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Old 11-20-2006, 05:45 AM   #1
cyberjoey80
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Default tap water? Hops are green, so am I.

Hi all. I am fairly new to homebrew and I stumbled on this site. You can see my intro on the intro section (graduated from Mr. beer). I am on my third batch of beer since getting my kits and had a question of water. I live in souther California and our water has lots of chemicals in it. Most people dont drink it. I have heard that it is better to use tap water over bottled as the yeast thrives on the additives of the municipal water and bottled water may even delay fermentation. Is this true or would it taste better to use bottled or a water filter when making wort/ filling fermentr. Also, what about those aquvend machines. I can get five gallons of water that has been filtered, and pass through uv rays for about 75cents. Any input would be great. Thanks ahead of time.

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Old 11-20-2006, 05:53 AM   #2
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Actually, some tap water is particularly bad for beer. Mine has too much chlorine and runs through a salt-based softener - the one time I brewed with it was the one time I didn't like the results. I'm guessing SoCal water is probably pretty potent with chlorine, which makes it a pain to use in brewing - it tends to stifle if not kill the yeast if you don't pre-boil.

I exclusively use reverse osmosis (RO) filtered water for brewing now. If I'm brewing 5 gallons or less, I use the RO system at my house, which has about a 5 gallon capacity. For larger batches, I pay $1.00 per 5 gallons at machines a lot like you mention.

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Old 11-20-2006, 05:57 AM   #3
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Where in CA are you? I live in the LA area and have used tap water with fine results. I'm not saying that all tap water is good, just that it can be done. If you don't like the way the tap tastes, use bottled spring water or a filtered tap.

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Old 11-20-2006, 06:10 AM   #4
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Wow, thanks for the quick reply(s). I live in San Diego. I have not had a bad tasting batch..but can never quite acquire the quality taste I am looking for. It seems like most of my batches have always had the same after taste. I recently switched sanitizer to iodiphor (spelling?) from the cheaper bleach mix .Maybe this will help.

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Old 11-20-2006, 06:21 AM   #5
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If you are using extract, make sure it's fresh. There's been a few discussions around here about extract flavors.

As far as water goes, just don't use distilled water as the entire source. The yeast need the minerals in the water.

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Old 11-20-2006, 02:42 PM   #6
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The water in the LA area is fine for drinking and brewing. I lived in Fullterton before the bottled water scam* started. One of the finest pieces of marketing in the history of the USA. If you are concerned, get an analysis from your water company. You'll find out that there are very few chemicals in the water, except di-hydrogen oxide. The only place I've lived where I wouldn't use straight tap water was Las Vegas. There I had a particle filter and an activated charcoal filter for all of the water, including what went on the garden.

* 26 Billion empty bottles a year and most of them end up in the landfill.

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Old 11-20-2006, 04:11 PM   #7
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Bottled water scam is RIGHT!!! I've managed laboratories in the past and the amount of testing that goes into the Safe Drinking Water Act is mind boggling. Lot more so than bottled water....anyway.....
For boiling, tap water will be great. The boil takes care of a lot of things. For make up water, I say tap should be fine, that's what I do. When in doubt, just do like you proposed, but you won't need 5 gallons total.

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Old 11-21-2006, 02:54 AM   #8
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Thanks beer folks.. Lots of great help.

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Old 11-24-2006, 09:45 PM   #9
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You could always do what I did and move away from the big city, find a quiet little mountain side home and get your water from a cold mountain well. I'll take what comes straight from my tap over what I can buy at a store anyday.

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Old 11-24-2006, 10:15 PM   #10
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I don't use my tap water because if you run several gallons in the bathtub it has a very noticible blue-green tint to it. Boiling doesn't get rid of it, so I'm supposing it's chloramine.

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