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Old 11-20-2011, 03:46 PM   #1
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Default Water Softener and Sodium Levels

I brew at my girl friend's house and she uses a Water Softener. I'm concerned with the Sodium Levels in the water. Is there a way to test this? I did read that you can test this with a hydrometer. I did this and it didn't register 1.000. It was slightly higher.

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Old 11-20-2011, 10:16 PM   #2
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Some of the worst beers ive ever made was with softened water. Id advise against using it at all.

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Old 11-20-2011, 10:19 PM   #3
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most softeners have a bypass

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Old 11-27-2011, 04:53 PM   #4
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Would it be OK to use 2 Gallon of my softned tap water with 3 Gallons RO Water?

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Old 11-27-2011, 06:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CeJ
Some of the worst beers ive ever made was with softened water. Id advise against using it at all.
My house has a softener and my beers come out just fine, use the water straight from the tap.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:58 PM   #6
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Unless the unsoftened water has excessive metallic taste (iron or manganese), it is far better to use that unsoftened water in brewing. Hard water is ALWAYS preferred and necessary for good brewing performance. Calcium and magnesium are important and necessary ions for brewing, while sodium is not. Alkalinity is not affected by a softener and its this component that is the most important to control. Softened water is counterproductive to good brewing.

If you're brewing with water from the exterior hose bib of a house with a softener, its possible that this water bypasses the softener and you're brewing with unsoftened water anyhow.

Download and read Bru'n Water for more information on brewing water and its treatment.

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Old 11-28-2011, 12:38 AM   #7
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Water chemistry is important to brewing, but for what ever reason my beer turns out good with water that went through the softener. Maybe my softener doesn't change the water that much, and I do know it's working since I add salt. Once I get a lot more brews under my belt I may try messing with the water chemistry, but for know what I have is working. Who knows I could be on to something like Pilsen!

I also really don't have much of a choice in using the softened water since the bypass would not only bypass the softener but also the sediment filter and UV sterilizer.

At first I was a concerned about the softener after reading some posts on here but now I just RDWHAHB.

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Old 11-28-2011, 12:45 AM   #8
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Why not go to the grocery store and pick up some gallon jugs of drinking water? No boiling required and it's much easier to measure. It's extra money but I find it well worth the extra 5 or 6 bucks. I'll usually add about a tablespoon of gypsum to the brew pot though.

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Old 11-28-2011, 12:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
Download and read Bru'n Water for more information on brewing water and its treatment.
Good information thank you, downloaded the files.

Just to see, I think I might take a sample straight from the well and then one after the softener. Will report back on the results.
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:04 AM   #10
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How about using half softened tap water and half reverse osmosis?

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