I know, soft water cleans hard!

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Old 04-08-2008, 05:17 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WortMonger
... They are so slow that it would have to be one huge solar distiller to collect enough water fast enough for brew day. ...
I think you would just always want to have it collecting. Rain water could fill a solar distiller, the distilled water could feed a reservoir, that could pump up to a solar heater on a roof. Then just open the valve on the heater to feed the HLT when you need it..

I like the idea of wood fired too. Lots of great and interesting stuff to ponder! I think this is a great hobby in the sense that there are ALWAYS ways to tinker with your set up.
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