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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > What does boiling water accomplish?
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:41 PM   #1
mrbeachroach
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Default What does boiling water accomplish?

Hey everyone, here is my Delima . I usually brew from fresh spring water from a tap out in the wilderness. The brew comes out amazing every time. However I do not have the time to go get it today and I'm considering boiling tap water. What will this accomplish? How long should I boil it before brewing my beer?

Thanks.

Jason

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Old 01-20-2013, 01:50 AM   #2
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I would hate to overextend my credibility, from what I have read/heard, boiling will rid the water of lighter chemicals like chlorine. Besides that and sanitation I'm not sure. Questions I have reside about water hardness and reductions to water purity.

Ps. Boiling is always ok. Scummy pond water boiled will make good beer. Gypsum and yeast nutrients are another

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Old 01-20-2013, 02:27 AM   #3
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Boiling will kill bacteria. It may precipitate bicarbonate, but then you'd have to siphon off the precipitate.

Otherwise, I don't see any reason to boil.

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Old 01-20-2013, 04:24 AM   #4
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I use tap water. The only boil I do is the wort boil.

To answer your question, boiling kills germs/bacteria and dissipates any air suspended in solution.

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Old 01-20-2013, 02:29 PM   #5
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Boiling will rid the chlorine, which is nasty stuff. Otherwise you can let the water sit out overnight in buckets or something, and the chlorine will evaporate off.

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Old 01-20-2013, 02:41 PM   #6
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Boiling the wort is sufficient to drive off the chlorine and kill harmfull bacteria. Getting rid of the bacteria is really only temporary since you are introducing your own that you hope to overwhelm any competing colonies that may occur. I do tend to boil my wort longer than the prescribed hour but I also start with more water than originally called for and boilt it to reach the required volume. I think it intensifies the flavor profile but that is just my opinion and not supported by any empirical data either.... Have a great brew weekend!!!!
Wheelchair Bob

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Old 01-20-2013, 02:51 PM   #7
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Are you on a well system or city water?

I use well water without any problems. I think city water tends to have chlorine and or other chemicals from the treatment process which is one reason to boil it but it really doesn't matter too much. Hey, you might even find you like the tap water beer better than that fancy bottled water beer.

If you are really concerned, you may look into a water filtration system.

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Old 01-21-2013, 02:20 PM   #8
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Boil water to kill Bacteria (which you will do anyway brewing), and to precipitate "free" chlorine out if your municipal WA uses it, unfortunately most MA are switching to Chloramine which will only boil out after MANY hours (according to my municpal supplier). Campden works quicker in that respect, and more completely. Just half tab for 10 gallons works.

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Old 01-22-2013, 03:49 AM   #9
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I've brewed with well water and city water... never had an issue. Never boiled it before.

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Old 01-24-2013, 12:04 AM   #10
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I've never boiled, but I do use campden tablets as mentioned above. Your results may vary, but I seem to get better efficiency this way. I suspect there is enough chlorine/chloramine in my tap water that it's inhibiting enzyme activity in the mash.

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