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Old 02-10-2010, 08:14 PM   #1
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Default Brewing with... snow?

So here's the question...

Is the water chemistry of rain water/snow okay for brewing beer?

With the 3rd blizzard/nor'easter/snowstorm of the PA winter, I thought why not commemorate this awesome winter with a beer made from the actual snow??

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Old 02-10-2010, 08:28 PM   #2
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I'd say go for it. It might not be your best ever, but it should certainly be drinkable. And the story would be great! Just make sure to try to get clean fresh snow and a lot of it. And I would avoid using snow for anything you don't boil if you're not doing a full boil.

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Old 02-10-2010, 08:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbie View Post
I'd say go for it. It might not be your best ever, but it should certainly be drinkable. And the story would be great! Just make sure to try to get clean fresh snow and a lot of it. And I would avoid using snow for anything you don't boil if you're not doing a full boil.
I'm not up to full boils yet, but I was planning on boiling the water that I added to my partial in the fermenter.
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:35 PM   #4
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This is a cool idea. I'd say melt a glass of it first and see if it tastes nasty or not.

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Old 02-10-2010, 08:46 PM   #5
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I believe that snow and/or rain would be more like distilled water and wouldn't have the minerals you'd want for mashing. If you're doing extract, go for it! Just be careful where you collect it. Don't want anything bad in there i.e. collecting rain water from your roof. If you find a nice field of snow and get just the top layer, it could be fun to try. And if you find yellow snow, you're already halfway to making Budweiser!

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Old 02-10-2010, 08:48 PM   #6
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How many cubic yards of snow does it take to get 5 gallons of water? Also, it's been a while but doesn't snow usually taste a little funny?

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Old 02-10-2010, 08:52 PM   #7
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taste funny? just the yellow kind

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Old 02-10-2010, 08:52 PM   #8
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Neat idea, melt some taste. Taste good? Yes? Proceed.
Melt anough for say a lb of 2 row, mash it and check gravity to see if conversion is good. Good?
BREW that true winter warmer

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Old 02-10-2010, 08:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by withak View Post
Also, it's been a while but doesn't snow usually taste a little funny?
Sure, when it's not white ^_^

Sounds like a great idea! I know there is a brewery in Japan that makes beer from icebergs that drift from the Arctic to the shores of Japan. But like chshrecat said, it won't have minerals essential for mashing... but extract is a-ok.

As far as the amount.... I dunno, try a square meter to start, let it melt, observe and go from there!
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:41 PM   #10
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take your pot and use that for the area, and the depth of your pot when it has 5 gallons in it and multiply by 10 (normal snow pack, not compressed) for the depth. That will get you kind of close, but with the many different types of snow ymmv.

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