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Old 02-25-2008, 06:50 PM   #1
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Default water question for seattle brewers

I live in Seattle & have been having some flavor issues. The simple question is "is Seattle city water safe/ok for using straight in my beers, or does it need to be treated in some way?" I'm trying to nail down the reason for the bad flavors. (Right now, I think the problem is using bleach for sanitizer, am switching that already, but want to make sure I don't have water issues too.)

I've used it straight, with success for cold water in a ME brew, for top off water too. I've also tried pre-boiling it & letting it sit for a day to drive off chlorine.

Don't know if Seattle city water has chlorimides (did I spell that right) or not. A guy at my LHBS told me that it could in warmer weather, but I'm not sure how to take this.

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Old 02-26-2008, 05:00 AM   #2
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I live down in Puyallup and have sent my water in to the lab to be analyzed. I can provide you with the report if you like, though I don't know how similar it is to yours up North.

This region tends toward the softer side. Chlorine can be either filtered or allowed to evaporate by pouring your water ahead of time like you said. Chloramines can be removed using campden tablets, available from the brew store.

I have heard of the water treatment changing with the seasons, but again our municipal water source is likely different. Regardless, you can send it in for analysis for about $15.

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Old 02-26-2008, 05:57 AM   #3
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do you use the campden tabs? the LHBS guy kinda gave me a funny look when I suggested it. I might just be paranoid. I know Seattle is on a different water system from you. You mention softer water, does this affect the Ph for mash?

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Old 02-26-2008, 03:39 PM   #4
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Here's some info on using potassium metabisulfite tablets (campden) to remove chloramine:

http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?p=412311&highlight=&sid=c7e485fe5ea7 166a4345225bfbc933b3

I personally haven't done this, but I've never been able to detect any flavors that I can attribute to that.

The starting PH of my water on the report was 7.2, and I've found that most styles brew fine without adjustement, although stouts will benefit from it. I'm not a stickler about PH and don't normally check it as I haven't experienced efficiency difficulty with the mash.

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