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Old 09-02-2010, 12:30 AM   #1
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Default Hard water ever effect the taste of your finished beer?

Recently I brewed an Extract Fat Tire clone using tap water (filter on the refridgerator was broken)...after aging about a month Ive started drinking them... Alot of them taste fantastic...but every 3rd or 4th bottle I get a strange "hard water" aftertaste...I can only attribute this to the fact that I used tap water...but if that is the case, why dont I get the same aftertaste with all of them?

Anyone wanna weigh in?

Thnx

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Old 09-02-2010, 12:34 AM   #2
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I have hard water and chlorine in my water; after have several of my beers judged each and every one got high marks for clearity, style, etc but every one had the same after taste from unfiltered water.... so yes, hard tap water will cause off tasting. Either charcol filter, bottled water, 50/50 filter / distilled. Any of these options helped my beers a lot... just my 2 cents

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Old 09-02-2010, 12:39 AM   #3
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I have hard water and chlorine in my water; after have several of my beers judged each and every one got high marks for clearity, style, etc but every one had the same after taste from unfiltered water.... so yes, hard tap water will cause off tasting. Either charcol filter, bottled water, 50/50 filter / distilled. Any of these options helped my beers a lot... just my 2 cents
I use distilled water with additives for most of my beers, but I've used 100% distilled with nothing added and had perfectly good beers as a result. I don't agree with the theory that 100% distilled won't work well in brewing.
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:45 AM   #4
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I use distilled water with additives for most of my beers, but I've used 100% distilled with nothing added and had perfectly good beers as a result. I don't agree with the theory that 100% distilled won't work well in brewing.
I didn't want to make sound as though 100% distilled was bad, it just wasn't something I do. I just try to keep things simple and with my set up, I use at least 15 gallons each brew. Left over hot water is used to clean
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:50 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Meatball358 View Post
Recently I brewed an Extract Fat Tire clone using tap water (filter on the refridgerator was broken)...after aging about a month Ive started drinking them... Alot of them taste fantastic...but every 3rd or 4th bottle I get a strange "hard water" aftertaste...I can only attribute this to the fact that I used tap water...but if that is the case, why dont I get the same aftertaste with all of them?

Anyone wanna weigh in?

Thnx
I'd have to think it is something from the bottling stage forward that would account for the difference, UNLESS you are drinking them differently? Temp? Food? Something? All stored together?
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:10 AM   #6
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With extract brewing, you don't have worry as much about minerals in your water. That being said distilled or RO water is perfect to kill off flavors. I chased an off flavor for over a year and just recently discovered that the iron in my softened well water was the culprit. I now brew with RO water with additions and it is night and day. Beer went from HOMEBREW to commercial after the first one. I now brew all grain but in the beginning, it was extract kits all the way. I still had that HOMEBREW flavor from the iron that was in my water. The only confusing part of your post is that it isn't every beer you crack open? Every beer that I had made had that flavor, not every 3 to 4.

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Old 09-02-2010, 01:37 AM   #7
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With extract brewing, you don't have worry as much about minerals in your water. That being said distilled or RO water is perfect to kill off flavors. I chased an off flavor for over a year and just recently discovered that the iron in my softened well water was the culprit. I now brew with RO water with additions and it is night and day. Beer went from HOMEBREW to commercial after the first one. I now brew all grain but in the beginning, it was extract kits all the way. I still had that HOMEBREW flavor from the iron that was in my water. The only confusing part of your post is that it isn't every beer you crack open? Every beer that I had made had that flavor, not every 3 to 4.

I just moved into a new apartment, and I'm pretty sure I'm getting that. It's not awful, but definitely there. I bought gallons of water from the store for the last brew (still fermenting), but they tasted plastic-y pre-boil.

It's a shame, the old brick house I lived in last year had AWESOME water. Too bad I took it for granted.
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Old 09-02-2010, 03:15 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Selfsufficient View Post
With extract brewing, you don't have worry as much about minerals in your water. That being said distilled or RO water is perfect to kill off flavors. I chased an off flavor for over a year and just recently discovered that the iron in my softened well water was the culprit. I now brew with RO water with additions and it is night and day. Beer went from HOMEBREW to commercial after the first one. I now brew all grain but in the beginning, it was extract kits all the way. I still had that HOMEBREW flavor from the iron that was in my water.
I agree wholeheartedly. Six batches brewed with only hard water from my well (really great taste, no rust), every one was "sweet", sickeningly so. After listening to a BrewStrong podcast series on water, I switched up the next batch with 50/50 hard water and RO from a Culligan machine at my local grocery store. Complete 180 on the quality!

I now brew with three gallons of RO, three of distilled, and one gallon of hard water for just a bit of signature taste. Changing the water made as much of a difference as ramping up temps at the end of primary fermentation for me. I now LOVE my own brews, and that's extract with grains. I really have no need to go all-grain at this point, though I admit I'm curious at times...

As for the OP's off-taste issue, how are you adding carb sugar, in a solution in the bottling bucket or using tablets? If you're using a solution (like with corn sugar), are you stirring it during the bottling process? I found early on that if I didn't stir the mixture up at least four times throughout, I'd get some bottles with different flavors or carbination levels, very random. Since learning to stir, no problems. The only other thing I can think it'd be is if your bottles are not completely clean. Do you soak them in PBW/OxyClean for an hour or more? Do you rinse them completely after the soak? Are you rinsing your bottles of yeast trub after pouring a finished beer, so the trub doesn't dry? Sorry if these sound like noob questions, but I have to ask.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:58 PM   #9
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I'd have to think it is something from the bottling stage forward that would account for the difference, UNLESS you are drinking them differently? Temp? Food? Something? All stored together?

All stored together..drank on a clean palate/without food... the only thing I can think of is that I bottled them after cold crashing and the beer may have still been a bit cool (60ish)...think this would make a difference?
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:01 PM   #10
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The only confusing part of your post is that it isn't every beer you crack open? Every beer that I had made had that flavor, not every 3 to 4.
This is what is very confusing to me...more than half of the beers Ive had so far have been delicious, not a bit of the "hard water taste". But every 3 or 4 beers I get one that doesnt taste quite right
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