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Old 11-29-2009, 05:36 PM   #1
HomerJR
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Default Sulfur in my water

Hey gang,

I live out in the sticks, and as such do not have city water, I'm on a well. In my area there's a problem with sulfur in the water, and I've got a hydrogen peroxide injection system that removes almost all the sulfur nasties from my water. After treatment, it tastes pretty good to me. There is no other treatment applied (softener, filter, etc.)

Sometimes, however, the peroxide tank runs dry before the water guy gets here to refill it. No huge deal to me, just means my coffee tastes slightly funky.

Until......

I started doing AG and wanted to not spend money on bottled water. Here are a few thoughts, in no particular order:

* The pH of my water is 7.9 untreated, 7.8 treated.

* My water is naturally pretty soft (Ward Labs test kit sitting here waiting to be shipped out, but for swimming pool purposes a few years ago I was told that I should ADD minerals for the pool chemicals.)

* When I boil untreated water, the sulfur smell is reduced but not eliminated. My thought is that boiling for a couple hours will pretty much completely eliminate the effects of sulfur.

Now some questions:

If I'm using untreated water for my mash, what effect if any will that have on my wort?
If there is an effect on the wort, will boiling fix it?
Is there something I can add to untreated water before mashing that will render the sulfur issue moot?

I'm sure I'll add more questions as the discussion continues.

Any water thoughts?


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Old 11-30-2009, 12:36 PM   #2
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Bump to the top.


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Old 11-30-2009, 12:39 PM   #3
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Without a water test, it'd just be a wild guess as to the make up of your water. Sulfur isn't good, of course, but if it boils off then you're ok.
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:43 PM   #4
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You could always look into manipulating your water with CaSO4, CaCl, etc. and use some 5.2 pH buffer if you really want to use your water.

If the sulfur is that noticeable, it's probably not something that you want in your beer. Considering that a 1 gallon jug of water can be purchased for less than $1, you may want to think about going that route but I wouldn't rule out your water completely until you've actually brewed with it and taste the end result.
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:52 PM   #5
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The overall mineral content of the water really isn't much of an issue. I've brewed with treated water, where the only thing done to it was sulfur removal, without any problems. Quite tasty. My only concern is whether the presence of sulfur at the beginning of the process will affect the wort when I'm doing AG.

I don't really relish the thought of buying bottled water doing a 5-gallon batch of AG. Sure, a bottle might be had for under a buck, but I'd be buying at least 8. I thought about it at first, but I'm trying to keep costs to a minimum. I'm washing yeast, I'll be buying from HopsDirect.com, and next time I'm in the neighborhood, I'm picking up a bag o' 2-row from MidCountry. All these savings would be wiped out if I were buying bottled water.

I think I'll go ahead and give the water a shot. I'll report back with what happens.
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Old 05-23-2010, 04:16 AM   #6
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I know this post is old, but... Trouble is, and I know from experience, sulfur doesn't boil off, it concentrates. The reason you don't smell it when it boils is because your nose acclimates to the smell.

If your water is treated well enough, the sulfur won't interfere. H2O2 shouldn't mess with any chemistry.

With a bleach sulfur removal system, the chlorides and chloramines have to be removed, usually by waiting a day after decanting the water.


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