Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Best beer I ever made due to 1 variable
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-13-2012, 02:48 PM   #1
Unibrow
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 446
Liked 10 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default Best beer I ever made due to 1 variable

I've done about 40 batches in 1.5 years so far, since starting this hobby/obsession. I've tried MANY different set ups: extract only, partial mash, all grain, fruit additions, dry hopping, full boil, partial boil, brew kits, home made recipes, big yeast starters, light beer, dark beer and everything in between.

Most of my beers ended up with decent results...some were very good and others were sub par. But I finally isolated the 1 variable that elevated home brew from good to outstanding: using only store-bought spring/distilled water

We actually have great tap water here in Cleveland - but when I made a Brewers Best English Brown Ale kit using only spring water during the grain steep/boil, and topped off with distilled water, it came out like the most amazing Newcastle/Bass style beer I've ever tried.

Of course, you need to have pristine sanitation + good yeast temps + patience...but the entire game changed when I used no tap water, and only bottled water. Even though it adds an extra $5-$7 to every batch, I think I'll do this from now because it made all the difference in taste. Just my experience so far.

__________________

I'm trying to catalog every brew online so I don't have to keep notes all over the house. Check it out on my blog site below:

http://brewzak.wordpress.com/

Unibrow is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-13-2012, 02:54 PM   #2
KISS Brew
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Athens, Georgia
Posts: 546
Liked 50 Times on 34 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

Just to provide a counterpoint, I love the beer that my tap water makes and wouldn't dream of buying water. YMMV.

Congratulations on an outstanding brew!

__________________
Fermenting / Conditioning:
Beyond the Pale Ale, Cut and Dry Stout

Bottled:
Hoptoberfest IPA, Oktoberfest Ale, Blonde Ale, Scottish Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Edwort's Apfelwein, Janet's Brown Ale, Irish Red Ale, Strawberry Wheat, ESB, Belgian Pale Ale

KISS Brew Homebrewing Blog

Most recent post: Beyond the Pale Ale Recipe
KISS Brew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-13-2012, 02:57 PM   #3
Unibrow
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 446
Liked 10 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

Right! That's the beauty of this hobby - different methods can easily yield different results. So tap water may be better than spring/distilled in some cases.

I wanted to share my epiphany just in case another home brewer is out there saying "I'm doing everything right, and it's still not perfect yet...what else can I try?"

__________________

I'm trying to catalog every brew online so I don't have to keep notes all over the house. Check it out on my blog site below:

http://brewzak.wordpress.com/

Unibrow is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-13-2012, 03:33 PM   #4
normnmiles
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Grundy, IL
Posts: 39
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 57

Default

Did you have your water tested? Does your tap water have chloramine or chlorine? Just curious as to what the difference could be. I have pretty hard water where I live and plan on diluting it with my RO and treating it for Chloramine.

__________________
normnmiles is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-13-2012, 03:37 PM   #5
Beer-lord
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Beer-lord's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Metairie, La
Posts: 1,199
Liked 121 Times on 99 Posts
Likes Given: 20

Default

I used bottled water for years and in the last 12 months or so, after speaking with my water company (who have 2 homebrewers working there) I switched to tap water. I do fill my pot the night before I brew as a precaution and sometimes use campden tablets but I cannot tell the slightest bit of difference. My mates love my beer and sometimes brew themselves and sometimes say they don't know what I do to make such good beer. FWIW, theirs is excellent to me as well.

Do what works for you is the only advice I can give.

__________________
Wherever you go, there you are!
Beer-lord is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-13-2012, 04:12 PM   #6
Unibrow
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 446
Liked 10 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

I've looked for a water report, but didn't get the details. I did, however, find the water report for Deer Park spring water and it falls within all the acceptable ranges.

Again, my tap water actually tastes good and works great for light beers...I made 4 dark beers that all came out bad, found out it was because the darker malts clashed with my water too much.

__________________

I'm trying to catalog every brew online so I don't have to keep notes all over the house. Check it out on my blog site below:

http://brewzak.wordpress.com/

Unibrow is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-13-2012, 04:20 PM   #7
onthekeg
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,788
Liked 73 Times on 58 Posts
Likes Given: 15

Default

Try adding some gypsum to the boil next time you make a darker beer. I would recommend a tsp for 5 gallon batch.

I would also recommend some calcium if you are doing AG into the mash. I usually add 1 tsp of calcium chloride.

__________________
onthekeg is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-13-2012, 04:22 PM   #8
paraordnance
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Red Deer, Alberta
Posts: 861
Liked 25 Times on 20 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Distilled water just like RO water lacks some of the essential nutrients needed for good yeast health, flocculation, clarity of beer and many other important factors. Some styles (like Pilsner) will benefit from 100% RO/distilled when others will not. Its all depends on your water chemistry. Just plug your numbers in BrunWater and see where you need to be. I use 50% RO water in all my brews and add various amounts of lactic acid, CaCl2 or gypsum based on style I'm brewing. It is much better approach then just use plain distilled water.

__________________
paraordnance is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-13-2012, 04:26 PM   #9
Unibrow
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 446
Liked 10 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by paraordnance View Post
Distilled water just like RO water lacks some of the essential nutrients needed for good yeast health, flocculation, clarity of beer and many other important factors. Some styles (like Pilsner) will benefit from 100% RO/distilled when others will not. Its all depends on your water chemistry. Just plug your numbers in BrunWater and see where you need to be. I use 50% RO water in all my brews and add various amounts of lactic acid, CaCl2 or gypsum based on style I'm brewing. It is much better approach then just use plain distilled water.
This is why I choose to steep/mash with spring water, and then top off with distilled. Healthy mix of both seems to cover all the bases.
__________________

I'm trying to catalog every brew online so I don't have to keep notes all over the house. Check it out on my blog site below:

http://brewzak.wordpress.com/

Unibrow is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-13-2012, 05:19 PM   #10
paraordnance
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Red Deer, Alberta
Posts: 861
Liked 25 Times on 20 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unibrow View Post
This is why I choose to steep/mash with spring water, and then top off with distilled. Healthy mix of both seems to cover all the bases.
But without water report for your spring water you still have no idea how much Ca for example you have. This simple element have big impact on yeast health down the road. I used 100% RO water in past and made good beer with it. It was good but was lacking something, boring sort of speak and blunt in taste. That changed for better when I started to add minerals to brewing water and understand water chemistry a little better. BrunWater is great tool
__________________
paraordnance is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Priming sugar amount, variable ambient tempurature asterix404 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 12-22-2011 07:47 PM
Variable fermentation temps? GUZ808 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 11-21-2011 04:21 AM
First beer bottled, second beer to be made this week... ColoradoBrewMeister Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 02-15-2011 12:18 AM
Damn Texas weather - variable primary fermentation temps DaveMcPhee Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 02-03-2011 01:57 PM
Variable carbonation loobobone Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 01-24-2009 11:03 PM