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Old 01-09-2012, 11:02 PM   #1
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Default I'm moving... Hope the well has good brewing water!

After many years of brewing with consistently good city water, I'm moving to a house with a well.

I'm a little concerned with how my beer will turn out. Might be awesome, could be horrible. There will be a well test conducted as apart of the sale. Will that report be able to give me a good idea on how well the water will be for brewing? I've always had good water, and never worried about this before.

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Old 01-09-2012, 11:09 PM   #2
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I don't know where you are moving to. It could very well be a huge blessing. The mineral content of your water should naturally go up. I don't know exactly how that will affect your brewing. If I were you I would do some research on old breweries that use well water and also talk to any neighbors that have a similar situation.

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Old 01-09-2012, 11:56 PM   #3
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That's a good idea, I'm the only one in the area that brews unfortunately.

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Old 01-10-2012, 12:00 AM   #4
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You will get a good amount of info about the water but they may not test for hardness. Here in NJ hardness is not part of the water test for house closings.

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Old 01-10-2012, 12:20 AM   #5
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You can always send in a sample for testing. I've never used my well water. In fact, I've never turned the pump on! When the house was built, they decided the well volume wasn't cutting it and ran 3500 feet of pipe up from the street. Very good water.

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Old 01-10-2012, 01:35 AM   #6
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I have moderately hard but very high iron water straight from the well (its orange). I'm on acreage on the high side of a swamp/wetlands with a small lake/large pond about a half mile down the road and uphill. No issues with water availability but the mineral content is quite rich. I haven't had a full water report done, only a free test done by the supply house I bought my filters and softener from. I ran further tests using water test kits I had left over from when I kept a saltwater reef aquarium and basically maxed out the test readings on everything.

Long story short, I've done some experimentation with water. I carted 10g city water from a friend's house, used 10g unsoftened but filtered water from the well and 10g softened filtered well water. Three batches, same recipe. Favorite was the unsoftened filtered, followed by city water followed by softened/filtered well water. No major differences in flavor profile but noticed a different mouthfeel and some slight flavor differences. The softened water had a flavor that plagued my first several batches before the experiment. Can't describe it, it's not unpleasant but it is unwelcome.

I haven't done many all grain batches, not willing to make the time commitment so I do 75% of my beers with extract. But I did stop using softened water for all of them. Made a noticeable difference in flavor and mouthfeel. I did make one stout with water straight from the well. It was interesting, definitely could taste the "raw" water but it wasn't bad. A lot of people loved it and ask for it again, I think I was just looking for the flavor changes.

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Old 01-10-2012, 06:42 AM   #7
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Thanks David_42, I'll probably send in a sample if the water seems really hard. Most of the wells in this area are on the soft side, some smell like sulfur.

Danmdevries thanks for that info, that was helpful. I've brewed with bottled water before back when I was doing extract. But other than that it's been all city water. Which fortunately we have really good city water here in Southern Oregon.

I'd love to compare water profiles to some notable older breweries, what a good idea.

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