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Old 12-05-2008, 10:47 PM   #1
DeathBrewer
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Default Water is important

So, apparently, Death is not the master brewer he thought he was.

I've had a string of bad beers. All of my beers have been getting a nasty flavor and its most prominent in my lighter alcohol and lighter colored beers.

i gave some to my friend last night and he nailed it: chlorophenols.

now, i've never treated my water and i always thought i had "good water" so i didn't have to worry.

i always top off with bottled or distilled water (if i top off) and i figure anything bad would just get boiled out...apparently that's not the case with chloramine.

why was i making great beers before? why is this flavor just showing up in my batches from the last couple of months. answer: temperature. when things warm up, algae grows and the city uses more chemicals. so all the beers i brewed in late summer are crap.

so, yeah, check your water and take the necessary precautions. i'm going to buy a filter in about 30 minutes.

i has been humbled

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Old 12-05-2008, 11:03 PM   #2
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Maybe your well water is tapped from the bowels of hell! BTW, I'm getting all nostalgic about my high school days and I'm listening to Suicidal Tendencies right now! I know, off topic, but This is DEATH I'm speaking to!

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Old 12-05-2008, 11:06 PM   #3
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no, no, no...you have it wrong. ****ing Slayer, man! ****ING SLAYER!

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Old 12-05-2008, 11:13 PM   #4
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Not sure how it is in the Bay Area, but up here they really up the amount of chloramine in the city water during the summer. I think to counteract the larger amount of turbidity (literally, crap) that grows in the warmer months. I had a Kolsch not too long ago that had some cholophenolic taste to it...at least I think that's what it is. I've bottled a few, so maybe I'll ship it down for a taste test. The funny thing is...I've ALWAYS used a filter. Pretty frustrating trying to track down an off-flavor that people rarely get.

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Old 12-05-2008, 11:32 PM   #5
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1 Campden Tablet in 20 gallons of water, takes care of Chloramines in about 10 minutes. Best addition to my process ever, besides sanitation.

Cheers

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Old 12-05-2008, 11:45 PM   #6
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That's it, your water came from South of Heaven!

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Old 12-06-2008, 12:02 AM   #7
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I read someplace that Chloramines have sort of a cumulative affect, they build up. For example it's not JUST that it is in your mash&boil water for example, but also that a brewer sanitized all his equipment, then rinses and sanitizes his fermentor, THEN his secondary, then his bottling bucket, his hoses, his lines of bottles or keg. ANd it's also worse if you use chlorine based cleansers and those who sanitizes with bleach, then rinse with tap water.

So what happens is your wort/beer comes into contact with a lot of chlorine in it's journey from grain to glass, and each time leaving behind a little bit, and depending on the rest of your water chemistry, and how that helps or hinders it, you can sometimes end up with your beer tasting like your does...

And then you clean up your gear after with the water as well...


That's why it's REALLY a good idea to get away from the "old school" ideas of sanitizing with bleach, that a lot of old timers still do as well as new brewers who stumble upon it in books and and boards, and they want to cut corners. If the brewer is using tap water anywhere else in the cycle AND THEN adding bleach is an invitation to trouble...

For the rest of us who don't sanitize with chlorine, we can still have it build up to the point that chloramines effect our beers. My understanding is that it's a crap shoot, some people water just reacts with the rest of our gear and bam...So we need to be aware of how much chlorinated water we use, and try to limit it as much as possible.

The biggest part obviously is not brewing with it, and mixing up our santizers withRO water as well...

Hang in there buddy, you'll get through it!!

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Old 12-06-2008, 12:27 AM   #8
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I have been using bottled spring water from the store

.65 cents a gal

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Old 12-06-2008, 05:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathBrewer View Post
no, no, no...you have it wrong. ****ing Slayer, man! ****ING SLAYER!

nah, i HAVE to agree!!! although, i have to make a change...

Infectious Grooves

ahh yeah...... that brings back memories.... Slayer, good. White Zombie, better.... Infectious grooves!!! anyone remember The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move >???????? (yeah, yeah,,, it was suicidal tendencies, but it was better.



ohh, about your water, that does suck indeed.

I have well water, in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains (yep, the same Sierra Nevadas as the brewrery (that brewery is NOT in the Sierra Neavadas btw!!) and my water is ****.
i buy water from rite-aid, or Vons grocery store @ a buck a gallon for their branded "spring water"....
sad part, i have a whole house water filter system that cost me a pretty penny to install, and you still cannot drink my water, tastes like licking a chain link fence... very metallic (reminds me of metallica, back when they did not suck, say..... justice album and before....ride the lightning anyone???) not good for brewing, or even washing clothes...

anyway, what was the post again?
i am going to download some S.T. mp3's and rock out, while drinking the best damned porter i have ever drank.... funny thing is, it is my second batch of homebrew, and it f'n rocks!



last thought, Deathbrewer, i made this brew (extract with steeping grains) due to your crazy huge thread about partial mash...so, here is to you!

thanks. this actually is a good beer. P.M. me your shipping info, i will send ya a bottle to try and see what you think. (but hurry, im down to the last case)
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Old 12-06-2008, 05:43 AM   #10
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Death, I have only been brewing seriously for three years and by all rites that makes me a noob! But I will say that i have an insane friend that obsesses over every aspect of brewing. Spending time with him and talking brew talk with him has accelerated the learning curve for me. He simply breaks beer down to percentages, what is the percentage of water in beer as opposed to other ingredients? Enough said, water chemistry makes my head hurt, but getting a water report of my local water, investing in a water filter and a ph meter and looking at Palmer's Excel spreadsheet has totally improved my beers in every way.


Eastside

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