Happy HolidaySs Giveaway - Winners Re-Re-Re-Re-Drawn - 24 hours to Claim!

Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Using tap water in mash
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-17-2013, 06:14 PM   #1
gabbz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 24
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default Using tap water in mash

Hey all. I'm on AG batch #2 so really pretty new to it. Admittedly I am not one who has been super concerned with "exactness" in relation to things like efficiency and water chemistry just yet. With that in mind I am just curious how "bad" is it to use untreated tap water in my mash and sparge. I know that I can get a ph stabilizer, but don't want to bother if it's not going to cause a drastic problem. Thanks for your responses.

__________________
gabbz is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-17-2013, 06:19 PM   #2
jflongo
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,231
Liked 64 Times on 57 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

I have heard a lot of people say, if you like how it tastes out of the tap, then use it. If you want to be really anil, then get a water test kit.

__________________
jflongo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-17-2013, 06:25 PM   #3
Jayhem
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Culpeper, VA
Posts: 2,568
Liked 258 Times on 208 Posts
Likes Given: 1163

Default

For $16.50 you can get a full water test done from Ward Laboratories, just send them a sample. Best thing I ever did since I love my tap water brews (well water) but didn't realize that my water is highly calcium deficient. Since I've been adding calcium my beers have improved. If you like how your beers taste keep doing what you are doing...one day though you may want to step it up a notch and get into water chemistry, it does make a difference.

__________________

Next up: American Pale Ale
Primary 1&2: American Brown Ale
Primary 3&4: Hopped up Belgian Tripel
Bottle Conditioning/drinking: Summer Kolsch, White Zombie (Amarillo IPA), English Pale Ale (ESB)

Jayhem is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-17-2013, 06:25 PM   #4
Clonefan94
Senior Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Clonefan94's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Schaumburg, Illinois
Posts: 1,018
Liked 191 Times on 128 Posts
Likes Given: 50

Default

The only real problem, assuming it's already good quality water, would be chlorine/chloramine in the water. A lot of municipalities use the stuff and it can leave a bad taste in your beer. I tdid my first brew straight from the tap, it wasn't bad, but definitely had some off band-aid/medicinal flavor that never went away. It wasn't terrible, but huge difference when I went to a solid carbon block filter.

And yeah, what Jayhem said as well.

__________________
Clonefan94 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-17-2013, 06:30 PM   #5
cooper
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: New Baden, IL
Posts: 353
Liked 10 Times on 8 Posts

Default

+1 to getting the water tested but you'll also need a Campden tablet for the Chlorine. If you really want to start getting your water figured out get the test done from Ward Labs and get a PH meter and learn how dark and light grains affect the mash PH. Dark grains will pull the PH lower and light grains will pull it higher, where you'll have to get some sort of acid to lower the PH back down to 5.2 - 5.5. Most people use either Phosphoric Acid or 2-3% of the grain bill in Acid Malt. Check out the Brew Science section and you'll be able to find whatever you want there.

__________________
cooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-17-2013, 06:30 PM   #6
cpesko
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 144
Liked 6 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 21

Default

I use my tap water all the time. My beer turns out great. If it taste good use it.

__________________
cpesko is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-17-2013, 06:31 PM   #7
DonLiguori
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Posts: 93
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

I've made dozens of great batches using untreated tap water all the way through. I've made a few batches where I treated it and found very little variation in the finished product. Ideally, contact your water supplier and get a water profile for your area, and make some decisions based on the water chemistry primer. If you're worried about excess chlorination, you can boil all of the water you are going to use ahead of time (just let it cool back down and you've got your mash and sparge water ready) to help drive off the chlorine, but this isn't usually necessary and will change the water chemistry a bit in the end. My advice? use the tap water a couple times, than grab a bit of gypsum and waterever else you might need at the HB store next time you're there. Make the same batches with treated water and note any differences. Water chemistry and ion interactions may be an exact science, but finding the flavors you like certainly is not!

__________________
DonLiguori is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-17-2013, 06:35 PM   #8
stratslinger
Brewing Thespian
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
stratslinger's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Terryville, CT
Posts: 1,986
Liked 137 Times on 115 Posts
Likes Given: 89

Default

Don't do it! Using tap water is the #1 way to ruin a beer!

(taking sarcastic hat off)

I use my tap water exclusively, haven't treated or tested it for anything. I have reviewed my utility company's water report, but it's lacking a couple of the more important figures to brewers... Haven't had a single problem so far. Well, at least not one attributable to water quality...

__________________
stratslinger is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-17-2013, 06:43 PM   #9
kombat
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,903
Liked 769 Times on 501 Posts
Likes Given: 671

Default

I use hot tap water and a crushed-up campden tablet.

Using hot water straight from the faucet saves me a bunch of time. I figure I already have a huge tank full of pretty hot water, why start from scratch with cold water and waste all that time heating it up? I start with water that's already about 125° F and can get it to the necessary 170° F in about 15 minutes.

__________________
kombat is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-17-2013, 07:47 PM   #10
Matt3989
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 452
Liked 47 Times on 39 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

If it's water from a municipality, just email them, they'll send you a water analysis report for free. From there it's easy to see what's going on, and even use basic water recipes that others have created for whatever style you want to brew.

__________________
Matt3989 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
Chart of mash temps and water/grain mash ratio by style kellzey All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 8 08-15-2012 03:47 AM
First Partial Mash Today.. Instructions say 2.25 qt/lb mash water? DonutMuncher Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 04-13-2012 07:39 PM
Reduce mash water to accommodate mash tun size iverasp Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 03-09-2012 02:43 PM
2 Gallons of Water Below False Bottom - Opinion on Mash Water Amounts Jewrican All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 10 07-15-2011 04:55 AM
Mash in Keggle - False Bottom vs. amount of mash water Griffsta All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 2 03-24-2009 02:09 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS