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Old 02-28-2014, 12:20 PM   #21
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Different water gives different results. Water makes a huge difference with a style of beer.
I prefer to use RO water (reverse osmosis) because I can control all of the additions in it to make a particular profile. It has no minerals in it, but you can add them. RO water is dead for all grain unless you change it with additions. Most of the beer software today have water profiles built in them. Minerals or no minerals will make a hugs difference in fermentation as there are no trace elements to use up. Final PH and FG can/will be different with different water profiles.

my .02.

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Old 02-28-2014, 12:57 PM   #22
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Nice experiment

What method of oxygenation did you use?

The amount of gas dissolved in the different waters depending on their sources could have an impact on some of the results you see here. The amount of fermentation activity could increase quickly with lots of minerals, as has been suggested, and also with more oxygen dissolved in the source water, allowing the yeast to procreate more rapidly and get to work.

The distilled water may have had less oxygen in it after having been boiled, condense and packaged. It is possible for distilled water to dissolve more oxygen, but unless you shook the bottle up while it was half empty to get a lot of air into it, this may not have been the case. I wonder if this has something to do with the larger bubbles for the distilled water...


For the tasting have you considered doing it blind?
Separate the bottles into three piles, and have someone number them and keep a note of which number refers to which water type, and not tell you. Then they can swap the bottles groups around so you have no idea which is which. Take some tasting notes over time for each number, and get a different friend to help, and then later ask the person who took note of what number is what water source so that you can see which notes related to which water type.
This is the only way to prevent preconceived notions of what water types will make to the finished taste, even if you think you don't have any, they are there, because our minds are amazingly good at patterns like that.

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Old 02-28-2014, 09:53 PM   #23
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Update coming this weekend after three weeks in the bottles.

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Old 03-04-2014, 01:21 AM   #24
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To annswer a couple of questions about my experiment. I did not areate much since I used dry yeast, I did shake the fermenters 15 seconds or so prior to pitching the re-hydrated 05 yeast. Yes I did do a blind taste test with the actual bottle number hidden under my pint glasses and my swimbo pouring the beer. The OGs were 1.060 and all three finished right at 1.012. The spring water I used was Ice Mountain Natural Spring water from either Evart or Rodney Mi. springs. My tap water is from the City of Detroit water system, and filtered with a dual cartridge kitchen filter.



I am sure this test is far from perfect and would probably yield different results for different beers and brewing styles. I started with a NB Zoomin pale ale (didnt think of doing a water trst until after I ordered my kit) and increase the gravity as well as the bitterness like I often do since I am a IPA fan. Brewing a proven recipe would probably have been a better idea, and a simple pale ale might also have been a good idea, but I should still end up with a result that should help me with my taste buds and favorite style. I am sure as the bottles condition longer my results may change a bit too.



Observations. Even though the tap and spring water variations fermented quicker and more vigorously, all three finished right at 1.012.

The earlier color differences didnt result in final color differences, they are all the same.

The differences in bubble size I noticed during fermentation didnt seem to carry over to carbonation bubble size either.


Results. The distilled version seemed to be slightly more carbonated than the others, but could be more of a result of yeast/priming sugar than water used. The tap water version seemed to have a more harsh bitter taste than the other two which also lingered a few minutes after. The spring water version tasted alright but still a little harsh, while the distilled water version was the smoothest of the three. All of these tastes/results are likely based on water chemistry, and might give different results on a less bitter style of beer, and other brewers would likely have different opinions based on their tastes. Non of the three were terrible, but based on 3 weeks of conditioning I like the distilled water version best. I will re-post updates if anything changes in future bottles.

The only thing I might have proven is using distilled water for an extract IPA wont introduce added ppm's of any mineral that might affect water chemistry and or flavor, and the mineral content of the DME/LME will be of lesser amount when USING distilled water. This might possibly eliminate some harshness due to a more complexed heavier mineral content from the added spring and tap waters.

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Old 03-04-2014, 09:16 AM   #25
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Great experiment! I've parroted the recommendation for using distilled/RO water for extract beers on the idea that the maltster chose a specific water profile for the original mash, and you'd be best off just going with that. But it's really cool to see actual data.

PS: You might want to contact the guy(s) at the Basic Brewing Radio Podcast about this. This is the kind of thing they like to hear about.

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Old 04-14-2014, 09:51 PM   #26
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So moving on forward, based on this experiment, which you're of water will you use for your next batches? What do you recommend?

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Old 04-14-2014, 09:51 PM   #27
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:05 AM   #28
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For my own purpose I will probably use distilled. This may not be right for other brewers, but for me I can eliminate one area of concern. The extract already has a water profile from the maufacturer so spending a few bucks more to have nutral water is ok by me.

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