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Old 08-08-2007, 04:25 PM   #1
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Default question about water

I've been getting some flak from fellow brewers for using tap water when I brew. I've been told that I need to use bottled water. But, I like the taste of the water from my tap and think the bottled water taste plastic or stale and won't drink bottled water for that reason. Why would I want to put plastic tasting stale water in my beer. If I wanted that taste, I'd go down to the store and buy a Budwiser. I do have city water and some people can get phobic about that. But, I've had it tested and everything if fine with it. What are your thoughts.

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Old 08-08-2007, 04:54 PM   #2
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I've been using filtered tap water for over 13 years without any problems.

This is one of those times you should not listen to your friends. Other times include, but are not limited to, jumping from bridges, swimming with sharks, and any drunken activity that begins with the phrase "Hey, watch this..."

Trust me on this one.

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Old 08-08-2007, 05:28 PM   #3
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I haven't been brewing very long (only about a year and a half seriously), but I always use tap water. My water here is very good and I used it in extract brewing before I started all-grain brewing. I also use it in all of my wines. I've made about 150 batches or so and never had a problem.

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Old 08-08-2007, 05:34 PM   #4
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I also use tap water (through a Brita faucet filter) for all my brewing. My tap water is city water which is then softened by my apartment building. It tastes great and I think it makes great beer. If you like the taste of your water and you like the beer you make, I would ignore your friends in this aspect and just enjoy the savings in cost you get to enjoy - or better yet invest those savings in more ingredients/gear/etc.

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Old 08-08-2007, 06:15 PM   #5
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Our tap water tastes good, but I like to use bottled water. I don't know that it tastes better or anything, but its only like $3-4 bucks for 6 gallons of spring water.

Plus it seems to me more convient to use bottled water since its already measured, and you can put it in the fridge overnight and the next day it will be colder than cold-tap water which makes chilling the wort pretty easy. Just dump 2 gallons of hot wort into 3 gallons of chilled water.

I dont know that it will taste any better, but it seems easier to work with for one thing, plus it barely costs anything.

I plan to keep using bottled spring water, but I wouldn't make a special trip to the store to get it lets put it that way, I'm not opposed to using tap water or anything.

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Old 08-08-2007, 08:46 PM   #6
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If you are doing extract w/specialty grains, and your water tastes good to you, then I wouldn't give it another thought. In defense of your friends, they may also be thinking that topping off with unboiled tap water might lead to an infection. If that's the case, they may have a point. The other thing to consider is the removal of chlorine, or more likely, chloromines from your city water source. With a combination of a good charcoal filter and half a campden tablet added to your brewing water you will be all set.

If you ever make the leap to all grain brewing you will need to know your water's chemistry, and make adjustments if necessary depending on the style of beer. I wouldn't worry about crossing that bridge until you get there. When you do, you can send a water sample to Ward Labs, and for $15 get a breakdown of all the ions in your water.

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Old 08-08-2007, 08:50 PM   #7
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I use my tap water, though I use a Culligan RV-600 inline filter and a food grade RV water hose to fill my HLT. This puppy makes things easy and I don't get any complaints on my beer.



The Culligan RV-600 filter removes contaminants from your drinking and cooking water. The Culligan RV-600 RV water filter reduces chlorine taste and odor, bad taste and odor, and sediment from your drinking water. The Culligan RV-600 water filter cartridge lasts up to 2000 gallons and is easy to replace with a new RV-600 filter or a Culligan RV-500 filter. The life of the filter also depends on the amount of water used and the amount of contaminants in your drinking water. The Culligan RV-600 has a maximum flow rate of 3 gallons per minute. The Culligan RV-600 has 3/4" hose fittings.

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Old 08-08-2007, 08:50 PM   #8
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Does anyone know of any online resources for examining the quality of tap water in your region? Or would it vary too much based on your house's specific plumbing? I live in the western suburbs of chicago, and the tap water is great in general (from the lake), but my house was built in the 20's....


Edit:

Wow, looks like we can scratch that idea... that filter is cheap and looks half decent....

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Old 08-08-2007, 09:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazytwoknobs
Does anyone know of any online resources for examining the quality of tap water in your region? Or would it vary too much based on your house's specific plumbing? I live in the western suburbs of chicago, and the tap water is great in general (from the lake), but my house was built in the 20's....


Edit:

Wow, looks like we can scratch that idea... that filter is cheap and looks half decent....
Yep, only $19.49 here and takes 10 seconds to install in line with your water hose. Can't get much more brain dead simple that that.
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Old 08-11-2007, 05:19 AM   #10
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Flyboy, you may want to consider investing in a reverse osmosis system. I also live in Mesa, (born here 49 years ago) but can't stand the local water supply!

Water, in this country, can vary by some AMAZING statistics. The general rule of thumb here, if it tasteds good to drink, it is good enough to brew witth. Mesa's water doesn't pass that test! (However, it is better than it used to be. When I was a kid, I could smell a glass of it, across the room!)(Now you need to be within 2 feet.)

steve

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