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Old 09-20-2012, 11:54 PM   #1
mtrogers14
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Default Hardness of water

The tap water in my house is on the "hard" side. Is this something I need to worry about when brewing. I am new to the hobby and very excited to begin brewing but I don't want the hardness of my water to ruin the final product. Any ideas ??

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Old 09-21-2012, 12:04 AM   #2
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I assume you are going with extract to start. Yes, hard water can affect beer flavors, especially hoppy beers, lighter beers. The simplest, cheap thing you can do as an extract brewer to guarantee that water will not affect your beer negatively is just go to the store and buy Reverse Osmosis water. Find a store (walmart) with a water filling station where you can bring your own jugs. Fill for .39 a gallon. Extract already contains minerals you need for brewing int it, so RO water is the way to go for extract.

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Old 09-21-2012, 12:10 AM   #3
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Yes I am starting with extract. What about bottles of spring water or bottles of filtered water ? Will that work ok ?

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Old 09-21-2012, 12:14 AM   #4
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The problem with "spring water" is that you actually don't know what minerals are in it. RO or distilled have basically nothing in them. If I was brewing extract, I would use distilled or R.O. filtered. Should be able to find it in any grocery or walmart type store. Either on the shelf (.80 per gallon) refill, half as much.

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Old 09-21-2012, 01:38 PM   #5
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when you say its on the 'hard' side, do you know what the actual water report is?

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Old 01-17-2013, 11:10 PM   #6
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With regards to extract, it is true that mash pH has been addressed and so water chemistry is less important. However, I was struck this morning by the question of whether or not one should still be concerned about the water, including both chemistry and pH. Water chemistry is used for several reasons: one to optimize the mash; two, to provide enough calcium for a health ferment, and three, to provide "flavors" for certain styles. Not all beers need the last aspect,but many do. Further, different styles of beers are best at certain final pH values. It thus stands to reason that even with brewing with extract, you should 1). Set the pH of the liqour to 5.5, and 2) adjust ions to a) give enough calcium and b) address certain flavor profiles, such as SO4-- for hoppy beers, Cl-- for malty, etc. I wonder if this might significantly improve the quality of extract brews.

Cheers!

NanoMan

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