Happy HolidaySs Giveaway - Last Sponsor Giveaway of the Year!

Come Enter the BrewDeals/FastFerment Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Brewing with soft water (Water Softener)
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-23-2009, 05:23 AM   #1
iqoair
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: calgary
Posts: 7
Default Brewing with soft water (Water Softener)

Anyone try this? I'm currently drinking some Baron's brew (Brown Ale), used the water from my water softener (First batch I've ever done). Slight salty after taste, other than that, it's great. Next batches I'm trying without. Curious if others have noticed the difference. Thanks.

__________________
iqoair is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-23-2009, 05:38 AM   #2
marubozo
I can has homebrew?
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
marubozo's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 30,659
Liked 5369 Times on 5227 Posts
Likes Given: 222

Default

I used to brew with my tap water that was treated with a water softener, but I got a nagging unpleasantly bitter aftertaste in all of my beers. It wasn't salty like you describe, but it wasn't ideal, either.

In my case I just started splitting up my brewing water. I'll use about half tap water and half distilled water in my brew to get a more balanced water profile.

There is some debate as to what effect water softener water has on the overall taste, but without a true water test showing what's in it, it's really a guessing game. I just took the conservative route and started introducing some distilled water into the mix and am happy with the results.

__________________
marubozo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-23-2009, 09:09 AM   #3
MattHollingsworth
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Samobor, Croatia
Posts: 1,612
Liked 31 Times on 29 Posts
Likes Given: 37

Default

From what I understand, the softening process puts a ton of sodium into the water, so it's recommended to never use water from a softener. You'll haveta look it up though.

__________________
HOMEBREWING SINCE 1997
MattHollingsworth is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-23-2009, 09:19 AM   #4
SourHopHead
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
SourHopHead's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 749
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

The sodium ion exchange is what does it. If you have or put and R/O system after it you will be fine.

__________________

FV's- Flanders Red, Munich Helles x2, Apfelwein, Hard Lemonade
SV1- Pumpkin Spice
SV2- Hard Cider
SV3- Empty
Kegs- Green Chili Ale, Watermelon Sour

On Deck: Celebration Ale Clone


"Be Good or Be Gone." EST. 1854
Shazbot Blonde

SourHopHead is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-23-2009, 02:17 PM   #5
mosyslack
doesn't drink...hahaha
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
mosyslack's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 124
Default

The problem that I had was that I had no head retention...barely even a head, actually. I draw my water from the out door faucet (not on the softener) and have never had a problem since. I don't believe I had much of an aftertaste, but I was still new and learning.

__________________
Primary:dry
Secondary: dry
Bottled:Pale Ale
Drinking: 3rd Shift Breakfast Stout, store bought
mosyslack is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-23-2009, 02:59 PM   #6
KopyKat
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
KopyKat's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Round Rock Texas
Posts: 471
Liked 2 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
From what I understand, the softening process puts a ton of sodium into the water
To be accurate, the exchange of sodium with hardness minerals is just that, an exchange. The more hardness minerals - primarily calcium and magnesium - the more sodium is exchanged.

The problem is two fold in terms of brewing:

1. The addition of sodium
2. The removal of calcium & magnesium

The removal of hardness will negatively impact mashing, hop bitterness and so on.

The alternate "salt" used in water softeners is Potassium Chloride which will exchange the potassium ion for the hardness ions. Same problem - different mask!

BTW, for those that say water softeners put salt in your water. Salt is a compound. For what we commonly know as salt for softeners and table use it is Sodium Chloride, one of many types of "salt" that exists as compounds. The ion exchanged in a water softener is only the Sodium ion and it has a metallic taste to most peoples senses and does not taste like "salt" at all. (unpleasantly bitter aftertaste)
__________________
Jerry Pritchett
KopyKat Brewery


Primary: Belgian Blonde (for cask)
Drinking: Robust Porter
Up Next: Christmas Ale, SNPA, Simcoe IPA

AustinZealots.com
Home of the Austin Zealot's Inquisition

KopyKat is offline
2
People Like This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-23-2009, 03:16 PM   #7
The Pol
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11,772
Liked 75 Times on 64 Posts
Likes Given: 14

Default

You have soft, salty water... like me.

I buy all of my water, distilled, then build water profiles for each beer I brew.

__________________
The Pol is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-23-2009, 04:02 PM   #8
MilwaukeeBrewGuy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 344
Default

Here is a good article on the contents of water and their effects.

http://www.beersmith.com/blog/2008/0...-hard-or-soft/

__________________
MilwaukeeBrewGuy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-23-2009, 05:13 PM   #9
Dr Vorlauf
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Dr Vorlauf's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lehigh Valley,PA
Posts: 540
Liked 2 Times on 1 Posts

Default

I always use the bypass on my softener when brewing. My water is fairly hard but since I tend to do darker beers there isnt much of an issue.

If I wanted to do lighter styles I would go with distilled or store bought water ( with known mineral profile ) and build it up with salts as needed.

__________________

Veritas vos Liberabit

Quote:
Originally Posted by chefmike View Post
Dr. Vorlauf.... you are a scary, scary man. Kimchee?!!
Dr Vorlauf is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-23-2009, 05:31 PM   #10
Sacdan
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Sacdan's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 911
Liked 17 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

I use my softened water all the time without any effect on tatse. I do, however, have a whole house water filter as well.

__________________
Sacdan 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
Extract Efficiency and my soft water... RichBenn All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 7 10-15-2009 08:15 PM
Dark Stout with Soft Water WorryWort All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 3 07-12-2009 08:24 AM
Brewing With Soft Water The Pol All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 16 07-30-2008 02:00 AM
Water Softener conpewter General Techniques 10 07-07-2008 03:08 AM
Water softener water jjsscram All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 4 10-25-2005 01:48 AM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS