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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Importance of sanitizing fill-up water for a partial boil?
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Old 03-29-2006, 09:07 PM   #1
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Default Importance of sanitizing fill-up water for a partial boil?

Hi all - with 2 batches resting comfortably (knock on wood) from partial-boils, I'm wondering about the cold water used to bring the volume to a full 5 gallons. My 'starter' book suggests that you just fill 'er up, but I'm worried I inadvertently introduced an army of skunkifying buggers in doing so. Am I paranoid and/or screwed?

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Old 03-29-2006, 09:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skifast1
Hi all - with 2 batches resting comfortably (knock on wood) from partial-boils, I'm wondering about the cold water used to bring the volume to a full 5 gallons. My 'starter' book suggests that you just fill 'er up, but I'm worried I inadvertently introduced an army of skunkifying buggers in doing so. Am I paranoid and/or screwed?
are you using tap water or bottled water?

I personally would avoid adding water straight from the tap, but lots of people do it with no issues, so....

If it bothers you to use tap water and you don't want to buy bottled water, just boil your top off tap water the day before and store it in sanitized jugs until you need it.

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Old 03-29-2006, 09:11 PM   #3
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Really depends on your water. I'm comfortable with mine so when I occasionally need top up water, I just use it. Helps aerate, too. Many people tout bottled water as being 'more sanitary' than tap, but the regulations between the two are actually quite similar (FDA for bottled water, EPA for tapwater).

OTOH, if I were on a well or in an area with known problems I'd either boil my tapwater or by bottled water.

Edit...I should point out that I'm referring to US regulations...

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Old 03-29-2006, 09:19 PM   #4
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I use tap water and have no contamination as of yet. Our water is from a small municipality and is from what I've heard ideal for making beer. You can get a report from your water company with the details of what is in your water - it should be free. If you have a well, boil it! If you do boil it, you must shake it or something to re-aerate it.

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Old 03-29-2006, 09:19 PM   #5
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Fair enough - my city water actually tastes pretty good (believe it or not) and the town publishes all the stats on cleanliness/radium/chlorine/etc every month, so I think I definitely could be doing worse. That said, it's hardly any trouble to boil up a couple of gallons the night before while I do a starter and keep it in the fridge in a sanitized carboy. Thanks!

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Old 03-29-2006, 09:57 PM   #6
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Wal-Mart has bottled drinking and Spring Water for 65 cents a gallon, I just used that on my last batch and definitely taste the difference. I suggest that anybody should try it once just see if it makes a difference or not.

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Old 03-29-2006, 09:59 PM   #7
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You say you tasted a difference, but was it better or worse?

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Old 03-29-2006, 10:06 PM   #8
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Much, much better. However the tap water down here in Athens is terrible, that could be it. But if you think about it spring water is good, it comes straight from nature and is already filtered and sanitary. Thats the way I think about it.

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Old 03-29-2006, 11:02 PM   #9
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I'm the paranoid type so I buy water at wal-mart for like 60 cents a gallon. I keep the gallon jugs that way if I don't make it to wal-mart for whatever reason I can boil some water and funnel it into the used jugs (I sanitize the jugs/caps of coarse =)

I hear a lot of people say that if it tastes good out of the tap then it's usable.

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Old 03-30-2006, 12:45 AM   #10
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I've always used tap water for brewing and for top-off water, and have never had any issue.

This seems like a good area for most brewers to relax and have a homebrew and stop worrying. (Unless there's realy something to worry about in your water, of course.) It might help to remember that beer, wine, and spirits have for centuries had the important job of taking questionable water and making it potable. People have been making great beer since forevor with water that surely would not pass muster in any US municipality.

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