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Old 09-18-2009, 10:14 PM   #1
Sep 2009
Posts: 42

My first batch of beer was a stout, just tried it today; tastes just fine after 2 weeks bottle conditioning.

I used store bought water (not distilled).

My second batch, which I am making today is using my tap water. I live in Tempe, Arizona. I really couldn't see spending the extra dough on store bought water, so I just am using tap water today.

I boiled all of the water I'd be using for the beer.

The guy at my local brewstore was pretty adamant about NOT using tapwater. Should I be worried about my beer?

I checked a recent water report and everything looked alright to me. I used John Palmer's water report guide as a reference to determine that my local water was "OK".
"Drinking Bud Light is like being in a canoe; it's really close to water."

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Old 09-18-2009, 10:32 PM   #2
rico567's Avatar
Apr 2008
Central IL
Posts: 3,018
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Well, you're going to find out. I use nothing but the RO (reverse osmosis) water from the machine in the grocery store. We're on a well, and the water has way too much calcium and iron to brew successfully. The 33 cents a gallon for the RO water produces good beer, and is a cheap investment, considering that water is the chief ingredient.
“Malt does more than Milton can / To justify God’s ways to man”

-A. E. Housman (1859–1936). A Shropshire Lad , 1896.

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Old 09-18-2009, 10:41 PM   #3
Aug 2007
Posts: 97

Do you know WHY the LHBS guy said no tap water? If you've checked water reports, cross-referenced with Palmer, and boiled... I don't see a problem.

I do a partial boil extract currently and recently went from all store bought water to half charcoal-filtered tap water (the boil) and half bottled water. No change in beer quality.

Primary: Fish Drool Brown, Momma's Irish Stout, Apfelwein
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Bottled: Top Shelf Stout, Big *ss Stout, Apfelwein, Fish Drool Brown Ale, ATC Ale

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Old 09-19-2009, 11:13 AM   #4
Jun 2009
Basque Country
Posts: 189
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I've used both, no diference noticed.

Now I always use Bottled water, so I don't spend time boiling and chilling my top off water.

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Old 09-19-2009, 11:45 AM   #5
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Feb 2006
La Plata, MD
Posts: 2,315
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Depends on the tap water where you live, Bottled water is the greatest marketing scheme ever invented, A home water filter is going to give you water that's better than most bottled for far less than $4-6 a gallon

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Old 09-19-2009, 12:19 PM   #6
beretta's Avatar
Mar 2008
Posts: 111
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Are you brewing all grain? If your just extract or partial mashing, I'm not so sure your water quality will make much of a difference. Do you do full length boils? If so, then even boiling to remove the chlorine won't be needed. Are you on a well? Does your City use Chlorine or Chloramine (sp?) ?

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Old 09-19-2009, 01:32 PM   #7
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Oct 2008
Erie, CO
Posts: 731
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I've been using tap water for 20 years, in four states. Never had a problem. Aside from the wort, I don't boil top off water, sparge water, etc. I have noticed a big difference since I went to all grain, and some of that may be from boiling the full volume, which eliminates the chlorine.
>>Proudly brewing the beer I drink since 1989<<

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Old 09-19-2009, 04:58 PM   #8
Aug 2009
new braunfels, tx
Posts: 31
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What i've done is used tap water for the partial boil (fist 2-3 gallons of extract), and then used bottled water to top off at the end in the bucket. I didn't want to spend the money on all that water, but didn't want to mess with boilig all the water either. i thought this was a good compromise... plus the bottled water is already cool!

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Old 09-19-2009, 06:40 PM   #9
Sep 2009
Posts: 42

I am still doing extract brewing. No AG yet.

As for water quality for brewing aren't we basically just concerned about the pH? As long as you boil your city water and the pH is where you need it, it all should be fine, correct? It seems to me that all grain brewers are kind of required to use tap water(?).

I'm still new to brewing, so just a quick question. Is a "partial boil" simply meaning that you're not boiling the whole volume of the batch?

Berreta, what do you mean "full length boil"? I boil for the whole 60 minutes, if that's what you mean...

We use chlorine in our city water here.
"Drinking Bud Light is like being in a canoe; it's really close to water."

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Old 09-19-2009, 06:47 PM   #10
ChshreCat's Avatar
Aug 2008
Camano Island, Washington
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I do PM partial boils. I use tap water for anything I'm planning on boiling and bottled for my top up. So, my mash and sparge water is tap water that has been brought to a boil for 10-15 minutes, then cooled to temp.

But... my tap water tastes good and has no chlorine taste to it. I boil it to make sure nothing's living in it and as a just-in-case measure against any chlorine in it.

I really wouldn't have any qualms about using my tap water for everything, but I don't feel like boiling that much water. Plus, I can put the jugs of store bought water in the fridge to help get me down to pitching temps when I top up.
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