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Old 11-15-2011, 09:37 PM   #11
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Also, if you do decide to go AG, I'd start with something red or amber. Depending on your water profile, darker or lighter beers might be problematic, so if you stick with something in the middle, you'll probably be in the ballpark no matter where your water lies on the spectrum.

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Old 11-15-2011, 09:44 PM   #12
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lots of helpful advice, thanks! since i've got you all here, I keep hearing about water profiles... couldn't we just use bottled water? there's a grocery store here that sells quality bottled water for hardly anything. or is there an advantage to using tap water? generally speaking i don't use Los Angeles tap water for anything besides showering, haha.

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Old 11-15-2011, 09:47 PM   #13
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Tap water is cheaper and if filtered, will probably be your best bet. Distilled water has no buffering capacity, and bottled mineral or spring water could possibly be tap water from another city.

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Old 11-15-2011, 10:16 PM   #14
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General rule of thumb: If it tastes good from the tap it should be OK to use. Beer is 90% water, so this is an important ingredient.

You can play around with the water composition if you like, but that's yet another variable to get into and worry about. From what I remember about being in SoCal, the tap water wasn't very good (tasting) but that is your call to make.

Bottled/Spring water should fine. Distilled water/RO water (from what I've read) doesn't have the necessary minerals in it that are needed to aid in the starch conversion. I will gladly stand corrected on this if somebody has different information that they are confident about, though.

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Old 11-15-2011, 11:46 PM   #15
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interesting, i hadn't considered that water could be 'too pure' to brew, though I suppose that makes sense. more proof I need to keep reading!

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Old 11-15-2011, 11:56 PM   #16
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You mentioned that you have a small apartment with no room for brewing but your friend is dedicating a whole room for brewing. If you are going to go all grain you will probably need to boil outdoors. Unless you go electric but then you would need some type of ventilation system which could probably be as simple as a fan in a window.

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Old 11-16-2011, 12:26 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BWN View Post
You mentioned that you have a small apartment with no room for brewing but your friend is dedicating a whole room for brewing. If you are going to go all grain you will probably need to boil outdoors. Unless you go electric but then you would need some type of ventilation system which could probably be as simple as a fan in a window.
yikes, really? the room itself is a part of a high-ceilinged loft with concrete floors. I guess I hadn't put a whole lot of thought into ventilation beyond the fact that we'd probably want to ventilate for funky smells. is the main issue due to using propane heat indoors?
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:34 AM   #18
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If you are doing all grain you will need an outdoor burner like the ones used for deep frying turkeys. It is not safe to use one of those inside. I meant you would need ventilation for the amount of moisture created if you would be boiling inside using an electric system. I guess if you had really good ventilation you could use propane indoors but I would still be worried about it being a fire hazard.

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Old 11-16-2011, 12:53 AM   #19
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Mentioned it to my buddy, he doesn't seem worried. And he's a much handier type than I am (thank God). His place has thick concrete floors, 14 foot ceilings, and gigantic windows which open out of the 12th story from a big building in downtown LA. His thinking was to get an industrial sized fan going, open up a few windows and do the actual brew day in his living room. Then we move the gear into the extra room for fermentation.

I appreciate all the insight you guys are giving me, though. It's amazing how many seemingly little considerations need to be carefully weighed before jumping into brewing! I'm still trying to wrap my head around all the gear we'll need beside the brewstands, burners, and pots themselves.

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Old 11-16-2011, 12:59 AM   #20
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i would go all grain, but i would only did if i had an experienced brewer with me to walk me through some of the steps. join a homebrew club and brew with someone else before you brew yourself. you owe it to yourself to read the book through and watch youtube videos and research the thousands of posts here on HBT. You will only benefit from it all.

i brewed 3 partial mashes before i dropped $2k+ on my setup seen in my signature.

cheers

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