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Old 09-07-2013, 05:26 PM   #1
stevestone1988
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Default what kind of water do you brew with?

I've just moved from the land of extract brewing and know I should learn more about the type of water to use. I've always went to the store and bought 6 gallons of Deer Parm, but was wondering if this was best for flavor ( I dont mind paying the money) or should I be doing something else?

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Old 09-07-2013, 05:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevestone1988
I've just moved from the land of extract brewing and know I should learn more about the type of water to use. I've always went to the store and bought 6 gallons of Deer Parm, but was wondering if this was best for flavor ( I dont mind paying the money) or should I be doing something else?
It's not the brand or supply of water as Much as the chemistry of the water and mineral content etc.

The best place to start is a water report from the company-website might have it. From there you can build up the water with the necessary additions if any are needed.

There is a water chemistry stickie in the brewing science forum posted by Yooper which is a great starting point
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:35 PM   #3
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It depends, without knowing the mineral content of either water source it's hard to say.

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Old 09-08-2013, 05:24 AM   #4
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Buy a charcoal filter and use your own water supply.

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Old 09-08-2013, 01:30 PM   #5
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I use my municipal water supply (Fairfax County, Virginia) with 1/4 campden tablet per 5 gallons (to get rid of chloramine). I read the chemistry report on line and it seems pretty agreeable with brewing - and the beer tastes good afterwards.

I add lactic acid to the sparge water because I have it. I also run a lot of water through the hose, to flush flavors out, before I collect water for my beer. At some point I plan to get an RV hose.

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Old 09-08-2013, 02:11 PM   #6
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I use bottled spring water. Never had a bad batch of beer.

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Old 09-08-2013, 02:39 PM   #7
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Ultimately, the "kind" of water is totally style dependent. Meaning, for the most part the water in the place of the style becomes the desired water for that style. Soft for pils, hard in Burton England.

Some would rather run through a reverse osmosis (RO) unit and add back minerals. I have such a filter, they aren't super expensive, and recommended highly for water for you and your beer.

Personally I would rather not add back calcium chloride, or gypsum, although at some point going RO and adding back makes sense.

My city water is about 150 ppm hardness (TDS) and a bit alkaline which is actually good for making acidic mashes. I have a whole house filter, and can use RO in all or part as needed. Generally I just use the city water with no RO. But if a style calls for less minerals, I can add 1/2 RO and start with 75 ppm hardness, for example.

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Old 09-08-2013, 02:56 PM   #8
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"Spring Water" is a useless term for brewers. It does not provide any indication of the water quality or its suitability for brewing. The only thing it implies is that it is a groundwater source. That is no guarantee that the water is good for brewing.

As indicated above, the Water Primer does provide good basic guidance for brewing water. Start with a water with very low mineralization and add a few salts to create an acceptable brewing liquor. Using RO or distilled water is a good starting point since you have some assurance that the water has low mineralization.

A blind assurance from anyone saying, 'just use the tap water' may or may not be good advice for you. You need to find out what your tap water quality is and how it might interact with your brewing. Some people have great brewing water out of the tap and other's may have terrible water. You can't just use any water and expect great beer.

Until a brewer has found out the concentrations of the major ions in their tap water, using the recommendations of the Primer is wise.

Brewing water chemistry is not easy. But with a little understanding of their tap water chemistry, you may be able to move to the next step in treating that water for brewing. Some tap water is hopeless, but the first step is finding out what is in the tap water and what can be done to make it suitable for brewing. Slogging through a guidance like the Water Knowledge page on the Bru'n Water website is a necessary duty if you want to use your tap water. If that doesn't appeal to you, using the recommendations of the Water Primer are for you.

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Old 09-08-2013, 05:04 PM   #9
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I use my home tap water for brewing. I do have a filter and softener which takes out virtually all minerals. I've never had a problem. Without my softener / filter, my iron is off the charts.

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Old 09-08-2013, 06:39 PM   #10
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I've been using a filter similar to the one from the BYO article for a while now. It works great.

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