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Old 01-30-2009, 10:49 PM   #1
Baunno
 
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I live in a rural agricultural area in Tennessee and have a spring gushing water out of the side of a limestone hill on my property. Iíd like to use it for brewing but am concerned with agricultural pesticides and fertilizer runoff contaminating the water. The hill side where this spring comes out of does not have fields or AG probably within a mile so maybe this isnít too much to worry about. But..is it worth the trouble to send a sample to the state AG Department to do an analysis? Is anybody using fresh spring water or had analysis done on their water source? All thoughts welcome!
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:45 PM   #2
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I probably wouldn't use it without a test. I don't even use my well water (too much iron), though. In this case, you could have ground water contamination, and I wonder if the limestone would cause the water to be very alkaline. I'd either buy bottled, use tap water, or have the spring water tested.
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:49 PM   #3
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I'd say if you drink it, then it's good enough to brew with. If it's not the same water supplying your home, then it might be a good idea to have it tested.

My wife's aunt and uncle used to have fresh artesian at their old house in Northern Idaho. If they still lived there, I'd be bringing home some of that water to brew with.
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Old 01-31-2009, 01:33 AM   #4
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Whatever water is coming out of the side of that hill is from rainwater that has percolated through the ground of the hill. If there are no fields on the hill, there shouldn't be any contaminates in the water. You could most likely contact your county's public utilities extension and ask about water testing. They'll usually analyze your sample for a couple bucks for your peace of mind.
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Old 01-31-2009, 03:08 AM   #5
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Yeah, what Brian said. I'd say it's definately worth testing. There is no more chance that it is contaminated than any wells in the area. Probably comes from the same aquifer. Of course if it increases in flow during the irrigation season, it may still be connected to surface water runoff (which isn't always a bad thing). Groundwater can travel some distance.

 
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Old 01-31-2009, 04:09 AM   #6
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Iíve watched this spring for 3 or 4 years and even in the driest of times it continued to flow. It is near an old tobacco barn tucked in a hollow of the woods and behind it is an old excavation that says to me to have been dug for a spring. Somebody scratched the date of 1918 on a pole in the old barn in charcoal so Iím thinking that the spring used to flow out around the other side of the hill. It now flows into a dry creek bed cut that I donít think existed back then. There is no agriculture up from the hill side, just neighbors on 25 acres in the woods. All the ag in the area is actually below where the spring flows from. But yea, Iím going to have it tested before I go brewing with it, itíll be interesting to see the chemistry of the water. It most likely will be alkaline coming out of limestone.
I aught to post a picture or two of it!
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Old 01-31-2009, 04:49 AM   #7
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Pictures would be great, I've always loved springs. Also I think it would be really cool to brew with it. Testing it will not only tell you if it is safe, but also the water Chem (as you know) so you can make the appropriate beer with it.
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Old 01-31-2009, 04:54 AM   #8
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Sounds nice , I like the idea. I would think you would want to tap into it to extract the water from the ground, (inless that what u planed on?) Rather than taking the water from the stream directly. but as long as you take it from the fastest mooving point and boil it you should be fine ... o dont forget to add iodine to kill bacteria ... ya just kidding ... +1 test it ... and tast it
sounds really cool, plant some hops in the stream bed ... build a bar into the bank ... f.ck build your house around it ... really sweet idea.

 
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conpewter View Post
Pictures would be great, I've always loved springs. Also I think it would be really cool to brew with it. Testing it will not only tell you if it is safe, but also the water Chem (as you know) so you can make the appropriate beer with it.
I took a few pics of the spring this morning. I took a half gallon of it yesterday and boiled it for 15 minutes, let it cool and tasted. Kind of muddy tasting..but then we has hard rain earlier in the week and the dry creek isn't so dry right now. Another thing I'll do is fit a trough at the mouth to tap into the pure spring water.
I also observed that the pan I boiled it in had a white ring afterwards. Anyway here is the link to the pics in my photo album
Baunno Springs Future Brewing Water? - HomeBrewTalk Gallery
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