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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Need Water Advice
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:39 PM   #1
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Default Need Water Advice

I've been brewing for a while and using the water out of my kitchen faucet. The problem is that my kitchen faucet uses soft water. I'd like to use plain old tap water. I hear that soft water creates a chalky and bitter taste. I don't see it in my more robust brews, but notice it slightly in my lighter ones. The water report for Kalamazoo is below. Without getting too complicated, what advice can be offered? Anyone from Kalamazoo? How do you use your tap water in your mash? Do you treat it first, etc.

I'm going to try my next batch with water straight from the garden hose and just throw in a Campden tablet. I was even thinking about adding an easily connectable carbon filter to the garden hose. Looking for further advice.

http://www.kalamazoocity.org/docs/2011WQR.pdf

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Old 11-14-2012, 08:04 PM   #2
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You're gonna have to ask for a more comprehensive report. That one says almost nothing about the most important minerals that are relevant to brewing

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Old 11-14-2012, 09:26 PM   #3
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Buy an RV hose. Garden hoses aren't really for drinking water.

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Old 11-14-2012, 09:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BrewmeisterSmith View Post
I've been brewing for a while and using the water out of my kitchen faucet. The problem is that my kitchen faucet uses soft water. I'd like to use plain old tap water. I hear that soft water creates a chalky and bitter taste. I don't see it in my more robust brews, but notice it slightly in my lighter ones. The water report for Kalamazoo is below. Without getting too complicated, what advice can be offered? Anyone from Kalamazoo? How do you use your tap water in your mash? Do you treat it first, etc.

I'm going to try my next batch with water straight from the garden hose and just throw in a Campden tablet. I was even thinking about adding an easily connectable carbon filter to the garden hose. Looking for further advice.

http://www.kalamazoocity.org/docs/2011WQR.pdf
"Soft" water may be perfect, as long as it isn't water out of a water softener which I suspect might be the case.

Tap water may be just fine to use, depending on the composition. Alkalinity, calcium, chloride, sulfate, and sodium are important to know. If you can find that info from your water department, that would help.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:35 PM   #5
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If you're referring to a whole house water softener, doesn't it have a bypass switch? Just engage the bypass, bleed the water out of your pipes and then use the "regular" tap water.

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Old 11-16-2012, 02:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewmeisterSmith View Post
I've been brewing for a while and using the water out of my kitchen faucet. The problem is that my kitchen faucet uses soft water. I'd like to use plain old tap water. I hear that soft water creates a chalky and bitter taste. I don't see it in my more robust brews, but notice it slightly in my lighter ones. The water report for Kalamazoo is below. Without getting too complicated, what advice can be offered? Anyone from Kalamazoo? How do you use your tap water in your mash? Do you treat it first, etc.

I'm going to try my next batch with water straight from the garden hose and just throw in a Campden tablet. I was even thinking about adding an easily connectable carbon filter to the garden hose. Looking for further advice.

http://www.kalamazoocity.org/docs/2011WQR.pdf
I use a hose rigged up to a whole-house water filter (to remove chlorine, etc.), and then I add water salts. So far I have been very pleased with the results, haven't noticed any chalky or bitter tastes. It's also significantly easier and faster to fill the kettle/HLT.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by whrswoldo View Post
I use a hose rigged up to a whole-house water filter (to remove chlorine, etc.), and then I add water salts. So far I have been very pleased with the results, haven't noticed any chalky or bitter tastes. It's also significantly easier and faster to fill the kettle/HLT.
Looks like I'll be building an RV hose/whole house filter setup this weekend. Thanks!
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:04 AM   #8
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So I built the water filter tonight and it came together famously. I bought a 2 micron filter, the lowest Lowes had, and gave it a try. The water sucked! I'm going to have to order a .5 micron filter online and give it a shot. Seems no one in town carries anything less than a 2 micron. I line up 3 glasses of water for a taste test. 2 micron filtered water, tap water from the kitchen sink (from water softener), and fridge water. The fridge water was the best, which I think is softened water ran through the filter in the fridge. The water from the 2 micron filter tasted very chalky.

Update: I went back to Lowes and found a .5 Micron filter. The water tastes fantastic now. I think the 2 micron that I had used didn't reduce the chlorine. Problem solved. Brewing tomorrow to find out how it works.

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