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Old 01-31-2012, 10:07 PM   #1
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I am on well water with a softener and all the batches I have done have come out reasonably well. Being the curious person that I am, I want to try my next batch using store bought water to see if I notice any difference. I am confused on what type to buy? Do I used distilled, spring, etc???

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Old 01-31-2012, 10:12 PM   #2
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Don't use distilled, unless you plan on adding back minerals to the water. Distilled water, by it's nature, does not have a lot of the things necessary for brewing (calcium, etc). Distilled is fine if you want to build a specific water profile by adding a specific amount of minerals to the water. There's a looot of literature on the subject.

Spring water should suit you just fine if you just want to see the difference it would make compared to your well water. But if it aint broken don't fix it, I say

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Old 01-31-2012, 10:14 PM   #3
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I usually buy spring water. when the containers are empty i refill them with brita filtered water from the tap. if im not mistaken you shouldn't use distilled water because there are no minerals in the water. you can get alot of info if you research water in the site.

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Old 02-01-2012, 12:41 AM   #4
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Also keep in mind that the FDA only monitors and tests water that crosses state lines, so if you buy water that was bottled from a source in your state, there's a chance that it may not have undergone any testing.

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Old 02-01-2012, 12:44 AM   #5
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Don't use distilled, unless you plan on adding back minerals to the water. Distilled water, by it's nature, does not have a lot of the things necessary for brewing (calcium, etc). Distilled is fine if you want to build a specific water profile by adding a specific amount of minerals to the water. There's a looot of literature on the subject.

Spring water should suit you just fine if you just want to see the difference it would make compared to your well water. But if it aint broken don't fix it, I say
^this^. use spring or tap water unless you're planning on treating the water with minerals first. i've found that many store brands of spring water make great beer, but 9 outta ten brews, i stick with good ol' Mpls river water, or sometimes i cut my tap with R/O at a 2:1 ratio for lighter beers.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:29 PM   #6
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So I am contemplating using 100% RO water for some of my lighter brews and adding the necessary minerals back. I live in Africa...and my water source, albeit generally ok, I suspect is vary variable. (currently it is coming out the tap a little brown, tho this isn't the norm tbh) is this a reasonable idea? I have come to this after having a few miserable failures on done wheat beers that I think I can only put to the water.

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Old 02-02-2012, 12:38 PM   #7
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I am on well water with a softener and all the batches I have done have come out reasonably well. !

The softener adds a lot of salt to your water you don't really want or need in your beer.
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:37 PM   #8
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Are you doing extract? All-Grain? If doing extract I would use distilled or R/O. Malt extract should already have the basic mineral composition you need. If you use spring water you add unknown amounts of unknown minerals into your wort. I've used both tap and distilled water when I was doing extract batches. Both turned out well, but distilled seemed to make better beer for me in the end. If your doing all-grain I'd suggest getting a water report and adjusting your minerals based off of that.

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Old 02-03-2012, 04:09 AM   #9
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Are you doing extract? All-Grain? If doing extract I would use distilled or R/O. Malt extract should already have the basic mineral composition you need. If you use spring water you add unknown amounts of unknown minerals into your wort. I've used both tap and distilled water when I was doing extract batches. Both turned out well, but distilled seemed to make better beer for me in the end. If your doing all-grain I'd suggest getting a water report and adjusting your minerals based off of that.
Doing all grain... Unfortunately, this being South Africa... our municipality doesn't want to release a water report, I suspect because the water isn't all that great. I have access to ground water that has been tested, I just have two concerns about using it. There is a little bit of sediment sometimes in it and I dont have a carbon filter, is this going to be an issue. And secondly, will the ground water ions and minerals remain consistent, or how often should I be getting it tested?
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:13 PM   #10
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Doing all grain... Unfortunately, this being South Africa... our municipality doesn't want to release a water report, I suspect because the water isn't all that great. I have access to ground water that has been tested, I just have two concerns about using it. There is a little bit of sediment sometimes in it and I dont have a carbon filter, is this going to be an issue. And secondly, will the ground water ions and minerals remain consistent, or how often should I be getting it tested?
If your sketchy about the quality of your ground water, I personally wouldn't use it. I just don't like the idea of having visible sediment in my water. If you search for "Water Primer" there is a good thread about treating R/O or distilled water for all grain use. You can also use one of the online water tools, I like EZWater Calculator. If you do end up using your ground water I would think for the sake of homebrewing the water would stay consistent enough. Some sort of inline filter would also help with the sediment, but not a necessity. I'm on a well, and I'm sure it flucuates a bit, but probably not enough for me to be concerned about. I plan to retest mine next winter (1-1/2 years after my initial test) just to compare.
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