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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Bottled water?
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:58 PM   #1
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Default Bottled water?

My tap water is HARD very hard. Which from what I understand works fine for dark beers. But if I want a lighter beer is it worth trying to adjust the chemistry or just use pure water?


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Old 04-13-2014, 11:05 PM   #2
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You can adjust and/or dilute your tap water. You can also start with bottled water like RO or spring water.

It really helps to know your water profile before you start messing with it. I would get a lab report for your current water so you know what you are dealing with.

There is a water primer on HBT and some good podcasts about brewing water chemistry from Brew Strong and The Beersmtih podcast.

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Old 04-14-2014, 12:51 AM   #3
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Don't equate spring water with RO or distilled. Spring water can be just as hard and alkaline as your tap water. However, it typically doesn't have chlorine in it. Spring water is not ideal for brewing unless you know exactly what is in it and how to treat it.

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Old 04-14-2014, 07:33 PM   #4
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I like poland springs. Their water report is online and its a very nice profile to build off of.

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Old 04-15-2014, 04:06 PM   #5
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+1 for Poland Springs water. It is essentially rain water and is nearly identical to Pilsen and NYC water. Excellent starting point for brewing.

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Old 04-15-2014, 04:12 PM   #6
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Also, once you know your water profile, it may be possible to use a proportion of distilled water to cut the concentration of the ions in the water. That way you don't need to buy, say, 5 gallons of water, but only 2 or 3. Distilled water, by definition, should have zero dissolved solids or gasses in it.

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Old 04-15-2014, 05:18 PM   #7
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It will have dissolved gasses. That's why DI water usually exhibits pH in the 5's or 6's (as opposed to pure water which is at pH 7 at 25 °C).

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Old 04-15-2014, 06:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
It will have dissolved gasses. That's why DI water usually exhibits pH in the 5's or 6's (as opposed to pure water which is at pH 7 at 25 °C).
I guess I'm thinking in terms of a closed system at standard conditions (i.e. no CO2 in the air). Not real world scenarios!

I wonder if one would need to leave distilled water out to figure out how much CO2 gets dissolved and therefore can calculate whatever the dissolved carbonate and bicarbonate would be. I think having to do that each time might drive a man to drink!
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grahamfw View Post
I guess I'm thinking in terms of a closed system at standard conditions (i.e. no CO2 in the air). Not real world scenarios!
It seems to take very little time for enough CO2 to dissolve to show a pH change.

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I wonder if one would need to leave distilled water out to figure out how much CO2 gets dissolved and therefore can calculate whatever the dissolved carbonate and bicarbonate would be. I think having to do that each time might drive a man to drink!
It's not worth doing the calculations as the amount dissolved is very little. Water has 0 buffering capacity so even this small amount can change the pH noticeably.
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