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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Isn't Top Water contaminated?
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:48 AM   #1
BlackHillsBrewing
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Default Isn't Top Water contaminated?

Ok, maybe stupid question... but I waited two weeks before brewing, cause I didn't want to mess up. I did everything buy the book.. Everything. Then it dawned on me. "That was stupid!"

1. I did my 3 - 4 gallon boil
2. Sanatized everything that came in contact with wort.. "EVERYTHING"
3. Direction on yeast even said Boil water then cool then add yeast.
4. Fill Fermenter to 5 Gallon mark with water. <-- Won't this water then contaminate wart if it's never been boiled? Nobody says anything about the Top Off water being boiled. Is it possible that this water has bacteria or other posible contaminates since it wasn't boiled with original wort?

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Old 01-13-2010, 04:56 AM   #2
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Technically yes, but I remember adding straight tap water on several occasions without a problem. Not recommending the practice, but I survived unscathed. You will probably be fine.

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Old 01-13-2010, 04:57 AM   #3
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Good question. The reality is that there is minimal risk with contaminated tap water. Most tap water is treated at regional water treatment facilities and potential contaminates are filter out and/or killed during treatment. I never had an issue with top-up water when I was brewing in this fashion. I wouldn't worry about that. If it still does make you a little nervous due to the remote possibility, you may also want to consider doing a full wort boil. You beer will turn out better through this process anyway.

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Old 01-13-2010, 05:00 AM   #4
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Yes, there is the possibility that it is contaminated. Will it cause a problem? I doubt it. Boil the water and you should be fine.

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Old 01-13-2010, 05:24 AM   #5
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Would you drink your tap water if it were loaded with bacteria?

RDWHAHB

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Old 01-13-2010, 06:05 AM   #6
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Well, I don't think its sterile that's for sure, and it does come from a well. I was just wondering how come nobody mentions boiling the top off?

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Old 01-13-2010, 06:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsme6582 View Post
Would you drink your tap water if it were loaded with bacteria?
Would you really like an answer to that question?
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackHills View Post
Well, I don't think its sterile that's for sure, and it does come from a well. I was just wondering how come nobody mentions boiling the top off?
Before going all grain, I always boiled my top up water. It may not be totally necessary as long as you pitch plenty of healthy yeast, but I think it's good insurance plus it will get rid of chlorine. I've seen numerous debates on this issue on this forum.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsme6582 View Post
Would you drink your tap water if it were loaded with bacteria?

RDWHAHB
Bacteria doesn't multiply as well in treated water as it does in nice sweet sugar water, like wort. When testing water for bacteria count the first thing the water company does is sterilize the tap so that isn't included in the count. At least that is what I have seen them do on TV.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scimmia View Post
Before going all grain, I always boiled my top up water. It may not be totally necessary as long as you pitch plenty of healthy yeast, but I think it's good insurance plus it will get rid of chlorine. I've seen numerous debates on this issue on this forum.
Yeast do not eat 100% of the sugars. The bacteria can just lay in wait and bide its time. I just read a thread somewhere on here where a guys barley wine was good for 3 years and then developed a gusher infection.
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