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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Distilled water?
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:07 AM   #1
Leedawggy78
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Default Distilled water?

Is it ok to use distilled water when brewing? Will it have an effect on the taste of the beer?

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Old 01-04-2008, 06:12 AM   #2
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I think generally it's fine with extract, but you're depriving your yeast of some essential minerals for all grain and other more involved things like mash pH.

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Old 01-04-2008, 08:25 AM   #3
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I've heard the argument both ways.

For Distilled:
The extract is just a concentrated wort that should contain the minerals from the water it was originally made in.

For Spring:
I have no good argument exactly, other than this is what I've always read as the suggested source of water is unless your tap water tastes good.

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Old 01-04-2008, 10:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil' Sparky
I think generally it's fine with extract, but you're depriving your yeast of some essential minerals for all grain and other more involved things like mash pH.
From what I've read and my limited experience I'd agree with this.
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Old 01-04-2008, 02:14 PM   #5
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I remember somebody doing an experiment comparing an extract beer brewed with distilled water v. exactly the sam beer brewed with water from the tap. The theory is that a lot of the nutrients will already be in the extract, but if my recollection serves me correctly (this was about 20 years ago) the tasting panel preferred the brew made with tap water saying that the distilled version was OK but tasted blander than the tap version.

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Old 01-04-2008, 02:31 PM   #6
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I start with RO water for my beers and add back minerals.


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Old 01-04-2008, 05:13 PM   #7
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How do you add back minerals?? When do you do that?

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Old 01-05-2008, 03:00 AM   #8
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Besides city water that you can smell the chlorimine that kills fish I have well water that tastes a little flat. It has a Ph between 7.1 to 7.2 that I use it in the fishpond.
Would well water with it's minerals be better than tap water to brew with?

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Old 01-05-2008, 03:13 AM   #9
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Very general rule of thumb: if the water tastes good, brew with it.

Distilled water is fine for extract brewing, but you may find that for certain styles (darker or more bitter ones, in particular), that tap or spring water works better for you.

For all grain brewing, distilled water can be somewhat detrimental if it's not treated with an appropriate amount of minerals for the style. Calcium chloride, magnesium sulfate (epsom salts), calcium carbonate (chalk), hydrous calcium sulfate (gypsum), sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and sodium chloride (table salt) are all possible additives, depending on the initial water chemistry and desired result. See www.howtobrew.com, this site's wiki, BYO back issues, or other many other sources for methods of determining the right ways to affect water chemistry for brewing.

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Old 01-05-2008, 03:38 PM   #10
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If you have very pure tap water, as I have, there is an mineral mix called Burton's Salts that is useful for making AG pale ales. I don't use them for darker ales.

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