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Old 07-08-2013, 08:03 PM   #21
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I have heard of people doing it. I've used freshly fallen snow before with no ill effect. I am pretty sure we have decent air around me. I've never got it checked though. You can also run it through a carbon filter to help get rid of any contaminants. You could just buy activated charcoal, grab a large cup from McDonald's, poke some holes through it, and voila, instant filter. I plan on doing the same thing with river water from a spring fed river.

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Old 07-08-2013, 11:07 PM   #22
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You cannot boil or sanitize out metals, acids, and chemical pollutants. They require an advanced filtration system, and testing for purity not easily available to most homebrewers. Here is a list of the contaminants in the air, which could be captured by rain, according to the University of Vermont Burlington Eco Info project: ozone, particulate matter, benzene, 1,3,-butadiene, formaldehyde, styrene, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, various cleaners, solvents, paints, pesticides, tetrachloroethylene.

I am not a scientist, but they don't sound like healthy things to me.

According to the same site, in Burlington "concentrations of several toxic air pollutants regularly exceed Vermont's health-based Hazardous Ambient Air Standards."

There is a reason why our drinking water is processed and tested routinely.

Life does have risks, and we can't make ourselves immune from everything, so all such things are a personal decision, but I don't see much benefit in this particular risk.

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Old 07-09-2013, 01:24 PM   #23
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You can find a wealth of information on the internet to prove either side of an argument if that's what your looking to do. I think there's a term for that. Oh yeah: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias. And in the spirit of that, here's some articles saying rainwater is great to drink:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1104091728.htm
http://www.iwawaterwiki.org/xwiki/bi...Why+is+it+Safe

Also, that article you referenced is strictly about air pollution and doesn't say anything about rainwater at all. You can't just assume that rain will somehow "capture" any or all of those things you listed.

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Old 07-09-2013, 02:02 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterj View Post
You can find a wealth of information on the internet to prove either side of an argument if that's what your looking to do. I think there's a term for that. Oh yeah: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias. And in the spirit of that, here's some articles saying rainwater is great to drink:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1104091728.htm
http://www.iwawaterwiki.org/xwiki/bi...Why+is+it+Safe

Also, that article you referenced is strictly about air pollution and doesn't say anything about rainwater at all. You can't just assume that rain will somehow "capture" any or all of those things you listed.
My concern isn't about what is in rainwater itself (after all it is basically distilled water), its how to catch and contain it without contamination.

Can't pull it out of rainbarrels, as that rain had run over asphalt shingles and through gutter systems. Not something I would I'd want to drink.

You could have a custom built catch, but how you keep that from getting contaminated?....just check out any surface (toys, lawn chairs, etc) that was left outside for a couple of days and you'll see it accumulates airbourne contaminants just sitting there...

OP suggested access to sterile hospital drapes; not sure how you would "deploy" them or more importantly keep them from getting dirty/contaminated.
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Old 07-10-2013, 05:56 AM   #25
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I was planning on hanging the drape in the middle of an empty field held up by 4 posts on each corner. I would then cut a small hole in the middle of the drape, attach a sheet of muslin cloth under the hole and place a food grade plastic bucket under the hole. That would remove most of the gross contaminants. The water would then be filtered to remove any chemical contaminants and boiled during brewing.

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Old 07-10-2013, 11:04 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seasnan View Post
I was planning on hanging the drape in the middle of an empty field held up by 4 posts on each corner. I would then cut a small hole in the middle of the drape, attach a sheet of muslin cloth under the hole and place a food grade plastic bucket under the hole. That would remove most of the gross contaminants. The water would then be filtered to remove any chemical contaminants and boiled during brewing.
Seems like a lot of work for, well, nothing...
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:13 AM   #27
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i'd go for it if you can collect it without adding more contaminates. i'd be more worried about drinking city water full of chlorine and other chemicals they use to "clean" the water. there's not too many natural sources of water i haven't drank from. ie lake, creek, river, spring, my well, snow, and rainfall. but i suppose it could be killing me.

there are much more unhealthy things in all the foods we eat that are processed. I'd be more worried about that then drinking rain water!!

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Old 07-10-2013, 12:51 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bja View Post
Seems like a lot of work for, well, nothing...
Well homebrewing is a lot of work for something we could just buy in a store.

I saw somebody posted this in a recent thread that was also about brewing with rainwater:
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Originally Posted by feinbera View Post
it seems like the main point of brewing with rainwater is being able to say to your buddies "you like that? it's brewed with rainwater!"
Being able to say your beer is brewed with rainwater might not be worth the work to you or me, but I can definitely see the value of it. I'm sure most people see all the work we put into homebrewing and say "that seems like a lot of work for nothing" as well. And who knows, maybe beer brewed with rainwater is way better and it will be the new trend in craft brewing. Then seasnan could say "Yeah, I pioneered brewing with rainwater back in the day".
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Old 07-10-2013, 01:34 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seasnan View Post
I was planning on hanging the drape in the middle of an empty field held up by 4 posts on each corner. I would then cut a small hole in the middle of the drape, attach a sheet of muslin cloth under the hole and place a food grade plastic bucket under the hole. That would remove most of the gross contaminants. The water would then be filtered to remove any chemical contaminants and boiled during brewing.
How big is the drape? It needs to be large enough to catch enough rainwater in a single rain. I have 2 50 gallon rainbarrels connected to gutters on half of my house and they fill up about half-way after a good soaking rainfall. I would guess you'd need a surface area about the size of shed roof to collect 8-10 gallons of rainwater in a single "catch".

I say you need to get this done in a single rain because standing water will turn stagnant quick and you will have mosquitoes laying eggs in the water. Then there is all of the airborne contaminants that will float down and into your container. I don't think you want to wait a couple weeks for enough rain to fill up your container...hence the recommendation on a large enough collection surface to get it all done at once.

So, is this REALLY worth your time? Just to say it you brewed with rainwater?
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Old 07-10-2013, 01:39 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterj View Post
Well homebrewing is a lot of work for something we could just buy in a store.
Well, that's something.

Quote:
Being able to say your beer is brewed with rainwater might not be worth the work to you or me, but I can definitely see the value of it. I'm sure most people see all the work we put into homebrewing and say "that seems like a lot of work for nothing" as well. And who knows, maybe beer brewed with rainwater is way better and it will be the new trend in craft brewing. Then seasnan could say "Yeah, I pioneered brewing with rainwater back in the day".
Yeah, I'm sure it'll be the new trend.
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