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Old 04-04-2012, 02:57 PM   #1
jfrans84
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Default Tap or boiled water

Does it matter what water to use? Is there a difference?



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Old 04-04-2012, 03:12 PM   #2
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For what purpose?



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Old 04-04-2012, 03:22 PM   #3
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To and in my carboy after my juice concentrates.

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Old 04-04-2012, 03:24 PM   #4
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Add not and. Or to bring meads up to full volume after adding honey

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Old 04-04-2012, 04:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfrans84 View Post
Does it matter what water to use? Is there a difference?
Not really a simple answer.

First: If you tap water tastes bad I wouldn't use it period.

Tap water is not sterile, so you'll be taking some small risks if you just use it plain. That said, I've added some at times with no problems at all (and used to with beer making all the time with no problems). I've also regularly just rinsed fresh picked apples, juiced them, and added some yeast and nutrient--that's definitely less sterile than tap water and I love the results. The sugars in apple juice are 100% fermentable and simple, so yeast feasts on it rapidly not really leaving anything for other stuff to get to.

I have no experience using unboiled tap water and honey--I would be a bit more wary there. Yeast requires a lot of time to eat many of the more complex sugars in honey, which would give bacterias and the such opportunities to take hold.
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:52 PM   #6
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I'm always trying my best to eliminate any possibility of contamination at any step. I know that my tap water is probably ok, but I prefer not to take the chance. I don't use concentrates, so my ciders never contain straight tap water. I do make raisin tea to add to my ciders, but the water is always boiled to steep everything.

With my beers, I boil the tap water (the wort boil) and use purified drinking water (gallon bottles) for anything that might need topping off.

I've heard that boiling water removes any oxygen that is dissolved in the water. My understanding is that if you boil water for brewing, you will need to aerate the wort/must before introducing yeast. Oxygen is very important to the fermentation process but causes oxidation once the process is complete. Maybe someone else can elaborate on this process as I don't claim to be a scientist.

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Old 04-04-2012, 06:33 PM   #7
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I haven't bothered boiling for beer top-off water, though I run it through a Brita filter. (Though I suspect that filtering it, if it has any effect with respect to infection, increases the likelihood.) Beer has the benefit of hops and their antibacterial properties, though. Infection in the case of cider or mead might be more likely.

The only water I added to my cider was for the tea I added for tannin and for dissolving the sugar I added. In both cases it was boiled, though not specifically to sanitize. That was incidental. I didn't use concentrate, though, so it wasn't needed.

For the mead I've made, I used bottled spring water, which is sanitized coming out of the bottle. I think I may have topped up with a bit of filtered tap, but I don't remember exactly.

In general, I think infection from water is quite unlikely. Most city water supplies are chlorinated, so you really don't have to worry about bacteria, though you probably want to remove the chlorine so some step would be needed (this is why I filter). In some cases, boiling or other steps may be needed to remove the chlorine (if they use chloramine). If you have non-chlorinated water, I guess bacterial infection may be more likely, but I'd really be inclined to take the simplest approach until I actually had a problem, then fix it for the next batch.

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Old 04-04-2012, 06:40 PM   #8
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I'm on 'city' or is it 'county' water where I am. I've used it to top off Beer, Wine kits and Mead without any problems. But then I drink my tap water and haven't had any problems with it.

I think sulfates remove clorine if that is a concern - but I'm not possitive on that. Also sulfating your must -in the case of fruit - is generally a um.. must... (sorry) so that should help cut down on infections.

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Old 04-04-2012, 09:11 PM   #9
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I boil mine but that is because I do not use chemicals so I use the boiling water to help sterilize the fruit. also boiling water helps set colors, and in sugar dissolving.



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