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Old 03-15-2007, 03:35 AM   #1
mebugboy
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Default Water Questions

Hello All,

My first post and new to the forum, so forgive if I'm asking a common question. I have well water, and am slightly concerned about it's quality for brewing. It is good quality water from the sanitary side, but does have a lot of iron and some sulfurous smells to it. We have an iron curtain which removes most of the smell from the afore mentioned culprits, but could the residual give me brewing fits. I've been told that "if it smells good and tastes good, brew with it" Can you brew with softened water? Any thoughts ?
Thanks,
Bugboy

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Old 03-15-2007, 03:51 AM   #2
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Sorry,
I just discovered the wiki and my answer. My humble apology for the wasted time.
Bugboy

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Old 03-15-2007, 04:22 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mebugboy
I just discovered the wiki and my answer. My humble apology for the wasted time.
Glad you found the Wiki. But I also recommend that you get the water tested for minerals. Do you have a recent water report for your well water?

Kai
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Old 03-15-2007, 05:20 AM   #4
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No, unfortunately, when we bought the house last year I only had it tested for the harmfuls. Also I think due to our close proximity to several lakes, I would guess that time of year and amount of precip might have an effect.
Acutally, the wiki is a little empty on this subject, so I'm still looking for more info.

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Old 03-15-2007, 12:38 PM   #5
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I have similar water. It's from a well that has lots of iron and hydrogen sulfide. Once it passes through the iron filter and softener, it's ok water to drink. I've brewed many extract and partial mash batches with this and they turn out just fine.

I've not yet tried it with all-grain. I did my first all-grain two weeks ago, and was a bit skeptical of the water quality, so I spent a few bucks to get bottled spring water. With the drop in costs of ingredients for all-grain, I felt it was ok to spend a little on quality water. If you're going to go that route, look for a store with a spring water tap that you bring your own container to. I think that would be cheaper than buying the gallon bottles ($.79 per gal here).

Softened water will have lots of sodium in it. The softener works by replacing calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions from the salt you put in the tank. What will all that sodium do? I have no idea.

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Old 03-19-2007, 02:26 AM   #6
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Default Water

Do not use softened water for AG. Been there, done that got the T shirt.
It will work fine for extract but the softener will take out the minerals you need and add sodium.
Send a sample of your water to Ward Labs in Neb. They will tell you exactly what you have or don't have. Check that with Palmer's How to Brew and you will have all the information you need to create the water for virtually any type of beer.

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Old 03-19-2007, 03:47 AM   #7
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Thanks Guys,

I've been working the last few days, so I haven't had a chance to read your responses. Does ward labs have a web site, or do you have contact info?
Thanks a bunch,
Todd

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