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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Help me with brewing water!
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:41 AM   #1
carlsonderek
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Ok. So I'd still consider myself new to brewing but my skill is intermediate. I have about 1 batch per month coming out in my first year and I'm starting to look more seriously at the science of water and all that. I brew all grain, design all my recipes myself, and have done very well based on my results so far. I have gone through John Palmers book How to Brew and I usually digest new info very easily but I gotta say the chemistry behind brewing water baffles me. Maybe I'm an idiot but is there anywhere I can have a clearer, dummy-terms, education on this?

Secondly, until I figure that out should I be sticking with tap water (I live in Rochester NY/finger lakes region so water is very good by municipal standards), should I be using bottled spring water, filtered, etc. If you were still new to brewing what would you do. Worry about? Not worry about it? Thanks for the help and advice...

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Old 08-09-2013, 05:47 AM   #2
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The first place you want to start is to get your water tested. That way you understand what you are working with and what you need to do in the future. Also check out the Water primer sticky thread.

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Old 08-09-2013, 05:50 AM   #3
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Quick response thanks! Home depot had sample water testing kits for free so I grabbed a few vials and I will send them in...

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Old 08-09-2013, 06:42 AM   #4
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YouTube. I know it sounds stupid, but I have learned a lot from watching a couple videos.

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Old 08-09-2013, 12:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlsonderek View Post
Maybe I'm an idiot...
Probably not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carlsonderek View Post
...but is there anywhere I can have a clearer, dummy-terms, education on this?
No, not really because it is a rather intricate subject. But you can ignore most of the science and still make good beer by simply using RO (or other low ion content) water with modest additions of calcium chloride and calcium sulfate. That is the thesis behind the Primer and covers a lot of styles of beer.

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Secondly, until I figure that out should I be sticking with tap water (I live in Rochester NY/finger lakes region so water is very good by municipal standards), should I be using bottled spring water, filtered, etc.
Defer that decision until you find out what's in your water. You should be able to get an idea from your supplier while you await test results.

'Very good' does not necessarily mean low (or high) mineral content and that is what you are concerned about. You want it under your control. The only way to insure that is to either measure the water parameters or to use water of very low mineral content such as RO or DI water. Equipped with a water report you can figure out treatments/adjustments. With RO/DI water you never have to treat but rather only add salts. This make figuring out what to do pretty simple. You can follow the KISS recommendations of the Primer or, if and when you want to learn more, make more sophisticated adjustments based on the use of a spreadsheet or calculator.
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:49 PM   #6
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This is all really good info thanks all!

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