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Old 01-31-2013, 06:40 PM   #1
Glaurung30
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Default Importance of the water you use

What kind of water is everyone using? Most of my batches I've been cheap and used tap water that I have just boiled but I think that maybe one of my big problems at to why my beer's aren't turning out better. The one beer that I did use spring water in gallon jugs...it really was great.

What is your experience with different water?

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Old 01-31-2013, 07:20 PM   #2
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It's totally dependent on your local water supply. In general, if your tap water tastes good, it is good enough to brew with. You can run it through a carbon filter or use campden tablets to remove chlorine. If you want to get more into water chemistry you can send off for a water sample. I sent a water sample to ward labs for about $20 to find out composition of my water. Turns out it's pretty good so I just run it through a carbon filter and use it for most of my beers.

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Old 01-31-2013, 07:36 PM   #3
Glaurung30
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ah okay. I have been running my water through my brita filter. It's "city" water but it doesn't have any bad flavor.

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Old 01-31-2013, 07:37 PM   #4
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I've only done three brews so far and I've used tap water with a precautionary campden tablet added (actually only part of a tablet, crushed). The water round here is fairly hard and not entirely dissimilar to Burton water, so that's fine for pale ales, my favourite style. The beer's great.

If I want to brew with something softer then I've discovered I can buy RO water very cheaply from the local aquatics shop, so I can use that to dilute the tap water.

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Old 01-31-2013, 09:08 PM   #5
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I get mine directly out of the sand filtered Ossipee Aquafer in the Ossipee Pine Barrens.

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Old 01-31-2013, 09:36 PM   #6
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My tap water worked well when I was doing extract batches. Now that I am doing all grain I have found that some beers turn out pretty good and some are only ok. My IPA's just dont have the kind of hop profile that i am looking for no matter what I do. My dark beers just don't have the malt and roast flavor that I am looking for.

As mind numbing as it is, if you do all grain you will probably have to venture into brewing water chemistry to be able to consistently make great beers. You will definitely want to read the Brewing Water Primer in the Brewing Science section of this website. Very helpful and great information. There are a couple of water chemists on this site that are super helpful with water chemistry issues.

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Old 01-31-2013, 09:44 PM   #7
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Yes, if your tap water tastes good, then brewing extract with it is no problem. If you don't like the taste of your tap water, then go get something else, but you don't have to really do anything for water chemistry.

All grain is another matter altogether. You'll probably make decent beer with whatever comes from your tap (again, assuming it tastes alright), but to make the best beer you can, you'll probably have to pay some attention (but not necessarily a lot) to your specific water profile.

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Old 01-31-2013, 09:54 PM   #8
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hmm. I've used Reverse Osmosis water for most of my batches on account of a "soft" taste from my first few batches. I've used tap water since, and the beers have been fine though... The whole water chemistry thing and getting my water tested seems like it's a bit over my head.

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Old 01-31-2013, 10:18 PM   #9
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the big question is are you doing all grain or extract. In my experience you can use most anything for extract, but all grain needs a little work.

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Old 01-31-2013, 10:27 PM   #10
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I was getting some flavors that I just attributed to extract 'twang' while brewing from my tap water. I had done 3 batches and they all had it. Even with the gravity samples I could taste it. Just seemed like it 'enhanced' the extract twang???
Anyway, last 2 batches, I've used water from a fellow brewer that comes from his well. First one is an IPA carbing up right now. All the tastes thus far have been noticeably better!! Super happy!!!

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