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Old 10-18-2012, 07:26 PM   #1
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Default Tap water or spring water?

I was wondering what opinions people have regarding whether to use tap water or spring water when brewing? I know that some people feel that tap water can effect the outcome of your beer dependent on the quality of tap water.

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Old 10-18-2012, 08:09 PM   #2
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I use my tap water. But, my house has a 'whole house' filter for sediment and I have a carbon filter on my brewing rig. A general rule is: If your water taste good, go ahead and brew with it. However, if your water comes from a municipality, I would probably stick with spring water. The chlorine, fluoride, etc. can be detrimental to the yeast, let alone the beer. Trail and error is the only real test. Make a brew using tap water and see what you think. You may be lucky (like I feel I am), and find your house water is just fine with you.

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Old 10-18-2012, 10:10 PM   #3
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It doesn't matter where your brewing water comes from. What matters is its suitability for brewing. Some tap water is great and some sucks. If yours is good then don't waste money buying bottled water.

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Old 10-19-2012, 01:52 AM   #4
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Do you have a water report for your tap water? As long as you remove the chlorine/chloramine most tap water should do just fine though.

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Old 10-19-2012, 02:11 AM   #5
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I was able to get a water report, but it did not include anything regarding pH, calcium, biocarbonate, sulfate or anything like that. So, I couldn't really tell too much, but I did send a follow up e-mail to my water provider to see if they might be willing to share that information to give myself a better idea.

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Old 10-19-2012, 05:12 AM   #6
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I strictly use Reverse Osmosis but I am going to be doing a batch or 2 with my city water to see what, if any difference there is. I WILL be removing the chlorine with a basic carbon filter, but nothing else.

I do soft water and RO for a living so to me you HAVE to use only the best water to get the best beer(sounds logical). But, after reading more and more about different waters used throughout the world I need to do my own little test if nothing, for "just to see".

If you normally use your water for drinking/cooking, then it should be OK for brewing.

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Old 10-19-2012, 12:40 PM   #7
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Default Thanks for the feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hackwood View Post
I strictly use Reverse Osmosis but I am going to be doing a batch or 2 with my city water to see what, if any difference there is. I WILL be removing the chlorine with a basic carbon filter, but nothing else.

I do soft water and RO for a living so to me you HAVE to use only the best water to get the best beer(sounds logical). But, after reading more and more about different waters used throughout the world I need to do my own little test if nothing, for "just to see".

If you normally use your water for drinking/cooking, then it should be OK for brewing.
I appreciate your feedback and will try using my tap water for a smaller batch just to see if there is any noticable difference. Based upon everything I have read you basically have to experiment and find what works for you. Some water is better for certain types of beers, so I'm hoping that it doesn't effect too much with the stouts and porters that I love. I am fairly certain that I have hard water, so I know that I could run the risk of having some residue left over from my boil based upon the contents of my water. Up till now I have been brewing with spring water that I have been buying, but am starting to consider just using tap water to cut down on my expenses.
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:02 PM   #8
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Well I just got a call from the water company and they indicated that they are willing to give me the details I requested. Unfortunately they cannot e-mail them, but they are willing to mail it to me. I figure I will wait until I get the details from them to have a better idea of my water quality. Being that I already have two beers on tap right now it will probably be a few week until I brew again, so it works out fine. I will be interested to see what the details say about my water quality.

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Old 10-23-2012, 09:52 AM   #9
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Having hard water may end up in your favour if you are brewing porters and stouts… as traditionally they work in hard water areas like London and Dublin.

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Old 10-23-2012, 10:53 AM   #10
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I use tap water for all my brewing. It's easy, cheap and it's right there in the tap all the time. On paper it may be that I don't have "suitable" brewing water but in practice it makes very good beer. The only way to know if it works is to try it and see how it goes.

Style-wise I wouldn't worry about it. I have a softener and I'm making a variety of styles and they're fine.

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