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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Artesian Well Water
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Old 03-31-2010, 01:49 AM   #11
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will do. brewed both batches on saturday so it'll be a little while but I'll try to remember to post the update.

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Old 03-31-2010, 01:56 AM   #12
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I would say if it's good to drink untreated it's good to brew with. You are not going to have the chemicals that come with city water like chlorine. And besides, if it were contaminated you boil for an hour so that kills of anything anyways. go for it.

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Old 03-31-2010, 02:10 AM   #13
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Many times these are owned by the municipality. Look for a sign or something on the well. If a government is providing water, they test it. Call the authority in charge and ask for a copy of their drinking water tests for the well.

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Old 03-31-2010, 04:22 PM   #14
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If it tastes good then it's probably fine to use. However, for the styles on the extreme ends of the spectrum, the water content can affect the quality. I'd have it tested to see what in it. I mean the test only costs $16.50! Ward Lab.

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Old 03-31-2010, 08:57 PM   #15
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Went to the Artesian Well today...
There were 3 people there getting their fill. It is right by a stream/river and the water flows constantly out of a pipe that is coming out of the ground. I talked to two of the people there that were filling a LOT of containers and they said that the water is frequently tested by the county and "never" has any problems. They swear by this water.

I tasted, smelled and examined and it was some of the best tasting water I have ever had. Excellent mouth feel etc. Just great water.

I am VERY excited to use this to brew my Pliny the Elder with it this weekend and I will certainly report back.

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Old 04-01-2010, 04:22 PM   #16
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probably. Water has to be pretty crappy to make bad beer or mashing impossible.

Really unless well water is packed with sulfur or some other god awful flavor or smell or so acid that you can't mash with it the odds are you can make good beer with it.

I've always used my well water in the various places I've lived and never bothered to even take a pH strip to it.
If it tastes OK it's probably fine.

The water composition question really inheres when you are trying to replicate some "style" of beer that's brewed in a place with a unique water. So, for those who enter "style" contests it's important, but otherwise I think it's all a lot of bother for nothing.

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Old 04-29-2010, 08:27 PM   #17
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UPDATE!!!
I racked both beers (american brown and pale ale) to their secondaries last night and gave a taste. A few observations:

1.) Seemed to be a lot more material in the fermentors. Proteins coagulated right up. Used the same processes/equipment/recipes as when I brewed these with bottled spring water. The beer is pretty clear.
2.) The mouthfeel is deffinitely better. FGs ended up within .002 of their spring water counter parts but it just feels more substantial. I like it.
3.) The flavor is also the same as the previous iterations but there is just more of it. Hard to explain. Like it was cranked to 11. Doesn't taste as "green" as I would expect at this point.

All in all, so far I'm really happy with it. I'm going to let things settle a bit more in the secondary and rack to cornies in 1-2 weeks then carb up. I'll let you know how the final product turns out.

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Old 04-30-2010, 03:12 AM   #18
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If anyone is a fan of Shorts, their brews are all being made with a northern Michigan artesian well water. Their beers all come out amazing. I don't believe they treat theirs at all. They acutually brought a couple kegs of just the water to a summer fest to stay hydrated, and as rediculous as it sounds.. It was some of the cleanist tasting water I've ever had.

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Old 04-30-2010, 04:02 AM   #19
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the biggest thing to be aware of with artesian wells or any well that can be hand pumped is the level of nitrates in the water. If you have very high nitrates in the water and a lot of it is consumed red blood cells will not be able to pick up an anaquate amount of oxygen. In children this is called blue baby syndrome because babys can get a blue tint to their skin if the mother is drinking to much or it is used to make formula. The nitrates affect these wells the most because nitrogen is a leachable element in the soil profile and when heavy irrigation or rain fall occurs it soaks into the soil and moves verticaly through the soil profile down into the aquifer taking along with it anything that is soluable. My suggestiong is to purchase a nitrate test for ground water at a local farm and garden store and run a simple test. You could also contact a local extension agent for penn state or what ever university runs the extension program in your state.

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Old 04-30-2010, 04:08 AM   #20
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Not to throw a wet blanket on all this, but some of the worst tasting water I have ever drunk came from an artesian well.

Artesian means that the aquifer is under pressure and the water will come to the surface without pumping. It has nothing to do with the taste and quality of the water.

In college, I spent a summer working as a soil physics technician at the South Dakota Irrigation Research farm near Redfield, SD. We had an artesian well on the farm. The water was tested regularly and deemed suitable for human consumption. Having said that, the water had a lot of dissolved Hydrogen Sulfide and Magnesium Salts among other things. As a result after drinking the artesian well water your mouth tasted like you had just eaten a hard boiled egg that had sat at room temperature too long. That was the dissolved hydrogen sulfide. And the dissolved magnesium salts acted much like milk of magnesia.

The water was very hard and they needed to replace the well casing every 3 or 4 years.

You got used to it in a couple of weeks. If you drank the water regualrly, you were, well, regular. The visiting professors used to bring their own water to drink. We would casually stroll over to the artesian well and drink our fill just to be manly and show them up. Well I was young.

But if the water tastes good and is certified safe to drink, it should be good to make beer.

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