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Old 09-07-2011, 01:07 PM   #1
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Default Need some advice on water...

So, I just moved to a new town and the water here tastes terrible. I'm pretty sure it's really high in chlorine and I don't think it will produce a very good beer.

Can I used bottled drinking water and achieve a satisfactory result? I'm brewing a basic APA this time using extract and some specialty grains.

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Old 09-07-2011, 01:10 PM   #2
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I've been using gallon jugs of spring water and it has seemed to work =/

I am curious though... I've seen conflicting information about hardness in the water for brewing.

Also you could just boil the water for a bit. Let it cool and then use it for your brew.

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Old 09-07-2011, 01:29 PM   #3
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My advice would be to get distilled or RO water, get a free water adjustment program like EZ Water Calculator (you can google it), and do some simple brewing salt additions to get the proper water profile. The additions are very easy to do (teaspoon of gypsum here, half a teaspoon of epson salts or baking soda there) and you get ideal brewing water.

Even those who like their tap water should get a profile (usually available for free from whoever your municipal water authority is) and adjust water as necessary.

I used spring water for a long time...then after some research I went to our (relatively soft) tap water with the necessary adjustments to get the proper water for whatever style I'm brewing.

Edit: missed the part about it being an extract brew. Certainly wouldn't worry too much about water adjustments!

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Old 09-07-2011, 01:32 PM   #4
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In general, bottled drinking water is perfect for extract brewing. You won't even need to add anything to the water since the extract has already been mashed in a certain water profile. Good tasting water almost always makes good tasting extract beer!

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Old 09-07-2011, 03:00 PM   #5
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Definitely use bottled. I have high chlorine water too and if I use tap, I have a wonderful swimming pool aroma to my beer.

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Its not terrible, but i get an armpit armoma and flavor.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:52 PM   #6
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I'm using "water store" H2O - you know, the kind of place that runs city water through a carbon filter, then reverse osmosis, then shines bright lights on it, has a cleric bless it, and then has a small child smile at it.

I'm throwing in a teaspoon of epsom salts, a similar dose of calcium chloride, and a little gypsum and yeast energizer because I have some. Is this a good generic dosing regimen, or is it completely unnecessary?

I can't speak for how it's working, because I'm a noob and nothing has come out of the other end of the pipeline yet. I just keep feeding it with antici...pation.

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Old 09-07-2011, 07:00 PM   #7
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I'm throwing in a teaspoon of epsom salts, a similar dose of calcium chloride, and a little gypsum and yeast energizer because I have some. Is this a good generic dosing regimen, or is it completely unnecessary?
I'd definitely skip the epsom salts- and consider skipping the gypsum. Maybe you could use the gypsum in really hoppy beers if you like the high sulfate flavor, but with the epsom salts and the gypsum, that's alot of sulfate and I probably wouldn't like the taste of the beers made with that water and those additions.
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:09 PM   #8
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Thanks, [Yooper]. So the water store water being so thoroughly stripped of most possible chunks of ... stuff does not require some generic regimen?

Well, there's lots of beer in the pipeline that gonna need to be drunk regardless. I may choose not to burden the Head Brewmistress with your information - she's a big one for telling me not to worry.

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Old 09-07-2011, 07:12 PM   #9
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Thanks, [Yooper]. So the water store water being so thoroughly stripped of most possible chunks of ... stuff does not require some generic regimen?

Well, there's lots of beer in the pipeline that gonna need to be drunk regardless. I may choose not to burden the Head Brewmistress with your information - she's a big one for telling me not to worry.
You could use the teaspoon of CaCl2, that's fine. It's not really necessary with extract brewing, but it can't hurt/might help. The Epsom salts can hurt, as can the gypsum, depending on the amount added. Too much sulfate just doesn't really taste that great, but sulfate does enhance bitterness in moderate amounts. Magnesium in large amounts is a laxative, and probably never needed in brewing but especially in extract brewing. A teaspoon isn't going to hurt much, but I'd leave it out. I'd either use a water chemistry spreadsheet to do the additions, or skip them all, though.
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by normzone View Post
I'm using "water store" H2O - you know, the kind of place that runs city water through a carbon filter, then reverse osmosis, then shines bright lights on it, has a cleric bless it, and then has a small child smile at it.

I'm throwing in a teaspoon of epsom salts, a similar dose of calcium chloride, and a little gypsum and yeast energizer because I have some. Is this a good generic dosing regimen, or is it completely unnecessary?

I can't speak for how it's working, because I'm a noob and nothing has come out of the other end of the pipeline yet. I just keep feeding it with antici...pation.
There is no point making water adjustments unless you (a) know what you are starting with in terms of specific mineral contents, and (b) have a target water profile in mind. Once you know those things, it is simple to make the proper adjustments.

Because of the nature of the water I brew with, I add epson salts and calcium chloride to almost every batch, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) frequently, and gypsum (calcium sulfate) occasionally. The water chemistry spreadsheet lets me know what I need.
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