Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Use RO waste water for beer making?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 07-15-2010, 05:03 AM   #1
Nerdie
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: NYC
Posts: 175
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default Use RO waste water for beer making?

I have a RO/DI (reverse osmosis deionize) water system. I live in NYC. The tap water is one of the best in the world. It has 35 ppm with a TDS meter. Most people use their tap with with a carbon filter to prevent chlorophenols (sp.?). I do not want to invest in that system as my system cost way more and can do a lot more. I brought the system because I have a salt water fish tank. But I use it for drinking, water for anti-freeze, steamer, iron, etc.

Now I have two 45 gallon large barrels to collect RO water and RO WASTE water.... The RO water usually goes to my fish tank. I don't want to use RO water in beer making because I will probably have to add calcium along with other trace elements, right? That's a pain in the butt. Plus, most of the water goes to my fish tank and I have a lot of WASTE water. I was thinking of using the RO WASTE water for brewing since I collect it too because I don't want to waste anything because I'm eco-friendly. Before I used it to clean things, water the plants, etc.

I have a six stage filter system. See, I believe ALL water goes through the sediment filter (5 micron I believe). Then I believe ALL water goes through 2 carbon filters. I believe it moves to the RO filter and some goes as waste. But if this is true (is it?), then shouldn't it be great for brewing since it went through a carbon filter? What do you think?

__________________
Nerdie is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-15-2010, 05:58 AM   #2
johnnyboy1965
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Warwickshire UK
Posts: 198
Default

I also have a RO/DI unit that I use for my tropical marine fish tank. The waste water they produce is all ways a cause for concern.
First of all dont use RO water for making beer as all the trace elments have been cleaned out so there is no taste to the water. I have done a brew with RO water and it felt very "hollow".
When you say 35ppm is this pre or post filtering? Incidenlty waht are your pre and post TDS readings?
The best solution I can come up with is to mix some of your waste water with some of your RO water until you reach a TDS reading that is close to your tap water readings.
HTH

__________________
johnnyboy1965 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-15-2010, 06:31 AM   #3
johnnyboy1965
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Warwickshire UK
Posts: 198
Default

What I have just said is total bollox. If you mix your waste water with RO water to the same ppm as your tap water, you might just as well use tap water. (sorry, Its early).
What are the TDS readings of your waste water?
Anything up to 300ppm should be fine for brewing beer.

__________________
johnnyboy1965 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-15-2010, 01:51 PM   #4
seanmichaleen
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 33
Default

I personally would love to use the RO water for brewing as I add salts to every brew and would like to start with a negligible amount of ions already in the water. Given the quality of the applications / webapps that do water addition calculations, I think you could get up and running in 20 minutes and then spend 2 minutes calculating and measuring every brew. Not a huge pain.

If you can figure out how to maintain a large fish tank, you can figure out adding salts to your brewing water!

I'd use the RO waste water for laundry or washing my car.

__________________
seanmichaleen is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-15-2010, 03:57 PM   #5
johnnyboy1965
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Warwickshire UK
Posts: 198
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by seanmichaleen View Post
I personally would love to use the RO water for brewing as I add salts to every brew and would like to start with a negligible amount of ions already in the water. Given the quality of the applications / webapps that do water addition calculations, I think you could get up and running in 20 minutes and then spend 2 minutes calculating and measuring every brew. Not a huge pain.

If you can figure out how to maintain a large fish tank, you can figure out adding salts to your brewing water!

I'd use the RO waste water for laundry or washing my car.
Its not the salts and larger part chemicals, its the trace elements that are impossible to replicate. These trace elements are what give regional water its distinctive taste. eg Burton-upon-Trent
__________________
johnnyboy1965 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-15-2010, 04:02 PM   #6
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 61,109
Liked 4481 Times on 3260 Posts
Likes Given: 870

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyboy1965 View Post
Its not the salts and larger part chemicals, its the trace elements that are impossible to replicate. These trace elements are what give regional water its distinctive taste. eg Burton-upon-Trent
Like what? I'm pretty good with water chemistry, but what "trace elements" are you referring to?

I use RO water for many brews, simply adding what I need (MgSO4, CaSO4, CaCl2, CaCO3, etc). I use tap water for stouts, since my water is very high in alkalinity (bicarb) and that comes out very well. But for other brews, I have to either mix RO and tap water, or use RO and add chemicals.
__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-15-2010, 04:08 PM   #7
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 22,019
Liked 980 Times on 654 Posts
Likes Given: 28

Default

You have room in your NYC place a fish tank AND two 45 gallon barrels full of water? Are you Trump?

If you're an extract brewer (you didn't say), you can use RO or 1/2 RO and half tap for lighter beers. Go straight tap for darker beers.

If you're brewing all grain, you can become a better brewer if you become educated on water's effects on brewing/mash/flavor. You can either get a full water report for your tap and adjust with dilution and salts or start with RO and build. You already have the RO so it's not that big of a stretch.

OT side note. If you have a sump under your fish tank, you can install a float valve so that you never really have to collect that much top up water. I used to do that but the float valve clamped on to the sump so I could move it over to a 10 gallon barrel to collect for water changes.

__________________
BrewHardware.com
Sightglass, Refractometer, Ball Valve, Weldless bulkhead, Thermometer, Decals, Stainless Steel Fittings, Compression Fittings, Camlock Quick Disconnects, Scale, RIMS tube, Plate Chiller, Chugger Pump, Super Clear Silicone Tubing, and more!

New Stuff?
Bobby_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-15-2010, 04:29 PM   #8
bad coffee
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
bad coffee's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 4,367
Liked 422 Times on 419 Posts
Likes Given: 47

Default

Nerdie, the best thing for you to do would be to set up a bypass directly after the carbon, before the RO and the DI cart. That way you could still run your brewing water through the carbon, but not waste the time putting it through DI.

NYC water is surprisingly clean. I have 33TDS coming out of my tap. I ditched my RO and just go straight to DI. I have to change the resin more often, but a resin change is $7. I buy the resin a cubic foot of it at a time.

You shouldn't ever hook a RO unit directly up to a float valve in your sump. You'll drastically reduce your membrane life having it turn on and off and on many times in a day.

If you think about the ratio of TDS in tap, RO and RO-waste, you get:

33ppm x5 (4-1 rejection rate of your membrane) = 1 gallon of 0 TDS and 4 gallons of ~165 TDS. Still fine for brewing, as long as you get rid of the Cl.

and way way off topic, do you know about manhattanreefs.com?

HTH,
B

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer
Why do you think they choose that path? (.)(.) = $$$$$$$$$
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuljin View Post
Wtf was chasing you for an hour? Buy a gun already.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ_IPA View Post
I'm a meat hunter. PKU.
bad coffee is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-15-2010, 04:30 PM   #9
johnnyboy1965
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Warwickshire UK
Posts: 198
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
Like what? I'm pretty good with water chemistry, but what "trace elements" are you referring to?

I use RO water for many brews, simply adding what I need (MgSO4, CaSO4, CaCl2, CaCO3, etc). I use tap water for stouts, since my water is very high in alkalinity (bicarb) and that comes out very well. But for other brews, I have to either mix RO and tap water, or use RO and add chemicals.
Arsenic
Boron
Cadium
Chromium
Copper
Iron
Lead
Magnesium
Manganese
Nickel
These are all trace elements that are found in tap water and are impossible to replicate.

Back to OP......You can get a pump to feed your waste RO water back through your RO unit, but this will seriously affect the life of your membranes.
__________________
johnnyboy1965 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-15-2010, 04:38 PM   #10
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 61,109
Liked 4481 Times on 3260 Posts
Likes Given: 870

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyboy1965 View Post
Arsenic
Boron
Cadium
Chromium
Copper
Iron
Lead
Magnesium
Manganese
Nickel
These are all trace elements that are found in tap water and are impossible to replicate.

Back to OP......You can get a pump to feed your waste RO water back through your RO unit, but this will seriously affect the life of your membranes.
Well, if you say so. I'm definitely not a fan of arsenic, lead, nickel, or iron in my water so I won't bother trying to replicate it. Arsenic and lead are poisonous, and iron tastes like blood.

Magnesium is incredibly easy to add, but you don't need much at all. I think saying that using RO water and building from there isn't as good as using water with lead in it is pretty silly!
__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Advice for making a Wit beer. RoadKing All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 3 01-26-2010 09:43 PM
Making A Wheat Beer midas All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 8 03-01-2009 09:30 PM
Can you tell me what type of beer I'm making GunsNTulips All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 5 02-26-2008 07:53 AM
anything can happen making beer!~!! discgolfin All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 10 09-04-2007 09:49 PM
How much did I waste by doing this? freebird All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 3 09-04-2006 02:17 PM