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Old 02-19-2012, 09:58 PM   #1
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Default Why not 100% RO water?

If a person use 100% RO water and builds it back up with minerals. Is that a bad thing? Or when people warn you about RO it's not including water additions.

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Old 02-19-2012, 10:12 PM   #2
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There is a sticky here that talks about it

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/bre...primer-198460/

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Old 02-19-2012, 10:56 PM   #3
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/bre...primer-198460/

ajdelange specifically talks about building water with mineral additions. It's a great read.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:17 PM   #4
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I'm pretty sure those warnings are about using only RO water... That's my $.02 anyway.

RO water plus salts/minerals allows you to obtain a particular water profile and mimic those of famous locales (e.g. Burton upon Trent).

I would WAY recommend using RO water and adding minerals as opposed to following a recipe that calls for "add 1 tsp gypsum" or some other insane recommendation. Unless you know where your water is starting (and where the recipe author's water started), how can you assume that their water additions are going to produce the effect they are supposed to elicit in your water & subsequent beer?!?

Dat Sh!T Cray...

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Old 02-19-2012, 11:26 PM   #5
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I use nothing but RO from Glacier water machines outside grocery stores and have made some great tasting beers of all styles. Most of the brewers I've met here in Phoenix do the same. I'm not knocking or disputing those that get scientific with mineral additions, but until I run into a style that isn't turning out like I expect, I'm keeping it simple.

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Old 02-19-2012, 11:46 PM   #6
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I've read the primer like 7 times. However I keep having people tell me using 100% RO will,taste horrible. So are they thinking that I would NOT built the water back up?

Ive read on this forum that diluting 4:1 RO is ok but 100% is not good."I" feel 100% is good IF it's built back up.

I agree 100% RO with no additions would be pretty foul.

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Old 02-19-2012, 11:56 PM   #7
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Pure RO water without any mineral additions to restore desirable ionic concentrations does not produce a great beer in most cases in my opinion. For very light and delicate styles, it is not really that detrimental to flavor. But in styles that benefit from water mineralization for flavor, its going to be noticable. To me, that means that for most beers, having adequate levels of calcium, chloride, and sulfate to fit the beer character is a good idea. Other ions such as magnesium and sodium can also enhance flavor, but typically within a small range of concentrations.

The recommendations in the Primer are a good starting point for brewing with RO water.

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Old 02-20-2012, 03:28 AM   #8
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Just curious, but I understood that with 100% RO water you wouldn't be able to balance your pH either, as the brewing salts contribute to that as well. For an AG beer wouldn't the enzymatic activity and also your efficiency be low?
For what its worth the guru at our local club uses all RO water then adjusts with brewing salts to the proper water profile for the style and malt bill, and he has had many award winning brews.

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Old 02-20-2012, 04:04 AM   #9
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Starting with RO and building up your profile is fine. This is what I do as our drinking water is community well and it's terrible.

The biggest downside I see with using RO is the waste and the time it takes to collect.

Residential systems waste about 4-5 gallons for each gallon or RO they make.

Using my system, it takes me about a day to collect the 15-18 gallons I need. I've started looking into some more commercial type systems and small pumps to increase the pressure across the RO membrane.

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Old 02-20-2012, 05:47 PM   #10
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sasky7777 - that was the main thing with my question. So far I see no harm in using 100% RO IF you rebuild the water.

My question is what are the important minerals to really obsess over. Obviously Calcium, Sulfate and Chloride. Magnesium from what I gather will normally take care of itself from the grain?? What else am I missing that "should not" be missed?

Am I correct in assuming Ajdelange's Primer use 100% RO as a Baseline?

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