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Old 02-02-2013, 07:22 AM   #1
HoosierBrewer2
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Default Yet another water quality question.

I'm trying to learn as much as I can before undertaking my first AG brew.

My tap water is extremely hard (400mg/L CaCO3).

When I brewed with extract, I just used distilled water. But I've read that distilled water shouldn't be used with AG brews, for understandable reasons. I've done a lot of searching about appropriate water to use, but most of the information only talks about determining if your local water is okay to use. I don't know if my tap water could be adjusted to use, but I have my doubts. I thought maybe spring water from the store, but I guess that would be an unknown too. I would like to brew mainly IPA's.

Any advice? And thanks in advance.

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Old 02-02-2013, 01:41 PM   #2
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You can certainly use distilled water...BUT....you will need to make some adjustments by adding minerals or acids....etc....depending on what you are brewing.

Check out the site below.....has very good information on water chemistry for brewing and also has a spreadsheet you can download to do the calculations for you....I just got directed to it not long ago and am excited to put it to use on my next brew


https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/water-knowledge

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Old 02-02-2013, 01:49 PM   #3
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You'll probably have to do a ratio of liquid chalk (your tap water) to distilled water. I've had troubles finding the information I need to properly fill out the Bru'n water spreadsheet, and those figures you get from your water company aren't that accurate. By law, they only need to test and report on their water quality once a year. What they don't take into account are rainfall amounts, seasonal dilution and concentration, spring and summer farm runoff, etc.. There's a whole slew of factors that go into your daily water quality.

I found the best way for me to deal with it was to do a 50%/50% mix of distilled to tap water. I took what information I could find about the local water and divided it in half, which was perfectly in parameters for what's considered ideal brewing water (see the suggestions there or in Palmer's works). Eventually, I invested in a Kent Marine Deion 200R filter for our aquariums and it produces virtually 99.9% pure water. For us, it was a better option than reverse osmosis.

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Old 02-02-2013, 03:56 PM   #4
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I highly suggest you send your water off to Ward laboratories for a water test...the results will give you everything you need to know about your water for brewing....and it will allow you to determine (using the Bru'nwater spreadsheet for example) how much dilution to use and what mineral salts need to be added.

The test is only $16.50 (W-6 test)

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Old 02-02-2013, 08:29 PM   #5
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Hardness is not the primary concern in brewing, but that is rock hard water. But that water might be a welcome base that you can dilute with RO or distilled water. Then you might be able to dial in the alkalinity your mash needs and add the ions the mash and ferment needs. You do have to find out what is in that water first.

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