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Old 03-20-2013, 05:47 AM   #1
horrorclause
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Default What kind of water do you use?

For my five gallon batches I use purified water from the grocery store; is that good mineral content wise, or should I use a different type?



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Old 03-20-2013, 06:10 AM   #2
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I started with bottled drinking water, then Milwaukee tap water with 5.2 stabilizer, now I use Straight Milwaukee tap water. I have heard that if the water is good enough to drink that its good enough to brew with.



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Old 03-20-2013, 11:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olz431 View Post
I started with bottled drinking water, then Milwaukee tap water with 5.2 stabilizer, now I use Straight Milwaukee tap water. I have heard that if the water is good enough to drink that its good enough to brew with.
If you are on a municipal water system you need to get the chlorine or chloramine out or your beer will have a plasticy or band-aid flavor. Otherwise, if it tastes good to drink is should make good beer with a few exceptions.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:12 AM   #4
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There's a water chemistry thread if you have trouble sleeping one night....

Generally, our local tap water here in FL is just about ideal for brewing with only minor pH adjusting. You can make yourself crazy playing with your water values, so have at it if insanity is your bag.

I like using a roughly 50/50% mix of tap to distilled water.

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Old 03-20-2013, 11:23 AM   #5
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As pointed out by RM-MN, chlorine/chloramine is in most municipal water - and it can have adverse effects on beer.

The "it tastes good" test is ok, but there are problems with that as well - Water that is high in bicarbonates and very hard "tastes good" but is problematic for brewing.

When it comes to extract brewing, minerals are not a problem for the most part. Generally, there are already minerals in the extract (left there when the water is evaporated off from making the extract.) Personally, if I was brewing extract, I would just use Reverse Osmosis water that you can refill at most stores (like walmart, or grocery stores.) It is cheap - .39 cents - to refill as opposed to $1 to buy new jugs every time. I might look into adding a bit of sulfate addition if I was brewing a really hoppy beer, but that is another strand of research.

Water is important to brewing and moreso if you eventually brew all grain.

You absolutely do not need the 5.2 - No point with extract (as you do not need to worry about "mash pH" since you are not mashing. And really, when it comes to all-grain it has been shown not to work - several good threads on it.

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Old 03-20-2013, 11:27 AM   #6
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I was using bottled water and just recently switched to my well water.The stuff was nasty and undrinkable because of all the iron (think red mud).
I put a sediment filter at the well head and then 2 more filters in my brew room filtering down to .05 microns along with charcoal filters. Taste great now and the elcheapo homeless depot test says its fine. So get yourself a good filter system, they are not that expensive.

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Old 03-20-2013, 11:32 AM   #7
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Another quick thought - always a decent idea to just send in a sample to Ward Labs. For $15 you can know exactly what you are working with in your tap water within a week. Ultimately, it is worth knowing, and it is really pretty hard to make any decent decisions without actually knowing what you are dealing with in your water. Your water could be great and you do not want to waste time and money if it is. Likewise, your water could be horrible and you do not want to make bad beer because you are overlooking something very easy to address.

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Old 03-20-2013, 02:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
If you are on a municipal water system you need to get the chlorine or chloramine out or your beer will have a plasticy or band-aid flavor. Otherwise, if it tastes good to drink is should make good beer with a few exceptions.
Havent had an issue yet. It smells like it all comes out when you heat it for mashing.
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:05 PM   #9
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I once spent the $5 or $6 on Spring Water, now I just use it right out the tap, my water tastes ok, and could never tell a difference in my tap water vs the spring water beer. So, now I save $6 in the process.

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Old 03-20-2013, 03:20 PM   #10
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I am a new home brewer and came to this site to get definite answer on chloramine in my tap water. I have been told it's ok. no worries. I can't believe it is the thing to do. I can buy good beer so making bad beer is silly.



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