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Old 04-07-2010, 04:38 AM   #1
TacoGuthrie
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Default Questions about Tannins

I've been evaluating my last few brews ever since going All-Grain. I've always had a tartness to my beers and after some recent research I think it might be astringency.

From what I read astringency comes from tannin extraction (and high pH) during the brewing process.

I haven't measured pH but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have extracted tannins through oversparging or sparging at too high a temperature. I looked back at my notes and I was well within the temps and volumes for both.

However I know that my local water has a high level of tannins out of the tap. There are tannins as a result of all the cedar and sphagnum moss and bogs around our water source. I mean our water tastes fine but it is definitely yellowy-brown.

So I was wondering if anyone thinks that this pre-existing level of tannins in my brew water might lead to the astringency taste in my beer. If so, is there any kind of adjustment I can make other than going right to bottled water?

Thanks!

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Old 04-07-2010, 04:41 AM   #2
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Not sure about the science end of the tannins in water?...But dude if your water is yellowy brown do you really want to brew with it???????

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Old 04-07-2010, 05:15 AM   #3
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We drink from the tap all the time and it tastes fine. Everything I have read about using tap water comes down to: if you drink it and it tastes good then it will be fine for brewing.

I can't taste the tannins in the water ( and don't know what they would taste like either).

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Old 04-07-2010, 06:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacoGuthrie View Post
However I know that my local water has a high level of tannins
That is dirt or iron, get a better filter.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
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That is dirt or iron, get a better filter.
My conversations with city water quality guy tells me it's tannins.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:40 AM   #6
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If you are on city water and it has a color, you need a new city water guy.

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Old 04-07-2010, 07:07 AM   #7
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I'll be sure to tell him that poster northernlad on the www.homebrewtalk.com forums thinks that.

In the meantime I wonder is anyone else has any experience with existing tannins in drinking water?

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Old 04-07-2010, 07:13 AM   #8
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Your water won't have tannins unless it is well water. If the water is coming from the city and it's that colour, I wouldn't be drinking it... Your post indicates that there are plants near your source, and decomposing plant material can definitely impart tannins into water. I would switch to using bottled water.

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Old 04-07-2010, 07:28 AM   #9
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Thanks gremlyn. I will probably try bottled watr next time.

I'm still going to drink my water as I don't think there is a health issue with tannins.

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Tannins are large molecular weight organic compounds. They are formed through the decomposition of plants and, to a much lesser degree, animals. These organics are generally found in surface waters or shallow wells. . The structure of the tannin varies from location to location, depending on the vegetation in the area. Tannins can cause a yellow to dark tea color in water and may impart taste and odor. Tannins are not directly regulated by a governmental agency, however there is a secondary drinking water standard of 15 alpha units for color. A secondary drinking water standard is not federally enforced. Tannins are not a health issue; however, they are aesthetically displeasing.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:03 AM   #10
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get a filter - costs like 40 bucks ... carbon filter
my city water tasts fine too , and its clear but i still filter the water i drink and brew with ... why not?

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