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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Switched from Tap to Bottled... WOW
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:24 PM   #1
scottyyyc
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Default Switched from Tap to Bottled... WOW

The general consensus on here seems to be that if your tap water smells and tastes fine, you're generally OK to use it for brewing. Being a new brewer, I thought I'd provide a bit of feedback on that front. I followed this advice, and used tap water for my first 5 or 6 batches. All of my brews turned out OK, but all seemed to have a very subtle taste to them - the best way I could describe the taste is a very slight, dry bitterness to them. Slight, but similar across all my brews.

So my last 2 kits I used bottled (reverse osmosis), and WOW. The taste is gone, and my first sample of the 3-week bottled Brewhouse Octoberfest and Cooper's IPA tasted fantastic and truly authentic.

Moral of the story - even if you have good tap water, it might not be providing optimal results. I live in Calgary, which is known to have fairly hard water, but also good quality and clean tasting. I live in a satellite community 10 min outside Calgary, in fact, and a bit of research reveals that satellite communities and suburbs often have much higher chlorine levels to keep the water cleaner throughout its much longer journeys through pipes.

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Old 04-07-2011, 04:21 PM   #2
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Interesting. I use my well water for the boil, then distilled bottled water for the stuff I add to the cooled wort since I'm not doing full boils yet. Haven't got a batch ready to taste yet though!

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Old 04-07-2011, 06:03 PM   #3
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I have used nothing but bottled spring water thus far for my brews with good results.

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Old 04-07-2011, 06:09 PM   #4
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I use water from my filter system for all my brews. I won't drink the water out of the tap, so I won't brew with it. It's not an RO system, just shy of it though. With the cost of filters, it runs me about 4 cents per gallon of water. It's as good, if not better than, the bottled water I could buy. Better since it's a lot cheaper (the gallon bottles run about $1 here)...

I would hate to need to buy water to brew with.

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Old 04-07-2011, 06:10 PM   #5
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you don't have to use bottled water - but it's a good idea to know the chemical/mineral composition of the water you're using. If you think that it was the chlorine in your water, you just need to pull the water from your tap the day before and let it sit uncovered overnight. The chlorine will evaporate out on it's own. If they're using Chloramine, you'll need to add campden (potassium metabisulfite) to remove that, it won't evaporate out.

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Old 04-07-2011, 06:13 PM   #6
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I used tap water in the boil on my last batch, Then topped off with natural spring water from here in Ohio. Next week Friday I get to sample it in the beautiful German crystal & pewter beer steins my wife & I bought each other for our b'days. It was in primary for a month,the 4th week being dry hopped with 1 oz.
I have to say,when I bottled it,it had a different quality of flavor. Cleaner,maltiness with the hops on the back with amber color. It'll be interesting to see how it tastes carbed & aged.
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:09 PM   #7
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Lucky for me all my brews so far have come out great using my local tap water, no filtering or anything. Mine does taste clean and natural so it's never been like the water would've been an issue. And honestly, since about 60-70% of my beer is boiled (rest is top off water) I figure any chlorine would be brought down to unnoticeable amounts since the majority was boiled off.

I couldn't imagine having to buy water for brewing either. Bottled water in this metropolitan area is expensive.


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Old 04-07-2011, 07:25 PM   #8
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My tap water has some slightlyy off flavors so I buy bottled water from the grocery store for 79 cents a gallon. Brews all taste good.

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Old 04-07-2011, 07:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
Next week Friday I get to sample it in the beautiful German crystal & pewter beer steins my wife & I bought each other for our b'days.
I hope it's just the handle or something of that nature that's pewter, otherwise DO NOT drink from it. Pewter contains lead, antimony, and bismuth; all of which are highly toxic.
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:57 PM   #10
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My tap water tastes great, but beers I brew with it have the same slightly dry character you describe. My local co-op has a jumbo water filter thing where I get bottled water, and it really makes a difference. The finished beer feels "rounder" if that makes any sense, and the grain flavors come through more.

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