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Old 09-13-2006, 05:04 PM   #1
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I am relatively new to brewing, this is my 2nd batch. My first batch had some off tastes which I suspect to poor brewing and bad water. My second batch I bought a 5 gallon jug of water only it was distilled. The yeast fermented just fine, its been about 2 weeks and its finally ready for secondary. I read what people said about minerals in water and that yeast need them. I also read about the need for O2 in the water.

The distilled water I bought had minerals added to it, I looked up the general mineral content of water and they seem to have added the same minerals that are in tap water. I'm guessing this is fine?

What about distilled water with minerals added and the o2 content? I boiled wart with 2.5 gallons water and put the remaining 2.5 gallons in the carboy. Once I siphoned the wart into the carboy with the other water I shook it vigerously for about a minute... Is this enough? What should I do?

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Old 09-13-2006, 05:54 PM   #2
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Start with this: tell us what you mean by 'off flavors'? Many specific flavors point can indicate a specific kind of problem (or no problem at all-- merely a palate that is not used to some of the subtleties of HB).

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Old 09-13-2006, 07:37 PM   #3
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My question is about using distilled water with minerals added and if it is ok, I am not wondering about the "off flavors" in my beer.

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Old 09-13-2006, 07:44 PM   #4
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Some brewers who want to make a clone of their favorite style will attempt to imitate the water that the brewery in question uses to make their beer. In this case, distilled water or water filtered through a reverse osmosis system and stripped of everything can be used. The brewer can then add the minerals and compounds they want to best copy that water chemistry.

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Old 09-13-2006, 08:11 PM   #5
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Yes, but what I am concerned about is the O2 contend of the water I purchased.

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Old 09-13-2006, 08:53 PM   #6
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Distilled water is made by boiling and condensing the vapor. I would think that distilled water would have a minimal O2 saturation because of this fact. Whatever O2 was in the distilled water was driven out of at least 2.5 gallons of it when you boiled it making your wort. Shaking is the least efficient method of adding oxygen back into your wort before pitching the yeast. However, many people do it and seem to have satisfactory results.

It is really about what you feel comfortable doing. My tap water tastes nasty, so I use name brand bottled spring water. I could filter my tap water and so on and so forth, but I don't mind spending the money for some good spring water.

I do full volume boils, so there is no need for top off water. Therefore, my wort has virtually no O2 in it when I rack it to the fermenter. I use a 2 micron diffusion stone and pure O2 for about 60-90 seconds. Add that to pitching the proper amount of yeast, and my fermentations are fast, furious and complete.

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Old 09-13-2006, 10:55 PM   #7
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Distilled water has absolutely no flavor and should not be used for brewing unless you want to be a chemist and start building up specific water profiles as previously posted.

Use spring water.

Oxygen content in water has more to do with agitation, what is in the water, but mostly its temperature. More agitation = more oxygen can be dissolved. Lots of vitamins/minerals/salts = less oxygen because there is competition or less room for oxygen to dissolve. Cold = easier for oxygen to dissolve (boiling, regardless of being distilled or tap water is almost devoid of oxygen).

The best water is agitated, distilled, ice cold...but the vitamins/mineral/salts among doing alot of other things chemically, add LOTS of "taste"...LOTS more than you think.

My point, use tasty spring water, cool the crap out of your wort, and agitate like hell before pitching...you can also agitate like hell while in the primary until you start to see action and then stop.

If you used distilled water and have off flavors, something is more likely going on with the fermentation not the water. Sorry for the chemistry lesson and good luck!

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Old 09-13-2006, 11:19 PM   #8
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And unless you are brewing all grain you shouldn't worry too much about the mineral content of your water. When using extract brewing all the additions of minerals have been added to get an effective mash. RDWHAHB.
Using dry yeast? Shaking the bejees out of your fermenter should get enough O2 in solution for dry yeast needs.

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Old 09-14-2006, 01:25 AM   #9
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The "minerals added" stuff should probably work just fine. Don't worry about the O2 content of the water straight from the bottle. Boiling actually forces most dissolved gasses out of water anyway, so you should almost always consider aerating your wort either as you siphon or after it's in the primary. Shaking the fermenter will work ok, but you should really do some serious splashing during the siphoning or invest in an aeration system.

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Old 09-14-2006, 01:41 AM   #10
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In my opinion, the bottom line on all this is, go according to what tastes good to you. In all probability, your beer will be fine. If it is not all you wish it to be, trying switching up a variable. In this case, the variable that is most likely to affect (and improve) flavor would be switching to spring water.

On the other hand, if you like how your beer comes out, keep on doing what you're doing. There are very few hard and fast rules in this game.

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