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Old 06-28-2013, 04:27 AM   #11
el_caro
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Well I received my cheap Chinese TDS meter today and tried it out on the 4 water samples I currently have in the house.

Rain water from our storage tanks (pumped to laundry) = 10 ppm

Tap Water from local city water system = 360 ppm

Water purchased from nearby charity fountain drawing water from an aquifer under local brewery (probably filtered) = 59 ppm

RO water from an RO Water machine at local shopping complex = 60 ppm


Is the RO water up to standard?
Would I be better using out abundant supply of rain water instead of RO water?

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Old 06-28-2013, 01:14 PM   #12
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I've brewed with rain water before. The beer was great. It's as close to distilled as you get naturally. I'd go for that if you have an abundance of it. Obviously you'll want to add back calcium, chloride, and sulfate (you might only want sulfate for hoppy beers though).

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Old 06-28-2013, 02:04 PM   #13
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I think I will try the rain water for my next brew which is going to be Kai's Eden Hell. I will add 5gms of CaCl2 to the 20L batch.

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Old 06-28-2013, 02:06 PM   #14
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Assuming you'll be using pilsner malt and not many other adjuncts...I'd also try 2% acidulated malt if you can find it.

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Old 06-28-2013, 02:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el_caro View Post

Rain water from our storage tanks (pumped to laundry) = 10 ppm

Tap Water from local city water system = 360 ppm

Water purchased from nearby charity fountain drawing water from an aquifer under local brewery (probably filtered) = 59 ppm

RO water from an RO Water machine at local shopping complex = 60 ppm


Is the RO water up to standard?
It might or might not be. Given that the municipal water runs 360 ppm you would expect RO water from a properly maintained system to be less than about 18 ppm unless the operator is putting some minerals back in for taste as some do. In either case 60 ppm TDS is probably something you could work with but it's not what one thinks of when talking about RO.

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Would I be better using out abundant supply of rain water instead of RO water?
It is certainly lower in TDS than the store 'RO' water and if your goal is to start with a 'plain sheet of paper' then yes, the rainwater might be a good way to go. The only concern I'd have with rain water from storage is what else might be in there besides a low level of minerals. I have in mind organic things like rotting gallah carcases or some such. I note that you seem to use this water for laundry only. If the storage system is well protected from animal incursion then I suppose there would be little reason to worry.

The other thing I would think about a bit is what makes up those 10 ppm . If you live near a metropolitan area there might be quite a bit of nitrate and sulfate from automobiles, factories etc. A low pH would indicate such a potential problem but with TDS of 10 even nitrates shouldn't be a problem for you. If you live in Katherine or some similar place then you probably would not need to worry about this. But then in such a locale you wouldn't have an abundant supply either. Perhaps my concerns are more relevant to the States than Oz. You still have few enough people/autos down there that 'acid rain' may not be a problem for you - yet.
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:48 PM   #16
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Thanks For the input everyone
AJ we have a new colorbond roof and a clean as can be hoped for rainwater storage and reticulation system. Certainly no dead birds and animals can enter the storage as there are 3 different fine mesh filters on the inlet line to the tanks.

The plumber was not keen on having the whole home on the pump as we only have 10,000 litres of tank space and he figured it is not a good idea to be switching on the pump dozens of times a day for small volumes. The Laundry seemed the logical place to use the water and the garden.

We live about 50 meters from a minor arterial single lane road with constant stream of vehicles - nothing like your freeways here.

No obvious air pollution in Adelaide generally and certainly not in our area, so I figure not much concern there with nitrate and sulphates.

I wonder if it is worth considering installing a filter on one tap from the pump to clear out any of that 10 ppm before using it for human consumption?

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Old 06-29-2013, 05:35 PM   #17
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The plumber was not keen on having the whole home on the pump as we only have 10,000 litres of tank space....
That says that if you had a larger tank that he would not have and objection and that implies that the rain water is quite suitable for drinking and thus brewing.


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No obvious air pollution in Adelaide generally and certainly not in our area,...
No indeed. Lovely town (and surrounding area too).


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I wonder if it is worth considering installing a filter on one tap from the pump to clear out any of that 10 ppm before using it for human consumption?
Ten ppm is virtually mineral free, the minerals are probably sodium and chloride (from salt particles carried aloft from the gulf) and therefore not of concern. Most filters wouldn't remove them anyway. If there were dust or pollen then a particulate filter would get rid of those but not the dissolved stuff.
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:03 AM   #18
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Thanks again.

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