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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Reverse Osmosis water for home brewing
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:06 PM   #1
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Default Reverse Osmosis water for home brewing

Going to be brewing my first all grain batch this week. Downloaded my city's annual water quality report. Since I live on an island the raw water drinking source is brackish and they use reverse osmosis. Does anybody have any experience brewing with RO water and does it make the beer bland?

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Old 07-13-2010, 10:13 PM   #2
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You'll need to add back in the appropriate minerals. But many of us use RO water all the time and "build" to suit the style we're brewing.

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Old 07-13-2010, 10:17 PM   #3
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Depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you are trying to make a beer that is true to a style, you will probably want to add minerals to the water. If you are just trying to brew a good tasting beer, I wouldn't worry about it.

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Old 07-13-2010, 10:27 PM   #4
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A ROPU will strip most of the minerals out of water. You could try adding stuff to the water or use Starsan 5.2 pH stabilizer. It's a little expensive but I find it works perfectly.

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Old 07-13-2010, 10:29 PM   #5
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The yeast need the minerals from the water to be healthy. Brewing with straight RO water will not be kind to your beer.

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Old 07-13-2010, 10:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teromous View Post
You could try adding stuff to the water or use Starsan 5.2 pH stabilizer.
5.2 will do what it says (buffer mash pH), but it does not provide calcium or magnesium, nor will it address sulfate:chloride ratio. It's for starting with unknown water, not RO.

Equal parts (by weight) of chalk, gypsum, epsom salt, and calcium chloride at a rate of about a quarter gram per gallon each might be a good place to start if your water is 100% RO, but like Kilted says you should dial that into the beer style you want.
http://www.brewersfriend.com/water-chemistry/
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teromous View Post
A ROPU will strip most of the minerals out of water. You could try adding stuff to the water or use Starsan 5.2 pH stabilizer. It's a little expensive but I find it works perfectly.
The 5.2 buffer doesn't do anything to alter your mineral content. Yeast needs minerals to perform well, you need minerals to get the appropriate conversion from the mash, and it will come out bland as well. All 5.3 does is buffer your ph levels and if your water is balanced, most of the time you don't need it.
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:58 PM   #8
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The 5.2 buffer doesn't do anything to alter your mineral content. Yeast needs minerals to perform well, you need minerals to get the appropriate conversion from the mash, and it will come out bland as well. All 5.3 does is buffer your ph levels and if your water is balanced, most of the time you don't need it.
Ah gotcha. I thought it would contain ingredients like gypsum and CaCl2 but my container doesn't have an ingredient list. Not trying to spread misinformation.
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:55 AM   #9
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The yeast need the minerals from the water to be healthy. Brewing with straight RO water will not be kind to your beer.
This is what I thought, and a guy I know brewed a Porter with 100% RO water. It was one of the best Porters I've ever had. When I use RO water I use a little bit of tap water as well, which you wouldnt be able to do, but you may want to still put some minerals in the beer, depending on the style.
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:50 PM   #10
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I am on a well and it has a slight sulfur smell to it so I don't want to use that. I brew with RO water from a Glacier machine outside the grocery store.

Is all RO water the same? And if so, does any of the homebrew supply places sell a pre-mixed mineral pack that will fix RO water?

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