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Old 12-16-2008, 07:30 PM   #11
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right on guys, what do you normally pick up? The gallon jugs or the reusable 5 gallon fill station jugs at your local grocery/walmart?

I usually get 2x2.5g jugs and a 1g jug. This last time I had to grab 6 1g jugs. lol
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Old 12-16-2008, 08:41 PM   #12
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Pur filtered tap water...

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Old 12-16-2008, 08:47 PM   #13
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I have a single in-line whole house filter and a deep well. Some day I'll get it tested but it sure tastes great.

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Old 12-17-2008, 01:25 PM   #14
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I have an in-line filter under the counter and love it. But, I've also been using gallon jugs of spring water (not distilled/RO) Having to put back the minerals would be a major PITA for me.

Unless you water tastes bad, I'd use that. If it's not good tasting, then I recommend buying jugs of spring water, or under counter/on faucet filter system. The filter might not bee much more than a few batches worth of bottled water, so you could save money that way, plus have a good supply of drinking water too.

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Old 12-17-2008, 01:31 PM   #15
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Spring water in gallon quantities from the grocery store is probably the most cost-effective option. For the most control, a reverse osmosis (RO/DI) machine is the best bet. They can be had for about $100 on eBay. I got mine from Aqua Safe Systems.

Bear in mind, an RO system will remove everything (everything) from water, except the water. So you'll need to add Burton salts to bring it back up to an appropriate TDS. You'll also need a TDS meter to get you where you need to be (about $20 on eBay). The Joy of Homebrewing has a handy dandy water chart, listing the various TDS levels of waters around the world, which will help you determine where your TDS should be for a given brew.

If you want to skip all this complexity, spring for the spring water.
You can use RO water as is for extract w/ steep grain batches no problem because the extract contains the minerals from the original mash at the extract manufacturers factory. Using extracts AND adding minerals is basically double dosing and can throw your mineral rates way off.

Using all RO water for all grain or partial mash brewing is where you need to be concerned about mineral levels to get a proper conversion.

Water chemistry is something most brewers will never get into and really don't need to worry about unless you have massively hard water.
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Old 12-17-2008, 03:57 PM   #16
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I have a whole house carbon filter, RV hose, and 90* 3/4" threaded elbow from Walmart, about $30. I trickle the water from the tap through the filter (slow flow is important) and it takes out the chloramines. Depending on the brew, I mix in RO water from Walmart, which I fill for 25c/gallon in a 5 gallon reusable plastic jug. My tap water total hardness is about 140ppm, so for pale beers I will dilute 2:1 with RO water.

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Old 12-18-2008, 08:48 AM   #17
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You can use RO water as is for extract w/ steep grain batches no problem because the extract contains the minerals from the original mash at the extract manufacturers factory. Using extracts AND adding minerals is basically double dosing and can throw your mineral rates way off.
An extremely crucial tid bit that I didn't even think to mention. My thanks to you sir.

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Using all RO water for all grain or partial mash brewing is where you need to be concerned about mineral levels to get a proper conversion.

Water chemistry is something most brewers will never get into and really don't need to worry about unless you have massively hard water.
Although my tap water is well within okay range as far as TDS goes, I just do not like the taste. It's not terrible, don't get me wrong, and it makes okay Kool-Aid, but I'd rather not use it in my brew. This is why I've gone the whole RO route w/ a TDS meter and Burton salts. Gives me another thing to fiddle with, if nothing else.
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:42 AM   #18
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I've been buying gallons of spring water from Walmart @ $.78/gallon. Was thinking I'd go the RO route, but after reading this I think now isn't the time. I've recently gone back to all grain and don't want to play with my water yet.

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Old 12-18-2008, 09:52 AM   #19
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I usually get 2x2.5g jugs and a 1g jug. This last time I had to grab 6 1g jugs. lol
Those are the same ones that I have used on my first two batches, the ones with the little spouts on them. I used the ones that said "drinking water" there was spring water and distilled. Anyone know the difference between drinking water and spring water?
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:31 PM   #20
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Those are the same ones that I have used on my first two batches, the ones with the little spouts on them. I used the ones that said "drinking water" there was spring water and distilled. Anyone know the difference between drinking water and spring water?
It really depends. Drinking water can mean a lot of things, from distilled water on one end, to barely potable on the other. A lot of products labeled "drinking water" are nothing more than bottled tap. Spring water, by contrast, normally indicates a water with good taste, and a mineral content.

That said, my local supermarket (Acme) has a product known as "Purified Drinking Water." In the fine print it says "distilled, then minerals added for taste." I've found this water to be quite good for brewing. Your best bet is to read the labels. Make 100% sure there is a mineral content. It'll say "minerals added for taste" or "natural mineral content" or something like that.

I still like my RO machine and gadgets...

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